When you think of the word ‘Incredible’, what do you think of?
Not getting a speeding ticket after you decided to go past a cop with a laser gun? Incredible.
Actually remembering to pick up your socks off the floor without your wife telling you? Incredible.
Taking the initiative to buy anniversary and birthday cards in advance so you never forget your wife’s special days? That’s not incredible…that amazing.
A comic geek (like yours truly) would look at the word ‘Incredible’ and link the word with a certain Jade Giant.
No, I’m not talking about the Jolly Green Giant either.
I’m referring to Mr. Green Genes himself, The Incredible Hulk.
The Hulk is the epitome of the ultimate warrior, a world-breaker, and a true engine of destruction.
Yes, yes, I know there are powerful heroes in Marvel Comics. I don’t doubt that. Sentry, Colossus, Ms. Marvel. They are mere ants when you compare the Hulk to them. I know the fanboys will flame me by saying, “Dude, what about Silver Surfer?”
**puts on scholarly robe and hat**
I would rather the facts speak for themselves, Surfer Fanboy.
While there are many facets of the Hulk I could explore (durability, accelerated healing, astral sight, etc), I am going to investigate just one: his superhuman strength.
I am going to present facts gathered from various sources that present evidence for my argument on why I think that the Hulk is the undisputed strongest one there is. Although the temptation is to place each feat in order by the awesome power displayed, I will refrain from doing so.
The facts come straight from various sources themselves and I will include the sources at the end of this post.
First, I want to present stats on The Hulk:
- Height: 5′ 9 1/2″ (Banner), 7′-8′(Savage Hulk), 6’6″(Gray Hulk/Joe Fixit), 7’6″(Merged Hulk), 8’8″(Green Scar).
- Weight: 145 lbs(Banner), 1,040 lbs-1,400 lbs (Savage Hulk), 900 lbs (Joe Fixit), 1,150 lbs (Merged Hulk), 2,000 lbs (Green Scar)
- Hair: Brown (Banner), Green (Green Hulk), Black (Joe Fixit/Gray Hulk)
- Eyes: Brown (Banner), Black/Grey (Gray Hulk/Joe Fixit), Green (Green Hulk/Green Scar)
Strength: The Hulk’s base strength varies with his form. Without exertion, he can easily lift over 100 tons (unless it’s the Grey hulk whose base strength is 75 tons) of weight. When angered, the Hulk exceeds his base strength many times over. Based on agitation, mood, and motivation, the Hulk’s power is potentially limitless. During the World War Hulk event, the Hulk became so angry, that each step he took was tearing apart the Earth.
Intelligence: The Hulk’s intelligence also varies between different incarnations of the Hulk. Each separate personality differs in intellect, from the near mindless to Banner’s level (Banner is one of the 8 smartest men on the planet). In several instances, the Hulk and Banner coexist within the body of the Hulk, sharing experiences, feelings, and intelligence. These have proven to be the most dangerous incarnations of the Hulk.
Without ado, I present you documented evidence of his strength copied from the sources.
The Hulk Holds Up A 150 billion Ton Mountain
Occurrence: Secret Wars #4
In the Secret Wars, the Beyonder takes a number of villains and heroes from Earth and put them on a planet to fight. During one of the early battles, a 150 billion ton mountain is dropped on the heroes and the Hulk is able to hold up the entire mountain by himself until they figure out how to get out.
The Hulk has been shown capable of protecting other prominent Marvel superheroes from the collision of a falling mountain range, claimed to dwarf the Andes, and supporting a part of it on his back, with the assistance of leverage (Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #4 (Aug. 1984).
The cover stated “Beneath one hundred and fifty billions tons stands the Hulk”.
Hulk Lifts and Moves the Blob
Occurrence: Marvel Fanfare #7
“Nothing moves the BLOB!” That was always the Blob’s catch phrase, that is, until he went against the Hulk. Against all other foes, the Blob was physically immovable, but one punch from the Hulk, and even the Blob goes flying. I’d be willing to bet Blob wasn’t able to do much of anything after that, too.
Note: The Blob could create a mono-directional gravity field extending five feet from his center of balance, rendering himself virtually immovable as long as he was in contact with the ground. His body formerly had superhuman strength and durability; the fat tissues could absorb the impact of bullets, cannonballs, and even missiles. Unable to feel pain, the Blob’s skin could not be punctured, lacerated, frostbitten, or ravaged by disease due to its great elasticity and highly accelerated cell replacement rate. His eyes, ears, nose and mouth were not as resistant to injury, nor was he as resistant to fire or heat. The Blob’s size and strength have been temporarily increased to various levels over the years.
The Hulk Cracks Onslaught’s Armor
Occurrence: Onslaught: Marvel #1
The combined might of the X-Men, Avengers, and Fantastic Four could not even put a scratch in Onslaught’s armor. The Hulk asks for a chance and also asks Jean Grey to “turn off” Bruce Banner, bringing out the Savage Hulk. Onslaught and the Hulk fight and Onslaught holds the Hulk down on the ground. The Hulk gets extremely mad and with one punch, cracks Onslaught’s armor.
Note: Onslaught possessed the combined abilities of Professor X, Magneto, Franklin Richards, and X-Man, including telepathy, telekinesis, astral projection, illusion creation, mental bolt projection, sensing mutant presences, manipulating magnetic fields, and affecting reality itself. Onslaught could also enhance its physical size and strength.
The Hulk Defeats Gladiator
Occurence: Incredible Hulk Annual #7
Gladiator, Marvel’s basic equivalent to Superman, is unbeatable as long as he has his confidence. In the annual, a villain from outer space has disguised himself as the newly discovered son of Bruce Banner. When Gladiator comes to get him, the Hulk, not knowing the boy is an alien, fights Gladiator. The two fight hard against each other until Gladiator uses eye beams and blows a hole in the Hulk’s chest, all the way to his heart. With the beams still hitting him, the Hulk walks up to Gladiator and blocks the beams, causing Gladiator to get feedback and collapse.
The Hulk throws Gladiator into a nuclear plant, causing him even more pain. He then continues o beat Gladiator up with no resistance.
Note: Gladiator is an alien possessed of numerous abilities, first and foremost being his extraordinary strength. Whilst the uppermost limit of his strength is unknown, Gladiator has proven able to lift over 100 tons in weight. He once lifted the entire 35 floor Baxter Building in New York City, and has boasted of being able to move whole planets. In addition to his strength, Gladiator is virtually invulnerable to the point where he has survived an explosion of nearly nova force completely unharmed. He is, however, vulnerable to certain unspecified wavelengths of radiation.
Gladiator can fly at speeds rivaling those of starships, and can achieve faster-than-light speeds in hyperspace. He can survive unprotected in the vacuum of outer space, being able to go long periods of time without needing to draw breath. Thanks to his incredible lung capacity, Gladiator is also able to draw in large amounts of air and then expel it all to create a gale force wind. Gladiator can also project intense beams of heat from his eyes that can reach temperatures comparable to those produced by stars, as well as microscopic vision that lets him see beyond the sub-atomic barrier.
Much, if not all of Gladiator’s abilities are entirely dependent on his level of self-confidence. The more confident he is in being able to complete the task at hand, the more powerful he becomes. Consequently, if Gladiator ever has the slightest hint of doubt that he is unable to accomplish something, then his powers quickly weaken.
The Hulk Defeats a Dog o’ War
Occurrence: Incredible Hulk : Future Imperfect #1
To help keep resistance down in an alternative future, the Maestro has created mechanical dogs called Dogs o’ War whose jaws can crush adamantium (the strongest metal in the Marvel Universe) in 7.3 seconds.
The Hulk battles one and the dog gets the Hulk’s head in its jaws and is not even able to pierce the Hulk’s skin before being defeated.
The Hulk Breaks Through Blast Doors.
Occurrence: The Incredible Hulk #410
The Hulk breaks into a prison to rescue an old friend. To prevent him from reaching her, the people running the prison close door able to withstand a nuclear strike. The Hulk takes it out with a punch.
The Hulk Breaks a Mystical Chain
Occurrence: The Incredible Hulk #308
The Hulk breaks the magical shackles that sealed the portal to the Puffball Collectible’s world which were practically unbreakable.
The Hulk Hurls Fing Fang Foom (20-ton dragon)
Occurrence: Hulk vs. Fin Fang Foom (Dec. 2007)
Hulk hurls Fing Fang Foom from Antarctica to the Moon.
The Hulk Destroys an Asteroid 2 Times the Size of the Earth
Occurrence: Marvel Comics Presents # 52
Three young aliens are playing a game in outer space and knock an asteroid twice the size of Earth into a collision path with it. The Hulk, with the help of an anti-magnetic jet pack, launches into space and destroys the asteroid with a single punch. (emphasis mine)
The Hulk Pushes Thor to the Ground While Thor Was In Warrior Madness Mode
Occurrence: The Incredible Hulk vol. 2, #440 (April 1996)
Pushing a 10x stronger than normal Thor vol.1, #502 “Warrior’s Madness” Thor towards the ground with a single arm.
Note: If pressed in battle, Thor is also capable of entering into a state known as the “Warrior’s Madness” (“berserkergang” in Norwegian), which will temporarily increase his strength and stamina tenfold; although in this state he attacks friend and foe alike.
The Hulk Breaks Doctor Strange’s Crimson Bands of Cyttorak
Occurrence: The Incredible Hulk vol. 2, #450
The Hulk Shatters Doctor Strange‘s otherwise indestructible Crimson Bands of Cyttorak.
The Hulk Breaks Doom’s Force Field
Occurrence: The Incredible Hulk #144
The Hulk is fighting Dr. Doom and Doom encases the Hulk is a force field which he says is so strong that nothing in the universe can shatter it.
Needless to say, the Hulk then proceeds to break out of the force field.
The Hulk Catches Iron Fist’s Punch
Occurrence: The Incredible Hulk #300
When Bruce Banner voluntarily retreats into his mind, letting the Hulk free to roam the city, unleashed. When he starts to destroy the city, all the heroes try to stop him. Iron Fist summons his Iron Fist, which has superhuman strength, and tries to punch the Hulk. The Hulk just puts his hand out and catches the fist without moving and forces the power back at Iron Fist.
Note: Through concentration, Iron Fist can harness his spiritual energy, or chi, to augment his physical and mental capabilities to peak human levels. By focusing his chi into his hand, he can tap the superhuman energy of Shou-Lao and temporarily render his fist superhumanly powerful, immune to pain and injury;
Hulk Breaks Superman’s Grip and Throws Him into Outer Space
Occurrence: Incredible Hulk Vs Superman (1997)
The Hulk Shakes the Rocky Mountains
Occurrence: The Incredible Hulk Annual #8
Sasquatch forces Bruce to turn into the Hulk so that he can test himself against him. During the battle, the Hulk strikes the ground with enough force to shake the Rocky Mountains.
The Hulk Overcomes the Leader’s Kinetic Gloves
Occurrence: The Incredible Hulk #225
The Leader is wearing a pair of kinetic gloves against the Hulk which basically reflect the person’s strength right back at them so they should never be able to defeat the glove. The Hulk exerts with all his strength and after about three minutes, his strength increases so much, he is able to overcome the gloves, much to the amazement of the Leader.
The Hulk Stops an Earthquake
Occurrence: The Incredible Hulk #202
The Hulk visits Jarella’s planet just as an earthquake is occurring. The Hulk uses his strength and actually stops the earthquake and pulls the land back together.
The Hulk Stops a Planet from Ripping Apart
Occurrence: The Incredible Hulk #102
The Hulk is in a heavy battle with the Red King on the planet Sakaar and when the Red King senses he is going to lose, he triggers a mechanism which causes the planet’s plates to start to rip apart. The Hulk jumps down into the hole with the lava where the main split is and by sheer strength alone, pulls the plates back together and prevents the planet from ripping apart.
Another view: During Planet Hulk, Hulk finds his world coming apart at the seams…the world that he has come to call home after his banishment from Earth.
Knowing he is the strongest there is, he pushes the planet back together by force and realigns the Tectonic Plates that have shifted into dangerous positions by nothing more than sheer force of will and strength.
Other Feats of Strength:
- Ripping the gigantic “Flame of Life”, created to withstand and fight the Celestials, in half. – The Incredible Hulk vol.2, #242
- Destroying a pocket universe, by clapping his hands to create a shock wave that reflected the Dark-Crawler’s blasts.- The Incredible Hulk vol.2, #126
- Sending concussive shockwaves, causing cataclysmic upheavals throughout a number of multiversal planets, by the impact of his punches when within the ‘Crossroads’ nexus.” – The Incredible Hulk vol.2, #305
- Breaking free of a power-leeching machine that held Silver Surfer, Sub-Mariner, and Doctor Strange combined. – Defenders vol. 2, #8
- Denting or cracking true adamantium through physical force. – Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12; The Incredible Hulk vol.2, #300
- Stopping the Juggernaut when Hulk had higher base strength, due to nexus-energies from Franklin Richards’ pocket universe, but had lost his rage-factor. Likely given help from the light armor provided by Apocalypse.- The Incredible Hulk vol. 2, #457 He later repeated the feat without help. It was never resolved for how long this could be maintained. – World War Hulk: X-Men #3
- Beating the Silver Surfer unconscious with 3 blows.- Incredible Hulk vol.3, #95
- Breaking X-Man‘s telekinetic field. – X-Man/Incredible Hulk ’98 Annual
- Defeating the Fantastic Four & Storm single-handedly, including smashing Sue Storm’s force field. – World War Hulk #2
- Closing vault doors to a nuclear core that Thor and Thing together couldn’t budge. – The Invincible Iron Man vol.2, #6
- Fighting evenly against Thor and Thing at the same time. – Heroes Return #1
- Effortlessly stopping a strike from Red Norvell’s equal copy of Mjolnir with one hand. – Incredible Hulk vol.2, #421
- Defeating nearly the entire X-men roster single-handedly, including easily breaking both of Colossus‘ arms, and overloading Strong Guy with one strike. (emphasis mine)- World War Hulk: X-Men #2; World War Hulk: X-Men #1-#3
- Having his limbs phased into solid concrete and immediately tearing free, completely unscathed. -World War Hulk: X-Men #2
The Leader cannot measure the Hulk’s strength
Occurrence: Tales to Astonish #73
Before sending the Hulk off to the Watcher’s planet, the Leader tests the Hulk’s strength. He doesn’t have any equipment that can even come close to measuring the Hulk’s strength. He also uses electrodes, freezing temperature, and high velocity, all to no effect.
Doc Samson can find no limit to the Hulk’s strength
Occurrence: Incredible Hulk #228
Doc Samson is using advanced military equipment to measure the Hulk’s strength and finds that he cannot determine the limit to the Hulk’s strength. The Hulk destroys the equipment shortly thereafter.
Occurrence: Ultimate Wolverinevs Hulk #1
Although this version of the Hulk is from the Ultimate Universe, here is his feat of strength as quoted by the article by the website Bam n’ Pow:
“Ultimate Wolverine is sent to find and kill Ultimate Hulk in what promised to be the most badass of brouhahas. In a sort of re-telling of Hulk and Wolvie’s first ever meeting, the two face off, but this time around, what happens? Hulk tears Wolvie in HALF.”
Ultimate Avengers (2006)
The Hulk breaks the knee of Giant Man who was ten times larger than him, destroys alien ships with ease when the ships’ skin absorbed energy which augments its ships powers, picks up Thor’s hammer Mjolnir (which no impure mortal can lift) and toss it back at him.
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
According to Wikipedia, the Hulk’s opponent Abomination was stronger than him and trained better than him yet Hulk defeats him.
Hulk Vs. (2009)
Wolverine Arc: Hulk battles all of the Weapon X team and “punches Sabretooth so powerfully he sends him flying out of the facility.” He later rips out a large 10 story tall power generator to use as a bat.
Thor Arc: Loki, god of mischief, has kidnapped Dr. Bruce Banner and brought him to Asgard with the help of Amora, once Thor’s lover, now the supervillain known as the Enchantress. Loki makes Banner angry and he changes into the Hulk. The Enchantress then casts a spell over the Hulk which separates Banner from his monstrous alter-ego and grants Loki control over the Hulk’s body.
After a prolonged battle, Hulk/Loki attempts to pick up Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, which is enchanted with a spell that renders it usable only to those it deems worthy. Amora warns Loki that he cannot wield Mjolnir, and has to stop before he is no longer in control of the Hulk. Loki, of course, does not listen and continues to attempt to lift the hammer via the Hulk’s unimaginable strength. Mjolnir flies to Thor, who uses his powers to separate Loki from the Hulk. It works, but this proves to be a huge mistake. Without Banner’s personality or Loki’s control, the Hulk is an unstoppable living incarnation of pure rage, and he beats Thor to death.
Hela, the daughter of Loki and ruler of Hel, the underworld, attempts to claim Thor’s soul but is stopped by the Enchantress. Amora refers to Thor as “my love” and kisses him, which revives the thunder god. At first Thor appears to intend to go back after the Hulk, but realizes another fight would only have the same result. To stop the Hulk they must reunite him with Bruce Banner. Amora betrays Loki and gives Thor the location of where he is hiding.
Thor arrives at Loki’s hideout with the aid of the Enchantress and they discover that Loki has murdered Banner, after growing tired of Banner’s warnings about the Hulk. Therefore, Amora has no way to send the Hulk back to Earth. Thor tells Amora that she must go to Sif, the woman Thor now loves, to aid and defend Odin. She reluctantly agrees and Loki summons all of his evil forces to stop the Hulk and Thor and Loki travel to Hel together. However, not even good and evil combined could halt the Hulk’s advance, as he was beckoned by the light coming from Odin’s chambers.
Thor and Loki arrive in Hel where they meet Hela who at first refuses to bring Bruce Banner back. Saying that once he is dead his spirit is hers. Though Thor and Loki convince her to bring him back, since Bruce’s spirit was split from the Hulk she has an “Incomplete Soul”. Since his death, Banner is enjoying an afterlife in which his life is back to normal, living free from the Hulk, he is the husband to his true love, Betty Ross, and father to a boy named Bruce Jr. Soon though, this vision ends when Hela brings him to her throne where Thor and Loki await. Thor says that Asgard needs his help but Banner does not want to help and wishes to remain dead, in his happy vision. Loki slyly manages to convince Hela to bring the Hulk to Hel, so that she could have the complete being. She complies and teleports the Hulk to Hel, just as had reached Odin’s slumbering form.
Hulk attacks upon seeing Banner, and after another battle with Thor, the Hulk rejoins with Banner and is teleported back to Earth by Hela, who considers him too dangerous to be kept, even in the Underworld. However, due to the damage the Hulk had caused to her kingdom, she punishes Loki for it but promises his stay won’t be permanent, given that she is his daughter.
Planet Hulk (2010)
Hulk nearly kills Beta Ray Bill.
Note: Beta Ray Bill’s life force and consciousness were transferred by scientists of his race into the body of an alien carnivorous equine-like beast that had been bionically restructured into a cyborg. Courtesy of highly advanced genetic engineering, the character possesses vast superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, and a highly extended lifespan. Beta Ray Bill is also a superior hand-to-hand combatant. His combat prowess is such that he was able to fight Thor, noted as one of the best hand-to-hand fighters in the Marvel Universe, to a standstill.
Beta Ray Bill’s weapon, Stormbreaker, also has the same properties as Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, and includes the ability to transform into a cane when struck upon the ground and return Bill to his unaltered Korbinite form. Bill also possesses the advanced and sentient warship Skuttlebutt.
There’s the evidence.
Other evidence of Hulk’s strength were examples of his durability. I did not include these although this would be an impressive thesis to explore as well.
Now I ask you.
Who is the strongest?
For me, you can kindly hand me my Hulk T-shirt. I side with the Jade Giant.
Sources (not in order):