The Hulk is a fictional superhero appearing in publications by the American publisher Marvel Comics. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in the debut issue of The Incredible Hulk (May 1962). In his comic book appearances, the character is both the Hulk, a green-skinned, hulking and muscular humanoid possessing a vast degree of physical strength, and his alter ego Dr. Robert Bruce Banner, a physically weak, socially withdrawn, and emotionally reserved physicist, the two existing as independent personalities and resenting of the other.
Following his accidental exposure to gamma rays during the detonation of an experimental bomb, Banner is physically transformed into the Hulk when subjected to emotional stress, at or against his will, often leading to destructive rampages and conflicts that complicate Banners civilian life. The Hulks level of strength is normally conveyed as proportionate to his level of anger. Commonly portrayed as a raging savage, the Hulk has been represented with other personalities based on Banners fractured psyche, from a mindless, destructive force, to a brilliant warrior, or genius scientist in his own right. Despite both Hulk and Banners desire for solitude, the character has a large supporting cast, including Banners lover Betty Ross, his friend Rick Jones, his cousin She-Hulk, sons Hiro-Kala and Skaar, and his co-founders of the superhero team the Avengers. However, his uncontrollable power has brought him into conflict with his fellow heroes and others.
Lee stated that the Hulks creation was inspired by a combination of Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Although the Hulks coloration has varied throughout the characters publication history, the most usual color is green. He has two main catchphrases: Hulk is strongest one there is! and the better-known Hulk smash!, which has founded the basis for numerous pop culture memes.
One of the most iconic characters in popular culture, the character has appeared on a variety of merchandise, such as clothing and collectable items, inspired real-world structures (such as theme park attractions), and been referenced in a number of media. Banner and the Hulk have been adapted in live-action, animated, and video game incarnations. The character was first played in a live-action feature film by Eric Bana, with Edward Norton and Mark Ruffalo portraying the character in the films The Incredible Hulk (2008), The Avengers (2012), a cameo in Iron Man 3 (2013), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), a cameo in Captain Marvel (2019), and Avengers: Endgame (2019) of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.