Hulk: What works, and what doesn't work?

Langsta

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Since his debut in 1962, the Hulk has been interpreted many different ways by many different writers. This is basically a survey....to find your "ultimate" Hulk.

1) Origin. In The Incredible Hulk #1, nuclear physicist Bruce Banner saves a dumbass teenager from the harmful radiation of a discharged "Gamma Bomb." Banner is bathed in the waves of energy emitted by the nuclear explosion. In the 1978-1982 TV series, The Incredible Hulk, David Banner is a physician who specializes in nuclear medicine. Haunted by his inability to save his wife after a car accident, he searches for a way to tap into the hidden reserves of strength that all humans possess. While investigating episodes of people who have displayed such strength during stressful events, he notices that each one coincided with a solar flare spike of gamma radiation. To test this discovery, he bombards himself with gamma radiation. Unknown to Banner, his equipment has been upgraded, causing him to administer a far higher dose than he intended. The Hulk films re-tooled the origin to fit the new millennium, with the 2003's Hulk incorporating nanotechnology and congenital mutation into the story, and 2008's The Incredible Hulk incorporating the Super-Soldier program that gave birth to Captain America. In the Ultimate comics, Bruce Banner's failed attempt to re-create the Super-Soldier formula for SHIELD results in his transformation into the Hulk, and the injection of Captain America's blood causes him to turn into an even more powerful monster. So which origin is your favorite, which one works best for you?

2) Color. Should the Hulk be grey or green?

3) Size. Currently, the 616 version of the Hulk stands at seven feet tall and weighs in at 1040 lbs. However, the original "grey" Hulk was much smaller. The TV Hulk was around the same height, but only weighed about 320 lbs. The Hulk from the 2003 movie looked like ****ing Godzilla, and the Hulk from the 2008 movie was around the same size as the current 616 comics version. Ultimate Hulk is around 8'1" and 1200 lbs. How big should the Hulk be?

4) Strength. Some versions of the Hulk can stand toe-to-toe with Norse gods. The TV version wasn't even bulletproof (though he was able to heal at an accelerated rate). So how strong should the Hulk be?

5) Speaking ability. The Hulk has very limited speaking capability in most interpretations. The TV version was only able to communicate with growls and roars. Should the Hulk only be smart enough to growl, or should he be able to say stuff like "Hulk SMASH!"?

6) Theme. In the TV show, he is a lonely man trying to avoid the press and search for a cure for his condition. In other versions, he is a fugitive trying to avoid the military. So, should the theme be him running from the press or the military? Or should the theme be something else?

7) Supporting cast. In most cases, Hulk's supporting cast consists of Betty Ross, Thunderbolt Ross, Rick Jones, etc. In the TV series, the only recurring character besides Banner/Hulk is tabloid reporter Jack McGee, with the supporting cast changing after each episode. The main characters involved with the TV Hulk's origin are Jack McGee and Elaina Marks, David Banner's research partner. In just about every other version, the main characters involved in the origin are Betty Ross, Thunderbolt Ross, and Rick Jones. Should the Hulk's adversaries be the military, supervillains like Abomination and Leader, the press, or all of these things? Should his supporting cast include Betty and Thunderbolt Ross?

8) Personalities. Do they "work" in the Hulk universe? Do you think the different personalities - Savage, Joe Fixit, Professor, Devil, etc. - are a good idea, or should there just be one Hulk personality (if so, which personality?)?

9) Now, just for fun: Bill Bixby or Edward Norton?

10) Based on this information, what is your favorite interpretation of the Hulk overall? What elements from each interpretation would you like to see in your "ultimate" version of the Hulk?
 

E

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These are great questions. No one seems to be able to get Hulk right, and it's such a complex character that I can't even identify what it would take to get him right.

I think first of all he works best as "Bruce Banner hiding". This is not the kind of character that can be shot into space and conquer other worlds (still can't bring myself to read that), and he's far too dangerous to be let in society knowingly. I think Bruce Jones had that right in his Hulk run, but unfortunately it was a Hulk book in title only. The problem with this is that the plot gets old fast, as we found out from Bruce Jones.

I like him best green and massive. He should be immeasurably strong, although having him bust out of 2 million lbs of ice and snow in Mighty Avengers or holding up a 150 billion lb mountain range in Secret Wars is just plain retarded.

TV show Hulk was way too wimpy and small.
 

Foolsfolly

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1- I really like the Ultimate version. Probably because Gamma bomb exposer seems...well...like a corny 60s idea. It also makes him responsible for his monster and not some idiot teen side character.

2- Hulk is green.

3- I know someone 7'1...so I can't imagine Hulk being smaller or the same size as someone I know, even if they're tall as hell. So I guess Ultimate Hulk's size.

4- Hulk strongest one there is. Well...close. He should be weaker than Juggernaut but not by much.

5- Hulk speak unwell. But he does speak, because he's boring when he can't say something while fighting.

6- He wants to cure it. He can be hounded and he should have moments when he isn't. It just makes sense for Bruce Banner to seek out Reed Richards to cure it and calm him whenever he goes ape****. I don't see SHIELD too pissed off if he's contained with the Fantastic Four, for example.

7- Supporting cast...tough question. No real answer.

8- Hulk angry. Not smart. Not Devil. HULK SMASHES!

9- Norton.

10- The movie 'Incredible Hulk' got really close to a good Hulk. Problem? Writing was bland. Plot was boring. But Ultimates is a close second because of its portrayal of Banner not the monster.
 

mike3717

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holding up a 150 billion lb mountain range in Secret Wars is just plain retarded.
Ugh. I forgot about that. Totally retarded.

Hulk should be grey and semi intelligent. I like Ult Hulk best for this. Plus they get his power level right. He is very powerful but he can still be taken down with a shot to the nads. I don't think any incarnation of Hulk should be able to stand with Thor or defeat EVERY hero on the planet at the same time. But that is primarily a problem with 616 universe not Ultimate U.
 

SSJmole

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1) So which origin is your favorite, which one works best for you?

I liked the Gamma Bomb blast and him saving Rick. Like the 90's cartoon where it was close to comics but less cheesy. Why? Because one it gives us Rick easier and two its his origin like spider-man bit by a spider or batman seeing his parents died.

Sure it can be altered and updated but really it needs to be close to that IMO. Though i did enjoy the Ultimate origin too it didn't feel right to me. Change it by all means e.g Sppider-man movie altered it to genetically modified Spider, Hulks could change to say a new experimental weapon with chemicals not necessarily "gamma" that effect the part of the dna that has adrenalin (to explain anger factor)

2) Color. Should the Hulk be grey or green?

Depends on mood. I like having the two hulks. One cocky one savage.

3) How big should the Hulk be?

I liked his size in the 2008 film. Not too tall but not too short it was just right. Same to muscle mass

4) So how strong should the Hulk be?

Green Hulk should be one of the strongest in Marvel's universe. I say one of as I expect some stronger e.g Hulk Villains they need to match him or beat him up. However he should not start off at full strength, Hulk = stronger the more angry he gets.

However Grey hulk should be strong but not near as strong as green. I say about Thing level of strength.

5) Should the Hulk only be smart enough to growl, or should he be able to say stuff like "Hulk SMASH!"?

Green : Should talk but his "hulk smash" "be..ttty" type talk.

Grey : Normal talk.

6) So, should the theme be him running from the press or the military? Or should the theme be something else?

I prefer the theme of him running from military but also searching for a cure. It drives him all across the country to different areas but it also lets you feel sympathy for him as he doesn't want it, he's a good monster but is hunted like a villain.

7) Should the Hulk's adversaries be the military, supervillains like Abomination and Leader, the press, or all of these things? Should his supporting cast include Betty and Thunderbolt Ross?

adversaries : military and supervillains (no press = villains they are just a annoying to him)

supporting cast : Betty, General Ross, Rick and on occasion She-hulk.


8 )Personalities. Do they "work" in the Hulk universe? Do you think the different personalities - Savage, Joe Fixit, Professor, Devil, etc. - are a good idea, or should there just be one Hulk personality (if so, which personality?)?

I do however I don't want too much. I like just Green = Savage and Grey = Joe Fixit personalities.

9) Now, just for fun: Bill Bixby or Edward Norton?


They played two different characters. Bixby = David , Norton = Bruce. So I'm not answering :p (loop-hole :lol:)

10) Based on this information, what is your favorite interpretation of the Hulk overall? What elements from each interpretation would you like to see in your "ultimate" version of the Hulk?

Mine is 90's cartoon I loved that. You had the right theme like I described above, the right supporting cast, Green and Grey, The right kind of origin, She-hulk, Supervillains and Military. I loved it. It was how hulk should be.
 
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The Overlord

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Ugh. I forgot about that. Totally retarded.

Hulk should be grey and semi intelligent. I like Ult Hulk best for this. Plus they get his power level right. He is very powerful but he can still be taken down with a shot to the nads. I don't think any incarnation of Hulk should be able to stand with Thor or defeat EVERY hero on the planet at the same time. But that is primarily a problem with 616 universe not Ultimate U.
The problem with Ultimate hulk is he isn't very likable.
 

The Overlord

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I guess. I like him. He captures that essence of "he isn't a villian but he isn't a hero". He is what the situation he is in makes him. (if that make sany sense)

Besides, lots of heros aren't likable.
There a lot of heroes that are unlikeable in some ways, but likable in others: Iron Man, Wolverine, Punisher, Batman and often 616 Hulk. There is a differeance between a Jerk @ss and a Jerk with a heart of gold, the audience likes one way better then the other. The point of a well rounded character is to make the character not too perfect, but not unlikable either, you have to balance flaws and good qualities, otherwise you have a hero that the audience finds boring or coompletely hates.

Like I said Ultimate hulk doesn't have mass appeal because he isn't likable and doesn't strike this balance. Ultimate Hulk is under the complete monster section in tv tropes, not a good place for a hero or even an anti hero. The whole rampage in NYC is way too much, that's Ultimate Hulk's rape the dog moment and the fact that Banner was stupid to take the formula on his own makes him responsible for the actions of the hulk, so he is unlikable too and a complete monster.

Ultimate Hulk has no mass appeal, only a small portion of comic book fans would like him.
 
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mike3717

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Ultimate Hulk has no mass appeal, only a small portion of comic book fans would like him.
I guess the issue is what we are defining as "like". Me? I like Ult Hulk as a character. He is interesting in that he is not hero and not villian. I like his appearances and am (was) psyched to see the him.* I would buy a book(s) driven purley by Ult Hulk.

It seems that when I say "like" I mean, do I enjoy the character and reading their adventures/exploits etc. But when you say "like" you mean does the characters personality appeal to the reader. Which I say is immaterial. Imo, a character doesn't need to be sympathetic to be enjoyable.

* Pre-Loeb UU.
 

The Overlord

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I guess the issue is what we are defining as "like". Me? I like Ult Hulk as a character. He is interesting in that he is not hero and not villian. I like his appearances and am (was) psyched to see the him.* I would buy a book(s) driven purley by Ult Hulk.

It seems that when I say "like" I mean, do I enjoy the character and reading their adventures/exploits etc. But when you say "like" you mean does the characters personality appeal to the reader. Which I say is immaterial. Imo, a character doesn't need to be sympathetic to be enjoyable.

* Pre-Loeb UU.
But what has greater mass appeal, if someone was making a Hulk movie or say an updated Hulk TV show, which version would they use?

I mean personal opinion on a character is fine, but it doesn't change the way a majority of people would view a character.
 

mike3717

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But what has greater mass appeal, if someone was making a Hulk movie or say an updated Hulk TV show, which version would they use?

I mean personal opinion on a character is fine, but it doesn't change the way a majority of people would view a character.
I get what ur saying. And I guess I agree to a point. But a character need not be sympathetic to have mass appeal. Look at Terminators and Aliens and Predators and so on. I think the main drawback to a character like Hulk is that it is a known character and thus there are expectations attached to it.

If Ult Hulk was rolled out to a mainstream movie audience people would be wondering wtf was going on.
 

The Overlord

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I get what ur saying. And I guess I agree to a point. But a character need not be sympathetic to have mass appeal. Look at Terminators and Aliens and Predators and so on. I think the main drawback to a character like Hulk is that it is a known character and thus there are expectations attached to it.

If Ult Hulk was rolled out to a mainstream movie audience people would be wondering wtf was going on.

With the Terminator and the aliens you aren't supposed to identify with the robots or aliens you are supposed to identify with the people they are hunting, they are the heroes, the robots and aliens are the villains, only in Terminator 2 did the terminator became the Protagonist, rather then the villain, when he became a anti hero instead of villain.

616 hulk is an anti hero, Ultimate Hulk is a villain, its way easier to give 616 Hulk a TV show or movie, then it would Ultimate Hulk.

When the make the Captain america, he amy have Ultimate cap's costume, but he will have 616 Cap's personality, because that makeshim easier for the audience to identify with.
 

mike3717

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616 hulk is an anti hero, Ultimate Hulk is a villain,
Is Ult Hulk a villian? I don't think he is. I think he is also an anti-hero, just more gritty along the lines of Punisher. At first he comes off as villain-y, but as we get to hear him ramble and his reaction to Betty, Banners explanation etc then it becomes apparent that he isn't a villian so much as he is pathetic.

And use of Ult Hulk in the UU after the first Hulk story is very anti-hero. He is controlled and used to fight the skrulls and the Liberators.
 

Gemini

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I have always despised when Hulk is portrayed as he has been in Loeb's series. On the other hand Pak took it to far in the other direction. I have always thought that the Hulk should be as smart as any average person, but unable to express himself, because of limited speech capabilities. So people always assume he's dumb because they don't understand himm, it's like when you see someone treat a "foreigner" like an idiot because they don't speak english.
 

The Overlord

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Is Ult Hulk a villian? I don't think he is. I think he is also an anti-hero, just more gritty along the lines of Punisher. At first he comes off as villain-y, but as we get to hear him ramble and his reaction to Betty, Banners explanation etc then it becomes apparent that he isn't a villian so much as he is pathetic.

And use of Ult Hulk in the UU after the first Hulk story is very anti-hero. He is controlled and used to fight the skrulls and the Liberators.
Ultimate Hulk raped the dog though, its hard to recover from that.
 

Foolsfolly

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I have always despised when Hulk is portrayed as he has been in Loeb's series. On the other hand Pak took it to far in the other direction. I have always thought that the Hulk should be as smart as any average person, but unable to express himself, because of limited speech capabilities. So people always assume he's dumb because they don't understand himm, it's like when you see someone treat a "foreigner" like an idiot because they don't speak english.
Good point.
 

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