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HULK: Powers and Abilities

After Dr. Robert Bruce Banner was accidentally bombarded with gamma radiation in an experimental "gamma-bomb" test, he was transformed into a man-monster called "The Incredible HULK."

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The Hulk is one of the most powerful beings in the universe since his powers increase with his rage. He is capable of matching the strength of beings like Thor, Silver Surfer, and the Sentry.

Transformation: The process by which Banner usually transforms into the Hulk is presumably the result of the chemical catalyst, adrenaline (a.k.a. epinephrine). As in normal human beings, Banner's adrenal medulla secretes large amounts of adrenaline in time of fear, rage, or stress, which hormonally stimulates the heart rate, increases blood-sugar levels, and inhibits sensations of fatigue. Whereas the secretion heightens normal physical abilities in normal human beings, in Banner's case it triggers the complex chemical-extra-physical process that transforms him into the Hulk. The total time of transformation falls anywhere between seconds to five minutes, depending on the initial adrenalin surge, which will be determined by the original stimulus. Soon after the transformation, the amount of adrenalin in the Hulk will return to more normal, reduced levels. However, there have been instances in which Banner became the Hulk without any discernible increase in heart rate or adrenal levels, suggesting that the true trigger mechanism into the Hulk is far more psychological than physical. When the Hulk transforms back into Banner, the excess muscle mass and energy is lost, presumably to the same place he derives it.

Superhuman Strength: The Hulk possesses the capacity for virtually limitless physical strength [165][31][36][166][167]. However, each of the primary Hulk personalities possesses a base strength level. While in a calm state, the Gray Hulk is able to lift 70 tons, the Savage Hulk could lift 90 tons, and the Professor Hulk about 100 tons. The incarnation referred to as the "Green Scar" is the physically strongest of all the primary Hulk's incarnations. After being exposed to the energies from the exploding core of the ship that originally brought him to Sakaar, Green Scar's base strength level was dramatically increased. While in a calm state, this incarnation was able of lifting well over 100 tons. However, while in an enraged state, adrenaline surges through Hulk's body, increasing his strength considerably above his base limits.

Among his most amazing feats are supporting a falling 150 billion ton mountain with leverage[168], ripping through a bunker designed to withstand the explosion of many thousands of megatons in magnitude[169], eventually overpowering the Invisible Woman, the Thing and the Human Torch[170], matching the Scarlet Witch (prior to House of M) and Wonder Man, Iron Man and Vision, while the narration establishes that the Hulk's power is greater than their combined might[171], matching the Super Adaptoid who had acquired strength and durability of a hundred heroes like Iron Man and the Vision (cover)[172], easily closing the doors to a nuclear core that Thor and Thing together couldn't budge[134], reflecting Gladiator's ocular beams back into both eyes, and knocking him unconscious (before they get into the factory)[173], knocking the Silver Surfer out with three blows (both were weakened)[174], matching two Avengers teams during a prolonged period of time despite becoming gradually weaker due to his physical separation from Banner[175], almost breaking the East Coast and threatening to break the planet by the emission of power from his body[146], destroying the Crypto Man after he was boosted with physical strength superior to that of Thor [176], overpowering Thor[177], pushing two spheres of matter and antimatter apart[178], holding together the tectonic plates of a planet[179], overpowering a strong field of energy with sufficient power to change the orbit of a planet[46], destroying an asteroid twice the size of the planet Earth with a single punch due mainly to the superior toughness and to an impulse generated by the contraction of his legs[180], overcoming a power-draining mechanism which contained much of the combined power of himself, Doctor Strange, the Silver Surfer and Namor [181], applying force to the entire space-time structure to prevent all the Defenders from being absorbed into a fissure [119], smashing adamantium [166][182], breaking up the space-time continuum [86], ripping off a powerful device designed to fight against the Celestials[183], and to overcome Onslaught's enormous strength by neutralizing an immobilization[130](who was at least Celestial level in raw power[184]). However, probably his greatest feat was to send concussive force throughout countless dimensions by the impact of his collision with Ironclad[185]. Thor stated that the Hulk may be stronger than he is[186]. The Hulk also grows stronger the more radiation[55][187][188][189] and the more dark magic[190] he catalyzes.

Superhuman Stamina: The Hulk's body counteracts fatigue poisons that build up in his muscles during physical activity. In an enraged state, he is capable of exerting himself at peak physical capacity for several days before fatigue begins to affect him. However, much like his physical strength, the Hulk's stamina does increase as he becomes angrier[191].

Superhuman Durability: In addition to great strength, the Hulk's body possesses a high degree of resistance to injury. The Hulk's skin is impervious to conventional blades, adamantium and vibranium being amongst the very few metals that are truly capable of piercing his skin. The Hulk is capable of withstanding high caliber bullets, powerful explosives, pressures extremes, falls from orbital heights [192][193], maximized heat without blistering, maximized cold without freezing, and great impacts. The Hulk has withstood the impact of a ground zero nuclear explosion [72][194][195][98][196][197] and also the Human Torch's Nova Blast [198][188], with a temperature of one million degrees Fahrenheit, without any injury. The Hulk was also able to withstand a planet-devastating impact near of the event[199], a planet-shattering impact at point blank range[180], and a mighty blast from Galactus[200]. The Hulk's durability, like his strength, is fueled by rushes of adrenaline while angry[191].

Regenerative Healing Factor: Despite his high resistance to physical harm, it is possible to cause the Hulk injury. However, he is capable of regenerating damaged or destroyed areas of his body with far greater speed and efficiency than an ordinary human. For example, during a battle with Vector all of the skin and much of the muscle mass of the Hulk were damnified. It took the Hulk moments to regain the mass and be completely healed[201]. The Hulk's healing factor also enables him to revert any physical transmutation[202][203][204][205][189]. Hulk also heals faster and more efficiently the madder he gets[191].

Immortality: For all intents and purposes the Hulk is immortal. Because of his healing factor that regenerates his cells, and the gamma energy and the dark magic he has absorbed that empowers him, the Hulk is immortal. A possible future persona, the Maestro, was in physical prime in spite of being more than one hundred years old [206]. In another alternate future it is implied that the Hulk's body effectively lasts forever [207].

Superhuman Leaping Ability: The Hulk is able to use his highly developed leg muscles to leap great distances. While calm, he is capable of leaping roughly three miles. However, as he becomes enraged, his strength increases considerably, which means he can jump much farther than usual. On more than one occasion, the Hulk has nearly jumped into orbit[193][208]. Hulk was able to cover 1,000 miles with a single leap[209]. He jumped on top of Mount Olympus from ground level, in a single leap [210]. The Hulk also shows incredible precision with his ability to aim his jumps and landings. He grabbed missiles on multiple occasions and landed on islands barely visible from the height he fell from[209].

Superhuman Speed: Regardless of his size, Hulk's superhumanly strong legs allow him to run at speeds that are far beyond the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete (about 700 mph). Nevertheless, this does not grant him any enhanced reflexes or agility as smaller foes exploit his size and use it to their advantage. However, he has been fast enough to catch mortar shells shot at him[211].

Adaptation to Hostile Habitats: There have been several instances in the past where Hulk has not only spent extended periods of time in oxygen-less outer space without suffocating, but has moved his mouth and spoken in these environments. The Hulk is capable to adapt to inhospitable environments whenever it is necessary[212]. Like his healing factor, it is believed that this ability is also fueled by his rage and the madder the Hulk is, the quicker the Hulk's body will adapt.

Self Sustenance: The Hulk can survive on very little sustenance, but after the Hulk adapts to a hostile environment (like space) he no longer needs sustenance and does not need air, water, food, or sleep.

Underwater Breathing: The Hulk has been on the ocean floor a number of times. He is able to breathe due to his body developing a gland which creates an oxygenated perfluorocarbon emulsion which fills his lungs and equalizes the pressure[89][100]. He is therefore able to breathe fluid and avoid decompression and nitrogen narcosis.

Resistance to Psychic Control: In many instances and occasions, the Hulk has demonstrated great psychic resistance as side-effect of his rage and the multiple personalities inside his mind[213][46][214][215][216][217].

Immunity to All Diseases and Viruses: The Hulk is immune to all known Earth-based diseases and viruses, including AIDS [218][219]. He can operate under intense conditions for extended periods of time due to his body not developing fatigue toxins quickly.

Extrasensory Perception:

Astral Form Perception: The Hulk has the unique ability of being able to see "astral forms"--or ghosts [220]. This power has come in handy when working with his fellow Defender, Dr. Strange, who is able to leave his body in an usually invisible, ghost-like state better known as an astral form. Banner subconsciously feared his father's ghost would come back to haunt him, and so the Hulk developed this mechanism to allow him to look out for him. More recent events have shown that the power to see astral forms may now extend to Bruce Banner. However, it was suggested the clarity of the astral forms is diminished when compared to the Hulk's ability to view them. The Hulk's ability to see astral forms may go beyond just seeing individual spirits. The Hulk once experienced a whole town in the middle of the desert that faded away into nothing. While it is possible it was merely a mirage, it is possible the Hulk was able to see a town that didn't exist in our plane of reality that no one else could see.

Homing Ability: The Hulk also has a seemingly mystical homing ability that enables him to locate the area in New Mexico where he first became the Hulk[122]. This applies even if the Hulk is in another dimension. An image of the Maestro once explained to Bruce that the reason he was able to do that was because the Maestro's spirit was there, calling to him. However, since the time Maestro was resurrected the Hulk has continued to return to the gamma bomb site, suggesting that there is more to his ability than merely the Maestro's spirit. This homing ability has also been used to find people on rare occasions. For example, the Hulk was able to dig a tunnel underground exactly in the direction of the Onslaught. While it is possible that Onslaught was mentally leading the Hulk to him, there were other instances of Hulk demonstrating this ability. The Hulk's instincts led him to Rick Jones and Betty and the Hulk located the Abomination with no prior knowledge of his whereabouts.

Gamma Radiation/Energy Manipulation and Emission: Not usually a power associated with the Hulk, but there is enough evidence that Hulk possesses at least a limited ability to manipulate forms of energy, particularly gamma radiation. The Hulk's body works like a "gamma battery" by creating and radiating gamma energy[53]. Armageddon once wanted to use Hulk's own energy to power machines capable of bringing his son back to life. However, the Hulk outsmarted him by consciously force feeding his own energy into the machines at a rate too fast for them to handle and they promptly overloaded and exploded[221]. He also generated massive amounts of gamma energy during World War Hulk[146]. The extent to which Hulk controls his own energy, and foreign sources of energy, is yet to be determined.


Dr. Bruce Banner is a genius in nuclear physics [223], possessing a mind so brilliant that it cannot be measured by any known intelligence test [224]. According to Banner, he's one of the eight smartest people on the planet. When Banner is the Hulk, Banner's consciousness is buried within the Hulk's, and can influence the Hulk's behavior only to a very limited extent.

Strength level

Class 100+ ; the Hulk is one of the physically strongest beings ever to walk the earth. He possesses vast superhuman strength enabling him to lift (press) far in excess of 100 tons easily. In human form Bruce Banner possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in no regular exercise.


Adamantium and vibranium has been shown capable of piercing the Hulk's skin; in World War Hulk, Wolverine, X-23, and Black Panther's claws could pierce it.

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