David Bruce Banner is a renowned scientist and expert on gamma radiation. After a freak lab accident transformed into the rampaging green-skinned Hulk, Bruce became a wanted fugitive from the U.S. government. After being captured by Iron Man and imprisoned on The Raft, Bruce eventually assisted in the defeat of the super-villain Graviton and became a founding member of the Avengers, mainly serving as the team's resident scientist and transforming into his green-skinned alter ego only as a last resort in extreme situations.
In the year 1973, David Bruce Banner was born in New Mexico to parents Brian Banner and Rebecca Banner. As an adolescent, he eventually decided to go by his middle name. Brian and Rebecca's relationship had hit a rough point, and Brian hoped having a child would fix that. Brian and Rebecca fought frequently during Bruce's childhood, though Bruce always had a friend in his cousin Jennifer. At some point after Bruce turned seven, Rebecca became depressed, and eventually commited suicide. After his wife's death, Brian became an alcoholic, and repeatedly abused Bruce, blaming him for Rebecca's suicide. Bruce managed to endure his father's abuse by bottling up his emotions, until he went away for college, saying goodbye to Jennifer.
Bruce Banner eventually graduated from college, and became a scientific researcher for the Sterns Research Corporation. There, he met Betty Ross, another scientist, and the two fell in love. Because of their groundbreaking research on gamma radiation, Bruce and Betty were chosen by their boss, Samuel Sterns, to work on a government project which used experimental gamma waves to manipulate human brainwaves.
After successfully creating a prototype gamma device for Sterns, Bruce and Betty, along with other government scientists, set out to create a larger version of the machine. However, an error caused the machine to overload with gamma energy. All the scientists were evacuated from the lab, with the exception of Bruce, who stayed behind to let everyone else out. The machine exploded, bombarding Bruce with gamma radiation and transforming him into a large green monster, known as The Hulk. The Hulk went on a rampage through the government facility, before escaping and eventually turning back into Bruce Banner. Later, Bruce was found by Betty Ross and Sterns Research intern Rick Jones, who tried to convince him to go with them, but they were then attacked by government-hired hitman Emil Blonsky. Bruce again transformed into Hulk, severely injuring Blonsky. Betty was able to calm the Hulk down, causing him to turn into Bruce. Betty and Rick then took Bruce to see genius scientist Leonard Samson, to find a way to cure Bruce of his transformations. Leonard determined there was no way to stop the transformations, just as Emil Blonsky, mutated by Sterns into an even more monstrous gamma beast, attacked. Bruce, turning into Hulk once again, defeated Blonsky. After being told that Sterns had mutated Blonsky and sent him after Bruce, Bruce, Betty, and Rick went to the government base in Nevada, where Bruce confronted Sterns. Sterns tried using the prototype device to control the Hulk, but Hulk overpowered him and smashed him into the machine, causing another gamma explosion, which seemingly killed Sterns. Bruce, Betty, and Rick escaped, but only after Betty's father, General Ross, let them go, having a sudden change of heart. Bruce, Betty, Rick, and Leonard Samson, now all wanted fugitives, ended up going to Brooklyn to stay with Bruce's cousin, Jennifer, and lay low.
Powers and Abilities
- Transformation - After being bombarded with gamma radiation, Bruce Banner transforms into the Hulk when angered.
- Super Strength - As the Hulk, Banner has superhuman strength, which increases the angrier he gets.
- Invulnerability - As the Hulk, Banner is nearly invincible, able to withstand nearly all attacks. The angrier he gets, the stronger his skin gets, making him even more durable.
- Healing Factor - As the Hulk, Banner is able to heal from wounds quicker than any average human.
- Radiation Immunity - Due to his previous exposure to experimental gamma rays, Banner is able to survive most forms of radiation.