While The Incredible Hulk was a major part of Avengers Endgame, he has been around for much longer than the movie franchise has. The character first appeared 1962 in The Incredible Hulk #1, but he has grown to be one of the most recognizable superheroes in the world thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Over the years, he has gained and lost different powers depending on the medium. There have been Hulk cartoons, live action shows, and a couple movies featuring the character. Everyone is familiar with Bruce Banner’s large, green alter-ego, but only true Marvel Comics fans are aware of the wide array of powers he truly has. The Hulk people see in the Marvel films barely scratches the surface of the complicated character.
Every hero has his weaknesses. The Hulk’s had his fair share of beatings and close calls over the years. He’s been to different planets, had different family members, and gained and lost intelligence among other things. His journey has given him many different abilities and shortcomings. The green goliath does more than simply smash. He’s one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe, after all.
25 Power: Can See Ghosts
While everyone knows Hulk is a giant, green, rage monster, there are a few powers people don’t expect him to possess. The power to see ghosts is one of them.
It’s a power he has certainly never shown in the MCU, but it exists in the comics. Bruce accidentally takes the life of his father. He fears his dad will come back and haunt him, so he grants Hulk the power to see spirits through technology, because apparently that’s a thing you can reasonably do in the comic-book world.
24 Weakness: Adamantium
The Hulk can’t be hurt by very many materials on Earth. He’s plummeted from the sky and crashed to Earth without a scratch and has had buildings collapse on him and emerged unscathed.
Adamantium, also known as the strongest metal in the world, has been known to wound him. Wolverine has plenty of the metal in his body and has used it against Hulk before. It’s tough enough to cut through the green hero’s flesh.
While Hulk does heal incredibly fast, theoretically, if Wolverine were to move fast enough he could come out victorious when up against him in a fight. It’s unlikely Hulk would take a slash to the chest and not react with rage, though.
23 Power: Psychic Resistance
The Marvel Universe is littered with people with psychic abilities. A lot of people have their minds messed with by heroes and villains alike, but Hulk isn’t one of them.
Many people have tried to gain control over the giant’s mind, including Thanos and Professor X. Hulk would be a great person to manipulate and have on your side. However, those attempts usually don’t end very well for the people with psychic powers.
He is able to resist psychic attacks, and that power becomes stronger as the Hulk gets angrier.
22 Weakness: Magic
The Hulk has many strengths. He’s strong, fast, and durable, but none of those abilities help when going up against someone with magical powers.
While he can resist psychic attacks, he can’t resist all types of magic. In the comics, Doctor Strange banishes Hulk to another dimension in order to stop him from destroying New York during a rampage. He is also susceptible to Zeus’ lightning and Loki is able to turn him back into Bruce Banner with the snap of his fingers.
21 Power: Fire Resistance
It’s obvious that not much can hurt The Hulk. He can be crushed by buildings and fall from space and survive, and this durability also includes fire resistance.
Flames don’t even burn his skin. The Human Torch himself attacked Hulk with his fire and it didn’t leave a single scratch. Johnny Storm once used his Nova Flame, which can go up to one million degrees Fahrenheit and can destroy an area of about 900 feet in diameter, on Hulk.
After failing to stop the Hulk, he blasted him with his full power, but it didn’t even phase the giant. Johnny, however, was left lying unconscious, drained of all his strength. Fire simply can’t harm The Hulk.
20 Power: Life-Giving Blood
As much as The Hulk loves to smash, he doesn’t just destroy things. He also creates them, even if he doesn’t always do it on purpose.
His blood actually has life-giving powers. He has created both worlds and people from it. When his cousin, Jennifer Walters, was hurt, he gave her some of his blood and accidentally turned her into the She-Hulk.
His blood also once created an entire planet known as Planet Hulk. His blood spilled onto a spot on the ground of a planet, called Sakaar, without any plant-life. Surprisingly, a flower sprouted from that exact spot it landed. His blood replenished the once-dormant world and was regarded as the planet’s savior.
19 Weakness: Puppies
Everyone loves dogs, and it turns out that Hulk is no exception to that rule. Puppies are actually one of his biggest weaknesses.
In the comics, S.H.I.E.L.D. uses a box of puppies to stop the giant in his tracks. Hulk is powered by rage, so it makes sense that the purest, cutest beings in the universe would be enough to calm him down.
18 Power: Immortality
In the MCU, Bruce Banner makes a heartbreaking announcement that he has tried to take his own life many times but none of his methods have worked. People have wondered for years if there’s a way to end The Hulk, but he has proven to be immortal.
The Hulk has lost his life, but he comes back afterward. According to Marvel, he’s been immortal since he was first created, but they just now confirmed it.
17 Power: Regeneration
Part of Hulk’s immortality is his ability to heal himself. He has the power of regeneration.
Hulk seems invincible in battle because his body will heal whatever injuries he receives, much like Wolverine. He can grow new tissue at an incredible rate and has even regrown entire limbs after he has lost them. He once regenerated the majority of his body in entirety in just eighteen minutes.
16 Weakness: Food
While most people are familiar with Bruce Banner’s Hulk, he actually passed away in the comics. After he perished, Amadeus Cho emerged as the new Hulk after absorbing large amounts of gamma radiation.
Unlike Banner, Cho is able to control the Hulk while retaining his intelligence. This mental exertion requires him to eat a ton of food in order to balance out the calories his mind uses. Using his brain on Hulk’s level took tons of energy out of him and he needed to refuel afterward.
Banner didn’t run into this issue because he didn’t use his mind as much while he was hulked out. This makes Hulk vulnerable and weaker on an empty stomach.
15 Power: Breathing Underwater
People have debated about whether or not Hulk needs to breathe in oxygen for years. While the answer isn’t always clear, he’s been able to breathe underwater in the past. While he couldn’t always accomplish this skill, he was able to breathe underwater after adapting to new traumas.
He has nearly drowned enough times that his body adapted to being underwater and mutated so he could breathe it in instead. In Hulk #77, his lungs begin to fill with pressure while underwater so they suddenly mutated to the point he could properly breathe.
Apparently, he can survive without oxygen only when placed into a new situation where he has to go without it. His body is highly adaptable to different environments.
14 Weakness: The Silver Surfer
The Hulk wins against most of his opponents. He’s a hard person to beat in a fight. The Silver Surfer, however, could match the hero in a physical fight.
While The Hulk grew angry enough to overpower the Silver Surfer in Planet Hulk, he can also match his strength depending on the fight or situation. He even knocked the green giant out at one point in Incredible Hulk #250 after sucking out his gamma radiation using energy manipulation.
While he can’t always defeat the Hulk, he’s one of the only people who given the optimal circumstances could beat him in a fight. Hulk is powerful, but Silver Surfer certainly has an advantage with some of his abilities.
13 Power: Use Thor's Hammer
Picking up Thor’s hammer is a big deal. The Mjolnir can supposedly only be lifted and wielded by someone who is deemed worthy. Hulk has been able to lift it in the past.
Of course, there are always loopholes when it comes to Mjolnir. Just because he lifted it doesn’t mean he was worthy. He once lifted it after Odin had lifted the enchantment. In another comic, he merely dreams about lifting the hammer, but he’s still shown wielding it.
Red Hulk was able to lift the hammer while Thor was still holding it in order to launch them into space, and Hulk has been able to attack Thor with his own hammer as long as the God of Thunder still had a hold on it.
12 Weakness: Betty Ross
Most superheroes have a special love interest who they have a soft spot for, and Hulk is no different. Betty Ross has been described as Bruce Banner’s true love, despite her lack of appearances in the MCU.
Typically, a superhero’s love interest is also his or her weakness. Hulk’s love for Betty has put him in harm’s way many times. She’s been taken by villains in the hopes Hulk would come after her and their wedding day was even crashed by one of his enemies, the Leader.
11 Power: Superbreath
Superman isn’t the only hero with an impressive lung capacity. Super-breath may not sound like the most glamorous power in the world, but it certainly comes in handy. The Hulk has used it many times.
It’s no surprise that someone as large and strong as Hulk also has extremely powerful lungs. Not only can he breathe underwater, but his breath has leveled entire forests before. It’s definitely beneficial against his foes. He can produce winds that are a similar force to a tornado and can hold his breath for an extremely long period of time.
10 Power: Thunderclap
Thor may be the God of Thunder, but he isn’t the only one who can use a thunderous power. Hulk has a move called the Thunderclap that can devastate everyone around him.
He hasn’t really used it in the MCU, but it’s one of his most original and powerful moves in the comics. Hulk’s signature move was clapping both his hands together, which would create a wave so powerful that even enemies 100 yards away would fall to the ground.
9 Weakness: Multiple Personalities
While fans of the MCU are aware that both Hulk and Bruce Banner’s personalities exist in the same body, a lot aren’t aware that he has a couple more personalities floating around in there.
While the most well-known version is the green rage monsters in the movies, also known as Savage Hulk, there are a few others in the comics. Gray Hulk, or Joe Fixit, as some call him, was manipulative, selfish, and tricky. He represented Bruce’s darker thoughts.
There is also Merged Hulk, also known as The Professor. This version possesses Banner’s intelligence, Savage Hulk’s strength, and Gray Hulk’s mischievous side. There are a few others, but these are the most notable personalities he’s had.
8 Power: Immune To Diseases
Part of Hulk’s immortality can be attributed to another of his abilities. He’s immune to most diseases.
His body self-heals and recovers quickly from any injuries, so it’s no surprise that includes an inability to get sick. While disease is a broad term, he’s definitely immune to diseases microbes as well as others.
One issue of The Incredible Hulk pointed out that he’s immune to HIV. When his friend who is HIV positive, is injured and bleeding badly, Bruce changes into the Hulk in order to take him to the hospital because he wouldn’t have to worry about contracting the disease.
7 Power: Banner's Intelligence
Typically, Bruce Banner and The Hulk are two completely different people. While they share the same genetic makeup, Banner is the brains while Hulk is the brawn, and not at the same time. In some versions, however, Hulk and Banner are more equally combined, giving Hulk Banner’s intelligence.
Fans finally saw this combination from the comics come to life in the MCU in Avengers: Endgame. Rather than smashing and grunting, Hulk dressed in a button up, wore glasses, and spoke like Banner. He’s even known as “Hipster Hulk” among his fans.
The new MCU Hulk resembles Professor Hulk from the comics. This gives him both strength and brains in one package. This power is quite beneficial to the Avengers.
6 Weakness: Thor
The Hulk is a formidable opponent. He wins a lot of fights against heroes and villains alike. There are some, however, who can overpower the green giant.
Stan Lee himself said Thor would be able to beat Hulk in a fight. While they typically fight on the same side, there have been times when they’ve been on opposing ones, like in the arena in Thor: Ragnarok.
According to Lee, no matter how strong Hulk is, he’s still technically a mortal. Thor is a god. Therefore he would overpower him. It really is that simple. While fans may debate about who would win depending on the circumstance, it’s clear that Thor is one of the rage monster’s tougher opponents.
5 Power: Change Colors
Comic book fans are well aware that along with his multiple personalities, Hulk has been known to change colors physically. While he hasn’t changed in the MCU, from his traditional green to bright red, he’s switched quite a few times in comics.
Different colors of the Hulk represent different personalities and abilities. While Gray Hulk is sneaky and corrupt and comes out when the sun goes down, Red Hulk is a beast who grows stronger and more enraged with the more radiation he is exposed to rather than how much rage he has.
The Pale Green Hulk was both angry and smart, a combo of the tradition Green and the sneaky Gray. Each of the colors of the Hulk represent different aspects of his character.
4 Weakness: Sadness
The Hulk is obviously fueled by anger and rage, but those aren’t the only emotions he feels. He also feels sadness and it’s one of his weaknesses.
One of the best ways to get Hulk to turn back into Bruce Banner is to make him feel a strong emotion other than rage. Tap into something that makes him sad rather than mad and it’s likely he will shrink down to a normal human again.
3 Power: Radiation Manipulation
Hulk only became the Hulk because Bruce Banner was exposed to large amounts of gamma radiation and it mutated his body. It should come as no surprise that he can use similar radiation as a power.
He has the ability to manipulate radiation to his advantage. He can pick and choose how much radiation his body expels and can essentially be used as a living battery. Most heroes can’t charge in to radioactive area, but Hulk can be exposed to radiation without being harmed.
2 Weakness: His Father
Everyone is susceptible to daddy issues, and superheroes are no different. A lot of them actually seem to have complicated relationships with their parents. Bruce Banner knows exactly what it’s like to have issues with his father.
His father, Brian Banner, is one of his biggest weaknesses. Brian was an abusive alcoholic who ended up beating Bruce’s mother so badly she perished, and young Bruce watched it happen. It left him scarred for life and he feared his father even after he passed.
He actually gave Hulk the ability to see ghosts and spirits in case his father ever came back to haunt him. Not much frightens Hulk, but his daddy issues run deep enough to make him weaker.
1 Power: Can Leap Entire Continents
The Hulk has been shown doing some pretty impressive feats in the MCU. He can leap entire buildings and climb from skyscraper to skyscraper. He can travel miles in the blink of an eye and can fall from the sky without a scratch. All that, but fans still haven’t seen all he can do.
Supposedly, the hero can leap entire continents and launch himself up and out of Earth’s atmosphere. His powers and body mass are so enormous, he can be anywhere in the world in a matter of minutes.
These jumps are so massive that they’ve been known to create earthquakes and craters when he finally lands. It’s always good to have a continent-leaping giant on your side when in a fight.