The Marvel Universe has a Hulk problem. One Hulk was terrifying, an unholy monster who put the fear of God into all of Earth's greatest heroes. The second was an unfathomable upgrade. But now there's like 12 of them, all running around smashing up the place. They reproduce like rabbits, for Godsake. So, until we hear about the first appearance of the Neon Orange Hulk or the Burnt Sienna Hulk, please enjoy this definitive ranking of as many hulks as possible.
10. Assorted Non-Main Hulks
There are many randomly assorted Hulks who have each existed somewhere in the Marvel universe. So, on with the list.
First, there was that time a bunch of Marvel heroes got Hulked up during the World War Hulks crossover event. Hulked-out Wolverine was the coolest of the bunch.
Next, we have my personal favorite, The Blue Hulk. Blue Hulk, or Blulk as I, and only I, will be calling him, was a character created only for the Audrey Loeb-penned and Chris Giarusso-drawn Mini-Hulks comics. Blue Hulk was created to be a companion to the Green and Red Hulks, who were featured heavily in the series.
There are also a couple of pre-Banner monsters who are also Hulks. One was unattractively re-named "Glop". The other is Xemnu, the Living Hulk. Xemnu actually fought the real Hulk and the Defenders, which should have been confusing. "Hey, Hulk, come here and beat up Hulk!" Must've been weird.
Don't name your kid after where they were born. It's just tacky, and not many children can pull off the name Luxemburg.
But anyway, Skaar was born to Hulk and noted warrior Caiera the Oldstrong on the gladiator planet Sakaar. He would eventually be bounced around from his homeworld to Earth, where he met his father, and all around the Marvel Universe.
He even found a place on the Dark Avengers, first as the mole on Norman Osborn's team, and later as a regular member of the team that used to be the Thunderbolts, but everyone figured Dark Avengers would sell better. I mean, it was canceled fifteen issues later, but who knows, without the name change, it might’ve made it only five. Whatever, I'm not bitter.
Anyway, Skaar. Skaar eventually found himself depowered by his dear old dad and was wandering around the Pyrenees Mountains when last seen.
8. Lyra, the Savage She-Hulk
Lyra is one of the lesser-known Hulks, but that doesn't mean she isn't worth your attention.
Lyra comes from the same world as Thundra, which should be obvious to anyone who can recognize costume similarities. Thundra came to the 616 Marvel Universe to find a strong warrior, and guess who she happened to run into? The Hulk. So, after sampling his DNA, she headed back to her horrific, terrible alternate future and helped genetically engineer a new warrior.
That warrior would be Lyra, the all-new savage She-Hulk. She was quickly recruited by A.R.M.O.R., which you'll recognize as the Marvel Comics secret organization that isn't S.H.I.E.L.D. and isn't S.W.O.R.D. After some time, Hulk, in his new-at-the-time Doc Green identity, devoted to de-powering all of earth's Gamma Mutates, would find her. He couldn't find a way to de-power her, so he bounced her back to her home dimension instead.
Her mother, Thundra, would also eventually reconnect and grab her daughter so the two could have fun in Weirdworld.
7. Rick Jones, A-Bomb
Rick Jones was a teen with maybe the worst idea of how to use leisure time that I've ever heard. He decided to go drive his car onto a nuclear testing site and just sorta hang out there.
Thankfully for him, Bruce Banner decided to run out into the middle of the desert to save Rick from being atomized. In the process, Banner got blasted with Gamma radiation and turned into the Hulk. But don't let that fool you into thinking Rick never got his adventure on.
He was first a potential partner and replacement Bucky for Captain America, and then Captain Marvel’s human avatar. One ended because Captain Marvel…well, died. And the other ended because Captain America found it SUPER WEIRD when Rick dressed up like his dead friend. But Rick eventually found himself very briefly transformed into a Hulk, too. More importantly, Rick's second Hulk-like identity formed when The Leader and MODOK experimented on him in an attempt to create a new Abomination. They created"¦The A-Bomb.
Look, Rick Jones is bad at naming. Lol, "A-Bomb".
6. Red She-Hulk
Betty Ross always had it pretty rough.
First, her boyfriend went and turned himself into a giant green rage monster who likes to punch tanks, and then her dad decides to murder him"¦before turning himself into a giant RED rage monster who likes to punch tanks. It's a deeply ridiculous life she lives. But she didn't live it forever, because she died.
But when she was resurrected (because this is comic books, where the only thing that gets to stay dead is Gerard Jones' career), she truly came back as her father's daughter. By which I mean that she was now a giant red monster who seemed to have a deep affinity for punching tanks.
Now, Betty here would normally be pretty low on this list, just given her first few appearances as R-Shulk. But then she got written by Matt Fraction and Jeff Parker, so that bumps her quite a few spots up the list.
5. Red Hulk
General Thunderbolt Ross hated Hulk for as long as Hulk smashed the bejeezus out of the New Mexico desert with his big green Hulk fists.
And as time progressed, good ol' Ross spent probably millions of dollars of military industrial complex money trying to kill a giant green monster who just wanted to be left alone. But Ross would eventually become what he hated most: a Hulk. In the aftermath of Hulk's alien-backed assault on Earth during World War Hulk, Ross took the next step and powered himself up into a brand new, very strong, fire-blooded Hulk known as the Red Hulk.
His first act was to gun down the Abomination and go on a tear, fighting most of the Marvel Universe's main heroes. Eventually he was discovered and at least partially reformed, even joining the Avengers for a time.
There’s also a brand new Red Hulk on the current U.S. Avengers roster. He has a sweet mustache, and that’s all there is to say about him.
So I tried to stay away from just populating this list with alternate dimension versions of Bruce Banner because it felt like cheating, but if there's one of those distinct enough to be a separate character, it's Maestro.
Maestro debuted in Hulk: Future Imperfect as a terrifying, super smart potential future version of The Hulk who had become smart and strong enough to kill off all of Earth's heroes.
He wound up in conflict with the regular Hulk, who beat him by warping him with Dr. Doom's time machine back to the Gamma Bomb detonation, where he was annihilated. Or so it seemed. He eventually re-constituted himself, and became a threat to the world at large.
There's also a different Alt-Earth maestro who was in charge of the Contest of Champions comic that I'm 99 percent sure was just a tie-in to the mobile app. The more you know.
3. Amadeus Cho, The Totally Awesome Hulk
Amadeus Cho almost made my "smartest superheroes" list the other day. In fact, I only cut him from that list because it was too long.
Cho has been said to be the eighth smartest person in the Marvel universe, which puts him in some very good company. Born in Tuscon, Arizona, Cho was brilliant from a very young age. As a teen, he won an Excello Corporation-sponsored game show called Brain Fight. This turned out to be an evil mastermind’s ploy to find and kill anyone whose intelligence could rival his own, and Amadeus had to go on the run.
He would eventually meet up with The Hulk and try to stop the brute's attack on Earth, alongside some of his former Champions teammates. One of those teammates, Hercules, would go on to be Cho’s best friend, and the two would spend much time adventuring together.
Later, The Hulk began to suffer from radiation-related problems that put him at risk of melting down. Amadeus found him, and drained off that new radiation, but curing Banner turned Cho into a new kind of Hulk. An awesome one.
Jennifer Walters is such a deeply great character. Like, Top Five Most Underrated Marvel Characters right here.
Which is funny, given how she came to be. You see, in the seventies, Marvel Comics had sold off the rights to make two TV shows based on its most popular characters: Spider-Man and The Hulk. Marvel realized that while they owned the base characters, the TV network would own any of the characters they created. After the Six Million Dollar Man spin-off, The Bionic Woman, was such a massive success, Marvel mandated that lady versions of main heroes be created in the comics before the show could use them.
Hence, Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) and She-Hulk. Shulkie grew from her simple beginnings largely due to a couple of big things: One, she was a lawyer, and two, she was assigned a lot of great creatives. John Byrne, Peter David, Dan Slott, Charles Soule.
Her series' best moments came from either the fourth wall-breaking "Sensational" series or the hilarious personal drama and legal eagle antics of her adjectiveless ones.
1. The Hulk
Well, of course Big Green and Mean was going to make the Number One slot. He's the original and the best. By a hair. She-Hulk is very close to being better.
But Bruce Banner is a pretty great character on his own. I mean, what is there to say? There are so many versions of the Hulk that you can pretty much pick a fave. There's the classic Green Rage Beast, hopping around the desert punching tanks as hard as he can.
There's Joe Fixit, the gray bruiser with a sense of humor and a gangster's fashion sense. There's the merged Hulk, friend of the Pantheon, who's both green and smart. There's the Green Scar, a gladiator king whose rebellion freed the people from tyranny. Doc Green, the result of a bullet to the brain, whose motives and goals were alien to his former friends. And of course, there are all the halfway versions and writer interpretations that fall somewhere in between.
And it's precisely that variation and malleability that make him such a great character.
And there you all have it, a collected ranking of all of the Hulks. And there were many. Took a while to thoroughly research them all. So yeah, Hulk Out and have a lovely day.