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Incredible Hulk

Caught in the heart of a nuclear explosion, victim of gamma radiation gone wild, Dr. Robert Bruce Banner now finds himself transformed during times of stress into the dark personification of his repressed rage and fury -- the most powerful man-like creature ever to walk the face of the Earth!

Real name: Robert Bruce Banner
Occupation: Unemployed, former nuclear physicist
Group affiliation: Defenders; formerly the Avengers and the Pantheon
Base of operations: Mobile
First appearance: Incredible Hulk (Vol. 1) #1 (1962)

Height: 5'9" as Banner, 6'6" as gray Hulk, 7' as green Hulk
Weight: 128 lbs. as Banner, 900 lbs. as gray Hulk, 1,040 lbs. as green Hulk
Eye color: Brown as Banner, gray as gray Hulk, green as green Hulk
Hair color: Brown as Banner, black as gray Hulk, green as green Hulk

Powers: The Hulk possesses superhuman strength that increases as he becomes enraged, can leap vast distances and has demonstrated a powerful healing factor.

Weapons: The Hulk is a living, breathing engine of destruction.

History: Supervising the trial of an experimental gamma bomb for the U.S. Defense Department at a nuclear research facility in New Mexico, Dr. Robert Bruce Banner selflessly rushed to the rescue of an ignorant teenager who had wandered onto the testing field as the countdown ticked inexorably toward zero. After shoving young Rick Jones to safety in a nearby ditch, Banner was struck full-force by the bomb blast. He survived, but was irradiated by the deadly gamma energy.

At first, Banner would transform into the brutish gray Hulk only at sunset, and revert to human form at dawn. Eventually, his changes into the childlike green Hulk came to be triggered by the release of adrenaline when he was intensely excited, no matter what time of day. The green Hulk possesses little of Banner's memory and intelligence, and is easily enraged -- making him a menace to society.

Since Banner's initial transformation into the Hulk, military forces commanded by the implacable General Thadeus "Thunderbolt" Ross -- father of his late wife, Betty -- have hunted him continually.

For a short time, Banner successfully treated his condition with radiation and was able to maintain enough of his own personality when he became the Hulk to control himself in that form. Subsequently, he helped found the Avengers and even received a presidential pardon. Ultimately, however, the Hulk reverted into a brutish menace.

Gamma-powered psychiatrist Leonard "Doc" Samson captured the Hulk, and successfully separated Banner and his alter ego. Without Banner's psyche to restrain him, the Hulk became a greater danger than ever before. Realizing there was only one way to reign in the Hulk, Banner agreed to merge with the monster. But the stress of the re-integration fractured Banner's subconscious, creating the street-smart gray Hulk. Through hypnosis, Samson created the green but intelligent "Professor" Hulk -- believed at the time to be the integration of Banner's separate personalities, but since revealed as a new persona the psychiatrist crafted to help keep the monster's destructive powers in check.

Due to the deteriorating effects of ALS and the chaos ravaging his mindscape, Banner cut a deal with the three dominant Hulk personalities - -the green Hulk, the gray "Joe Fixit" Hulk and the "Professor" Hulk -- essentially to time-share their existence, in return for stabilizing his fractured psyche and providing him with release from his disease.

Though never a team player, the Hulk joined forces with the Dr. Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts, and Namor, the Atlantean Sub-Mariner, to defeat the techno-wizard Yandroth and his ultimate computer, the Omegatron. Thereafter, this loose-knit band of Defenders would unite periodically to oppose threats to humanity. The original Defenders reluctantly re-formed when Yandroth surfaced again to menace the world. Though the heroes defeated his plan, Yandroth used his sorcery to levy a deathbed curse upon their heads, binding them to come together in times of crisis.

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