- That's my secret, Cap... I'm always angry.
- -- Bruce Banner
- -- Bruce Banner
Born as Robert Bruce Banner, a research scientist, biochemist and genius in nuclear physics working at Culver University, Dr. Banner was recruited by a US Army top-secret bio-tech force enhancement research program to be part of their private and undisclosed attempt to recreate the WWII super-soldier formula that originated Captain America, as a preventive measure for the next generation of warfare. Unbeknownst to Banner, who was working on the subdivision responsible to strengthen human cellular resistance to radiation, a serum developed with his former Harvard co-ed/girlfriend and cellular biologist Dr. Elizabeth "Betty" Ross would be enhanced by military scientists, transforming the soldier protection original formula into a biological weapon.
Banner was sure that gamma radiation would activate and stabilize the serum in the human system as well as the vita-rays formula from Dr. Abraham Erskine. So sure in fact and under the threat of funding cuts, he had himself injected with it and exposed to a high amount of the gamma radiation. The combination of the two caused Banner to transform a grossly muscled giant with incredible strength, but vastly reduced intellect. The highly charged radioactive particles incident caused an explosion at the campus and the raging monster broke loose. In his escape, he fought against the army and accidentally severely injured Betty. His future transformations into the Hulk would be triggered by the release of adrenaline when he became intensely excited or angered.
While Betty was hospitalized, Banner learned the truth about what he had been working on. He had believed that the serum was intended for enhancing radiation resistance, but in reality the Army were more interested in creating a weapon. The scientist decided to escape and went into hiding while the army declares a confidential manhunt. One of the leading names involved in the program, US Army lieutenant general and Betty's father Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross would became from this point his official nemesis.
Travelling through the Dakotas and towards Idaho a few months after the first transformation, where an encounter with some state troopers led to violence, Banner was tracked by S.H.I.E.L.D following the information provided by General Ross in a northern United States bar, under the influence of alcohol. Inside the place, he had a brief talk with a disguised Nick Fury and was forced into a fight with a undercover spy, transforming and threatening to hurt the agents as they expected. However, he was persuaded to give up the rampage and left the spot thereafter.
Banner wandered the world avoiding population centers. In an apparently aimless journey, he came to be spotted via satellite recon photo in Canada and the Hulk sighted by locals along the North America who mistake him for a “green Sasquatch". An investigation into his former hideout, suggested that he was eventually heading to South America. However, he changed his turn to Eastern Nunavut, near Arctic Circle, going to commit suicide in a mountain where his body would not be found. The attempt failed when Banner turns into his monstrous persona, breaking the ice and falling into the icy ocean below.
Finding the cure
After five years on the run, and still a fugitive, Banner had found work as a handyman in a soft drink bottling factory in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil while attempting to find a cure for his condition, looking for plants which inhibited radiation (Amazonia Tracheophytes) with the assistance of an Internet friend known to him as "Mr. Blue". With the aid of martial arts training and meditative breathing techniques, he had managed to go five months without a transformation. After some research, "Mr. Blue" requested that Banner send him a blood sample, which through some tests revealed a potential cure, however Blue needed the data of the accident that had changed him first. Unfortunately in workday, a small cut to his finger saw a drop of his blood fall into a bottle in the factory, and this found its way into the hands of a consumer in the United States. The resulting effects on the man were reported to General Ross, who had been hunting Banner ever since the original accident.
General Ross tracked the origin of the bottle and arrived at the factory with a team led by British Royal Marines-trained officer Emil Blonsky to bring Banner in. Following a ferocious battle in the soft drink bottling plant where he transformed into the Hulk, Banner escaped Blonsky to Guatemala, before making his way back to the United States. Returning to Culver University, he found that Betty was still working there in the Cellular Biology Department, and was dating psychiatrist Dr. Leonard Samson. He also found his old friend Stanley, a pizzeria owner, who gave him a job as a delivery boy. Banner used this job to sneak past a university security guard to continue his research, only to discover that the government got rid of all the details of the incident. One night Betty visited the pizzeria, discovered Bruce, and the pair reunited shortly thereafter.
General Ross received a tip-off as to Banner's whereabouts and staged a military attempt to capture the scientist on the Culver University campus. Emil Blonsky was again thrown into the fray, this time with biological enhancements of his own. Even with Blonsky in charge and Stark Industries experimental high-tech weapons, the operation turned into a catastrophic failure however, when Banner witnessed Betty being knocked down, and the rage building up within him once again unleashed the raging green beast. He engaged and routed the assembled military, also grievously injuring Blonsky, who was left in a critical state with bones crushed throughout his body. Grabbing Betty, the Hulk then fled the scene to Smokey Mountain National Forest.
Toward New York City, Bruce and Betty were making small stops along the way and both were located by Major Kathleen Sparr. They went to Grayburn College at Empire State University, Manhattan, to meet Banner's "Mr. Blue" Internet friend, Dr. Samuel Sterns, a cellular biologist. Accompanying Sterns to his lab, Banner and Betty learned that Sterns had developed a possible antidote that might reverse Banner's transformations after their occurrence, but was unlikely to prevent future ones, while an overdose could possibly kill him. Despite the risks, Banner agreed to test Sterns' antidote, and submitted to a test. The experiment worked, and exhilarated by the success, Sterns revealed that he had synthesized Banner's blood sample into a large supply with the intention of using it to enhance the human condition to the next evolutionary level. Appalled by what his colleague had done and fearful of the Hulk's power falling into the wrong hands, Banner attempted to convince Sterns to destroy the blood, but was then shot with a tranquilizer dart by one of General Ross's snipers.
Test of strength
As both Banner and Betty were taken into custody, Blonsky, whose super-soldier treatment had healed him, yet desperate for more power, confronted Sterns and pressured him into gaining gamma infusion to match that of Banner's. The resulting transformation mutated Blonsky into a hideous titan that then began rampaging through the city in a bid to draw out The Hulk. Banner, realizing that he was the only one who could stop the Abomination, convinced General Ross to release him. He jumped out of a helicopter, counting on the fall triggering a transformation and Hulk focusing on Blonsky as an obvious threat as opposed to him unleashing more random destruction.
Banner's plan succeeded, and after a violent, pitched battle in Harlem, he defeated the Abomination by strangling him with a high-tensile chain. Poised to deliver a final blow, he was stopped in the act of killing by the intervention of Betty, leaving the scene with the army in hot pursuit. After turned back, Banner fled north to Canada. Thirty-one days on the run, he had found himself a secluded place to rest in Bella Coola, British Columbia, and there he began practicing a new technique of initiating his transformation in a controlled manner.
At some point, Banner crossed the border from Pakistan into India. An incident involving some local bandits provoked him into transforming into the Hulk, protecting local residents from the attempted terrorist attack.
The Other Guy
A year and a half after the last incident, Banner found a new direction for himself acting as an unregistered physician helping people in the poverty-stricken slums of Calcutta. No longer obsessed with finding a cure for himself, he had gained peace of mind in helping others. One night while working, he found himself lured into a meeting with Natasha Romanoff, an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., who proposed a job for him helping S.H.I.E.L.D. with a dire emergency. Initially dubious, and suspecting that S.H.I.E.L.D. was really after his green alter ego, Banner resisted, but eventually he relented and agreed to Romanoff's request.
His assignment on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier was to track the location of the Tesseract, an object of limitless power that had fallen into the possession of Loki. He worked together on this project with Tony Stark, the industrialist also known as "Iron Man", and was introduced to others, who like himself, were also more than human. Almost immediately, the clash of personalities within this assembled group provided a constant source of tension for all and Banner was subjected to frequent reminders of his need to contain the beast within. When others of the group apprehended Loki, and the Asgardian was imprisoned on the carrier, the antagonism only got worse.
The Hulk finally boiled to the surface again when Clinton Barton, a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent under Loki's control, led an attack against the carrier. Explosions from the attack caused debris from the ceiling to rain down on Banner, injuring him and triggering the change. He first rampaged around the vessel hunting Agent Romanoff, before turning his attention on Thor on the hangar deck. Finally, a S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot in a fighter jet outside got his attention by shooting him through a window, causing the Hulk to leap out and fall.
Banner awoke in the blasted remnants of a warehouse and was immediately greeted by a lone security guard who offered him clothing. He was also relieved to learn that nobody else had been around when he crashed down.
Following disturbances into New York City, where Loki had opened a dimensional rift, Banner located his superhuman acquaintances assembling to counter the threat. Although they were wary of another transformation, they insisted that he would be a help. Banner obliged, triggering a controlled transformation, then together with the others, he turned his attention on the Chitauri invasion force pouring through the portal. The Hulk did indeed prove to be an asset to the group. Not only did he single-handedly kill the first of the Chitauri leviathans that came through the portal, he was an unstoppable force in dealing with individual alien warriors, and instrumental in capturing Loki.
Long after the battle was over, Banner, now back to normal again, gathered with the others to see off Thor and the captive Loki. The threat had been neutralized and for a time the world would have little need of its protectors. Banner, and the remaining heroes said their goodbyes and parted company.
Not That Kind of Doctor
A few months after the Battle of New York, Tony Stark, in the wake of a confrontation against Aldrich Killian, came to Dr. Banner to talk about his traumas and life experiences. Banner fell asleep near the beginning of the session, telling Stark that he is "not that kind of doctor".
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. On some occasions, he lost the hope of getting rid of his other persona and showed suicidal tendencies, attempting to kill himself once. But over time, he supplemented his scientific pursuit by learning meditation and breathing techniques, gaining a greater control over the transformations.
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.
When he transforms, his personality regresses to a more child-like state and he has little recollection of events after he returns to his normal human form. In his earliest transformations, Banner appeared as a savage with no real 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. Hulk gradually attained a better reasoning capacity over time, becoming able to show affection and demonstrating a capacity to work collaboratively with others, showing some traces of his wildest past.
However, Banner has been shown that out of all the Avengers, he is the one they respect but fear the most. Even Black Widow, who is calm in almost every situation, fears him as shown twice when she pulled a gun on him in the hut when he appeared to lose his cool, but, in truth, he wanted to see if she was truly alone or not, and on the Helicarrier, when they were blasted out of the lab and he transformed and attacked her, showing terror in her face, very rarely does that happen with her.
Powers and Abilities
As Bruce Banner, he has no apparent powers. But when his heart beat increase to high levels, he transforms into the monstrous Hulk, a green-skinned giant. The Hulk's physical body attributes him great strength and power, which is fueled by his rage meaning the madder he gets the stronger he gets.
- Metamorphosis: Banner transforms into the Hulk as a result of the chemical catalyst of adrenaline and gamma radiation. When Bruce gets angry or excited enough to increase his heart rate to high levels, he transforms into a powerfully muscled and green version of himself, generally referred to as the Hulk, suggesting that the true trigger mechanism into the Hulk is far more psychological than physical. According to Dr. Sterns, the "gamma pulse" comes from the amygdala, and the enhanced cells absorb the gamma energy temporarily, and then it abates when Banner gets stressed, resulting in a chemical reaction that produces a myostatin primer. When the Hulk transforms back into Banner, the excess muscle mass and energy is dissipated. The total time of transformation falls anywhere between seconds, depending on the initial adrenaline surge, which will be determined by the original stimulus. Initially, he was unable to control the transformations, but through over five years of training and practice has managed to attain some level of control.
- Superhuman Strength: In the form of the Hulk, Bruce possesses immense physical strength, unparalleled in this universe. As the Hulk, he was able to rip steel as it was made of paper and was able to throw heavy objects with tremendous force. In times of stress the Hulk's adrenaline level escalates, causing a corresponding escalation in strength. This is not accompanied by an additional gain in mass, but does appear to promote increased levels of energy efficiency, overpowering his powerful enemies. In some demonstrations, he proved able to lift at least a hundred tons. By clapping his hands he can make a shock wave that snuffed out a large fire which prevented a massive and gigantic explosion of the gas tank of a helicopter. By raising his fists and arms and striking the ground, he can create tremors of incredible force that can stun even the Abomination. He was also able to go toe to toe against Thor with and without Mjolnir, demonstrating hitting him hard enough to make the thunder god's nose bleed. Moreover, he could easily and individually defeat the God of Mischief Loki by merely crushing him to the ground respectively. A few minutes before this last demonstration, he took down and killed a leviathan with one single massive punch.
- Superhuman Leaping Ability: The Hulk's great strength also extends into the highly developed muscles of his legs which allows him to leap great distances. The Hulk also shows incredible precision with his ability to aim his jumps and landings. He could reach the top of Stark Tower from ground level, in a single leap.
- Superhuman Durability: The Hulk is able to withstand substantial punishment; even high caliber bullets bounce off of him and the fire causes much less damage compared to a human. His bone, skin and muscles are overly dense, hard and tough and he possesses a high degree of resistance to injury, pain, and disease. Only beings with tremendous force or extremely powerful weapons can harm him. The Hulk also withstood multiple energy blasts from Chitauri weaponry, a cataclysmic hit from Mjolnir that only resulted in a daze, maximized cold without freezing in the Arctic Circle, and great falls from heights of over six miles.
- Superhuman Healing Factor: Despite his high resistance to physical harm, it is possible to cause the Hulk injury. However, The Hulk is capable of regenerating damaged or destroyed areas of his body with far greater speed and efficiency than an ordinary human. 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 through his mouth but the "other guy" spit it out.
- Immunity to Diseases and Viruses: Hulk has a enhanced immune system ensuring his immunity to some unrevealed Earth-based diseases and viruses; Dr. Samuel Sterns described that a synthesized Banner's blood sample would make humans impervious to disease.
- Superhuman Speed: Regardless of his size, Hulk's superhumanly strong legs allow him to run at speeds that are far beyond the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete. Nevertheless, this does not grant him any enhanced reflexes or agility as smaller foes exploit his size and use it to their advantage.
- Superhuman Endurance: Substantially greater endurance than a normal human. His body counteracts fatigue poisons that build up in his muscles during physical activity, allowing the Hulk to run and fight for a long time. While fighting others in an enraged state, he can maintain peak output for hours on end and still continue to become even stronger as his anger escalates.
Bruce Banner is a gifted scientist with particular expertise in nuclear physics and biochemistry, famous for being one of the foremost geniuses of his generation. He is a highly rated expert in gamma radiation and according to Tony Stark, his work on anti-electron collisions is unparalleled. Agent Coulson also compared him to Stephen Hawking. He learned Aikido and meditative breathing basic techniques, while in Brazil, with a martial arts expert. Banner also appears to have a basic knowledge of Portuguese, Spanish and Hindi.
As the Hulk, while having no formal training, he is a formidable hand to hand combatant simply due to his great physical attributes. He typically uses street fighting and brawling techniques that make full use of his strength. He also frequently employs pieces of his immediate environment to fight with, often to use as thrown objects to strike distant targets, and sometimes for melee attacks or protection.
As the Hulk, Banner is endowed with extreme superhuman strength, the exact limit of which is unknown. In his regular human form he has the strength of a ordinary average height man in his forties with a basic training in martial arts.
As the Hulk, Banner is hindered by a vastly reduced intelligence. His scientific mind regresses to a very primitive state, barely capable of deductive reasoning. Coupled with his extreme rage and physical power, this can cause havoc as he vents his rage on the world around him. As the rage subsides however, his emotional attachments to particular people, or Banner's concern for innocents, have allowed him to regain some level of control and turn his prodigious strength towards productive outlets.
Equipment: After the Culver University's incident, Banner used several equipment while he was a fugitive and most of these were confiscated by the army. To prevent clues, Banner avoided the use of credit card, identity documents and phones. The materials he used included:
- Wrist-mounted cardiovascular monitor: A gauge used to monitor Banner's heart rate, helping to prevent a transformation into The Hulk. The first monitor was destroyed after Banner's transformation in Brazil; the last one was given by Betty and taken by the army.
- Laptop computer: Cheap secondhand laptop with a encrypted instant messaging software installed, used to chat with "Mr. Blue" a.k.a. Dr. Samuel Sterns. Bruce always carried it in a backpack, so he could maintain a communication where he was.
- Basic laboratory equipment: Equipment of biochemistry used to find a cure for his transformation. Including a centrifuge, bowl, microscope, sep funnel, pumps, eudiometer, stirring rods, beaker, tubes and flasks. Also included syringes, where Bruce was able to examine the effects of the cure in his blood sample.
Transportation: None known.
Weapons: None known.
- No special notes.
- No trivia.
- Appearances of Robert Bruce Banner (Earth-1010)
- Character Gallery: Robert Bruce Banner (Earth-1010)
- Quotations by Robert Bruce Banner (Earth-1010)
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