Here at The Modernist Son, most of us have been fans of comic books for most of our lives. Today, we will be looking at stories from Marvel. Dr. Bruce Banner, more popularly known as (the) Incredible Hulk has been a character within the Marvel comics universe since 1962.
However, stories about this hero have been consistently published since 1963 when the series was revitalized following its previous cancellation. Interestingly, the first comic book named "The Incredible Hulk" was published in May of 1962, a few months prior to the first appearance of Spider-Man.
Actually, Spider-Man (also known as Peter Parker) made his first appearance in "Amazing Fantasy 15", in August of 1962. Although there have been different versions of The Hulk (meaning colours), this does not necessarily mean they are Banner himself.
Instead, the identity of Red Hulk seems to be a consistent enemy within both Banner's personal and professional life. The identity of Red Hulk is none other than Banner's father-in-law, Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross.
Ross is known within the Marvel universe for serving as the General of the United States Army, meaning his position is the highest rank. Nevertheless, it's Ross' responsibility to protect the United States from serious threats such as when the original Hulk is amidst a rampage. Despite physical similarities, there are some differences in characteristics between the two:
"Red Hulk has superhuman strength, durability, and endurance, comparable to that of the Hulk. He is capable of absorbing radiation, which his body can metabolize for increased strength. However, unlike the Hulk, when he becomes angrier, he does not become stronger, but emits increasing heat.
The upper limit of this heat has not been specified, but when fighting the Hulk, during the Red Hulk's first storyline, this heat created an aura of light around the two behemoths and melted the desert sand on which they stood into a glass disc at least dozens of feet in diameter. At this level, Red Hulk weakens and is vulnerable to being knocked unconscious by the Hulk. He is capable of absorbing radiation, which his body can metabolize for increased strength."(Planet Hulk #5. Marvel Comics)
©Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
A recurring motif within superhero
narratives is the ability to overcome adversity, and this is what makes these stories so interesting. General Ross has been a consistent antagonist throughout the Incredible Hulk comics, dating back to his first appearance in May of 1962.
Although Banner and Ross' daughter (Betty) did not marry right away, she has always been a love-interest for the scientist- turned Avenger (1963/64). Dr. Banner overcomes adversity within his personal life through his willingness and ability to protect Betty, with the exception of canonical storylines where either of them are killed.
Furthermore, Banner proves his worth to General Ross by being a good husband to Betty. Despite his ability to prove his worth, General Ross takes his hatred for Banner to the next level throughout a 2008 storyline in which he is transformed into Red Hulk by the Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M) organization.
Looking at Ross' feelings toward Banner, he decides to protect the United States from the Hulk's mostly uncontrollable rampages by directly fighting Banner himself, while transformed into Red Hulk. Although Red Hulk is not nearly as strong as the original (Banner), his ability to project immense heat when angered is among one of Hulk's weaknesses.
The creation of Red Hulk plays an important role within the Planet Hulk canon, considering that this storyline involves Banner's inability to control his powers which results in mass destruction and his dismissal from The Avengers team.
©Planet Hulk (2010)
Ross' transformation into Red Hulk is just one, among a series of procedures created to stabilized Banner's actions and destruction. Consequently, Banner is sent to the planet Sakaar in order to control his powers, since he is unable to revert from his Hulk form. With respect to the Planet Hulk storyline, this was one of the greatest stories about The Hulk published in the twenty-first century.
The Modernist Son, 2020-2021.