The Marvel Misfit: The Incredible Hulk

Marvels ability to pick up on the social concerns was the start of another popular culture. 1960’s saw a fear of radiation. This influenced the Character called ‘The Incredible Hulk’. He was created by the same two men that created the famous Spiderman. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had amazing talent of creating characters that people would relate to of sympaphise with. They had the abilities to develop them so deep and complex, their personalities were strong and complicated. The Hulks first appearance was in ‘The Incredible Hulk #1’ May 1st 1962. 10incredible-hulk

He first appeared as a grey monster. But after a few issues the colour of the hulk changed. He was given a green colour, influenced by the radiation exposure 11. The hulk is a result of a freak accident just like Spiderman. incredible-hulk2

Bruce Banner is an extremely intelligent man that works for the military science department. The story is set around Bruce developing a ‘gamma bomb’ for the military when in the middle of a test it goes terribly wrong. Bruce was caught in the middle of it and was exposed to large amounts of radiation. Originally Bruce would turn into The Hulk at moonlight, but Stan Lee decided to change the transformation trigger. From then on the Hulk was triggered by anger and emotions. When he turned in to this huge green thing, he was a destructive, raging monstrosity. He is a force guided by banners feelings. He’s a pathetic figure, his ugliness and limited interlock makes the genre feel sorry for the Hulk. He has immense power and uncontrollable strength made him one of marvels strongest characters yet. Strong ideas for these characters had come from strong influences such as Mary Shelley’s monster from ‘Frankenstein’ and another was Robert Louis Stevenson’s character shifting Dr. Jekyll. His constant transformation into Mr Hyde is an exact example of Bruce banner and the hulk.

Bruce banner was a first protagonist to dislike who he had become. He is the core character, he hated his constant, random transformation into a monster, as the monster represented his inner self. Banner hates the fact that he is an extremely intelligent man which he works as a nuclear physicist, and when he turns into the hulk he is struck with the frustration of being less intelligence. He is unable to neither think clearly nor control what he is doing, this results in more frustration which means that he’s fuelling the hulks anger. This could be derived from the influence of certain disorders such as skitsophrnia and multiple personality disorder. Both of these include symptoms similar to Bruce and the Hulk, a split personality. Banner considers the Hulk as a curse, an infection that he inflicted during his accident.


The hulk sometimes seems to be the villain, he is extremely destructive and his rages are hard to control. He has been hero and villain, his strength growing with his anger. The more angry and frustrated banner becomes the stronger the hulk becomes. He is an unlikely superhero, well is he hero? He is a hero by accident, like Spiderman he was a hero by fate. The hulk cares nothing for mankind but inevitably will fight in defence against world threats. People see him as a monster, even when he does something good. Only when banner’s conscience is working against the hulks aggression, can he prevent the hulk being the villain people see him as. Like Spiderman the hulk wants to be left alone but the arms forces will never leave him be.

The law enforcements see the hulk as a creature of the cold war. He is eliminated from society and rejected as he is evidence of a scientific progress gone horribly wrong. His very existence is a chemical reaction gone wrong, and this points to the failure of modern civilisation, this leaves the hulk into liberal to the society’s law enforcements, they need to control him to understand him. They are more frustrated at him as they cannot understand his ability to change. They want him to see how and why he is how he is. Spiderman has also helped the hulk escape the military12. He knows how the hulk feels about wanting to be left alone, and out of the public eye. This shows how the marvel characters accept one another and are willing to help one another. This shows companionship and trust within their own forces.

They understand one another, this is one of the key factors that annoys and turns the law enforcements against them.

– Post Written By Sarah-Leigh Wills 2014 – Taken from my Dissertation: ‘Is the ‘Marvel Misfit’ a better role model than the traditional superhero?’ Written February 2007.

Image References

10+11 ‘Incredible Hulk’ cover, image and Green Hulk, images both sourced from Five Fabulous decades of the world’s greatest comics, MARVEL. By Les Daniels. Published by Marvel Entertainment group, Inc 1991. Page 90+91.

12 ‘the Hulk with Spiderman’ image sourced from Spiderman the ultimate guide. By Tom Delfalco. Published by Dorling Kindersley LTD 2001. Page 150.

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