When it comes to heroes fighting heroes, the Hulk has done it more than probably any other good guy out there. While he means well, the often uncontrollable beast that lurks within Bruce Banner has led to just as many accidental disasters as it has to times the Hulk has helped save the day. And that’s not even counting the times the Green-skinned Goliath has purposely decided to destroy a city or two because of how people have wronged him. The point is, the Hulk fights a lot.
While the Hulk has lost his share of brawls, he’s won even more. That’s the sort of thing that happens when you’re one of the strongest beings in the Marvel Universe, strong enough to split planets in half and only get stronger as you get angrier. Sometimes the people you fight also end up being the heroes you normally help, though. Here’s 15 Superheroes The Hulk Has Defeated.
15 The Avengers
Even though he’s one of the oldest members of the Avengers, Hulk also has a long history of fighting the superhero team, sometimes even being the whole reason the team came together in the first place. Even after all their battles over the years, Hulk still has been a respected and long time member of the team, helping them to stop many threats to the Earth.
Heck, within the first three issues of the Avengers, Hulk has already fought the team twice and joined and left them once. The Avengers have rarely been a match for the Hulk, often having to resort to making him revert to Bruce Banner in order to seal a win or simply removing him from the battlefield altogether rather than actually physically defeating the Jade Giant.
14 The Thing
The Marvel Universe boasts a lot of extremely strong and tough heroes and villains, but two of the most iconic “strong guys” at Marvel are the Hulk and the Fantastic Four’s Thing. While the Hulk is the alter ego of Bruce Banner that’s fueled by rage and emotion, the Thing is how Ben Grimm always is after his accident -- forever a craggy, stone-skinned monster.
Given their relative positions as two of the strongest in Marvel, both fans and creators were eager to see them face off once they were created. The first of their multiple fights would finally happen in Fantastic Four #25, with a fight that would span much of that issue and the next. On the run and looking to get revenge on the Avengers, the Hulk is headed to New York, but the Fantastic Four attempt to stop him before he can do too much damage. Hulk easily takes out Sue, Reed, and Johnny, before the Thing steps in to battle the raging menace. The fight would end with an outmatched Ben Grimm being badly beaten, though the Hulk turned back into Bruce Banner before anything too bad happened.
The two have a long history of brawling in the decades that they’ve existed, forming a sense of grudging respect for one another as the two of the toughest guys in the Marvel Universe. Though the Hulk is usually the winner given his superior strength, Thing has had a couple of wins in there too, showing that he can still hold his own more than most would think.
13 Doc Samson
A sort of “Hulk-lite” character, Doc Samson was given extraordinary abilities as a result of exposing himself to gamma radiation that had been siphoned from Hulk. This would turn the slim psychiatrist into a green haired, heavily muscled superhuman capable of amazing feats. Samson has spent much of his career trying to cure the Hulk of his affliction, often coming to blows with him in the process.
While Samson, like most characters who have gained abilities due to gamma radiation, is extremely strong, durable, and fast, he’s nowhere near the level of the Hulk. His abilities are pretty stable (read: not tied to his emotional state like Hulk’s) so while he’s capable of lifting more than most heroes, the Hulk can easily outpace him and has upper limits far beyond Samson's.
Samson and Hulk, notably, clash over Betty Ross. After willingly curing himself of his condition, Bruce Banner again exposes himself to gamma radiation after seeing Samson romancing Betty. What follows is Samson’s first real superhero battle, one which he loses to the much stronger Hulk, but one that gives him Betty’s sympathy -- much to Hulk’s chagrin.
Jennifer Walters is an accomplished lawyer and cousin to Bruce Banner, who, thanks to an emergency blood transfusion from her cousin, gained a milder form of the Hulk’s condition. Even before she was a green skinned hero, she and Bruce had a long history, leading to her to consider him more like a brother than a cousin. Given that close relationship, it’s hard to imagine that he would ever think to fight her.
During World War Hulk, the assumption that Hulk would never harm his cousin was put to the test, and Jennifer got a painful answer in the form of Hulk slamming her to the ground without a second's hesitation. While She-Hulk is an incredibly strong hero (and possibly the strongest woman in the Marvel Universe), she’s still not as strong as the man who accidentally gave her her powers, and she was brutally reminded of that as she lay helpless in the impact crater while her cousin stormed off to continue his rampage. "God help us," indeed.
Gladiator is part of the alien Strontian race, a race of beings who all have the potential for incredible superpowers, but have to be completely confident in order to use them. The powers Gladiator possess include strength capable of shattering a planet, heat vision, increased durability, inhumanly fast reflexes, super speed, and more. With a power set like that, he seems like a pretty good match for the Hulk, and he even nearly defeated him when they faced off.
When the two faced off -- over an alien who had disguised himself as Bruce Banner’s son -- Gladiator actually seemed to have the upper hand for a while, even using his heat vision to blow a hole in Hulk’s chest, almost reaching his heart. Hulk would cover Gladiator’s eyes with his hands, causing the blast to reverberate back and weaken the warrior. Using that momentary weakness, the Big Green Mean hurled Gladiator into the heart of a nuclear reactor, which, luckily, neutralized him (as certain kinds of radiation of are his weakness), preventing the Hulk from having to kill him.
10 New Avengers & Mighty Avengers
Not content with just beating single heroes, Hulk took on multiple hero teams during World War Hulk and made them all look like second rate do-gooders, at best. As with the rest of the battles, Hulk was an unstoppable force, taking down whole teams of heroes that are normally considered quite powerful on their own and not letting them slow down his rampage all that much.
Two of the teams that he (along with a little help from his Warbound) rolled over were the New Avengers and the Mighty Avengers, two squads that sported some pretty heavy hitters. Ares (yes the Greek god Ares), Luke Cage, Wonder Man, and Spider-Man were all present on the Avengers teams that tried to stop the rampaging Hulk, only to lose the confrontation. Even some of the physically strongest characters in the Marvel Universe, like Spider-Man, and mythological gods, like Ares, weren’t enough to stop the Hulk when he decided it was time to punish those who had wronged him.
9 Dr. Strange (possessed by a demon)
The Sorcerer Supreme versus one of the strongest beings on Earth often isn’t that even of a matchup. Though Doctor Strange has often talked big about being able to end the Hulk’s puny life with a flick of his fingers and a simple spell, Strange has more often used the magic to teleport Hulk to different dimensions or locations when it proves that a fight is favoring the Hulk. So when Strange actually tried to go toe to toe with Hulk during World War Hulk, he needed a little extra help.
As with all the other members of the Illuminati, Hulk was hellbent on defeating Doctor Strange and making him pay for his part in banishing the Hulk. In an attempt to combat the overwhelming fury and power of Hulk (after he crushed his hands and made it impossible for him to cast spells), Strange channels the essence of Zom, a mystical demonic being who has enough power to threaten the very existence of the universe. Though Strange initially was able to do real damage to Hulk while channelling Zom, as Strange’s control of Zom waned and Hulk’s fury grew, that was enough of an opening for Hulk to knock Strange unconscious and end the battle.
8 Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider and Hulk have a little history together, which is a bit of a surprise. They were both part of the New Fantastic Four back in the early '90s, teaming up with Wolverine and Spider-Man after the original Fantastic Four were captured. When Hulk landed on Earth for World War Hulk, Johnny Blaze decided he wanted in on the action.
With powers like the Penance Stare and enough hellfire at his command to level cities, Ghost Rider actually does stand a decent chance of stopping the Hulk. However, during World War Hulk, Hulk was far too determined to let anything like the spirit of vengeance stop him. Even after having an entire skyscraper brought down on top of him by Johnny Blaze, Hulk still manages to knock him out. It’s only when Blaze is down for the count that the actual Ghost Rider, the actual spirit of vengeance, takes over with his full abilities. Instead of continuing to fight the Hulk, he rides off looking to punish the truly guilty.
7 Iron Man
Despite their similarities as two of the greatest scientific minds in the Marvel Universe, or maybe because of them, Hulk and Iron Man have often clashed over the years. Hulk’s near limitless strength and Iron Man’s near limitless ingenuity have made for fights that have escalated heavily over the years, with Iron Man constantly building bigger, stronger, better armor in an attempt to solve the Hulk problem.
The only problem with that is that armor will eventually break, and the Hulk only gets madder and madder and stronger and stronger. The hostilities between the two go as far back as Avengers #1, with Hulk making a point to remind Iron Man that he’s just a man in a suit of armor while the Hulk is the strongest there is. That point is probably best illustrated during the World War Hulk event, where a very angry and vengeful Hulk comes back to Earth after being tricked and sent to another planet for exile. Even with a bigger and stronger version of the Hulkbuster armor at his command and darts designed to sap Hulk’s strength, Iron Man would prove no match in what would be a brutal fight that would remind everyone on Earth that Hulk is the strongest there is.
6 Multiple X-Men teams
During the World War Hulk event, Hulk would head to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters as part of his quest for retribution. Though he was absent from the decision to send Hulk into space, Professor X does admit that he still would’ve voted for sending Hulk away. With that knowledge, Hulk seeks to make the Professor pay.
What follows is the Hulk essentially beating all the X-Men. He fights the New X-Men, the Astonishing X-Men, X-Factor Investigations, and Uncanny X-Men, beating all them with apparent ease. No combination of mental, physical, or energy based attacks seem to phase the Hulk, as he makes short work of the various teams. The various teams included such heavy hitters as Cyclops, Warpath, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Emma Frost, and more, but none could manage to put up much of a fight. He even manages to defeat Juggernaut, both when he’s not at the full extent of his powers and when he is imbued with his full powers by Cyttorak, more than going blow for blow with him and ultimately using Juggernaut’s own momentum against him.
It’s only after learning of the events of M-Day and all the suffering that the X-Men have faced that Hulk leaves them be. He knows he can’t do any worse than has already been done to them, and he leaves them to tend to their wounded.
Spider-Man and the Hulk have had a few battles over the years, both with Spider-Man as part of various superhero teams or with Spidey on his own. Their very first battle goes all the way back to Amazing Spider-Man #14 where Spider-Man, in a battle with Green Goblin, stumbles upon Hulk hiding out in a cave in the desert and only manages to escape by hiding underwater until Hulk leaves. The web-crawler hasn’t fared much better ever since.
Possibly the most definitive beat down Spidey got was back in Amazing Spider-Man #120, where after a multi-issue battle that destroys a fairgrounds and during which the web-head has tried to lead Hulk away from populated area, Spidey is left unconscious on the ground when the Army shows up and Hulk decides the fights over. Except for that one time the web-slinger was been imbued with the Uni-Power and punches Hulk into orbit, Spidey doesn’t stand a whole lot of chance against the Hulk.
4 Giant-Man (in The Ultimates)
In the first volume of The Ultimates, Marvel’s alternate take on the Avengers, the team must band together to stop a rampaging Hulk after Bruce Banner injects himself with some Super Soldier Serum. The out of control nature of Hulk’s transformation would cause the Ultimates to ban together, and would act as their first real test as a team.
It did not go well; the Ultimates proved to be real physical match for a rampaging Hulk. All the Super Soldier Serum in the world didn’t help Captain America take him down, and even Mjolnir didn’t do Thor too much good. Giant-Man would get some of the worst of it, as Hulk would beat him hard enough to break his jaw, even as a giant. It would ultimately be Wasp who would prove to be the key to victory, as she could shrink down and zap Hulk’s brain with her electricity, taking him out of the fight.
3 Black Bolt
The king of the Inhumans is arguably one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe, able to level cities just by speaking, but even he proved to be no match for the Hulk. Black Bolt would be the first target that Hulk would come for during World War Hulk, making a stop on the Moon to deal with the Inhuman leader before heading to Earth to deal with the rest of the Illuminati who'd sent him into exile.
The fight with Black Bolt would be a pretty quick one, as far as fights involving the Hulk go. Black Bolt unleashes the full extent of his sonic powers and blasts Hulk away with a single word, but Black Bolt isn’t prepared for the determination that Hulk displays; he quickly recovers from the blast, ready for a real fight. Right before he trounces the Inhuman king, Hulk lets the man with the most powerful voice in the Marvel Universe know that he wants to hear him scream.
Somewhat akin to Bruce Banner, Robert Reynolds is a troubled man who has an extraordinary alter ego: that of the Sentry, a figure who is possibly the world’s most powerful hero. Though Sentry has a convoluted history from the beginning, the part of his origins that has remained constant is that he and the Hulk are friends, having formed a bond so strong that the Hulk is usually the only one to recognize the hero when others don’t.
During World War Hulk when things seemed lost, it was decided that the last, best hope of defeating the Hulk was to call in the Sentry, since his powers appeared essentially limitless. The two would meet in a battle that would cause both to expend amazing amounts of energy, nearly destroying Manhattan and disintegrating entire buildings in the process. Due to the energy they expended, both would end up reverting to their human forms, with Bruce ending the fight with a weak punch and Robert collapsing.
Making Wolverine fight the Hulk is a bit of a Marvel Comics institution at this point. Heck, everyone’s favorite mutant anti-hero even got his start fighting the Hulk way back in Incredible Hulk #181 before joining the X-Men. As such, the two have always had something of a rivalry, facing off against each other for various reasons over the the last few decades.
Probably the most brutal Hulk/Wolverine fight came in the Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk miniseries back in 2005. Hired by Nick Fury to assassinate the Hulk, Wolverine has tracked him to a mountain in Tibet where Hulk is trying attain inner peace. That peace doesn’t last long as the initial fight ends with Wolverine being ripped in two, his halves left on different mountains. After a long trek to find his legs, Wolverine finally discovers them, only to have Hulk taunt him and make Wolverine choose which leg he wants Hulk to eat.
Wolverine's bested the Hulk once or twice himself though, so don't feel too bad for him.
What's your favorite gamma-powered brawl ever? Who do you want to see the Hulk face off against in Thor:Ragnarok? Let us know in the comments.