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Doctor Robert Bruce Banner, M.D., Ph.D., is a renowned scientist and a founding member of the Avengers. Highly respected for his work in biochemistry, nuclear physics, and gamma radiation, Banner was commissioned by Thaddeus Ross to recreate the Super Soldier Serum that created Captain America. However, Ross elected not to inform Banner what he was creating. During the experiment, Banner was exposed to dangerous levels of gamma radiation (rather than vita radiation). As a result, the mild-mannered scientist found that when angered, provoked, or excited, his body and brain would transform into a huge, rage-fueled, primitive-minded creature known as the Hulk.
Fearful of the damage that Hulk could inflict and wishing to flee from the United States government, Banner attempted to kill himself. When the attempt failed, he chose to live a discreet life in South America while also communicating with Samuel Sterns to cure himself. However, when General Ross sent a team led by Emil Blonsky to apprehend Banner, Banner was forced to return to New York City. He recruited the help of Betty Ross and Sterns to cure him of his affliction. Banner was apprehended by the Armed Forces shortly after. However, Blonsky, who had received a variant of the Super Soldier Serum, was administered Banner's gamma-irradiated blood, transforming him into the Abomination. This new threat forced Ross to allow Banner to turn into Hulk and battle Blonsky, before allowing Hulk to escape.
Banner fled the United States and dedicated his time to aiding the sick and poor. When a mounting threat called for Banner's specialized scientific expertise, S.H.I.E.L.D. recruited him, knowing full well that the incredible strength of Banner's alter-ego would be an additional asset to the Avengers. Banner was tasked with tracking down the Tesseract, working alongside Tony Stark to achieve this. Despite almost causing a disaster when Loki's schemes caused Banner to transform into Hulk aboard the Helicarrier, Banner later joined the Avengers during the Battle of New York, assisting them in defeating Loki and his Chitauri army. Once the Avengers split up in the wake of the battle, Banner had become good friends with Stark and relocated to Avengers Tower, free to live his life without apprehension.
In the wake of the HYDRA Uprising, the Avengers regrouped once more to battle the ever-growing threat of HYDRA, successfully capturing Wolfgang von Strucker and retaking the Scepter. In order to make it so that Earth could always be safe without constantly needing the Avengers to protect it, Banner assisted Stark with creating Ultron, an artificial intelligence. Ultron, programmed to protect Earth at all costs, deemed humanity and the Avengers as peace's greatest threat and focused on annihilating them. Banner was then enlisted by Stark to help create Vision, and was later coaxed by Black Widow into transforming into Hulk and help defeat Ultron. Following Ultron's defeat, Hulk commandeered a Quinjet and left Earth, flying into space and coming across a wormhole that caused the Quinjet to crash on the alien planet of Sakaar. There, the stressful environment prevented him from regressing back into Banner, causing him to remain in Hulk form for two years.
On Sakaar, Hulk became a gladiator for Grandmaster and was soon revered as a beloved champion, choosing to turn his back on Earth and enjoy the life of an admired warrior. However, when Thor arrived on the planet, Hulk fought against his old friend in the arena. In the wake of their fight, Thor informed Hulk that Asgard was under threat due to Hela's return. Eventually, Banner reemerges, agreeing to help Thor in his plight. However, it is Hulk who aids the Asgardians in their fight, defeating Fenris and allowing the Asgardians to board the Statesman vessel. Then, as Ragnarök was unleashed, Hulk joined them on their voyage to Earth.
On their way back to Earth, the Statesman was attacked by the Black Order, who killed half of the Asgardians. Hulk challenged their leader, Thanos, who quickly defeated him. He was then teleported to the New York Sanctum by Heimdall, where Banner warned Doctor Strange, Iron Man, and later Captain America of Thanos' arrival. Finding himself no longer able to transform into Hulk, Banner operated a Hulkbuster armor to aid the Avengers in the Battle of Wakanda. Although Banner and his allies managed to kill off Thanos' forces, Thanos personally arrived in Wakanda to retrieve the Mind Stone. He effortlessly subdued Banner and the other heroes and completed the Infinity Gauntlet, wiping out half of the universe's population. Banner was one of the survivors.
At some point after the Snap, Banner permanently merged his consciousness and Hulk into one being, which combined Hulk's raw strength and physique with Banner's mind and intelligence, becoming an adored celebrity. In 2023, he rejoined the Avengers to help them use Pym Particles and the Quantum Realm to travel through time. After traveling back to the Battle of New York in 2012, Banner successfully gained the Time Stone from the Ancient One and returned to the present. He and Rocket Raccoon helped Tony Stark design the Nano Gauntlet to contain the Stones the Avengers had collected. Banner elected to use the Stones to resurrect all the lives claimed by the Snap, injuring himself in the process. In the aftermath of the Battle of Earth, which resulted in Iron Man's death, Banner sent Captain America back in time. Shortly after, he reverted to his human form, his right arm still in a sling; however, all the scarring had healed.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Scientist
- 1.2 On the Run
- 1.3 Hunting a Cure
- 1.4 Chitauri Invasion
- 1.5 Avengers Reassembled
- 1.6 Ultron Offensive
- 1.7 Ragnarök
- 1.8 Infinity War
- 1.9 Merging with Hulk
- 1.10 Time Heist
- 1.11 Reverting to Human
- 2 Personality
- 3 Powers and Abilities
- 4 Equipment
- 5 Facilities
- 6 Relationships
- 7 Appearances
- 8 Trivia
- 9 Behind the Scenes
- 10 References
- 11 External Links
Specializing in Gamma Radiation
Robert Bruce Banner was born on Thursday, December 18, 1969, in Dayton, Ohio. As he grew up, he started going by his middle name. During his youth, Banner had an estranged relationship with his father Brian, believing that he was never able to impress him. Banner met Betty Ross while in college, where they fell in love. At Harvard University, the couple participated in an experiment involving hallucinogens.
They soon graduated and moved on to Willowdale, Virginia, while working together at Culver University as instructors, where Banner specialized in nuclear physics, biochemistry, and was a member of the Bio-science Department. During his tenure, Banner met astrophysicist Erik Selvig, one of the university's instructors, and was involved in a praised work on anti-electron collisions and gamma radiation, becoming one of the foremost geniuses of his entire generation. While working on his gamma ray experiments, Banner was unable to visit his father, and ultimately missed his passing. Throughout his career, Banner obtained seven Ph.Ds.
Recreating the Super Soldier Serum
Following the September 11 attacks, Thaddeus Ross was commissioned by the United States Armed Forces to rekindle Project Rebirth from the 1940s in order to create super soldiers akin to Captain America. Ross enlisted Banner into the Bio-Tech Force Enhancement Project due to Banner's prowess in biochemistry and radiation, but elected not to inform Banner that his task was to recreate Abraham Erskine's Super Soldier Serum and chose not to divulge the serum's true properties to Banner.
Believing he was recreating a serum designed to prevent radiation poisoning, such as to protect soldiers from depleted uranium, Banner chose to substitute the original formula's vita radiation with gamma radiation. Banner and Betty Ross also saw the project's potential to eliminate malignant brain tumors caused by radiation exposure, find a remedy for neurodegenerative diseases and strengthen the immune system, but they still needed a patient having his hippocampus exposed to radiation.
- "Banner's work was very early phase. It wasn't even weapons application. He thought he was working on radiation resistance. I would never have told him what the project really was. But he was so sure of what he was onto, that he tested it on himself. And something went very wrong. Or it went very right. As far as I'm concerned, that man's whole body is the property of the US Army."
"You said he wasn’t working on weapons, right?"
"But you were. You were, weren’t you? You were trying other things."
"One serum we developed… was very promising."
- ―Thaddeus Ross and Emil Blonsky[src]
In 2005, a Super Soldier Serum was recreated by Banner and Betty Ross with military scientists consisting of gamma radiation as an activator and stabilizer as opposed to vita radiation, while the project was being threatened with funding cuts at an early phase. Believing that his serum was designed for radiation resistance, Banner decided to test it on himself and was administered a myostatin primer designed by Betty that allowed his cells to absorb radiation temporarily.
Before entering the radiation room of a Culver University facility, Banner took a picture with Betty and kissed her. Banner sat on the Gamma Ray Projector, winked at a concerned Betty and the procedure was initiated by his colleagues, with his hippocampus being exposed to gamma radiation. Wishing to impress General Thaddeus Ross and gain his approval, Banner manually upped the dosage of the radiation on the device, despite Betty's warnings, after no apparent effects to 15 seconds of exposition at level 1.
Banner was doused with an immense amount of gamma radiation, however, the serum's effects, along with Dr. Ross' primer, caused Banner to transform into a giant, green-skinned, muscle-bound titan with incredible strength, but who posed little intelligence and was driven by fits of extreme rage. In that instant, gamma pulses stored in Banner's amygdala to be released during high stress moments, serving as a trigger for the transformation. As an enraged, nearly mindless creature, Banner destroyed the lab, accidentally injuring Betty and several graduate students, crushing General Ross' arm and killing two scientists and an army officer who was shooting at him. Following an explosion on the campus, the monster fled the scene and was spotted by students, however those sightings was attributed by officials as possible effects of a chemical released into the air, causing hallucinations.
In the wake of the accident, the military closed the entire lab building for a year, kept the incident a secret and shut down the entire project. Having managed to revert back to his human form, Banner tried to visit Dr. Ross while she was in the hospital, but her father made him leave. Ross admitted to Banner that the project was developed for military offense and informed him that if he did not allow his monstrous form to be used as a weapon in combat, then his troops would come after him.
Three days after the accident, Ross met Banner in the destroyed lab, offering him to take him to another workplace in Maryland to perfect the serum, noting that he has tried for 20 years to create a super soldier. Banner refused and blamed himself for all the people he hurt, including Dr. Ross, and General Ross for not informing him about the project. Banner ran off, hiding inside the janitor's room and using the clothes available for disguise, while prompting Ross to order his own troops to chase after him, only to find that Banner was gone. Now a fugitive of the United States Army, Banner went on the run.
- "Is he a fighter?"
"Your target is a fugitive from the US Government who stole military secrets. He is implicated in the deaths of two scientists, a military officer, an Idaho state trooper and possibly two Canadian hunters. So don't wait to see if he's a fighter."
- ―Emil Blonsky and Thaddeus Ross[src]
Between the incident and his early run, Banner remained in contact with a friend, Culver University student Rick Jones. At some point, Banner protected Jones from a dangerous situation by throwing him in a trench. The United States Army and S.H.I.E.L.D. watched Jones' movements in case he contacted and helped Banner.
Banner traveled through the Dakotas and towards Idaho, where an encounter with some state troopers led to violence. Somewhere around that time, Banner visited a bar where he met an undercovered Nick Fury, who was curious if Ross had rekindle Project Rebirth and wanted to see the potential super soldier for himself. While drinking beer and friendly chatting with him about the soccer game on TV and shallow personal things, Banner begins to suspect something is amiss after a vague response about his missing eye lost in a supposed war. Unsettled, Banner tried to leave, but in a conflict situation planned by Fury where agent Johnson played a flirting woman with a jealous boyfriend, agent Peterson attacked Banner, triggering a transformation, much to everyone’s shock, causing him to knock out his aggressor and wreck the bar until being talked down by Fury. The enraged monster roared in Fury's face, shattering every glass inside the place, and ultimately left by smashing through the bar's door and wall with a jukebox.
Banner attempted to escape to Quebec, Canada sneaking onboard an empty freight truck, however upon being discovered by border patrol officers who found that he was wanted in Virginia, Banner transformed into his monstrous form, threw the truck away, wrecked nearby cars and tore up the freeway, before making his way into the country. The scientist was spotted via satellite recon photo in Canada and his transformed self was seen by locals by the U.S. border, who had mistaken him for a green Sasquatch.
Failed Suicide Attempt
- "I got low. I didn't see an end, so I put a bullet in my mouth, and the other guy spit it out."
- ―Bruce Banner[src]
Seeing no end to his run from Thaddeus Ross, Banner hitchhiked with a truck driver to remote lands and went up alone to the top of a mountain in Alaska in the middle of a blizzard to take his own life. He fired a bullet into his mouth, only to transform and spit out the bullet. The enraged monster crushed the handgun with his bare hand caused a quake followed by an avalanche and fell on the ice. The creature then walked along the bottom of the ocean until he had reached land. This incident was detected by satellite, the last sighting of Banner in five months.
Hope in South America
Banner made his way to South America, where he would look for Amazonian vascular plants that could inhibit radiation and therefore find the key to cure his condition. Apparently passing through Israel and Samara, Russia, probably with events that triggered his transformations, and lefting behind several hiding places around the world with research material for a supposed cure, he ended up in a Tibetan monastery. While in Tibet a rug dealer got Internet access he learned about a cellular biologist using the pseudonym "Mr. Blue" who could aid him.
In South America, wandering in the Amazon rainforest, Banner helped a lost boy Miguel to find his home. Once arriving at a mansion, they were captured by Espinoza and his cartel. After being questioned and brutally beaten down by the criminal who accused him of being an American spy, Banner transformed and destroyed their entire cartel hideout, eventually ending up in Brazil.
Life within Brazil
Five years after the original incident, Banner eventually settled in the Brazilian slums of the Rocinha favela, Rio de Janeiro, working as a handyman in a soft drink bottling factory that produced Pingo Doce while still attempting to find a cure for his condition, with the aid of his Internet friend "Mr. Blue." To keep himself sane while living in his exile, Banner had adopted a dog named Ricky and taught himself Portuguese by watching television and reading a dictionary.
He also studied martial arts and meditative breathing techniques with a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu expert to help control his emotions and heart rate, and because of this, had not suffered a transformation for 158 days. During some of his training, Banner would learn new breathing exercises and would allow his sensei to slap him across the face to ensure he maintained control even in harsh environments, although he would stop the lesson if his heart rate went up too far.
Although avoiding the daily stress, he was constantly victimized by xenophobia of his coworkers, being supported by the friendship of his colleague and neighbor Martina. While working at the factory one day, the Plant Manager called Banner upstairs in order to fix some broken machinery, offering to place Banner on payroll, which he refused, fearing his name and face being put on the system would then allow Thaddeus Ross to find and capture him.
While finishing all his repairs on the machinery, Banner accidentally sliced open his finger, causing a large drop of his gamma-infected blood to floor down onto the bottles below. Horrified, Banner then demanded that the manager stop the machines while he searched for the blood and cleaned it up. However, Banner was unaware that more of his blood had dripped into a soda bottle, where it was drunk by an ill-fated consumer back in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Once he was done for the day, Banner prepared to go home, only to witness Martina being harassed by a tough guy leader and all his friends. Although Banner initially tried to walk away, he eventually intervened and asked Martina to join him for dinner. When the man tried to push him away, Banner tried to warn him but got his language wrong and claimed he would not like him when he was hungry, not angry, before then leaving.
Search for a Cure
The search for a cure for his condition drove Banner to study a flower described inside of the book Inventory of Rare and Endangered Tracheophyta of Amazônia, and he finally received it from Alves he had hired to search for it. Returning to his house, Banner put up a picture of Betty Ross before he contacted Mr. Blue to inform him of the discovery, as Mr. Blue commented on what a beautiful flower it was and then advised Banner to use a high dose of it.
With Mr. Blue advising him to try a high dose of the component extracted from the plant and wishing him good luck, Banner was able to produce a serum using homemade laboratory equipment and every bit of the flower to ensure he had enough to likely cure himself. Banner tried the serum on a drop of his own blood to undo all the effects of the gamma radiation, and while it seemed to be successful at first as all the green gamma-infected blood was reduced, after just a few seconds it triggered a reaction that made all of the cells explode, marking this latest experiment as a failure.
Informing "Mr. Blue" of the failure, noting that he had used all of the flowers and therefore, he could not try it again. The scientist insisted on meeting Banner in person in the United States of America, as he noted that living with gamma poisoning could be more dangerous than the eventual risks of their meeting. Banner still refused, fearing that Thaddeus Ross could find him, however, Mr. Blue then convinced him to send a blood sample for more testing.
A few days later, Banner finally received some more news from Mr. Blue, that the preliminary blood tests showed some significant gamma reduction, but that in order to develop an appropriate antidote for Banner, he would need more data and requested the details behind the Bio-Tech Force Enhancement Project. Banner realized he would have to return to Culver University to retrieve the data and told Mr. Blue that it would be impossible to get it.
- "Leave me alone..."
While Banner attempted to sleep that night, he became alerted upon hearing one of the nearby dogs yelping out in pain. As it turned out, Thaddeus Ross had tracked Banner's location due to his infected blood falling into a Pingo Doce bottle, and sent his team led by Emil Blonsky to capture him. They attempted to break into his home and take Banner back into custody by force.
Realizing the danger that had arrived, Banner quietly escaped through his window as Blonsky and his unit located Banner's house and burst in to shoot him with tranquilizers, although Banner had already fled through the window and momentarily hid with Martina in her apartment. As Blonsky and the other soldiers looked for Banner, they assumed he had run into the streets of Rocinha, allowing Banner a moment of relief.
However, despite Banner attempting to hide his face with his hood, before long Blonsky had caught sight of him and chased him down. As Banner desperately ran for his life, Blonsky and the other soldiers pursued Banner through the streets and rooftops of Rocinha, with Banner using his knowledge of pre-planned escape routes to ensure he could keep an advantage. Hiding around a corner, Banner tried to slow his heart rate to prevent his transformation before continuing to run.
Continuing to flee from the United States Armed Forces unit, Banner came across General Ross himself, realizing that he was the man behind the chase. Once the two enemies had locked eyes for a brief moment, Banner continued to desperately run for his life, only to accidentally crash into the tough guy leader who attempted to start a fight with him. Banner used his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to defend himself against the men away before running from both them and the soldiers.
As Banner ran away for safety, the tough guy leader and his friends followed Banner inside the Pingo Doce factory in order to assault him, with Blonsky and his men not far behind. Attempting to hide from all those chasing him, Banner had attempted to control his heart-rate to ensure that he did not transform again, only for the tough guy and his friends to locate Banner and throw him against the wall. Banner attempted to defend himself but the man wanted revenge for Banner saving Martina from him and ignored Banner's warnings that something really bad was about to happen, with the leader punching Banner in the stomach and raising his heart rate.
Blonksy located Banner in the factory and approached to witness the appearance of Banner's transformation, triggered by the men beating him. Unaware that Banner had transformed, the tough guy leader attempted to kick him, only to be thrown through two windows, with the monstrous green giant managing to subdue another thug while the third escaped.
With all the thugs taken out of the picture, the SOCC soldiers began firing their tranquilizer darts, which merely bounced off the green goliath's skin. As the soldiers continued firing, the monster told them to leave him alone before furiously fighting back against the soldiers, using his own incredible strength to his advantage. Following their ferocious battle in the soft drink bottling plant, the monster incapacitated almost all the soldiers.
With only Emil Blonsky remaining, who had watched in astonishment, Blonsky loaded his weapon and fired bullets at the green titan, which continued to have no effect on him. Enraged, the Goliath picked up a forklift truck and launched it at Blonsky, who had barely avoided the attack. He then proceeded the smash through the factory wall, escaping from Brazil and fled into the jungle, much to General Ross' considerable ire the failure.
Having escaped from the Pingo Doce factory and reverting back to normal, Banner awoke in the jungle the morning after the incident, soaking and freezing cold. Spotting an oncoming car, Banner asked for help, only to learn he was no longer in Brazil but had made it all the way to Guatemala. The driver agreed to take Banner to a nearby town, which he thanked him for as the driver wrapped the freezing cold Banner up in a blanket.
Taking the advice of Mr. Blue to gather more information on the incident that started his transformations, in order to research a more effective cure, Banner slowly made his way back to the United States, while passing through Chiapas, Mexico, where he became a beggar and received alms to help pay for his journey. Banner managed to buy himself stretchy clothes but suffered nightmares about Emil Blonsky shooting at him.
Within seventeen days, Banner made enough money and managed to return to the United States of America, heading to Culver University where he knew his research was being kept. While he was still keeping a low profile and hiding behind a Culver University Press newspaper, Banner saw that Betty Ross had continued working at the university and was dating another man, a psychiatrist named Leonard Samson, and Banner quietly left there without being seen.
Banner paid a visit to his old friend Stanley Lieber, who agreed to give him a place to stay at his pizza parlor. As they sat down for a catch-up, Banner insisted that everything Thaddeus Ross and the government had said regarding his fugitive status was untrue, with Lieber responding that he had never believed the news regarding Banner. They then briefly discussed Ross and her relationship with Samson before Lieber agreed to grant Banner some pizza in order to infiltrate the university as a pizza delivery man.
Using Lieber's pizzas, Banner returned to the university and attempted to sneak past a security guard to recover his research, claiming that there was somebody upstairs who had ordered a pizza. When the security guard refused to let him pass without clearance, Banner claimed he risked being fired if he did not collect payment and offered the guard a box of pizza he had not been able to collect on, with the guard accepting the pizza and allowing Banner access into the university.
Having made it upstairs, Banner looked inside a room and recalled it once being the same space where they had worked on the Bio-Tech Force Enhancement Project before everything had gone terribly wrong. Entering the room, Banner bribed Roger Harrington with the pizza and logged on to the computer using Dr. Ross' password. Discovering that all the data regarding the project had been deleted, Banner contact Mr. Blue and notified him that the data no longer existed.
Reunion with Betty Ross
In the wake of his failure to reclaim his research, Banner prepared to go on the run again, however, he was unaware that Betty Ross had just arrived to visit Stanley Lieber's pizzeria for a meal. As Banner headed downstairs, he came into the dining room where Ross caught a glimpse of him.
This forced Banner to quickly run outside and hide behind the dumpster, desperate to not be seen by Ross, as he still believed that bringing her into his situation would put her in grave danger. Convinced about what she had seen, Ross came out searching for him. Banner remained hidden as Leonard Samson followed to learn what Ross was looking for. Eventually, they both went back inside to question Lieber, allowing Banner to slip away into the night.
As it began to rain, Banner made his way out of the city, attempting to flee. However, just as Banner attempted to hitch a ride in the pouring rain, he heard a car pull up behind him and discovered that Dr. Ross had successfully tracked him down. The two former lovers then ran into each other's arms and embraced, with Ross then desperately telling Banner not to leave. Banner eventually relented and got in Ross' car as she drove him back to her home to rest so they could discuss everything that had happened since he had gone on the run.
Back at Ross' home, she had revealed to Banner that she had extracted the data on the Bio-Tech Force Enhancement Project before the lab had been raided, which she secretly retained. Ross questioned why they could not go to Thaddeus Ross and explain everything, but Banner told her that the general had made all his intentions clear. Ross gave Banner a bed and agreed to take him to a bus station the following morning.
Intending to leave town, Banner and Ross returned to Culver University the following morning. However, as Banner and Ross were having a moment of looking at each other, Banner noticed the United States Armed Forces soldiers surrounding the campus.
As the worried Leonard Samson had chosen to inform the military of Banner's whereabouts, Banner ordered Dr. Ross get as far away from him as she could before he ran away as quickly as possible, with the Strategic Operations Command Center soldiers mounting a full-scale assault on the campus.
As the soldiers chased Banner through the university, he managed to hide for a brief moment in the library and, fearing the memory stick containing all the information of the Bio-Tech Force Enhancement Project would be destroyed or lost, chose to ingest it. Having swallowed the flash drive, Banner continued to run, only to find himself trapped in an overpass.
With no escape in sight as soldiers blocked both doorways, Banner watched as Thaddeus Ross ordered his troops to fire tear gas into the overpass. As the gas filled the walkway, Banner removed his shirt and tried to cover his mouth, but became distracted when he witnessed one of the SOCC soldiers knocking Dr. Ross to the ground as she tried to run to his aid.
The emotional response to seeing Dr. Ross being tackled coupled with the effects of the gas triggered Banner to transform. His monstrous persona then destroyed the overpass, leaping out into the lawn and roaring at the soldiers. As the green beast stepped towards them all, he was attacked by the SOCC soldiers under the direct orders of General Ross, who was still determined to capture him.
After transforming, he attempted to reach Dr. Ross, only to be assaulted with gunfire. Despite his near invulnerable skin allowing the bullets to merely bounce off him, the constant attacks caused him to furiously fight back and destroy several Humvees, knocking over one before moving towards a nearby statue, picking up the second Humvee and smashing it apart against the statue, forcing all the nearby soldiers to retreat as the giant titan reduced the vehicle to pieces.
With his troops failing to apprehend Banner, General Ross ordered Emil Blonsky, who had been injected with a variant of the Super Soldier Serum, to enter the fray. Blonsky then fired multiple tear gas grenades at the beast before leaping over his head and shooting him in the face. Angered at the assault, the jade giant attempted to retaliate.
Using his newfound agility, Blonsky evaded being killed before being ordered by General Ross to run, causing the titan to chase him down. As he pursued Blonsky, the soldiers activated the Stark Sonic Cannons made by Stark Industries, which managed to subdue him.
As he was forced onto his knees due to the incredible pain delivered by the sound waves, he heard Dr. Ross calling out Banner's name, which invigorated him into using a metal shard to shield himself from the sonic waves before using it to destroy one of the cannons, and leaping high into the air to destroy the second and final cannon.
Following the destruction of the cannons, Blonsky made his way towards Banner's alter-ego, ignoring General Ross' orders. As Blonsky provoked the titan standing in front of him, he was swiftly kicked into a tree, which crushed most of his bones.
As he paced around the campus, he was approached by Dr. Ross, who was unafraid of him as she attempted to calm him down and turn him back into Banner. However, just as his anger was fading, General Ross ordered a Apache Helicopter to fire on him. With Dr. Ross in danger as she stood near him, the green beast used his makeshift metal shard to destroy the helicopter.
As the helicopter fell to the ground and exploded, he shielded Dr. Ross from the explosion while General Ross looked on in horror. Cradling her unconscious body in his arms, the massive monstrosity proceeded to escape with her to the Smoky Mountain National Forest. The Battle at Culver University marked the first time Banner's alter-ego had been revealed to the public, and during an interview with WHiH World News, Jim Wilson, a student at Culver University, described the green monster he had witnessed as a hulk, prompting the media, the world, the military, and eventually Banner himself, to refer to his beastly persona as "Hulk."
Hulk took the unconscious Ross to the national forest where he laid her inside a cave until she woke up. Upon waking up, Ross screamed in surprise as she looked at Hulk, causing him to hit his head before roaring at the thunder, perceiving it to be a threat. Noting that Hulk was shielding her from the thunder, Ross calmed Hulk down, and the pair sat in silence side by side.
Hunting a Cure
Heading to New York
Hulk had eventually reverted back into his original human form as Banner overnight and Betty Ross awoke while still hiding out in the Smoky Mountain National Forest. With Banner struggling to even stand due to the trauma of his latest Hulk transformation during the Battle at Culver University, Ross helped him walk as they made their way out of the mountains and chose to hide out in a motel outside of Ashwood, North Carolina in the foothills of the Smokies. Once there, Banner took a shower to relax but was haunted by visions of Emil Blonsky and the helicopter fired at him during the last battle.
While Ross went out to buy him more clothes, since he was torn during his transformation, Banner went to the bathroom and vomited up the memory stick he had swallowed containing all their research on the Bio-Tech Force Enhancement Project. Eventually, Ross then returned and expressed her surprise at his decision to swallow the memory stick before handing Banner the clothes she had bought for him, with Banner rejecting a pair of stretchy purple trousers.
While they hid out inside the motel room, Ross spent time cutting Banner's hair, teasing him as he appeared concerned she would not do it right. Once she had finished, Ross held Banner in her arms, leading to the pair kissing and falling on the bed. However, Banner noticed that being intimate with Ross was raising his heart rate so, fearing it would cause him to transform into Hulk if they were to have sex, Banner stopped them, much to both of their disappointment.
As they prepared to go on the run once again, Banner explained to Ross how they would avoid detection from the United States Armed Forces, noting that she could no longer use her phone or her credit cards due to them being tracked. When Ross questioned how they would be able to get to New York City with only forty dollars, she suggested selling her mother's necklace. Despite Banner refusing to let her, Ross insisted and used the money to buy a truck.
As they prepared to leave, Banner emailed Mr. Blue before Ross took a quick photograph of Banner as they got inside the truck and began the long drive. Along the way, Ross asked Banner what his own experience of turning into Hulk was like, with Banner comparing it to experiments they volunteered for at Harvard University only more intense. Ross inquired as to whether Banner could learn to control Hulk, citing that Hulk knew her and therefore a part of Banner existed within Hulk, only for Banner to respond to her father had made his intentions clear on weaponizing Hulk and that he wished to get rid of his alter-ego permanently.
Having spent several hours asleep while still on the road, Banner was eventually awoken by Ross as she had just seen the New York City Police Department were currently searching all the vehicles which were attempting to get into New York City, clearly searching for the fugitives. Fearing this would mean that the SOCC would be able to locate them, Banner and Ross got out of their truck and got off the bridge, instead of using their remaining cash to hire a boat.
Having made it onto the mainland, Banner and Ross discussed what would be the best way to get across the city in order to finally meet with "Mr. Blue." Ross at first suggested that they take the subway, but fearing Banner turning into Hulk underground, they decided to take a taxi. However, when the taxi driver drove like a maniac, they got out as Ross screamed at the driver. Seeing how angry she was, Banner suggested Ross use some of his calming techniques.
Meeting Mr. Blue
While they continued to avoid detection, Betty Ross and Banner then arrived at the Grayburn College in Harlem, New York City, where they planned to finally meet with the mysterious "Mr. Blue," a resident scientist named Samuel Sterns. Ross at first greeted Sterns, who was surprised to meet her before Banner made himself known, with Sterns amazed to finally meet Mr. Green.
Accompanying Sterns to his lab, Banner and Ross listened as Sterns expressed his amazement at meeting Banner, noting he was shocked that such an unassuming man had so much gamma radiation inside of him. They learned that Sterns had completed the possible antidote that could potentially cure Banner's condition, or merely reverse a specific transformation, although Sterns warned that the procedure did hold the risk of killing Banner if anything went wrong.
In order to test the antidote's effectiveness, Stern would be forced to trigger a Hulk transformation, and an underdose would prove futile and make Hulk wreak havoc again, while an overdose could kill him. Despite the risks, Banner agreed to test Stern's antidote and was restrained, becoming quite nervous when Stern had begun kicking the machinery to get it all working. With Ross standing close by him, Banner attempted to relax as Stern began the experiment. Sterns then gave Banner an electric shock directly to his head, which caused him to undergo his transformation into Hulk, with Sterns looking on in amazement at the power Banner was manifesting.
When Hulk inadvertently knocked Sterns overdue to attempting to break free of his restraints, Ross was forced to then jump onto his chest and attempted to keep Hulk as calm as possible. Using this brief distraction, Sterns was able to administer the antidote. The antidote succeeded in granting Banner control over Hulk for the first time shortly before prompting Hulk to revert back into Banner.
Exhilarated by the success of the antidote, Sterns began gushing how the antidote had never worked for any of his previous test subjects. When Banner questioned what he meant, Sterns revealed that he had synthesized Banner's blood sample into a larger supply with the intention of using its gamma-irradiated properties to benefit mankind, adding that his test subjects did not survive because they were not administered Dr. Ross' myostatic primer, which allowed Banner's blood cells to absorb much of the radiation instead of outright killing him.
Appalled by what Sterns had done and fearful of Hulk's power falling into the wrong hands, Banner then attempted to convince Sterns to immediately destroy the blood supply, claiming it was too powerful if it were to fall into the government's hands. However, just as Sterns attempt to convince Banner that he was being paranoid regarding the government's interest, Banner was shot in the back by a tranquilizer from an SOCC snipers. As Banner dropped onto the floor, Emil Blonsky charged into the room and attempted to trigger his transformation into Hulk, only to be stopped by his fellow SOCC soldiers.
As both Banner and Betty Ross were taken into custody, Banner was strapped down on a stretcher while the SOCC kept a close watch over him. Banner was then brought to Thaddeus Ross who, upon seeing that Banner had seemingly had no reaction to the ordeal, warned that if he had been successful in curing himself of Hulk, he would then ensure that Banner spent the rest of his life in a prison without any hope of regaining his freedom.
While Banner was handcuffed, they were moved inside a helicopter with General Ross as Dr. Ross, who would be granted freedom by her father, while Samuel Sterns was left to be interrogated by Kathleen Sparr back at Grayburn College, who wished to know what they could do with Banner's blood samples. While in the air, Banner and Dr. Ross made eye contact and smiled at one each other to reassure themselves. However, the helicopter suddenly received news that "Hulk" was terrorizing the citizens of Harlem.
As it turned out, Emil Blonsky had forced Sterns to inject him with Banner's infected blood, which coupled with the imperfect Super Soldier Serum in his system, caused Blonsky to mutate into a behemoth dubbed Abomination. Banner, realizing that Blonsky was Abomination and that he was the only one who could defeat him, informed the Rosses that while he could not necessarily control Hulk, he believed he could aim its power and use it to provide relief to the soldiers and citizens of Harlem.
General Ross ordered the soldiers to land the helicopter, but Banner insisted that they remain in the air so that he could jump out and keep everyone else safe, while also using the altitude to trigger a transformation. Dr. Ross attempted to stop Banner, warning that he was unsure if he had been cured or not, but Banner insisted that he had to try regardless in order to save all of the United States Armed Forces soldiers and the many innocent civilians from Abomination's rampage. Having kissed her goodbye, Banner then fell from the helicopter, hoping that the fall would trigger his transformation. To his horror, he discovered that it was not working; however, the fear of dying from such a height triggered Banner's transformation into Hulk right before he slammed into the street below.
Having survived the fall out from Thaddeus Ross' helicopter, Banner transformed into Hulk and punched his way back to the surface, while many of the people of Harlem ran in terror. Getting to his feet, Hulk roared as loud as he could, getting the attention of Abomination, who stopped killing all of the people as he clearly delighted at the chance to fight Hulk and try to prove himself the superior monster.
Ripping off the remains of Banner's shirt, Hulk furiously charged towards his enemy, as Abomination did the same. Both roaring as loud as they could, Hulk and Abomination launched at one another, only for the larger and more powerful Abomination to counter Hulk's attack as Hulk was thrown across the street. The impact of the hit shocked Hulk as he had struggled to get back onto his feet, while Abomination laughed at his suffering, challenging Hulk to get up and continue their fight to the death.
Getting back up, Hulk saw a New York City Police Department car parked just beside him and proceeded to then smash the police car in half and used the pieces as boxing gloves. As Abomination came closer to him, Hulk furiously smashed the two ends of the car together before striking his enemy as he repeatedly punched Abomination into the pavement so hard that it caused a deep crater and had completely destroyed the remains of the car.
Having seemingly beaten Abomination into submission, Hulk prepared to unleash one more punch to finish off his enemy, only for Abomination to question if that was all Hulk had in him, as Emil Blonsky had done during the Battle at Culver University. Getting his revenge for what happened to him during that previous encounter, Abomination proceeded to kick Hulk across Harlem and through a wall into a nearby building, giving chase in order to continue their battle, while Hulk recovered while inside a nearby dumpster.
As Abomination had climbed up the wall and searched for Hulk, Ross then ordered his gunman inside of the helicopter to open fire on him, with the soldiers of the United States Armed Forces briefly unsure about which monster to target. As Abomination ran after the helicopter across the rooftops, Hulk recovered from the last hit and chased after Abomination, who was now targeting General Ross' military helicopter itself.
Before Hulk could reach him, Abomination lunged and grabbed the helicopter just as Hulk arrived and grasped him. Desperate to do whatever he could to protect Betty Ross and everyone else onboard the helicopter, Hulk began punching and pulling at the Abomination, even trying to crack his exposed spine. However, despite all of Hulk's efforts, the helicopter still lost control and crashed down onto the ground, with Hulk and Abomination being briefly separated.
While Hulk recovered from the crash and went to see if Betty and the general had survived, Abomination reappeared and challenged Hulk to continue fighting. The two furiously faced off once again and Abomination pinned Hulk against a wall and stabbed him in the chest with his exposed elbow, while Banner briefly gained control of Hulk, unable to defeat his foe. Telling Hulk that he did not deserve his power, he threatened that Hulk would be forced to watch Betty die.
With Abomination threatening Betty, Hulk managed to reassert his control and liberated himself from Abomination's grasp, pulling him away from him before slamming him into the wall with all his might just as the helicopter caught fire due to the leaking fuel. Seeing this, Hulk charged forward and thunder-clapped his hands together and managed to blow out the entire fire, saving Betty and the general from being consumed by the flames.
However, just as Hulk watched as Betty and the general were pulling themselves out of the wreckage of the helicopter, Betty screamed out a warning just before Abomination hit Hulk from behind with a concrete pillar on a high-tensile chain. The power of the hard blow was enough to knock Hulk to the ground, with another hit almost rendering Hulk unable to move while Abomination relished at all of the painful sufferings he was inflicting onto Hulk.
With Hulk seemingly unable to continue the fight, Abomination then turned his attention to Ross, swinging the concrete pillar and chain to kill Betty and the general. As Abomination inquired as to whether they had any last words, Hulk rushed to his feet and uttered "Hulk Smash!" as he stamped on the ground, shattering the concrete and trapping one of Abomination's legs. As Abomination lost his footing, the chain flew into the air and wrapped itself around his neck.
Charging back into the battle, Hulk then grabbed the chain and began strangling Abomination. The pair engaged in a brutal fight, as Abomination desperately tried to free himself from Hulk's powerful grasp as he struggled for air, with Hulk even managing to rip out one of Abomination's exposed elbows and stabbing him with it. Poised to deliver a final blow and crush Abomination's throat, Hulk was stopped in the act of killing by the intervention of Betty as Hulk finally let out a powerful, victorious roar.
With Abomination finally defeated, members of the New York City Police Department as well as the Strategic Operations Command Center arrived on the scene with the guns aimed directly at Hulk. However, Ross ordered all the men to lower the weapons as Hulk and Betty had a moment as they briefly looked at one another. As more soldiers arrived in a helicopter, Hulk was left with no other option and fled the scene to avoid capture.
Gaining Control of Hulk
Thirty-one days after his fight with Abomination, Banner arrived at a cabin in Bella Coola, British Columbia. Having repurchased Betty Ross' necklace from a pawn shop, he left the necklace in a letter addressed to Ross. After his first success in controlling Hulk, Banner focused on gaining control over Hulk instead of suppressing it, and managed to learn how to retain control over his alter-ego if he chose to transform.
Eventually, Banner left Canada and traveled to Asia, crossing the border from Pakistan into India, where an incident involving some local mercenary bandits soon forced him into transforming into Hulk and protecting local residents from the attempted terrorist attack. However, Banner continued to reside in India for over a year and focused his efforts on providing medical assistance to the poor.
Recruited by Black Widow
- "This is the Tesseract. It has the potential energy to wipe out the planet."
"What does Fury want me to do, swallow it?"
"Well, he wants you to find it. It's been taken. It emits a gamma signature that's too weak for us to trace. There's no one that knows gamma radiation like you do."
- ―Natasha Romanoff and Bruce Banner[src]
One evening, Banner was approached by a girl that claimed her parents were very ill. He followed her to her home on the outskirts of the city where she made a quick escape. Banner remarked to himself that he should have been paid upfront. To his surprise, he was approached by Natasha Romanoff. Banner asked Romanoff did she was sent there to kill him, to which she assured him that she was sent by S.H.I.E.L.D. Suspicious, Banner suggested that the building was already surrounded.
Romanoff revealed that S.H.I.E.L.D. had been assisted Banner in his hiding; keeping their distance and derailing parties interested in capturing Hulk. She divulged that S.H.I.E.L.D. was facing a potential global catastrophe, events that Banner claimed to actively avoid. Banner is shown an image of the Tesseract, to which he questioned if Nick Fury wanted him to swallow it. Romanoff claimed that Fury needs his help finding it as the object emits Gamma Radiation, Banner's specialty.
Banner remained doubtful of S.H.I.E.L.D. intentions as he suggests that S.H.I.E.L.D. needed him in a cage. He suddenly yells in a fit of rage, with Romanoff immediately draws her firearm in response. Banner takes a step back and apologizes for getting angry at her. He reveals that he wanted to see how Natasha would respond to a Hulk incident; to which she orders a surrounding S.H.I.E.L.D. task force to stand down. Banner agrees to assist S.H.I.E.L.D. in finding the Tesseract.
Working with S.H.I.E.L.D.
- "You really have got a lid on it, haven't you? What's your secret? Mellow jazz? Bongo drums? Huge bag of weed?"
"Is everything a joke to you? Threatening the safety of everyone on this ship isn't funny. No offense, Doctor."
"No, it's all right. I wouldn't have come aboard if I couldn't handle pointy things."
- ―Tony Stark, Steve Rogers and Bruce Banner[src]
Banner was then brought onboard the Helicarrier by Natasha Romanoff. Upon arriving on the Helicarrier, Banner began awkwardly walking all around the ship. Soon after Phil Coulson arrived with Steve Rogers and Banner was soon introduced to Rogers and shook hands with him while he expressed how amazed he was at seeing him alive. While he and Rogers began discussing finding the Tesseract, Romanoff told them to move back inside as the Helicarrier, just moments before the entire Helicarrier then lifted into the air, while Banner jokingly noted what a poor idea this was due to the risk of him transforming into Hulk and causing complete mayhem inside the flying headquarters.
Arriving inside the Helicarrier, Banner shook hands with Nick Fury who thanked him for coming. Banner asked Fury how long he would be required to stay with S.H.I.E.L.D. but Fury assured him that it would only be until they found the Tesseract. Now feeling more confident, Banner asked where were they with that. Phil Coulson informed Banner that they were searching all around the planet. Banner then suggested that they begin scanning for Gamma Radiation to locate the Tesseract. Banner asked Fury if he had somewhere to work to which Fury ordered Romanoff to show Banner to his laboratory.
After they managed to locate Loki in Stuttgart, Germany, Banner stayed onboard the Helicarrier while Captain America went to capture Loki. After successfully capturing him with the help of Iron Man, as well as the arrival of Thor, Loki was brought onboard the Helicarrier. As Banner was in his laboratory, he spotted Loki being marched down the hallways and had a mild headache as Loki smiled at him. Banner then headed to the main deck with the other Avengers then listened while Fury interrogated Loki in his cell about his whereabouts of the Tesseract while Loki taunted Fury about his knowledge of Hulk's nature and the despair he must suffer to call those creatures to defend him.
When the interrogation was over, Thor informed them that Loki had an army called the Chitauri and he prepared to use them to conquer Earth to which Banner stated that that's what Loki needed Erik Selvig for to which Thor asked about him. Banner informed Thor that Selvig was an astrophysicist, to which Thor stated that he was a friend. Banner then insulted Loki, calling him crazy, to which Thor told him that he cared how he spoke about Loki since he was his brother. However, Romanoff informed Thor that Loki killed eighty people in two days, leading Thor to say he was adopted.
Just then, Tony Stark arrived and explained what Loki needed Selvig and Hawkeye for. Banner then shook hands with Stark, having understood all of his theories, which delighted Stark who then complimented Banner on his own intelligence and ability to turn into Hulk. Nick Fury then informed them that Banner was only there to track the Tesseract and suggested that Stark and Banner work together to try and understand Loki's Scepter. Stark and Banner then departed for the lab to begin their research.
At the lab, Banner began his analysis on the Scepter while Stark informed him that J.A.R.V.I.S. was hacking into S.H.I.E.L.D.'s files on his behalf. Stark then discussed Banner's alter-ego, stating that Banner needed to let loose. Stark then jabbed Banner's side and shocked him, causing Banner to yelp and Captain America to reprimand Stark for putting the lives of everyone on the Helicarrier at risk.
Banner then assured Rogers that it was fine, stating that he would not have come on board if he could not handle pointy things. Stark then notified Rogers about the hacking, which upset Rogers. Stark then redirected the conversation to Banner, who stated that he did not wish to get involved and merely wanted to focus on his work. However, at the captain's insistence, Banner mentioned that he found it suspicious that S.H.I.E.L.D. would want the Tesseract's powers to give mankind renewable energy, citing that S.H.I.E.L.D. would not be in the energy business and that if they were, they would have consulted with Stark.
As Rogers left to investigate, Stark and Banner continued with their research, attempting to hone in on the Tesseract's emitting gamma signature in order to determine its location. Stark declared that they would fight Loki, although Banner clarified that the others would fight and he would merely read about it. Stark replied that Banner could suit up with them, to which Banner responded that he did not have a suit of armor and that his transformation was like an exposed nerve. As Banner returned to his computer, Stark approached him and disclosed that he read up on Banner's gamma incident, citing that the exposure should have killed him. Discerning that Stark was implying that Hulk transformation had saved his life, Banner demanded what purposed there was in saving him, to which Stark replied that they would soon find out.
Fury, along with Romanoff and Thor, made their way into the laboratory after discovering the hack. Fury demanded to know what they were really doing, and Banner replied that they were tracking the Tesseract and would know of its location soon. Stark then asked Fury what Phase 2 was, revealing that he and Banner had seen S.H.I.E.L.D.'s true plans for Phase 2, which was to use the Tesseract to create weapons of mass destruction. Rogers returned to the laboratory with physical evidence, prompting Fury to explain that it was to defend themselves from future extraterrestrial attacks.
Unbeknownst to Banner, the Scepter behind him activated and began to subtly influence him, increasing his agitation. Banner lashed out at Fury, declaring that the Avengers were not a team but rather a chemical mixture, likening them to a time bomb, adding that he knew Loki's cage was really intended for him, as a way to kill Hulk. Fury attempted to explain that it was just a security measure, although Banner divulged that they could not kill Hulk and that he himself had tried to die by suicide years ago. Romanoff attempted to calm Banner down much to Stark's protests, who believed Banner should be able to relieve some of his stress.
With the arguments increasing rapidly among everyone, Banner took hold of the Scepter in his hand. Realizing the potential threat, Fury and Romanoff reached for their guns, although Banner was snapped out of the Scepter's influence by Rogers, who politely asked him to put the Scepter down. Just then, the computer's alert went off, and as Banner put the Scepter back, he informed the others that they would not get to see his transformation after all. Walking over to the computer, Banner took off his glasses in shock as he discovered that the Tesseract was located atop Stark Tower in New York City.
Before Banner could inform the team of the Tesseract's whereabouts, the brainwashed Hawkeye led a team of mind-controlled soldiers into the ship and destroyed one of the engines, causing an explosion that resulted in Banner and Black Widow falling into the weapons cache room. The explosion prompted Banner to begin transforming into Hulk. As Banner was in the process of transforming, Hulk looked back at Romanoff. Horrified of what she was witnessing, Romanoff muttered Bruce's name. This angered Hulk, as he despised those who referred to him as his other half. As Romanoff continued looking on in horror, Hulk chased after the agent, attempting to kill her. Although she managed to evade him for a long time, Hulk was able to catch up to her and throw her against a wall.
Before he could kill Romanoff, Hulk was intercepted by Thor. As Hulk's rage increased during his fight with Thor, he was able to survive direct hits from Mjølnir and throw the Asgardian across the room several times. He ripped the wing off a fighter jet and hurled it at Thor. During the fight, Hulk attempted to lift Mjønir, but even with his incredible strength, he was unable to move the hammer, which only increased his rage.
As the fight got more intense, Nick Fury and Maria Hill were left with no other choice than to send a VTOL fighter jet to shoot at Hulk, as they feared he would destroy the Helicarrier and kill everyone aboard. When the jet began firing at him, Hulk's enforced skin was able to deflect the bullets leaving him unharmed. Outraged by the attack Hulk roared, left Thor and leaped at the jet. He was able to rip it apart in the sky causing it to spin out of control, the pilot attempted to eject, Hulk caught him and threw him across the skyline, fortunately, the pilot survived. As the jet exploded, Hulk fell from the sky, crash-landing into an empty warehouse.
Hulk eventually transformed back into Banner and woke up naked in the warehouse. A security guard at the warehouse informed Banner that he did not harm anyone during his crash-landing and that he believed that Hulk had controlled his fall to prevent casualties. The security guard then asked him if he was an alien, to which Banner assured him he was not. Giving Banner clothes, the guard asked Banner if there was someplace he had to be. Deciding to help the Avengers, Banner informs the man that he needs to go to New York, and the guard allows Banner to use his motorcycle.
Banner arrived during the midst of the Battle of New York, where he apologized to Natasha Romanoff for attacking her earlier. As Captain America informed Iron Man that the latter's prediction of Banner returning had come true, Iron Man informed them that he was leading an enemy towards them.
As the Avengers witnessed the Leviathan heading their way, Banner made his way towards the creature. As Captain America claimed that now would be a good time for Banner to get angry, Banner responded that his secret to learning how to induce a controlled transformation was that he was always angry. Banner then instantly transformed into Hulk, stopping the Leviathan with one punch, causing its armor plates to fall off and allowing Iron Man to kill it. Hulk then roared out loud as he joined the Avengers, and was tasked by Captain America to "smash" the Chitauri.
Hulk threw himself at the Chitauri army, immediately killing many soldiers climbing buildings, using his incredible strength and leaping abilities he was able to leap high in the air and hit the Chitauri Chariots out of the sky. Landing on the streets on New York, Hulk repeatedly smashed a car on top of a Chitauri soldier, before furiously ripping off the tire and jumping on the car as he continued smashing his enemies. Hulk also killed several Leviathan creatures, battling on top of one alongside Thor. Together, they killed one and caused it to crash into the Grand Central Station, and as they took a moment to catch their breath, Hulk punched him across the room, getting revenge for their earlier fight.
Continuing to fight the Chitauri on the streets, Hulk witnessed Loki being knocked off his glider and into Stark Tower. Hulk then bounded into the skyscraper and prepared to attack Loki, but stopped at Loki's command. Loki then declared that he was a god and referred to Hulk as a dull creature, but was unable to finish his speech as Hulk grabbed him by the legs and repeatedly flung him into the ground. As the defeated Loki whined in pain, Hulk referred to Loki as "puny god" as he walked away.
Returning outside, Hulk rejoined the battle, prompting a Chitauri commander to order the Chitauri Chariots to all fire down at him together. While Hulk survived the onslaught, the attack caused him to have a nosebleed. As the battle looked almost hopeless, the World Security Council eventually sent a nuclear missile to destroy Manhattan.
Stark flew the missile to the Wormhole, destroying the Chitauri Command Center which in turn killed all of the Chitauri on Earth. While Stark managed to fall back through the wormhole to New York, he fell unconscious and his suit had lost its power. As Stark plummeted down, Hulk leaped up and grabbed him, saving his life. He observed the unconscious Stark alongside Thor and Captain America, who feared Stark had died, although Hulk roared in his face and woke him up.
- ""Take the stairs." Hate the stairs."
Hulk joined the other Avengers in returning to Stark Tower, where the defeated Loki lay. Hulk observed as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Jasper Sitwell and Brock Rumlow entered the building to take possession of the Scepter. Hulk then glowered at Loki as he turned into Captain America and mocked him, witnessing Thor place a muzzle on his brother.
As Tony Stark secured the Tesseract in a silver case, Hulk prepared to join his teammates as they boarded an elevator headed to the lobby. However, Stark informed Hulk that they had already reached the maximum weight occupancy and that he would have to take the stairs, which resulted in Hulk punching the elevator door in anger. Agitated, he muttered that he hated the stairs as he headed towards the staircase.
Taking the stairs down, Hulk was irritated at the amount of stairs he would have to walk in order to get downstairs. Doing so increased his anger, which caused him to burst through the door when he finally reached the lobby. As the people in the lobby screamed and fled at the sight of him, Hulk roared in frustration and punched a hole in the wall. Having calmed down and returned to his human form, Banner joined the other Avengers and silently ate lunch at the Shawarma Palace. They were interrupted by War Machine, who arrived too late to aid in the battle.
Following their meal, Banner and the other Avengers reclaimed Loki and took him to Central Park, where Banner aided Erik Selvig with handling the Tesseract. There, the group bade farewell to Thor as he activated the Tesseract and transported it, along with himself and Loki, back to Asgard. As the Avengers disbanded and went their separate ways, Natasha Romanoff then gave Banner a travel bag, which he tossed into Stark's Acura 2012 Stark Industries Super Car as the two drove off.
A Therapy Session
Sometime after his battle against Aldrich Killian, Tony Stark met with Banner at Avengers Tower to talk about his traumas. But Banner fell asleep near the beginning of the session, so Stark told Banner more stories about his life, to which Banner again quickly fell asleep.
Targeted by HYDRA
- "Zola's algorithm is a program... for choosing Insight's targets."
"You. A TV anchor in Cairo, the Undersecretary of Defense, a high school valedictorian in Iowa City. Bruce Banner, Stephen Strange, anyone who's a threat to HYDRA. Now, or in the future."
- ―Jasper Sitwell and Captain America[src]
The Genius of Banner
S.H.I.E.L.D. resorted to using many inventions developed by Banner that maybe did not have the use he intended to have, but were useful in other ways, such as Tetrodotoxin B or Gamma Power Reserve. Banner also designed the Retreat, a place that looks like a log cabin on the outside, but the inner walls have vibranium lining and capable to contain Hulk. Suddenly, Banner transformed to Hulk inside the Retreat and attempted to break outside. However, the wall was strong enough to handle his punch.
Eventually, the Avengers reassembled again to take down HYDRA, with the financial backing of Tony Stark. Using the Avengers Tower as their headquarters, they embarked on several missions to thwart HYDRA's plans for world domination. During this time, Natasha Romanoff began to develop a romantic interest in Banner, which he reciprocated. Romanoff developed a lullaby that she found could successfully make Hulk transform back into Banner.
While Banner was occupied with a scientific examination, J.A.R.V.I.S. informed him that Natasha Romanoff was in need of assistance from the other Avengers in Sudan. Banner went into the team's Quinjet in order to fly to her location. As the other Avengers ran out to fight the HYDRA agents, Banner stayed inside the Quinjet, waiting for further instructions.
HYDRA soldiers found him in the jet and shot it with one of their tanks, trying to kill him. Unfortunately for them, the explosion only made Banner transform into Hulk, allowing him to help his allies in the fight. Together, the team was able to defeat the soldiers and their leader, Jensen.
Sometime later, the Avengers discovered through Maria Hill the whereabouts of Loki's Scepter, which had been taken to Wolfgang von Strucker's secret HYDRA Research Base in Sokovia, where it had been used by List to conduct experiments on individuals with powers. The heroes attacked the fortress protecting the laboratory with Hulk destroying armored vehicles and bunkers defending the outpost.
Romanoff performed the lullaby with Hulk to get him to calm down and turn back into Bruce Banner. On the way back to the Avengers Tower, Banner listened to some classical music. Natasha then came to him and told him that the lullaby worked better than ever.
Once they arrived at Avengers Tower, Banner and Tony Stark began decoding the secrets of the Scepter. Stark compared J.A.R.V.I.S. to the contents of the Scepter which Banner believed to be a form of thinking, as exemplified by the neuron-like patterns. He concluded that Wolfgang von Strucker was working on a form of artificial intelligence.
Stark revealed that he was mystified by the idea of using the A.I. to frame the Ultron Program. Banner was skeptical of the idea as it was based in the hypothetical, having never been accomplished before. He also questioned Stark's decision to not reveal their plans to the rest of the team. Stark summarized his motivations by suggesting that he sees a 'suit of armor' around the world. To which Banner suggested that it would be a cold world to live in.
Ultimately, Stark was able to convince Banner to help him by proposing it could create peace in their time. Over the course of three days, the two scientists worked on merging the scepter's code with the Ultron Program. Believing they had hit a roadblock, Banner and Stark chose to enjoy the party being held at Avengers Tower. Once everyone left, J.A.R.V.I.S. awakened Ultron, who proceeded to eliminate him after telling about Ultron's meaning and existence.
To celebrate the victory on HYDRA, Tony Stark organized a party in Avengers Tower, where Banner had dressed up for the people who were invited. During the party, Banner walked up to Natasha Romanoff, who was working as a bartender for the guests. Asking her about having any relationships, Banner was told that Romanoff had started to have feelings for in a flirtatious way, after telling him a sarcastic story about it.
As Romanoff left the bar, Banner looked over to Steve Rogers and spoke about how she is usually much more closed off but highly relaxed around him. Banner then told Rogers that Romanoff was clearly flirting with him, but was insisted that he should not let the chance for happiness pass by, noting that Romanoff had flirted with him in the past. As Rogers walked away, Banner pondered this before questioning how much Romanoff had flirted with Rogers in the past.
Once most of the guests had finally returned home from the party, the group, joined by Helen Cho, took turns attempting to lift Mjølnir. Leading the attempts was Clint Barton who was the first to try and when he failed, both Tony Stark and James Rhodes tried using Iron Man Gauntlets but still failed to even make the hammer move an inch, much to the great amusement of Thor who continued pushing the other Avengers to try out their luck during their game.
When it was Banner's turn to lift Mjølnir, he struggled with his attempt to nudge the hammer with his normal form. Once he failed to lift the hammer, Banner pretended to turn into Hulk, which none of the others found funny, much to Romanoff's awkward feeling toward his situation. Thor then teased them that none of them were worthy enough to lift the hammer, causing all the others to mockingly boo him for his egotistical claims.
The party was interrupted when a loud noise rang through the room before broken down robot stepped forward. Ultron claimed that all the Avengers could never be worthy, as they were all killers who wanted to protect the world but not allow it to change. Following his speech, Banner realized that it was Ultron, only to be interrupted about his appearance and that he no longer had strings holding him down.
Announcing that the only path to peace on Earth was the Avengers' deaths, Ultron and some hijacked Iron Legion drones attacked the group, proclaiming humanity inferior and ready for extinction. In order not to lose control, Banner hid behind the Tower's bar with Romanoff. Ultron began mocking the Avengers, but Thor had enough and destroyed Ultron's body. However, Ultron's mind had still managed to escape by accessing through the internet.
As the team regrouped following the Attack on Avengers Tower, they discussed what had occurred, as Banner explained that Ultron had cleared out their computer files before escaping through the internet. When James Rhodes discussed the fear of Ultron getting into the nuclear codes, it was mentioned that Ultron had claimed to have killed somebody, although they still did not know who.
With the team gathered any suspicions on Ultron, Stark began examining the robot to understand what caused it. He learned that it had destroyed J.A.R.V.I.S.' mainframe in a rage. Thor stormed in and grabbed Stark by the throat, accusing him of bringing destruction to the Earth. As Thor dropped from his grasp, Stark defended himself however claiming that he was coming up with a solution to end a war that would destroy the Earth.
Once Stark made his argument, Banner was not convinced by Stark's claims, saying that it's not a good idea to speak on behalf since they created Ultron. Stark then recalled the Battle of New York, claiming that what was out in space would destroy them all if they did not plan ahead. As Steve Rogers claimed they could beat that threat as a team, Stark claimed that they would fail, with Rogers telling him they would still be a team.
Seeking leads, the team later learned that Ultron had built himself a new body and had killed Wolfgang von Strucker in his prison cell and that he had made an alliance with Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Upon learning of von Strucker's death, it was noted that this was likely a smokescreen to throw them off, with all of their own information on Strucker having been deleted off their computers.
Forced to use old S.H.I.E.L.D. files, the team researched anyone who was connected to Strucker who may be able to find a new lead. Stark soon pointed out Ulysses Klaue among the files, whom he had met at a weapons dealers meeting in the past. Banner researched the brand on Klaue's neck and originated it to a Wakandan dialect meaning 'thief'. As Stark and Rogers realized Wakanda was where vibranium originated from, they tracked Klaue's location to South Africa and headed there.
The Avengers soon went to South Africa to keep Ultron from getting vibranium. As the others were fighting Ultron, Banner remained in the Quinjet. Banner exited the Quinjet shortly after the fighting started unsure if they called a "Code Green" which is a call for Hulk to come out during battles. Wanda Maximoff found Banner outside the Quinjet and forced him to turn into Hulk using her mental manipulation powers. Under her control, Hulk started destroying the city of Johannesburg. Iron Man called upon his Mark XLIV and Veronica in an attempt to subdue Hulk himself.
Despite soon being trapped inside Veronica's enforced and electrified metal cage, the enraged Hulk had soon managed to break himself free. As the South African Police Service started to attack, Hulk began to attack them while civilians started to be terrified from his devastating attacks. Iron Man arrived on the scene with his equipped the Hulkbuster armor, ordering the police to "stand down" and drawing the attention of Hulk.
Stark attempted to calm Hulk down through conversation but inadvertently enraged him by referring to him as Bruce Banner. Enraged even further, Hulk then threw a car at Iron Man but he managed to catch it. Hulk hit him through the car and sent him backwards, so Iron Man took off and grabbed Hulk by the neck, dragging him through the street. Hulk kicked the Hulkbuster armor, freeing himself and crashing Iron Man.
During the fight, Hulk then pounced on the Hulkbuster before Iron Man could recover and severely damaged its left arm but as Hulk tore through the thick armor, Iron Man reversed the damaged arm and punched him off. Seeing that the left arm of the suit was too damaged, Iron Man ejected it and called Veronica for a replacement. With a barraged of repulsor blasts from Iron Man, Hulk punched Iron Man but he punched back with his new arm, causing a shockwave.
Once Iron Man managed to grip onto him, Hulk was thrown down on the ground and proceeded to pound him repeatedly with the new arm. Hulk grabbed hold of the arm but it turned out to be a trap, imprisoning Hulk's hand. Iron Man then attempted to fly Hulk away from the city, but Hulk punched him mid-air, causing him to crash into a building full of people. Iron Man tried to sedate Hulk but Hulk kicked him into an elevator full of people.
As the fight escalated into catastrophic damage, Iron Man grabbed the elevator wire before it crashed, allowing the people to escape. Hulk jumped on him but the Hulkbuster flip-kicked him away before smashing him with the elevator and punching him full in the face, making him lose a tooth. Hulk angrily spit out the tooth, scaring Iron Man enough to apologize. The fight spilled out once again, with Hulk angrily gliding the Hulkbuster across a tall building before ripping out vital components off of it.
As Stark called Veronica in order to replace Iron Man's damaged parts, Hulk smashed the incoming replacement right into the carrier, destroying both of them, leaving Iron Man defenseless. Seeking to end the fight quickly, Iron Man flew high above the city, throwing Hulk into a building under construction, shooting missiles to destabilize it and ramming Hulk all the way to the ground floor, burying them both under the rubble.
Once they were buried under the rubble from their duel, Hulk burst through the concrete and began to calm himself down as the South African Army arrived on the scene and civilians screaming at the site of his appearance. Seeing the armed army men, Hulk started to get angry again but Iron Man punched him in the head, knocking him unconscious. The Avengers regrouped, forced into hiding.
With Banner back to normal and rest of the Avengers went back on the Quinjet, the public ridiculed them for Hulk's rampage. Maria Hill called Tony Stark and told him of all the reactions to the Avengers' actions in South Africa and talks for Banner's arrest. As the Avengers cope with their losses, Banner holds himself into place and tried to calm himself.
The team went to Hawkeye's home, as they were surprised to learn that it was Barton's family home and that he has a wife and children. While there, Banner took a shower and when he was finished, he found that Natasha Romanoff was waiting for him. Banner explained to her that they cannot be together because he could present her a threat, but also because he cannot make children. She told him about her training in the Red Room, where she was sterilized, which made her unable to have children.
After Romanoff had imposed with Banner, Nick Fury had arrived at the farm and spoke with the group at length about stopping Ultron. Banner then realized that Ultron wanted to evolve after observing a drawing of a butterfly by Lila. So he needed Helen Cho and the Regeneration Cradle device to build for him the ultimate body. While Banner was brought back to the Avengers Tower by Fury, the Avengers flew to Seoul to take the synthetic body from Ultron, and Stark went to the NEXUS Internet Hub in Oslo.
Birth of Vision
Tony Stark and Clint Barton returned to the Avengers Tower. Barton brought with him the Regeneration Cradle with the synthetic body in it, but he said that Ultron had kidnapped Natasha Romanoff, so he went to search for her. Stark revealed to Banner that J.A.R.V.I.S., who was not destroyed by Ultron as he thought, was the person who prevented from Ultron to get the nuclear codes. Stark tried to convinced Banner to help him put J.A.R.V.I.S. inside the body. At first, Banner refused but Stark claimed that it was the only hope they got to stop Ultron. Banner then agreed to help him.
As the two were almost finished, Steve Rogers with Wanda and Pietro Maximoff came and ordered them to shut it down. After Banner and Stark refused, the two and Barton fight against the three with Banner personally threatening Wanda and assuring her that he could kill her without losing control and transforming into Hulk. As Stark and Rogers began attacking one another, suddenly Thor came in and revived the synthetic body with his lightning.
The living body jumped out and briefly attacked Thor until he looked out over the city, the living body apologized and called itself the Vision and claimed to wish to assist them to fight Ultron. Thor explained that he had seen the Vision in his vision and the Mind Stone, one of the six Infinity Stones, that is in the Vision's forehead. At first, the team did not trust him, but as proof of his honor, Vision handed Thor Mjølnir.
Rescuing Black Widow
The Avengers tracked Ultron down in Sokovia, where Natasha Romanoff was being held. While the other Avengers were busy facing off against Ultron and his sentinels, Banner managed to sneak into Ultron's lair and break Romanoff free with the help of Thor. Determined to make good on their earlier plan to run away together, Banner told Romanoff that he did not want to change into Hulk, but Black Widow kissed him and pushed him over the edge of a well, forcing the transformation. Moments later, Banner emerged as Hulk, ready for the battle. With Romanoff clinging to his back, Hulk began jumping through the air, trying to reach the flying city of Novi Grad. Crash landing on solid ground, Hulk and Black Widow ran off in separate directions to deal with Ultron's forces.
Hulk joined the Avengers, protecting the key that could drop the city and thus cause global destruction. Ultron summoned his sentinels, and they reached the key and activated it. The team defended it and made Ultron distraught. Hulk then hit him strongly and threw him far away. Hulk was far from the battle, and Romanoff tried to calm him back to his human state. Her calming technique was interrupted by Ultron, who was at the controls of the Avengers' own Quinjet, raking Hulk with gunfire. Hulk became enraged, and Natasha was knocked out. Hulk grabbed Romanoff and boarded her to safety on a newly arrived Helicarrier that had been brought by Nick Fury and Maria Hill, before leaping after Ultron. He threw him from the jet and then took control of it.
After the battle was over, and the Avengers succeeded in saving the world and defeating Ultron, Hulk chose to remain in the Quinjet that Ultron had previously hijacked. Natasha Romanoff tried to make him disable the plane's stealth mode, but he cut off its communications, keeping with the stealth mode so he would not be tracked. Nick Fury later assured Romanoff that Banner was safe and alive; however, they would not be able to track him due to the cloaking systems that Stark had applied on the ship.
Champion of Sakaar
Piloting the Quinjet, Hulk left Earth and flew into space, encountering a wormhole which transported him to the alien planet of Sakaar. Stranded on the unknown planet, which stressed him out, Banner remained in Hulk form. During his stay there, Hulk was taken to the Grandmaster by Valkyrie and became his champion. Over the course of two Earth years, Hulk fought in the arenas and became a famous champion. Hulk also made sure that he would not switch back to Banner, by avoiding anything that could calm and reawaken his other self.
Beloved by the arena crowds, Hulk came to enjoy his lifestyle as the Champion of Sakaar. One day, Hulk met his newest opponent, who turned out to be none other than his former teammate and fellow Avenger, Thor. Refusing to acknowledge Thor, despite his pleads and attempts to make him calm down, Hulk fought against his former ally. A grueling duel took place as both combatants smashed and ruined the arena.
During the battle, Thor managed to gain the upper hand when he summoned his lightning powers. Hulk secured his victory when the Grandmaster activated the taser that has been implanted on Thor's neck. Hulk gain the advantage after Thor was incapacitated from the Obedience Disk, he leaped up high into the air and punched Thor to the ground, leaving him unconscious.
Relaxing with Thor
Following their fight, Thor was brought to Hulk's room in the Grandmaster Palace. Thor had eventually awoken inside with a team of nurses tending to his injuries. Getting to his feet, Thor put his armor back on before exploring the room, discovering that Hulk was also there. Hulk was taking a bath at that moment, as Thor first confirmed that Hulk would not attempt to attack him again.
They resumed their conversation. Thor began questioning Hulk about exactly how he had managed to get into Sakaar, becoming frustrated as Hulk struggled to answer his questions. When Hulk claimed he had gotten where he was by winning at the Contest of Champions, Thor insisted that he had won by cheating since the Grandmaster had activated his Obedience Disk. Hulk revealed that he arrived in the Quinjet by imitating the crash landing noise in the bathtub.
Thor then asked where is it to which Hulk walked by Thor while naked and then showing where it was in a scrapyard. Thor asked Hulk to come to Asgard with him and ensure that Hela could not cause Ragnarök. Hulk decides to stay as Thor kept pleading for Hulk's assistance, but Hulk yawned at the idea and refused to acknowledge their friendship since he believed that Thor liked Banner better. Hulk also refused to return back to Earth as he believed that everyone hated him there following the Duel of Johannesburg.
Although Thor attempted to convince Hulk that everybody loved him since he was a member of the Avengers, Hulk insisted that Thor was only friends with Bruce Banner, which Thor denied by claiming that he did not even like Banner. Hulk still refused and Thor made his way out while insulting the room. However, Thor was electrified by the door and Hulk laughed hysterically at him.
Hulk puts back on his Sakaaran Battle Armor and tells Thor that he goes under training with Valkyrie for his next fight with the Contest of Champions. As Hulk reaches the door Valkyrie asked him how he was doing to which he replies that he has been winning the tournament. Once he was alone, Thor had meditated and attempted to come into contact with Heimdall back on Asgard.
At night, Thor attempted to rip out of his Obedience Disk out of his neck once again to which he had no luck as it had instead caused him considerable pain. Waking up in his bed and seeing this, Hulk noted how sad Thor looked, to which Thor simply told him to shut up as he sat alone and contemplating his next move. Hulk pushed him over and still continued teasing him, the annoyed Thor rebutted that he was furious to what had happened to his home, the death of father and losing his hammer before he had become imprisoned by the Grandmaster.
Hulk decided to ignore and irritated with Thor's complaints, Thor furiously accused him of not listening and began kicking some stuff towards Hulk. Hulk furiously told Thor to stop kicking stuff, to which Thor responded by claiming that Hulk was known as the stupid member of the Avengers, as Hulk called Thor the tiny Avenger. As his temper rose, Hulk threw a shield at Thor which nearly decapitated him, resulting in Thor angrily claiming that everybody on the Earth hates Hulk. Eventually, they managed to reach a cordial ground and Thor convinced Hulk to call on his sparring partner, Valkyrie to his room.
Return to Banner
The next day, Hulk did as Thor requested and had Valkyrie come up to his chamber, as together they playfully sparring with each other as Hulk played with the Sakaaran War Hammer while Valkyrie kicked him over. Thor then revealed himself in the room, awkwardly trying to look impressive before Valkyrie simply ignored him and prepared to leave the room, as she claimed that Thor was too thick headed to see she was in Sakaar only to hide away from her problems.
As Valkyrie was about to leave, Hulk threw part of his bed to ensure she did not leave. Valkyrie agreed to listen to Thor, as the two conversed about the threat of Hela would bring to Asgard. Though unsuccessful in bringing Valkyrie over to his side, Thor managed to get the remote for his Obedience Disk and took the implant off. With that, Thor took a ball that Hulk was playing with and used it to crack the room's glass window, although this resulted in the ball bouncing back and striking Thor's face. Getting back onto his feet, Thor immediately made his escape toward the Quinjet. Hulk was distraught at leaving him behind and preceded to follow him.
As soon as Thor could take off and escape from Sakaar, Hulk immediately tried to stop him from leaving, damaging the Quinjet in the process. During his attempt, Thor turned on Natasha Romanoff's recording back during the Battle of Sokovia. Seeing her, Banner was able to awaken and transform back into himself, despite Hulk's attempts to prevent it from happening. Confused by his surroundings, Banner was confronted by Thor and was told to calm down.
Hunted by the Grandmaster
Returning back to his senses, Banner found himself in the Quinjet and met with Thor. He quickly asked what happened to Ultron and Sokovia. Banner was shocked to be informed that while they won the fight, that event happened two years ago. With no memories of what happened in the past two years, it dawned to Banner that his relation with Hulk is starting to change; he compared it to previously both of them having a hand on the wheel, but this time it was like Hulk stuffed him in the trunk. Banner voiced his fear to Thor that if he ever transformed back to Hulk again, he might not be able to come back.
They did not have long to catch up. Soon they heard an announcement from the Grandmaster that they are hunting Thor, due to believing that Thor has captured Hulk. Much to Banner's annoyance, Thor forced him to wear the only available clothes in the Quinjet; they belonged to Tony Stark, which were a tight fit for Banner. The two former Avengers made their escape from the Quinjet and start making their way through the city.
Though Thor attempted to keep Banner calm, he only succeeded in agitating Banner even further. The two discussed leaving Sakaar and fighting Hela; however, Banner made it very clear he was tired of fighting evil beings and only wanted to go back to Earth to be left in peace, and felt Thor was only using him to get to Hulk. However, Banner agrees to accompany Thor back to Asgard on the condition that he doesn't have to think about Hulk ever again.
Eventually, amidst a Hulk parade, they encountered Valkyrie. She has decided to join Thor in his fight against Hela. She brought them to her apartment, where she has chained and captured Loki, much to Banner's surprise. Banner then reminded Loki of how they had last seen each other during the Chitauri Invasion, as Loki then calmly threatened him. Banner, Thor, and Valkyrie then discussed how to leave Sakaar and return back to Asgard. They decided to steal the Grandmaster's ship and escape through the biggest portal of Sakaar. Banner and Valkyrie remarked that they seemed familiar to one another. However, Thor dismissed this and hid Banner's link to Hulk from her in case she changed her mind about helping them to take Hulk back to the Grandmaster.
Banner stayed with Valkyrie while Thor and Loki went to steal the Commodore which belonged to the Grandmaster. During their escape, Thor forced Banner to steer the ship while he assisted Valkyrie with fighting off their pursuers. Banner unwittingly made Topaz crash into a rock when he turned on the ship's fireworks in his attempts to assist his allies. Banner handed the control to Valkyrie and traveled with his allies to Asgard.
Turning Back Into Hulk
Banner, Thor, and Valkyrie arrived on Asgard, onboard the Commodore. Horrified by the destruction Hela and her resurrected Berserkers caused to the civilization, Banner commented that Asgard was not in good condition and would have looked nicer if it had not been in flames. Thor informed them that while he's dealing with Hela, he needs Banner and Valkyrie to help evacuate the Asgardians. When Banner asked how they were supposed to do that, Thor informed him that he already had someone on the ground protecting the Asgardians. Banner stayed with Valkyrie to prepare and assist the remaining Asgardians with the evacuation while Thor headed back to the throne room to confront Hela. They immediately went to the Rainbow Bridge to assist the Asgardians.
When they arrived, they found Heimdall and the rest of the Asgardians trapped by Fenris, who was charging towards them. Valkyrie then proceeded to shoot at the gargantuan wolf, only for the creature to absorb the bullets. Having discerned that the bullets caused no harm to the wolf and witnessing Skurge and Hela's forces attacking them from behind, Banner decided to turn back into Hulk in order to prevent the Asgardians from getting slaughtered, despite knowing that he might not be able to turn back into himself. Banner then jumped off the ship, landing in front of Heimdall and the rest of the Asgardians and injuring himself at first. Fenris tries to sniff out Banner to see if he's alive.
Showing no signs of it, the wolf continued charging towards the Asgardians. As she lunges towards the Asgardians, preparing to attack, Banner transforms into Hulk and drags her back by her tail to prevent her from attacking. Hulk resumed control and confronted the wolf on the Rainbow Bridge. They then began to fight, with Fenris charging towards Hulk, attempting to devour him but it only succeeds in tossing them both into the river below, where they continued to battle.
Hulk continued to battle against Fenris until Loki arrived onboard the Statesman to help evacuate the remaining Asgardians before they could all be wiped out, during which he is seen keeping Fenris's massive jaws open as she tries to devour him again. Eventually, he is snatched in her jaws and throttled around like a chew toy as he is dunked into the water, where she bites painfully into his highly impervious skin, causing Hulk to bleed. However, Hulk manages to defeat Fenris by throwing the wolf off the edge of the sea and into the void.
Hulk then got back on the Rainbow Bridge and saw Surtur destroying Asgard. In an effort to stop him, Hulk immediately charged into battle and jumped onto Surtur's face, where he immediately began punching at the Fire Demon. Despite throwing punches at him, Hulk was thrown back onto the bridge. Before he could resume his battle, Thor shouted at Hulk to stop and don't smash, but Hulk wanted to fight Surtur. However, Valkyrie convinced Hulk to stand down as they wanted Surtur to destroy Asgard so that Hela could be killed. Hulk reluctantly agreed and carried Thor and Valkyrie onto the Statesman, which was being commandeered by Loki and Korg.
Hulk boarded up inside the Statesman with the rest of the Asgardians and alongside his allies. He then watched as Surtur fulfilled the prophecy and destroyed Asgard. In a brief coronation, Hulk, along with Loki, Heimdall, Valkyrie, Korg, and Miek, and the rest of the Asgardians, witness Thor officially becoming the new King of Asgard as he sits on his throne. Hulk then joined Thor on their trip after the Asgardian had decided to lead the remaining Asgardians to Earth. Hulk spent months onboard the ship while Banner was still inside Hulk's mind. On their way to Earth, they were intercepted by the Sanctuary II, a vessel commanded by the warlord Thanos.
Thanos and the Black Order attacked the Statesman and killed half of the ship's population so they could take the Tesseract and the Space Stone within, while Valkyrie was able to lead the other half to the escape pods, along with Korg and Miek. Hulk, however, remained behind along with Thor, Loki, and Heimdall to fight the invaders. After they killed or otherwise subdued most of the Asgardians on board, Hulk remained in hiding while Thanos tortured Thor in order to make Loki give him the Tesseract.
However, instead of giving him the Tesseract, Loki revealed that he had a Hulk on their side. This remark signaled the Avenger to immediately spring from hiding and attack Thanos, tackling him to the ground before he could retrieve the Tesseract. However, once he had Thanos pinned into a wall, he soon found the Titan's strength to be superior to his own, and his grip on Thanos was quickly overcome and he was subsequently punched by Thanos in the face with enough force to briefly daze him.
Hulk then attempted to strike back, but to his complete surprise, Thanos displayed a vast superiority and proceeded to block all of Hulk's blows and punches, leaving Hulk completely stunned about being so vastly overpowered. Finally, Hulk was punched in the face by Thanos’ knee which left him completely dazed before he was lifted into the air and thrown onto the ground by Thanos and was beaten within an inch of his life.
However, Hulk was then saved by a badly injured Heimdall, who used the last of his power to master enough dark magic to conjure a Bifrost Bridge, which sent Hulk away from the battle and to the New York Sanctum on Earth. Thanos killed Heimdall and Loki and destroyed the ship, seemingly killing the rest of those on board, including Thor.
Crashing to Earth
Traveling to Earth, Hulk crashed through the roof of the New York Sanctum in New York City, creating a massive crater in the building's staircase. As Doctor Strange and Wong investigated, they found Hulk reverting to the form of Bruce Banner, warning them that Thanos was coming. Shocked, Strange asked Banner who Thanos was, but Banner insisted on contacting Tony Stark first. Doctor Strange summoned a portal to Stark, and Banner was reunited with Tony and Pepper Potts.
Back in the Sanctum, Wong and Strange explained the Infinity Stones to Stark and Banner. Upon Banner once again telling Thanos' name to Stark, he revealed that he is the mastermind of the Chitauri Invasion from some years ago, referring to the attack on New York as Thanos' doing instead of Loki's, due to coming to terms with the God of Mischief. Banner then informed Stark that Thanos has the Space and Power Stones.
When Strange and Stark argued over what to do with Strange's Time Stone, Banner quickly stopped their bickering, stating that they must find Vision to protect his Mind Stone, only for Stark to reveal that he is off the grid. When Stark suggests that Steve Rogers could find him, Banner told Stark to call Rogers. However, Stark revealed that the Avengers had separated after a fight between Stark and Rogers. However, Banner convinced Stark to call Rogers by telling him that Thanos had killed their teammate Thor and told him that what happened during the Avengers Civil War is nothing compared to Thanos.
However, just before Stark could make the call, Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian arrived to secure the Time Stone from Doctor Strange. Leaving the Sanctum, to investigate, they found people fleeing and screaming in panic, as a Q-Ship sent by Thanos had arrived.
Outside the Sanctum, the Q-Ship was confronted by Bruce Banner, Tony Stark, Doctor Strange, and Wong. In the confrontation, Banner tried to turn into Hulk, which embarassed Stark in front of Strange and Wong. Hulk, however, refused to come out, forcing Stark to use his new armor which generated repulsors out of nothing to blast Obsidian. A shocked Banner asked where they came from, with Stark revealing the armor to be made of nanotechnology.
While Iron Man went to fight Obsidian, Strange teleported Banner away to the nearby Washington Square Park for his own safety. When Stark himself ended up in the park Banner was sent to, he asked about the conflict, only for Stark to remark that it was getting worse. Stark then asked Banner if he could help, only for Banner to notify that he was trying but Hulk wouldn't come out.
While Stark continued to protect Banner by fighting Cull Obsidian, Banner then tried to call Hulk again, only for Hulk to directly refuse his orders, due to Hulk's trauma at his defeat at the hands of Thanos as well as anger over being feared and hated and used as a tool. Banner then watched Stark and Spider-Man fight Obsidian, as the battle continued. When Stark was about to be killed by Obsidian's hammer, he saved by Wong, who transported the alien to Antarctica.
Before Obsidian could escape through the portal, Wong closed it, severing the former's left arm, causing Banner to kick it aside. Once Ebony Maw left with a captive Doctor Strange, Banner managed to find the discarded burned phone that was left for Stark by Steve Rogers. He then watched Wong leave to secure the New York Sanctum, before contacting Rogers to notify him of the coming threat on Vision's life.
Reunion with Avengers
Banner reunited with his former Avengers teammates at the New Avengers Facility, including an awkward greeting with Natasha Romanoff, who had returned from saving Vision and Scarlet Witch in Scotland. Now reunited with most of the Avengers, Banner asked where Hawkeye was, knowing that they must need all the help possible, only to be told that he is on house arrest along with Scott, whom Rogers revealed to be Ant-Man, which surprised Banner when he learned that there was an Ant-Man and a Spider-Man.
Upon resuming their conversation, the team would decide on what to do with Vision, who suggested to destroy the stone even if it would kill him. Unwilling to kill their friend, Banner proposed the difficult task of removing the Stone from Vision to safely destroy it without needlessly taking Vision's life. Rogers suggested taking Vision to Wakanda, the only nation on Earth with the resources capable of achieving this.
The Avengers took Vision to the lab of Shuri, who worked with Banner to find a way to remove the Stone from Vision. The Black Order then arrives in Wakanda to get the stone. In order to stop them, the Avengers got the Hulkbuster armor for Banner, who managed to pilot it successfully until he hit a rock and nearly fell.
Banner would help in the Hulkbuster armor by firing repulsor blasts at the Outriders. However, Banner noticed that the limited success of the direct forward assault caused the Outriders to begin to circle the barrier to flank the armies instead. He told Rogers that if the Outriders breach the barrier behind them, they had a clear path to the vulnerable Vision in Shuri's Lab.
During the battle, Banner, Barnes, T'Challa and Rogers were mobbed and forced to the ground by sheer numbers of Outriders. However, they were suddenly wiped out when the Bifrost Bridge beamed down from the sky into the center of the battlefield. Thor, armed with Stormbreaker, Rocket Raccoon and Groot stepped out of the Bridge into the battlefield confronting the Outrider armies, with Banner happy to see that his friend survived the attack on the Statesman.
Later, Vision would get attacked by Corvus Glaive with Banner quickly arriving to assist against Cull Obsidian and Glaive. Banner engaged in a ferocious duel with Obsidian. Falling into a nearby waterfall, Banner called for reinforcements to stop Glaive as he fought. However, Obsidian began to gain the upper hand, severing the Hulkbuster's left arm. In response, Banner attempted to bring out Hulk to turn the tables, to no avail.
Frustrated, Banner resolved to handle Cull Obsidian himself, managing to trap the latter's arm in the severed Hulkbuster arm. Activating the arm's repulsor thrusters, Banner sent Obsidian flying into the Wakandan energy barrier, where he violently exploded. After the Black Order and the Outriders were defeated, Thanos arrived in Wakanda where Banner confirmed his identity. Thanos began slowly advancing towards Vision and Banner made the first strike, only for Thanos to phase Banner out of space using the Space Stone.
When Thanos snapped his fingers upon completing the Infinity Gauntlet, half of the universe was disintegrated into ash, leaving Banner as one of the survivors with Steve Rogers, James Rhodes, Natasha Romanoff, Thor, Rocket Raccoon, M'Baku, and Okoye, having his head exited out of the Hulkbuster Armor and bowing his head in despair over their defeat.
Meeting Captain Marvel
Following the Battle of Wakanda, Banner, along with Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, and James Rhodes, returned to the New Avengers Facility. Having discovered the Transmitter Pager Nick Fury had activated prior to his disappearance, Banner and Rhodes bypassed the pager's battery in order for it to continue to send out its signal. As Rogers and Romanoff were witnessing reports on the aftermath of the Snap, Rhodes, who was monitoring the pager, informed the pair and Banner that the pager had stopped transmitting the signal.
Rogers requested that they reboot the pager and resend the signal, only for Banner to respond that they had no idea what the signal was for. As Romanoff explained that Fury knew whom the signal was for and that she wanted to know who it was as well, she came face to face with Captain Marvel herself, who demanded to know where Fury was.
Some time later, Captain Marvel brought back Tony Stark and Nebula safely from outer space by carrying the Benatar to the New Avengers Facility. After reuniting with the rest of team, Rogers asked Stark about Thanos' location, angering Stark who began to rant at him, blaming him for rejecting Ultron and how that left them unable to prevent and stop cosmic level threats like Thanos. During the discussion, Stark collapsed and Banner gave him a sedative to put him out for a while so he can recover properly.
Returning to the topic of Thanos, Danvers decides to go to find Thanos herself until Nebula says she knows where he is. Rocket then informs the rest that two days ago, the same energy signature of the Snap was detected in a certain planet and they all conclude the Mad Titan is there. Danvers proposed to got after him and get the stones to reverse the Snap, but Banner was very concerned about their numbers and the high chances of failing again. However, Danvers convinced them that with her they were more than enough.
Excluding Iron Man, Banner, the remaining Avengers as well as Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain Marvel suited up and boarded the Benatar. Banner sat up front with Nebula while they headed to the Garden, the planet where Thanos resided. When they arrived, Captain Marvel did a recon. When she returned, she informed them that it was only Thanos on the planet, to which Nebula stated was enough.
They then ambushed the Titan at his own house, with Captain Marvel placing him in a headlock, Banner piloting the Hulkbuster quickly joined her by bursting out from the floor of Thanos' campfire and restraining the Titan's arm, with War Machine joining him by holding Thanos' other arm. Thor then arrived and chopped his Infinity Gauntlet arm off. The others then entered the hut, only to realize the Infinity Stones were gone. They then demanded Thanos to tell them where the stones were located, but they learned by word that he used the very stones to destroy the stones.
Banner then pushed him in anger and yelled at Thanos for murdering trillions of lives and shoved him onto the ground. Thanos stated that he should be grateful, but Banner punched him in the face. They initially believed Thanos to be lying, but Nebula stated that while Thanos was many things, he was not a liar. Banner could only watch in horror as Thor decapitated Thanos. Once they realized they could never use the stones again, the Avengers return to Earth in defeat.
Merging with Hulk
Eighteen Month Experiment
Between 2018 and 2023, Banner began to re-evaluate himself and Hulk. Tired of viewing Hulk as a problem in his life, Banner chose to see Hulk as "the cure" to the disease of his inner discontent, restarting his research into gamma radiation for an 18-month experiment. Banner's research allowed him to merge his intelligence with Hulk's physical appearance and powers into one being. Banner's self-image skyrocketed as he embraced his new form, becoming as beloved as the other Avengers after being feared as Hulk in the past. He coined the catchphrase "Hulk out" to capitalize on his newfound popularity.
Rejoining the Avengers
At one point, Lang expressed his confusion surrounding Banner's new appearance. Banner responded by stating that they lived in confusing times and joked about how he was now wearing shirts. Lang, still overwhelmed by Banner looking like Hulk but speaking and eating like a human, required further explanation. Banner revealed his guilt about losing twice to Thanos; first as Hulk then as Banner, and because of that, they were defeated.
Banner explained that his guilt and devastation over his failure to stop Thanos provoked him to see Hulk from a new perspective. Instead of the destruction-causing monster, Banner considered that Hulk may be able to help the newly fragile and desperate world. He explained to Lang that after eighteen months in a Gamma Lab, he was able to merge his mind with Hulk's body. At that moment, a group of children, including Lia, Augie, and Julian, asked to take a photo with 'Mr. Hulk', to which Banner gladly obliged. With Lang taking the photo, Hulk and the children said 'Green' in unison.
Scott asked the children if they wanted a photo with Ant-Man, which the kids rejected. Before the children left they shared a 'Hulk Out!' catchphrase with Banner. Rogers interrupted and reminded Banner about the plan they had pitched. Banner, growing serious, told his teammates that his expertise in the field of physics not being at the level of quantum physics like Stark, the chances of him being able to achieve time travel was not high, to which Natasha reminded him that merging himself with Hulk appeared impossible, too.
Testing Time Travel
The Avengers later returned to the New Avengers Facility where they decided to begin their experiences on time travel. They decided to use the Quantum Tunnel experiment with the time scale of bringing Scott Lang into the past and back into the present. Banner mentioned not wanting something to go wrong and have Lang stuck in the 1950s, Natasha Romanoff said he was joking, but Banner was unsure of that, due to the uncertainty of the experiment.
Banner set the machine up to send Lang back a week and bring him back in ten seconds. Banner then attempted to send Lang through time, but instead ended up turning Lang into an old man, a baby, and a teenager, causing them to lose hope that the plan would work. Banner ordered Romanoff to kill the power in order to bring Lang back to his normal self. Romanoff did so and Banner was pleased with how they had just achieved time travel, to which Steve Rogers was not pleased with due to some difficulties sending Lang through time.
Thankfully, just then, Tony Stark arrived with a change of heart, proposing a method of safely traversing the Quantum Realm and revealing that the EPR paradox is what caused the Avengers' initial attempt to fail in the first place. Later, Hulk offered his tacos to Lang after his were destroyed by the Benatar landing in the New Avengers Facility.
Finding an Old Friend
Hulk joined Rocket in recruiting Thor for the Time Heist. Having flown to Tønsberg, Norway, the pair travelled by a pickup truck for the remainder of the journey. Upon arrival, Rocket noted how New Asgard was a shadow of the gold and glory found in Asgard. Hulk implored Rocket to show some compassion as the Asgardians had lost their home, then half their people. The pair were interrupted by Valkyrie, who warned them that they should not have come. Unimpressed by Hulk's new form, Valkyrie noted that she preferred him either of the other ways.
Banner and Rocket entered Thor's house and were immediately surprised by the stench and mess they encountered. To their shock, they found an overweight and alcoholic Thor, devastated by his failure to kill Thanos before the Snap occurred. Thor embraced his old friends and reintroduced his new housemates, former Contest of Champions Korg and Miek. Korg invited Banner and Rocket to use their free wifi and drink their beer. Hulk and Rocket felt a sense of embarrassment and pity for the demigod reduced to yelling at people through online video games.
Banner reached out Thor, suggesting that they may be able to undo Thanos' Snap. This was met with fear and grief from Thor, who was frightened at the mention of Thanos' name. Banner calmly asked Thor to let go of him, and forced the Asgardian to stop grabbing him. Banner sympathised with Thor's fear, which Thor rejected, reminding everyone that he killed the Mad Titan five years ago. Banner reminded Thor that when he was lost on Sakaar, frightened and confused by his new surroundings; that Thor helped him. Thor reflected on his failed leadership, pointing to half of the Asgardians that perished during the Snap. Banner optimistically noted that they may be able to resurrect them. Thor denied the possibility of hope until Rocket explained they had beer on the ship.
Testing the Advanced Tech Suit
Banner and Nebula assisted Scott Lang in preparing for a test run using the Advanced Tech Suit. However, Lang was not ready for the test and accidentally triggered one of the few Pym Particles. Clint Barton appeared from across the lab and volunteered for the next test. As Barton's suit was being prepared, James Rhodes suggested that instead of collecting the Infinity Stones, the team should travel back in time and kill Thanos as a child.
Disgusted, Banner immediately rejected Rhodes' idea; claiming it was immoral and scientifically impossible. Banner explained to Rhodes, Lang and Barton that changing the past does not change the future. Banner operated the Quantum Realm machine as Barton successfully traveled to his homestead prior to the Snap and back, demonstrating their plan had worked.
Locating the Infinity Stones
With the means of time travel accounted for, the Avengers brainstormed when and where they could retrieve the Infinity Stones from. Thor talked about the origins and location of the Aether, but was distracted by his emotions and past trauma. Rocket Raccoon informed the team about the Power Stone and how Peter Quill stole it from Morag. Nebula revealed the Soul Stone and how Thanos killed her sister on Vormir.
Banner, Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff discussed Doctor Strange, the Time Stone and the New York Sanctum. Romanoff pointed out that if the team selected the right date, they could acquire three stones in New York City. Banner was teamed up with Iron Man, Captain America and Ant-Man to travel to New York City on May 4, 2012 so they could easily obtain the Space, Mind and Time Stones at once.
Meeting the Ancient One
When Banner, Iron Man, Ant-Man, and Captain America traveled to the alternate 2012 timeline, they landed in New York City during the Battle of New York. The four witnessed 2012 Hulk brutally murdering a few Chitauri and smashing everything in his way, causing Banner to look away in embarrassment. Captain America suggested that Banner destroyed objects around him to make himself look like 2012 Hulk. Banner hesitantly agreed and took off his shirt, then proceeded to smash a nearby car, roaring weakly to sound like his old self. He jumped across tall buildings to reach the New York Sanctum where the Ancient One was fighting off Chitauri. He went to the roof and began looking for Doctor Strange and encountered the Ancient One.
The Ancient One responded by saying that Strange was not with her and would not be with her for 5 years to come. Hulk then attempted to take the Time Stone only for his opponent to force out his astral form. At first, she refused because she claimed it would leave her timeline in disarray against future threats she would require the Time Stone to defend against. Though Banner reasoned they could return each Infinity Stone to its respective timeline at the moment it was taken and avert potential catastrophe, she declared she couldn't risk her reality on the off chance that he may or may not survive to return the stones and explained the duty of the Sorcerer Supreme to protect the Time Stone with their life, leading Hulk to question why Strange gave it up to Thanos in the first place, much to the Ancient One's surprise.
The Ancient One then realized that if he had done this, it was for a good reason. She then restored Hulk to his body and handed him the stone and made sure he was confident that he would return with it. After receiving the stone, Hulk reunited with the rest of the Avengers in 2012 and went back to 2023 through the Quantum Realm.
Creating the Nano Gauntlet
The Avengers returned from the Time Heist and were shocked by its apparent success. The team's celebrations were cut short by Hawkeye, who fell to his knees. Hulk immediately asked Barton about Natasha Romanoff's whereabouts; to which Barton only looked on in devastation. Realizing that Romanoff was dead, Hulk fell to his knees and pounded the platform with his fist.
The remaining original Avengers gathered outside the New Avengers Facility to mourn Romanoff's sacrifice. Hulk spent the majority of the discussion staring mournfully across the lake. Thor encouraged the team to pull together and attempt to resurrect her with the Infinity Stones, which was met with renouncement and anger from Barton. Hulk suddenly vented his anger by throwing a piece of furniture across the lake. Proclaiming that Romanoff could not return, Hulk charged the team with making her sacrifice worthwhile.
Tony Stark, Hulk and Rocket finalized the creation of the Nano Gauntlet as they assembled all six Infinity Stones into their new creation. Rocket asked which member of the team would be the one to snap their fingers and revive half of all life. Thor immediately volunteered, to the skepticism of the team.
The God of Thunder reminded everyone that he was the strongest Avenger, so the responsibility fell upon him. Stark agreed, but noted that he was in no condition to perform the task. Across the room, Banner was deep in thought, considering their only option. Stark reminded Thor that the gauntlet had enough energy to power a continent, but Thor responded by stating that lightning ran in his veins.
At this moment, Banner interjected, stating that Thor's lightning wouldn't help him. Instead, Banner announced that he had to be the one to undo the Snap. As he walked towards the gauntlet, he reminded the team that the Stones almost killed Thanos, and that none of them would survive. Rogers questioned if they knew Banner would survive, to which Hulk admitted he did not know. Banner believed he had the best chance, given that the Stones emmitted mostly gamma radiation. Banner noted the irony of the situation; that were he not exposed to the Gamma radiation all those years ago, he would not be able to save half of all life.
Before he wielded the gauntlet, Stark reminded Hulk to only bring back the victims of the Snap, and not kill anyone who had been born afterwards. Hulk understood Stark's instructions as F.R.I.D.A.Y. locked down the New Avengers Facility. As the gauntlet expanded onto Hulk's right hand, Banner reminded himself that everyone would come home, should he succeed. The gauntlet sent electricity through Hulk's arm, burning him from his hand to his shoulder.
Initially unable to bear the pain of the Infinity Stones' combined energy, Hulk composed himself. Stark and Rogers asked if he was alright, to which Banner assured them that he was still okay. After a moment, Banner composed himself and began to scream as he found the strength to raise the guantlet and snap his fingers. After a flash of light, the emitted energy caused Hulk to pass out and drop the gauntlet.
Stark applied a cooling agent to Banner's right arm, which was horribly scared and disintegrated. Banner asked the team if the Snap worked and Thor assured him that they were not sure. At that moment, Barton recieved a call from his wife Laura, who had perished in the Snap. Ant-Man noticed birds outside the facility, and stated that they may have succeeded. However, their celebration was short-lived as Hulk, to his horror, saw 2014 Thanos' ship outside the New Avengers Facility, which opened fire on the Avengers mere seconds later.
After Thanos completely wiped out the New Avengers Facility, Hulk was trapped underground with War Machine and Rocket Raccoon. He protected his fellow Avengers by holding back the falling rubble. However, this would prove to be futile as water began rushing in from the nearby lake, threatening to drown all three of them.
As Hulk continued to fight off the falling debris and War Machine and Rocket began to accept their fate, Ant-Man rushed towards them to save them by turning into a giant. The four Avengers were the last to join the battle, escaping the rubble after Ant-Man burst through the debris. Hulk smiled at the realization that he had succeeded at resurrecting the victims of the Snap, bringing half of all life in the universe back into existence.
After Captain America rallied the Avengers and their allies, Hulk joined the battle and charged towards Thanos' forces. Early in the battle, Hulk smashed a Chitauri Chariot, killing its occupants. Hulk fought alongside the Masters of the Mystic Arts, the Ravagers, Asgardians, and Wakandans.
During the battle, Hawkeye emerged from the underground with the Nano Gauntlet and asked Captain America what to do with it. Captain America ordered that the Infinity Stones be removed as far from the battle as possible. However, Hulk interjected, stating that the Stones had to be returned to their original locations, remembering the promise he made to the Ancient One.
Later in the battle, when Thanos ordered an airstrike from the Sanctuary II, Hulk was knocked back by one of the blasts but was saved by War Machine. The battle was ultimately concluded when Iron Man obtained the Infinity Stones and wiped out Thanos and his army. However, this action cost Iron Man his life due to the power of the Infinity Stones. Following Hawkeye, all the heroes show their respect for the fallen hero and kneeled before him.
Returning the Stones
Later, he prepared the time machine so that Steve Rogers could return the time-displaced Infinity Stones and Mjølnir back to the periods they were found. He warned Rogers that if the Stones were not returned to their original positions, countless alternate realities would be opened, many of which would be dangerous. As he discussed the mission with Rogers, Hulk mourned Natasha Romanoff's death, stating he tried to bring her back with those killed in the Snap.
Rogers parted ways with Hulk, Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson before traveling back in time to return the Infinity Stones and Mjølnir. Wilson asked Hulk how long the mission would take, to which Hulk contended it would only take five seconds in their time. Wilson interrogated Hulk after Rogers missed his timestamp, provoking Hulk to check the system's diagnostics. However, Barnes pointed to a man sitting on a bench before the lake. Hulk shared in Wilson's surprise that Rogers chose to remain in the past with Peggy Carter.
Reverting to Human
Soemtime later, Banner transformed back to his human form. However, the injury he had sustained to his right arm while in Hulk's body remained, forcing him to continue to keep it in a sling. In 2024, after Shang-Chi used the Ten Rings, they sent out a beacon which was detected by the Masters of the Mystic Arts. Wong got in contact with Banner and Carol Danvers as well as Shang-Chi, who had become the new owner of the Rings, to better understand the mysterious items. Neither Danvers or Banner were familiar with the Rings, only knowing they had existed for thousands of years, and that they were sending out a message, but did not know to where.
Danvers was then abruptly called away, telling Shang-Chi that it was nice to meet him and that if he wished to speak to her further, he could get her number from Banner, and left the meeting. Banner then informed Shang-Chi that he did not have her number and that Danvers often disappeared for long stretches of time. Needing to attend to other matters, Banner bid Shang-Chi farewell after welcoming him to their world of heroes.
Bruce Banner is shown as a mild-mannered, mysterious, shy and analytical man of science. The incident at Culver University caused Banner to become somewhat mentally troubled and obsessed with finding a cure for his mutation. He is compassionate and afraid of hurting someone unintentionally, so he tries not to get close to something or someone that leaves him stressed.
In turn, Hulk is more primitive, with his senses amplified to such an extent that it is difficult for his brain to process it all. In Banner's own words, he describes the experience as "It's like someone poured a liter of acid into my brain." When Banner returns to his normal human form, he has little recollection of events aside from fragments and images. In his earliest transformations, Hulk appeared as a simple-minded savage with little to no ability to distinguish friend from foe. Because of this, he was responsible for the deaths of two scientists, an army officer, a police officer from Idaho, and two Canadian hunters when he was a fugitive. However, while extremely aggressive and destructive, Hulk primarily attacked when provoked as a form of self-defense and wanted to be alone, often fleeing and ending up in areas uninhabited by humans like caves or forests to calm himself.
Ever since his first transformation Banner was terribly afraid of Hulk and the risk of him hurting those around him. He abandoned everyone and everything he cared about and became a fugitive for five years to prevent Hulk's power from falling into the wrong hands, while desperately searching for a cure and attempting to avoid transforming at all costs. On some occasions, he lost the hope of getting rid of his other persona and showed suicidal tendencies, attempting to kill himself once. The only times he was willing to let himself transform was during the Battle of New York, when attempting to intimidate Scarlet Witch, as he was angry with her for having set Hulk loose on Johannesburg, to the point where he threatened to kill her without even transforming, and when he tried to protect the Asgardians from Hela, her army of Berserkers and the Fenris. Despite this, he still dislikes having to transform into Hulk to battle, as it would require him to harm and kill others, which he expressed after the Attack on the HYDRA Research Base, as Thor commented on Hulk's kills and inadvertently made Banner feel ashamed and regretful.
Hulk keeps fragments of Banner's personality and gradually attained a better reasoning capacity over time, becoming able to show affection, demonstrating a capacity to work collaboratively with others once they've established a rapport with him, and evidencing he's capable of directing his savagery at foes instead of allies. Betty suggested that this is because Banner's mind is still within Hulk and can influence his behavior to a degree. Even in his early stages, the mostly taciturn Hulk has demonstrated being capable of crude, rudimentary speech, notably telling soldiers to leave him alone in Brazil and calling Loki a “puny god” after repeatedly hammering him into the floor of Stark Tower. Over time, he supplemented his scientific pursuit by learning meditation and breathing techniques, gaining a greater control over the transformations. Banner discovered that by focusing during the moment of transformation he can control Hulk's destructive behavior or at least "aim" it at a desired target, first seen during the Duel of Harlem. Notably, Banner's emotional bonds to those closest to him persisted even during his earliest transformation, as Hulk has always been able to recognize and been protective of Betty Ross. In the past, people whom Banner has had romantic feelings for in particular have acted as Hulk's handler, as they are able to soothe him into a calmer state. Hulk would check his aggression if Betty desired it and would be given a lullaby to lull him into his normal state by Black Widow.
After having shown some success in controlling the monster, he seemed to have abandoned the search for a cure and redeemed himself, helping sick people in poor areas of the world. Thus, he appeared to be more comfortable and sarcastic in various situations with fellow Avengers. He is no longer even afraid to get angry as it no longer triggers a transformation instantly. Tony Stark encouraged Banner to see Hulk as an ally rather than a destructive curse by pointing out that Hulk technically saved his life when the Gamma exposure accident occurred. Eventually Banner became confident enough to bring out Hulk voluntarily knowing he won't attack his allies. While initially compelled into conflict due to his aggressive survival instincts and Banner’s attempts to influence him, Hulk has also displayed being pleased when given the chance to channel his aggression, notably grinning after being told by Captain America to “smash” invading Chitauri. Similarly, Hulk was shown smiling after being unleashed from Banner by Natasha, who intentionally knocked him off a platform. This was seemingly due to both his and Bruce’s bond with Natasha, as well as being freed from Banner’s control.
However, Banner is the Avenger his teammates are the most wary of despite their camaraderie and often don't call Hulk to a battle unless strictly necessary. Though Banner is able to suppress his transformations through emotional intelligence, he has been known to lose control or be manipulated into losing control. Should he be completely overwhelmed with rage or stress, he loses all reason and Hulk regresses back into a volatile, rampaging monster. Moreover, Hulk would also sometimes show reluctance to revert back into Banner and relinquish his control over their body, becoming more self-aware. In fact, Hulk would consistently become belligerent when being referred to as Banner, something Stark remembered being warned about after him making this very mistake sent a mind-controlled Hulk into a violent rage. Because of this, Banner had requested Stark to build the Hulkbuster armor. For example, he once attacked Black Widow on the Helicarrier, when they were blasted out of the lab and he transformed and attacked her, and when the Scarlet Witch used her mental manipulation powers on him in South Africa to force him to transform. As her influence faded, Hulk showed remorse at the destruction he caused the people caught in the crossfire of his rampage before being briefly provoked at the site of armed police approaching and knocked unconscious by Iron Man. After the War against Ultron, Hulk himself decided to abandon his Avengers friends and exile himself much like he did when he defeated Abomination.
During his time in Sakaar, Hulk's control over Banner's body increased significantly, to the point that he was able to stay as Hulk for two whole years and prevent himself from reverting back to Banner. His increased self-awareness gave him increasingly visible layers of personality, similar to a five-year-old's , instead of just being a very destructive rage monster. By the time Thor found Hulk while himself trapped in Sakaar, Hulk became intelligent enough to actively converse with others, albeit still with an immature speech pattern. Thusly, he was able to verbally acknowledge his human half but repeatedly refuted Banner's existence, claiming "No Banner, only Hulk!" to resentment and bitterness for Banner. He would later call Thor “Banner’s friend”, demonstrating a reluctance to trust or help him as a result. While he gained more self-awareness and personality, Hulk was still susceptible to emotion and could easily become more feral due to stress and frustration, such as when he fought Thor in the Contest of Champions. Despite this, he could still demonstrate a calm and stable demeanor, which allows him to not solely act aggressive and hostile, such as when he talks calmly with Thor after the two of them argue and befriend Valkyrie during his stay on the planet. However, Hulk was also wary of others, due to his history of violence on Earth, which caused him to believe that humanity hated him and made him refuse to return. As Bruce’s personality resurfaced do to Hulk’s positive encounters with Thor and seeing Natasha’s last message to him after their battle with Ultron, Hulk became frantic and desperately tried to not lose control to him, resorting to almost pleading to Banner to stop. Upon regaining control, Banner became afraid of Hulk once more, baffled at the fact that Hulk existed for more than two years, inferring that transforming again would likely result in Hulk gaining full control and the ability to indefinitely suppress Banner.
Hulk's time on Sakaar allowed him to form his own identity. Having risen to the top of the ranks and becoming the Grandmaster's Champion, Hulk enjoyed a celebrity lifestyle. This was as close to a "normal life" that he was able to enjoy. During such time, he was able to develop his emotions beyond just anger. His interactions with Valkyrie and Thor demonstrated his playful nature. In addition, upon hearing Thor’s spiteful claim that Earth indeed hated him, Hulk appeared genuinely upset. This fortifies the notion that Hulk doesn't want to be alone as he claims. This was highlighted when he begged Thor to stay on Sakaar as his friend. Unfortunately, Hulk's low emotional intelligence and raw strength provide a combination that creates a being who cannot easily co-exist with others. Tragically, Hulk may be the loneliest Avenger yet the one who needs friends the most.
Because Hulk has never lost a fight before; his experience and growing intelligence in Sakaar reinforced the idea and image so much that he believed himself to be invincible, no longer a primitive rage monster like when he first came into existence, and now capable of grasping a wide spectrum of emotions, the defeat at Thanos' hands traumatized Hulk tremendously; he has since grown fed up of being used as a weapon by Banner and the Avengers that he outright leaves Banner alone to fend for himself for the first time since his creation, to the extent of staunchly refusing to transform and come out to fight even when told to.
Banner ironically realizes that despite getting his wish of being cured of Hulk, this has left him vulnerable and unable to help his teammates directly as he has lost the strength gained from being Hulk. However, despite this, Banner displays great courage by fighting in the Battle of Wakanda wearing the Hulkbuster Armor, even facing Thanos again without fear.
In the years that followed the Snap, Banner started to see Hulk as a cure to his woes instead of a disease in need of curing. His 18-month-long transformation into his current form, which combined his intelligence with Hulk's strength, helped him feel peace and acceptance in his life, a balance that the separation of Hulk and Banner would never have allowed as long as it remained.
Ironically, Banner was one of the few individuals who improved themselves in the post-Snap world. In contrast to figures such as Tony Stark or Thor, who had quit heroism, Banner was active within the community. Consequently, he became a celebrity and a figure of safety and stability in the fragile world. Attitudes about Hulk sharply contrasted to those a decade ago. A once feared figure was now a beloved hero.
In his new form, Banner kept his pacifist ways, having expressed disgust at War Machine's suggestion that the Avengers strangle an infant Thanos and written off his past penchant for property damage as "gratuitous" before halfheartedly smashing up a New York taxi, later he obtained the Time Stone by calmly negotiating with the Ancient One instead of attacking her. Despite his guilt for losing to Thanos twice, he felt no need to seek vengeance when Thanos attacked the Avengers Facility. This, combined with his embarrassment of his past Hulk-self, illustrates how he had moved beyond feeling a need to 'smash' things and prove his strength.
Banner became significantly more casual and confident in public areas after Hulk became a celebrity, openly giving autographs to his fans and joking about "Hulking out" while doing so. Despite this, Banner can still take a more aggressive form when the situation calls for it and behave more like his former Hulk self, as seen during the Battle of Earth. Additionally, during times of conflict, Banner had developed a polite sternness and authority. This was seen during his encounter with Thor on New Asgard, in which he politely asked Thor to stop holding him before forcing him to let go. Furthermore, during his encounter with the Ancient One, Banner asked for the Time Stone before calmly attempting to take it from her.
The Nano Gauntlet and the Blip represented a chance for Banner's life to have a meaningful resolution. Previously, Banner would not have been strong enough to solely wield the gauntlet. Conversely, Hulk would not have had the mental capability to resurrect half of all life. Banner noted the irony of Stones emitting gamma radiation; as it was his expertise and the source of Hulk's power.
Powers and Abilities
Artificially Enhanced Physiology: Bruce Banner subjected himself to a recreated version of the Super Soldier Serum in an attempt to develop a result similar to the original Project Rebirth from World War II, albeit substituting vita radiation with gamma radiation. As a result, Banner is able to transform into Hulk when his heart rate increases to high levels or when he loses control of his emotions. As Hulk, Banner is a giant green-skinned humanoid with immense strength fueled by his rage, meaning the angrier he gets the stronger he becomes, and is one of the most powerful beings on Earth. Former director S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury classified the Hulk as THREAT LEVEL RED, only to be dealt with using surveillance in the future. According to Samuel Sterns, the transformation is triggered when an electric pulse generated on the amygdala increases the gamma radiation of Bruce's cells. Betty Ross' reagent allows the cells to absorb the energy temporarily, which then abates, resulting in a chemical reaction that produces a myostatin primer. When Hulk transforms back into Banner, the excess muscle mass and energy is dissipated and he is tricken with exhaustion, with the metabolic shift in his system requiring him to refuel. The total time of transformation falls anywhere between seconds to several minutes, depending on the initial adrenaline surge, which will be determined by the original stimulus. Despite Banner's initial inability to control the transformations, he managed to attain some level of control through training and practice, and Banner's consciousness is buried within Hulk, influencing his behavior to a very limited extent. Shortly before being part of the Avengers, Banner became able to trigger his transformations at will, remaining angry in a controlled state, which allowed Hulk to be much smarter and self-controlled in battle. However, the more stressful or provoking his surroundings, the more difficult it is for Hulk to become calm enough to transform back into Banner, which leads to Natasha Romanoff using her "lullaby" technique to calm Hulk at the end of each battle. Despite Banner previously being able to control Hulk, his alter-ego was slowly becoming more self-aware and developing a mind of his own. After the events of Sokovia, Hulk left Earth and became a gladiator on Sakaar, keeping Banner suppressed for two years. After meeting Thor, Banner re-emerged and, despite realizing that transforming again would mean that he might not change back, willingly unleashed Hulk to aid Thor and the Asgardians. Following this battle, Hulk fought Thanos one-on-one and was effortlessly defeated. Hulk has since refused to come back, as he has grown fearful of the Titan and his forces, leaving Banner to fend for himself. After the events of the Snap and Thor executing Thanos, Bruce spent 18 months in a gamma lab to fuse his genius-level intellect and knowledge with Hulk's extraordinary superhuman abilities together to become an amalgamation of both Hulk and himself.
- Superhuman Strength: Hulk's primary power is his immense superhuman strength. His incredible high-level of superhuman strength allows him to rip steel apart as if it were made of paper, to break vehicles with a single punch, stop a speeding Humvee in its tracks by stomping it into the ground, injure and halt a massive Leviathan with a single punch, do a powerful thunderclap to stop a military helicopter from blowing up, or catch a HYDRA tank struck by Thor during the Avengers assault on the HYDRA Research base in Sokovia and proceeded to throw it at a considerable distance as well. In combat, Hulk often uses his strength to throw heavy objects (like cars, forklift trucks, HYDRA tanks for example) or his smaller opponents in order to defeat his enemies, such as when Hulk threw a human-sized Emil Blonsky more than 40 feet away with a single kick or when he hurled Loki around repeatedly while holding him by the leg. Overall, few individuals have been able to match or surpass Hulk's strength, such as the Abomination, who despite his greater base level of strength ultimately succumbed to Hulk's when he endangered the life of Betty Ross, angering him enough to overpower the gamma monster. Thor, who Hulk was able to hit hard enough to cause his nose to bleed, send flying with a punch, and upon growing angry, managed to almost overpower him in the Contest of Champions, although he was himself almost overpowered after Thor gained his full powers, Iron Man, who had to develop a special Hulkbuster armor to battle him in case of need and still needing Hulk to calm down to overpower him, Fenris, who had managed to contend with Hulk in their battle, but was ultimately hurled into outer space by Hulk, fully empowered Surtur, whom Hulk was able to impressively stagger with a leaping blow, before Surtur effortlessly swatted Hulk away, and Thanos, who Hulk managed to surprise and stagger with his blows; however, Thanos effortlessly struck him with various blows and knocked him out, leaving him unconscious for a short amount of time. Hulk was also able to lift and throw a Chitauri a great distance. Hulk's immense strength allowed him to hold the debris from the base of the New Avengers Facility, even after one arm was badly damaged from using the Nano Gauntlet, so that neither Rocket, Rhodey and himself were crushed. He managed to do this long enough for Ant-Man to arrive and rescue them by becoming Giant-Man. Hulk's seemingly most impressive strength feat is leaving a fist dent on a wall made of an extremely durable silicon-carbide vibranium alloy. Hulk's strength also extends to his legs, allowing him to leap great distances or great heights with precision, such as when reached the top of Stark Tower from ground level in a single leap. After the Ambush in Rio de Janeiro, Hulk traveled more than 4100 miles (6600 km) on foot from southeastern Brazil to the forests of Guatemala in just one day, implying his superhuman displays of leaping power, speed and stamina. Carrying Black Widow on his back, Hulk was able to make enormous jumps through the air, reaching the flying city of Novi Grad. During the Destruction of Asgard, Hulk was also able to leap several hundred meters from the Rainbow Bridge towards Surtur and launch himself onto the Statesman while grabbing Thor and Valkyrie. During the Theft of the Time Stone, Hulk was able to mimic his 2012 self by jumping from building to building trying to reach the Ancient One.
- Superhuman Durability: Hulk is able to withstand blows and attacks of considerable force; even high caliber bullets bounce off him and flames cause him no damage whatsoever. His bone, skin, and muscles have an extreme density and he possesses a high degree of resistance to injury, pain, and disease. Hulk also withstood multiple energy blasts from Chitauri weaponry, extreme cold in the Arctic, great impacts from heights of several miles (though the impact knocked him unconscious, forcing him to revert back into Banner). In addition, Iron Man noted the amount of gamma radiation Banner was exposed to would have killed him if it had not given him the ability to transform into Hulk. Only beings with incredible force or extremely powerful weapons can harm him, such as when Hulk was painfully pierced by Abomination's skeletal spikes, was later painfully pierced by Fenris' teeth, when a blow from Thor wielding Mjølnir knocked him out for a moment and when Thanos badly beat him. While Hulk did survive quite a few blows from the Hulkbuster with little discomfort, he got a tooth knocked out in the confrontation. In addition, Hulk's durability is also tied to his anger level - during the fight against the Hulkbuster, he slightly calmed down, which slightly reduced his durability after witnessing the destruction that he caused in South Africa, allowing Iron Man to use the advantage, hammering Hulk with a massive punch, which sent him flying into a tall building, knocking him out. Similarly, during the Contest of Champions when Thor sent Hulk flying with a strike from the Sakaaran hammer, Hulk was further enraged to the point that he managed to block the next hammer blow with a single hand. However, after Thor had his powers fully enhanced (from a vision of Odin's spirit), Hulk was visibly dazed by a single lightning-charged blow from Thor. Hulk's skin was also pierced and noticeably wounded by Fenris who bit him several times, forcing Hulk to throw him into the void. When fighting Thanos, Hulk managed to withstand many blows from the Mad Titan, despite being visibly affected and even bleeding because of the force of the Titan's blows, and soon thereafter be subdued, to the point where Hulk refused to transform back anymore. Hulk also was able to hold a full Infinity Gauntlet quite a while, though it badly damaged his right arm to the point where he needed a cast.
- Superhuman Speed: Regardless of his size, Hulk's superhuman strength of his legs allow him to run at speeds that are far beyond the natural physical limits of a human being. He was fast enough to go toe-to-toe with abomination and quick enough to dodge some of Thor's attack in the Contest of Champions, but his large size can still be exploited by smaller foes to use to their advantage.
- Superhuman Stamina: Hulk has substantially greater endurance than a normal human, allowing him to run and fight for extremely long periods of time. His enraged state, during a fight, allows him to maintain peak output for several days on end and still continue to become even stronger as his anger escalates.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Hulk can react and dodge objects traveling at high speeds. During the Battle of Sokovia, his reflexes allow him to catch a supersonic Aircraft used by Ultron. During the Attack on the Helicarrier, Hulk also quick enough to catch an ejection seat from an Aircraft, and when he was in India, he caught a rocket - at short range fired by a mercenary thanks to his superhuman reflexes.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Should he receive damage that penetrates his extreme durability, his biology has a very high rate of cellular regeneration. Grievous bodily harm has also proven to be a trigger for Banner's transformations, and he has recovered from otherwise fatal injuries sustained in his normal form. Banner said he tried to put a bullet in his mouth but the "other guy" merely spit it out. Hulk also has an enhanced immune system; Samuel Sterns described that a synthesized sample of Banner's blood would make humans impervious to diseases. These attributes make him extremely difficult to kill, even if he is in his human form. Mere moments after his fight with Fenris in which Hulk suffers a deep puncture wound in his leg, no wound or scar tissue is seen. However, he did not yet regenerate immediately from the damage done by wielding the Nano Gauntlet, most likely due to the immense power of the Infinity Stones.
- Transformation: After being exposed to Gamma Radiation, Banner was able to willingly morph from his human form to his Hulk form. At first he couldn't control the transformations and as it was evidently painful and Hulk was a separate personality that Banner can only bring out if he was stressed. Very high heart rate (indicated by heart monitors as above 200 bpm) used to be the main trigger the transformation process. Therefore, stress was a huge factor in his transformations; if he was pissed off, fearful, or in huge pain, it could trigger an immediate Hulk transformation like during Loki’s Attack on the Helicarrier, where he knew Banner's instability and had a brainwashed Clint Barton, fire an explosive arrow at a turbine where Banner was nearby so the pain and anger would trigger his transformation and destroy the Helicarrier. However, after the Duel of Harlem, Banner had more control of his transformations after mastering meditation and emotional discipline but still sought to avoid them out of fear of losing control. He was able to quickly and willingly transform into Hulk in an instant during the Battle of New York, which demonstrated a Hulk with a temper that's aimed at the enemies and is able to battle efficiently side by side with his teammates. During the Ultron Offensive, which saw him attacking innocents after being manipulated by Scarlet Witch, Banner thought Hulk was a plague and sought to avoid more transformations, due to being haunted by regret and grief. But when he was stranded on Sakaar, he was away from anything that would calm him down and awaken Banner as he was constantly in battle as a gladiator, so he spent 2 years as Hulk, until Thor brought Banner back. After being defeated by Thanos, Hulk refused to come out, leaving Banner unable to access Hulk's powers. But after the Ambush on Thanos, Banner researched Gamma Radiation and found a way to k