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14 Things You Didn't Know About the Hulk

Incredible Hulk Marvel Mark Ruffalo

Thor: Ragnorok is coming. And with it moviegoers will finally get to see the Incredible Hulk... in space! But before we find out exactly what he's up to out there, this is as good a time as any to brush up on some of the lesser known facts of one of Earth's mightiest heroes.

Created in 1962 by comic legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, this iconic character has held a unique place in Marvel's many universes. Not really a hero, antihero or villain, he's a too often misunderstood superhero who is perhaps best left labeled simply as the Hulk. And if we're to believe Mark Ruffalo (which we do) he's about to get a whole lot hulk-ier when he teams up with Thor this coming Fall for their intergalactic buddy road-trip flick.

But there's far more to Bruce Banner's alter ego than just smashing things, getting angry and wearing purple pants, like procreating and Puppy Bombs. Here are 14 Things You Didn't Know About the Hulk.

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14Wolverine First Appeared in the Incredible Hulk

Wolverine Incredible Hulk First Appearance

The world's first and greatest Canadian superhero made his comic debut in the pages of The Incredible Hulk #180 when Hulk wanders into Canada and the government there instantly mobilizes Weapon X to kick him out. But it's not until the last panel, after the Hulk runs into some Canadian occultists and destroys a sizable chunk of wilderness in an epic brawl with the massive, fur covered cannibal-cursed Wendigo, that we get our first glimpse of the Wolverine.

Following this in The Incredible Hulk #181 Wolverine gets his first cover and full story where he takes on both the Hulk and Wendigo. As an anonymous agent of the Canadian government and glorified forest ranger, Wolverine's entry into the Marvel Universe is pretty unspectacular. Especially considering he's knocked unconscious by occult magic mid-fight only to reawaken and get knocked unconscious again by the Hulk, then replaced by the Canadian government for being a failure.

Though alls well that ends well since Wolverine would go on to become one of Marvel's coolest characters. Not mention have some awesome (and grotesque) rematches with the Hulk.

13Hulk's Original Comic Run Was Cancelled After Only Six Issues

Incredible Hulk Origin Comic Cover First Issue

It might be hard to believe now, but there was a time when fans really did not like it when the Hulk got angry. In fact, when the world was first introduced to Bruce Banner and his “enormous green rage monster,” most could care less.

Primarily due to the writers having yet to fully flesh out the character, readers didn't quite know what to make of the strangest man of all time. Turning into a lumbering monster werewolf-style whenever night falls, the Hulk in one moment wants to save the world and in the next kill his friends along with the rest of humanity. As a result, the initial run of The Incredible Hulk only lasted six issues.

But you can't keep a good Hulk down. After several popular guest appearances, a brief membership in The Avengers and a recurring stint in Tales to Astonish so overpowering that the latter was renamed The Incredible Hulk, Earth's mightiest mortal would get a second chance to smash our hearts.

12Thor and Daredevil Made Their Live-Action Debuts on the Hulk TV Series

Thor Incredible Hulk TV Show Stan Lee

For anyone who thought Daredevil and Thor got their starts with Ben Affleck and Chris Hemsworth, obviously never saw The Incredible Hulk in the '80s. In two made-for-TV movies based off the popular television series, both Marvel characters made their live-action debuts (as did Stan Lee in his first of many cameos).

In The Incredible Hulk Returns, Thor turns up to to help Lou Ferrigno's bulking brute fight crime in an intended pilot for a future television series starring the Norse god that never came to fruition. Similarly, in The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, the Hulk teams up with Daredevil to takedown the Kingpin in another failed launch of a series meant to feature the Man without Fear.

11He Was Not the First Hulk

Incredible Hulk Name Grutan Stan Lee Comic

The Hulk's name was inspired by a 1940s comic book called The Heap, which featured a nearly indestructible large, green swamp monster fighting Nazis and traveling the world helping those in need. The comic's unusual name struck a chord with Stan Lee and it was repurposed as “the Hulk.”

But the Incredible Hulk wasn't the first (or second) to go by that name. In the early '60s Mr. Lee and Jack Kirby developed a one-shot story about a short scientist, who after several failed attempts to create a formula to make himself taller, builds a giant robotic armor named “the Mighty Hulk." Unfortunately the scientist forgets the keys and permanently locks himself inside. To avoid confusion later on, the armor's name was changed to “Grutan” in future reprintings.

The name would be recycled several more times. The alien criminal/Abominable Snowman lookalike, Xemnu the Living Hulk, tried to make it his own in Journey into Mystery #62. His epithet would change to “the Titan” when he became a recurring adversary of Banner's Hulk. In Tales to Astonish #21, the Hulk moniker was bestowed upon a blubbering orange monster who in an infinite loop story repeatedly steps out of a movie screen to terrorize audiences. He was renamed “the Glop” to make way for bigger and greener things, because as the saying goes - the fourth time's the charm.

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