|Alias(es)|| Bruce Banner|
|Appeared in|| The Incredible Hulk|
Iron Man 3
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Avengers: Infinity War
|Actor|| Edward Norton|
Dr. Robert Bruce Banner is a genius scientist who, due to exposure to gamma radiation, transforms into the Hulk; whenever he is stressed, enraged or seriously injured.
Bruce is a gifted scientist, one of the greatest of his generation. His attempt to recreate the Super Soldier Serum went awry and he was exposed to intense levels of gamma radiation instead of vita-rays. This resulted in Bruce transforming into a super powerful man-creature known as the Hulk.
After defeating the Abomination in Manhattan, Bruce attempts to seclude himself and attempt to control when he turns into the Hulk. After being recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. to find the location of the Tesseract, he joins the fray during the Battle of New York and becomes a founding member of the Avengers.
Bruce was born on December 18, 1969. At Harvard, Bruce met Betty Ross. They begin dating and at one point volunteer for an experiment involving hallucinogenics.
Later Bruce became a leader in gamma radiation research, and once worked with Erik Selvig for a brief period. In 2006, Betty's father, general Thaddeus Ross enlisted Bruce in a military research group to apparently make soldiers more resistant to radiation (in reality, Ross was hoping Bruce would perfect a recreation of the original Super Soldier Serum). But when testing the experiment on himself, he was transformed into the Hulk and hospitalized Betty and injured her father. Ross decided to have Bruce dissected in order to recreate the Hulk for mass use, however, Bruce instead went on the run, knowing that the Hulk and it's power could not be controlled.
At tail's end, Bruce tried to kill himself with a gun, but Hulk emerged and stopped him first. He would then spend the next 5 years running from country to country, looking for a cure while continuously being pursued by Ross.
Bruce Banner was drinking in a bar when Nick Fury, who came to the bar to see what Banner could do when he turns into the Hulk in attempt to find a Super Soldier for S.H.I.E.L.D., spoke to him. As planned, Fury and two other undercover agents were able to make Banner turn into the Hulk, Hulk escapes the bar.
Sometime after his accident, Banner spoke to Ross about the accident and revealed to Ross that he will find a cure, Ross refuses to allow him to get a cure, but Banner disobeys him and runs away.
While on the run, he hid on a truck heading to Canada, where he was arrested by the police as the truck was passing by the borders, Banner ended up transforming into the Hulk and causing alot of mess
One day, "Mr. Blue" requested that Banner send him a sample of blood, which through some tests revealed a potential cure. However, Blue needed the data that changed him first in the first place. After Banner suffered a cut, a drop of his blood landed into a bottle of soft drink, which was eventually drank by an ill-fated consumer. Following this, General Ross discovered his location and sent Emil Blonsky and a special forces team to apprehend him. While trying to evade the special forces, Banner was attacked by thugs and became the Hulk. The Hulk killed some of the thugs and the special forces team and escaped, leaving Blonsky unharmed. Banner wakes up in Guatemala, dazed by the experience and eventually makes his way to Culver University in the United States, where a now-recovered Betty was dating psychologist Doctor Leonard Samson. Unable to access his old lab to retrieve the data, he sees his old friend Stanley, a pizzeria owner, for a place to stay and a job as a delivery boy. Banner used this job to sneak past a Culver University security guard to try and retrieve his research, only to discover it was gone.
When preparing to head off once again, Betty visited the pizzeria and spotted Banner, who fled to try and avoid her, however they later reunited, and he elected to stay with her one night. Learning that she possessed the last of the data, he explained her father's plan for him, and why he must continue running. While getting ready to leave, the military arrived, and Blonsky, enhanced by some of the experimental serum Ross had tried to produce himself, led the assault. While trapped and gased, Banner was angered by some soldiers trying to restrain Betty, and transformed into the Hulk. Despite Blonsky's increased strength, speed and agility, the Hulk crushed most of the bones in Blonsky's body before absconding with Betty to Smokey Mountain National Forrest with Betty and keeping her safe from a firing gunship.
Banner sends the data to "Mr. Blue", and he and Betty traveled to Manhattan to meet with "Mr. Blue", Dr. Samuel Sterns. Accompanying Sterns to his lab, Banner and Betty learned that Sterns had indeed developed a possible antidote that may reverse Banner's transformations, however it might only prevent the current occurrence and not future ones, and that an overdose could possibly kill him. Despite the risks, Banner agreed to try, and was shocked into transforming with electricity and then reverted to normal with an injection of the serum and Betty's calming words. Exhilarated by the success of the antidote, Sterns revealed that he had synthesized Banner's blood sample into a large supply, with the intention of using it to enhance the human condition to the next evolutionary level. Appalled and fearful of the the Hulk's power falling into the wrong hands, Banner attempted to convince Sterns to destroy the blood supply when he was shot by a tranquilizer from one of General Ross' snipers, while Blonksy, further enhanced by Ross's serum, attacked Banner in an attempt to get him to transform but couldn't.
As Banner was taken into custody, Blonsky, desperate for more power, confronted Sterns and demanded he subject him to a dose of the Banner's gamma radiation treatment. As a result, Blonsky mutated into a hideous titan, the Abomination, and went on a rampage in the city. Banner, realizing that he was the only one who could stop the Abomination, convinced General Ross to release him, and jumped out of Ross' helicopter, hoping the fall would stimulate a transformation. Banner's plans succeeded, and after a violent, pitched battle the Abomination was defeated when the Hulk brutally strangled him with a huge chain, but was stopped from killing him by Betty. The Hulk then fled the scene with the army in hot pursuit.
Thirty one days later, Banner was staying in Bella Coola, British Columbia. Instead of trying to suppress his transformations, he began attempting to initiate them in a controlled manner. As his eyes turned green, a grin appeared on his face.
S.H.I.E.L.D. were monitoring Banner's movements. Both Agent Sitwell and Agent Romanoff were assigned to watch over him.
The Avengers Initiative
Bruce Banner heads to Afghanistan, then Pakistan and then India and is attacked by some Mercenary Bandits. He becomes the Hulk and attacks them.
S.H.I.E.L.D. continued to observe Banner's actions and is glimpsed on their screens.
- "It's his M.O., isn't it? I mean, what are we, a team? No, no, no. We're a chemical mixture that makes chaos. We're... we're a time-bomb."
- ―Bruce Banner[src]
After meeting Steve Rogers/Captain America, the original subject of the super-soldier serum, he began working on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier to track the location of the Tesseract, by attempting to locate the gamma radiation it emitted, working with Tony Stark, the industrialist also known as "Iron Man". Stark attempted to get a reaction out of Banner in the hope of seeing his alter-ego, however Banner was able to remain in control of himself. Though Loki was captured and refused to cooperate, Banner suspected that there was more to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s agenda. Soon the clash of personalities within the assembled group provided a constant source of tension for all and Banner was subjected to frequent reminders of his need to contain the beast within.
Clint Barton, a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent under Loki's control, led an attack against the Helicarrier. Explosions from the attack caused debris from the ceiling to rain down on Banner, injuring him and triggering the change into the Hulk despite Romanoff's attempts to calm him down. He rampaged around the vessel, hunting Romanoff, before he turned his attention to Thor, and the Asgardian actually proved a challenge to the Hulk. Finally, a S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot in a fighter jet outside got his attention by shooting him through a window, causing the Hulk to leap out and attack it, before falling to Earth.
Banner awoke in the blasted remnants of a warehouse and was greeted by a lone security guard who had seen his alter-ego, and offered him clothing. Following disturbances into New York City, where Loki had opened a dimensional rift with the Tesseract, Banner located his superhuman acquaintances assembling to counter the threat. Although wary of another transformation, they insisted that he would be a help. Banner obliged, triggering a controlled transformation, then together with the others, he turned his attention on the Chitauri invasion force pouring through the portal. The Hulk did indeed prove to be an asset to the group; not only did he single-handedly kill the first of the Chitauri Leviathans, he was an unstoppable force in dealing with the alien warriors. Eventually he managed to single-handedly subdue Loki, and caught Stark as he fell from the closing portal, and roared to wake him up, before joining the rest of the team in confronting Loki.
Long after the battle was over, Banner, now back to normal again, gathered with the others in Central Park to see off Thor and the captive Loki. The threat neutralized, Banner and the remaining heroes said their goodbyes and parted company, with Banner departing with Stark.
After Loki was defeated, James Rhodes arrived in New York to help out Tony. Rhodes located Stark in a Shawarma restaurant where he was introduced to Bruce and the other Avengers.
- "I'm sorry, I'm not that kind of doctor. I don't have the temperment."
- ―Bruce Banner[src]
Bruce was targetted by the undercover HYDRA agents on SHIELD as a potential threat for their plans.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
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- "I can't have this, any of this. There is no place on Earth I can go where I'm not a monster."
- ―Bruce Banner[src]
- "Biggest muscle in the body."
- ―Bruce Banner[src]
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Three weeks after the Decimation, Banner was relieved when Carol Danvers rescued Tony Stark and Nebula and returned them to Earth. Banner joined the mission to take the Infinity Stones from Thanos and use them to restore everyone lost in the Decimation. Still unable to transform into the Hulk, Banner once again donned the repaired Hulkbuster 2.0 armor. During the confrontation with Thanos, Banner burst through the floor and held down one of the Mad Titan's arms, only to learn that Thanos had destroyed the Infinity Stones to prevent their use ever again. Thanos was then decapitated by Thor, leaving the surviving Avengers with no way of bringing back everyone they lost.
Five years later, after Scott Lang returned from the Quantum Realm with the idea to use it to time travel, Banner was called upon to help make the time travel possible. In the five years since the Decimation, Banner had realized that the Hulk wasn't the problem but the solution and through further gamma experimentation, managed to combine his intellect with the Hulk's body. Banner created a time machine, but it instead manipulated Lang to turn into various ages as Banner accidentally sent time through Lang instead of the other way around. However, Stark returned, having decided to help and figured out how to properly time travel.
Banner subsequently joined the mission to 2012 where he was to collect the Time Stone. After witnessing the 2012 Hulk, Banner awkwardly tried to imitate his past self's behavior, but was unable to fake the Hulk's pure ferociousness. Banner traveled to the Sanctum Sanctorum in search of Stephen Strange, but found the Ancient One instead. To keep Banner from hurting her, the Ancient One pulled his astral form from Banner's physical body, causing Banner's spirit to resume his original human form. Though sympathetic, the Ancient One refused to help as removing the Infinity Stones from her timeline would doom it, demonstrating to Banner the multitude of possible alternate futures it could cause. Banner suggested they could return the Stones to the exact moment they were taken and after revealing how Strange willingly gave up the Time Stone, the Ancient One agreed to give it to Banner on the condition the Avengers return all of the Stones to their proper times when they were done with them.
At the same time, following the defeat of Loki, 2012 Stark forced the 2012 Hulk to use the stairs of Stark Tower instead of joining everyone else in the elevator due to weight limits. The Hulk was left enraged and frustrated by having to climb down so many stairs. When the Hulk finally reached the lobby, he burst through the stairwell door, interrupting the 2023 Stark and Lang's attempt to steal the Tesseract. As a result of the mishap with the Hulk, Loki stole the Tesseract and escaped with it.
After returning to the present, Banner was devastated to learn that Natasha Romanoff had sacrificed herself so that Clint Barton could get the Soul Stone. When a Gauntlet was created to hold the Infinity Stones, Banner insisted on being the one to use it as the Stones mainly emitted Gamma Radiation and he was the only one who could survive it. Though the Stones caused him intense pain, Banner snapped his fingers and used the Stones to reverse the Decimation, resurrecting everyone who had been disintegrated by Thanos. Banner's right arm was severely injured in the process and Stark quickly covered it with his nanite spray.
After the 2014 Thanos destroyed the New Avengers Facility, Banner remained trapped underground with James Rhodes and Rocket Raccoon, struggling to hold up a slab of rock. The three were eventually rescued by Scott Lang and joined the final battle with Thanos' army which ended when Stark sacrificed himself to use the Infinity Stones to disintegrate Thanos and his army.
In the aftermath of the final battle, Banner attended Stark's funeral where he told Steve Rogers that he'd tried as hard as he could to use the Stones to resurrect Romanoff, but couldn't. Banner later coordinated Steve's return of the Infinity Stones and Mjölnir to their own times and was shocked when Rogers didn't return on schedule. As Banner tried to figure out what had gone wrong, Bucky Barnes directed Sam Wilson to where an elderly Rogers, having decided to stay in the past, sat nearby.
In The Incredible Hulk, Bruce is a mild-mannered, mysterious, shy and analytical man of science. The incident at Culver University caused Bruce to become somewhat mentally troubled and obsessed with finding a cure for his mutation. He is compassionate and afraid of hurting someone unintentionally, so he tries not to get close to something or someone that leaves him stressed. He supplemented his scientific pursuit by learning meditation and breathing techniques, gaining a greater control over the transformations. When he transforms, his personality regresses to a more child-like state and he has little recollection of events after he returns to his normal human form.
In The Avengers, Bruce is renowned to be a brilliant scientist in the fields of nuclear and chemical sciences, to such an extent that he was called upon to track down the Tesseract. He is highly intelligent and calculating, and had a scientific mind which meant that his deductions were rarely wrong and commonly very precise. However, Bruce was, slightly suicidal because of his intense fear of what his transformations could do. This is shown when, in order to spare himself the inevitable shame of becoming genocidal and destructive and dangerous, he shot himself in the mouth in human form, only for his Hulk form to literally spit the bullet back out.
In his earliest transformations, Bruce appeared as a savage with no real ability to distinguish friend from foe. Because of this, he was responsible for the deaths of two scientists, an army officer, an police officer from Idaho and two Canadian hunters when he was a fugitive. The Hulk gradually attained a better reasoning capacity over time, becoming able to show affection and demonstrating a capacity to work collaboratively with others.
However, Bruce has been shown that out of all the Avengers, he is the one they respect, but fear, the most. Even Natasha, who always is calm in every situation, fears him as shown twice when she pull a gun on him in the hut when he appeared to lose his cool but in truth to see if she was truly alone or not and on the Helicarrier when they were blasted out of the lab and he transformed and attack her, showing terror in her face, very rarely does that happen with her.
In Thor: Ragnarok, after finally returning to his human form, after being trapped in his superhuman form for 2 years, upon learning from Thor that he had been Hulk for 2 years, Bruce became afraid of Hulk once more, as transforming again would likely result in Hulk gaining full control and the ability to permanently suppress Bruce.
In Avengers: Infinity War, ironically Bruce realizes that despite getting his wish of being cured of Hulk, this has left him vulnerable and unable to help his teammates directly as he has lost the strength gained from being Hulk. However, despite this, Bruce displays great courage by fighting in the Battle of Wakanda wearing the Hulkbuster armor, even facing Thanos again without fear.
When Bruce would originally transform into the Hulk, he would lose control of himself because of rage, adrenaline or stress, which hormonally stimulates the heart rate. The total time of transformation takes only seconds. Banner becomes the Hulk with increase in heart rate or adrenal levels, suggesting that the true trigger mechanism into the Hulk is far more psychological than physical.
Bruce was unable to control the transformations, but while his consciousness is buried within the Hulk's, he can influence Hulk's behavior only to a very limited extent such as when he was asked by Betty Ross not to kill his enemy. Hulk was also spurred by Betty's cries to resist the sonic weapons that were attacking him.
Hulk is constantly enraged and draws his strength from this rage. The angrier Hulk is the more powerful he becomes. This aspect of his physiology grants him virtually limitless strength. If Hulk calms down to a certain point, he reverts back to his human form.
In The Avengers, after over 4 years of training to control Hulk, Bruce learned that if he always remains in a controlled angry state, then he can easily change into Hulk at will. This type of transformation allows Hulk to be more intelligent and less enraged than an uncontrolled one. However, if Bruce is sent into a state of stress then he can lose control and transform against his will despite trying to control it; Hulk will revert back to a savage enraged state where he would attack anyone being friend or foe.
In Thor: Ragnarok, after having stayed in his superhuman form for 2 years on Sakaar, Hulk has developed a calm and stable demeanor, which allows him to not solely act aggressive and hostile (despite his temper) such as when he talked calmly with Thor after the two of them argued and befriended Brunnhilde during his stay on the planet. Hulk has also become intelligent to the point of acknowledge his human-half, but repeatedly refuted Bruce's existence, claiming "No Banner, only Hulk!", he did this out of resentment and bitterness for Bruce.
Having suffered defeat only once at the hands of Iron Man in his Hulkbuster Armor, which was partially aided due to Hulk's complete loss of control, his experience and growing intelligence in Sakaar had further reinforced the idea and image of his superiority so much that he believed himself to be invincible. Having been nearly defeated by Thor, who easily outclassed him after unlocking his full power and even before that dominated him, did nothing on this arrogant belief of being unbeatable, as he continued to believe he had won the fight, which only happened because of the Grandmaster cheating. It was only after he saw just how much stronger and more skilled Thanos was that he was finally forced to acknowledge that be as powerful as he may be, he is not unbeatable. He also came to realize that others only call upon him when he is needed to save the day and otherwise he is considered to be a beast that should be feared. No longer a primitive rage monster like when he first came into existence and now capable of grasping a wide spectrum of emotions, Hulk became bitter towards how he was only ever considered a tool to fight and was also fearful of the Titan and his forces. This causes Hulk to outright leave Bruce alone to fend for himself for the first time since his creation, to the extent of staunchly refusing to transform and come out to fight even when told to.
Powers and Abilities
- Superhuman Physiology: Bruce subjected himself to a combination of a recreated version of the Super Soldier Serum and an exposure to high levels of Gamma Radiation, in an attempt to develop a result similar to the original Project Rebirth from World War II. As a result, Bruce is able to transform into the Hulk when his heart rate increases to high levels or he loses control of his emotions. As Hulk, Bruce is a giant green-skinned humanoid with immense strength fueled by his rage, meaning the angrier he gets the stronger he becomes, and is one of the most powerful beings on Earth. According to Samuel Sterns, the transformation is triggered when an electric pulse generated on the amygdala (when Banner loses control or the pulse is induced) increases the gamma radiation of Bruce's cells. Betty Ross' reagent allows the cells to absorb the energy temporarily, which then abates, resulting in a chemical reaction that produces a myostatin primer. When Hulk transforms back into Bruce, the excess muscle mass and energy is dissipated. The total time of transformation falls anywhere between seconds to several minutes, depending on the initial adrenaline surge, which will be determined by the original stimulus. Despite Bruce's initial inability to control the transformations, he managed to attain some level of control through training and practice, and Banner's consciousness is buried within Hulk, influencing his behavior to a very limited extent. Now Banner is able to trigger his transformations at will, remaining angry in a controlled state, which allows Hulk to be more intelligent and self-controlled in battle. Despite Banner previously being able to control Hulk, his alter-ego was slowly becoming more self-aware and developing a mind of his own. After the events of Sokovia, Hulk left Earth and became a gladiator on Sakaar, keeping Banner suppressed for two years. After meeting Thor, Banner re-emerged and, despite realizing that transforming again would mean that he might not change back, willingly unleashed Hulk to aid Thor and the Asgardians. Following this battle, Hulk fought Thanos one-on-one and was effortlessly defeated. Hulk has since refused to come back, as he has grown fearful of the Titan and his forces, leaving Banner to fend for himself. After the events of the Snap and Thor executing Thanos, Bruce spent 18 months in a gamma lab to fuse his genius-level intellect and knowledge with the Hulk's extraordinary superhuman abilities together to become an amalgamation of both Hulk and himself.
- Superhuman Strength: As the Hulk, Bruce's primary power is his immense superhuman strength. His strength allows Hulk to rip steel as if it was made of paper, to break vehicles with a punch, to stop a speeding Humvee in its tracks by stomping it into the ground, leave a dent after punching a wall made of an extremely durable silicon-carbide Vibranium alloy One Door Closes, or to kill a massive Leviathan with a single punch. In combat, Hulk often uses his strength to throw heavy objects (for example; cars and forklift trucks) or his smaller opponents in order to defeat his enemies, such as when Hulk threw a human sized Emil Blonsky more than 40 feet away with just one kick or when he hurled Loki around repeatedly while holding him by the leg. Very few could match and overpower him in strength, such as the Abomination, who despite his greater strength ultimately succumbed to Hulk's when he endangered the life of Betty Ross, Thor, who Hulk has proven to be capable of injuring in battle despite his vast Asgardian durability and strength, Iron Man, who had to develop a special Hulkbuster armor to battle him in case of need, and Thanos, who easily overpowered Hulk in strength.
- Superhuman Leaping: As the Hulk, Bruce's strength also extends to his legs, allowing him to leap great distances, such as when he traveled from Brazil to Guatemala in a single night, covering at least from 1500 to 1600 miles in over 7 to 10 hours, or great heights with precision, such as when reached the top of Stark Tower from ground level in a single leap, or when he caught Iron Man in mid-fall when Stark came back through the Wormhole over New York City.
- Superhuman Durability: As the Hulk, Bruce is able to withstand blows and attacks of considerable force; even high caliber bullets bounce off him and flames cause him little damage. His bone, skin and muscles have an extreme density and he possesses a high degree of resistance to injury, pain, and disease. Hulk also withstood multiple energy blasts from Chitauri weaponry, extreme cold in the Arctic, great impacts from heights of several miles (though the impact knocked him unconscious, forcing him to revert back into Banner). Only beings with incredible force or extremely powerful weapons can harm him, such as when Hulk was painfully pierced by Abomination's skeletal spikes, and when a blow from Thor wielding Mjölnir knocked him out for a moment. While Hulk did survive quite a few blows from the Hulkbuster with little discomfort, he got a tooth knocked out in the confrontation. In addition, Hulk's durability is also tied to his anger level. During the fight against the Hulkbuster, he slightly calmed down, which slightly reduced his durability after witnessing the destruction that he caused in South Africa, allowing Iron Man to use the advantage, hammering Hulk with a massive punch, which sent him flying against a tall building, knocking him out.
- Superhuman Stamina: As the Hulk, Bruce has substantially greater endurance than a normal human, allowing him to run and fight for a long time. His enraged state, during a fight, allows him to maintain peak output for hours on end and still continue to become even stronger as his anger escalates.
- Superhuman Speed: Regardless of his size, as the Hulk, Bruce's superhuman strength of his legs allow him to run at speeds that are far beyond the natural physical limits of a human being. He also possesses enhanced reflexes and agility proportionate to his size, but his large size can still be exploited by smaller foes to use to their advantage.
- Superhuman Senses: As the Hulk, Bruce's senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste, and instincts, are heightened to superhuman levels and accuracy. Hulk possesses incredible perception, noticing even the smallest details.
- Superhuman Endurance: As the Hulk, Bruce's body generates no fatigue toxins during physical activity, granting him nigh limitless endurance in all physical activities. His stamina and vitality are inexhaustible and limitless.
- Environmental Adaptation: As the Hulk, Bruce can adapt to any environment, even airless space. Hulk can adapt to a wide diversity of hostile habitats. Hulk can harmonize his biological structure with the depths of the ocean. He can even speak in these inhospitable habitats. Hulk can eat, drink, breath and function normally in any environment. He does not need to eat, drink, or breath, and his ability to adapt to his environment is an inherent property, which is also enhanced and amplified by his rage, excitement, stress, and necessity.
- Accelerated Healing Factor: Despite his invulnerability to physical harm, as the Hulk, Bruce is not completely invincible and can be injured. However, Hulk's physiology has an extremely high rate of cellular regeneration. Grievous bodily harm has also proven to be a trigger for Bruce's transformations, and he has recovered from otherwise fatal injuries sustained in his normal form. Bruce said he tried to put a bullet through his mouth but the "other guy" merely spit it out. Hulk also has an enhanced immune system; Samuel Sterns described that a synthesized sample of Bruce's blood would make humans impervious to diseases. These attributes make him extremely difficult to kill, even if he is in his human form.
- Radiation Resistance: After combining his intelligence with the Hulk's body, Bruce was capable of withstanding high levels of radiation from the Infinity Stones that could severely harm Thanos which was helped by the fact that most of the radiation was gamma. This allowed Bruce to use the Infinity Stones to reverse the Decimation, but burned his right arm badly.
Powers Bestowed by the Infinity Gauntlet
After equipping himself with the Infinity Gauntlet, Bruce was capable of utilizing the full power of the Infinity Stones.
- Resurrection: Utilizing the power of the Infinity Stones, Bruce was able to resurrect everyone killed by Thanos in the Decimation. However, Bruce's ability to use this power had its limits and he could not resurrect Natasha Romanoff who had sacrificed herself to get the Soul Stone though he did try, nor could he resurrect those who had been killed by Thanos before the Decimation.
- Genius-Level Intellect: Bruce is an extremely intelligent individual, famous for being one of the foremost geniuses of his generation, comparable to someone of Tony Stark's level of intellect. Phil Coulson also compares him to Stephen Hawking. Bruce also became disciplined in emotional intelligence, employing meditative breathing techniques and anger management to better control his pulse rate and thus his transformations.
- Master Scientist: Bruce is a vastly knowledgeable and accomplished scientist, the world's foremost master scientist in fields such as Biochemistry, Nuclear Physics, Bio-Organics and, especially, Gamma Radiation: in all those fields even Tony Stark acknowledged him as being superior and praised his work on anti-electron collisions as being unparalleled. Due to this, he was included into the Bio-Tech Force Enhancement Project and developed a far superior form of enhancing but dramatically violent form of Super Soldier Serum that caused him to become the Hulk. Bruce's expertise in Bio-Organics also made him the only one who could help Stark program J.A.R.V.I.S into Vision. After 18 months in a Gamma lab, Bruce was able to fuse his genius-level intellect and knowledge with the Hulk's extraordinary superhuman abilities together to become an amalgamation of both Hulk and himself. He is experienced in the fields of computers and engineering as well. Hence Bruce was able to help Tony construct the Hulkbuster, create the Ultron AI, and download J.A.R.V.I.S. into the Vision android. As a consultant of S.H.I.E.L.D, he also created several highly established and last-resort used scientific artifacts for them to use such as Tetrodotoxin B and Gamma Power Reserve.
- Physician: Bruce possesses enough medical knowledge to help the sick and injured, while living in India.
- Hand-To-Hand Combatant/Martial Artist: Bruce learned Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and basic meditative breathing techniques in Brazil from a hand-to-hand combatant and martial artist expert.
- Expert Tactician: Over the years, Bruce has become an expert in developing strategies to go unnoticed and run from the government and military, using his intellect to quickly evaluate his surroundings and develop escape strategies. He has also become very skilled at going undercover.
- Multilingualism: When he lived and traveled in South America, Bruce demonstrated some knowledge in Portuguese and Spanish. He also demonstrated fluency in Hindi, as seen during his time in Kolkata.
- Intimidation: As the Hulk, Bruce commands an intimidating presence to the point where the majority of the world and many of his enemies fear him, even Thaddeus Ross, Natasha Romanoff and Loki Laufeyson respectively are terrified of him.
- Emotional State (Formerly): If Bruce becomes too angry or excited, he will involuntarily transform into the Hulk, a savage enraged state where he would attack anyone being friend or foe, but if he always remains in a controlled angry state, then he can easily change into Hulk at will. This type of transformation allows Hulk to be more intelligent and less enraged than an uncontrolled one. However, as of Avengers: Infinity War, following Hulk's defeat at the hands of Thanos; Bruce is unable to transform into his superhuman alter-ego, regardless if he gets angry on purpose or by accident; as Hulk refuses to come out. As of Avengers: Endgame, Bruce is no longer susceptible to transforming involuntarily as he has managed to permanently turn himself into the Hulk while fully remaining himself.
- Stretchable Pants: After the Battle of New York, Bruce became a consecrated member of the Avengers, he acquired a uniform with the main feature of stretching to fit his Hulk physique after his transformations. He uses a pair of trousers made with a flexible microfiber fabric, the material of which was shown to be extremely durable on several occasions, like when the team attacked the HYDRA Research Base, Bruce turned back into the Hulk with his pants still intact.
- Battle Axe: As Bruce became a gladiator, the Hulk had gained a large special metallic battle axe that suitable to his own size.
- Hammer: With Bruce as a gladiator, the Hulk had also obtained a special metallic war hammer that aids him with battling others in the arena.
After the Culver University's incident, Bruce used several pieces of equipment while he was a fugitive. Some of these were destroyed or confiscated by United States Armed Forces. To prevent clues, Bruce avoided the use of credit card, identity documents and phones. The materials he used included;
- Wrist-Mounted Cardiovascular Monitor: A gauge used to monitor Bruce's heart rate, helping him to prevent a transformation into the Hulk. The first monitor was destroyed after Bruce's transformation in Brazil. The last one seen was given by Betty Ross and seized by United States Armed Forces.
- Laptop Computer: A cheap laptop with an encrypted instant messaging software installed. Bruce used it to chat with "Mr. Blue" a.k.a. Samuel Sterns. Bruce always carried it in a backpack, so he could maintain a communication where he was.
- Hulk - Ally and alter-ego.
- Betty Ross - Ally and former lover.
- Leonard Samson - Rival turned psychotherapist.
- Rick Jones - Former student and ally.
- Martina - Co-worker.
- Stanley Lieber - Friend.
- Steve Rogers/Captain America - Friend and team leader.
- Tony Stark/Iron Man - Close friend and teammate; deceased.
- Thor Odinson - Close friend, rival and Teammate.
- Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow - Teammate and former love interest; deceased.
- Clint Barton/Hawkeye - Teammate.
- Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver - Enemy turned ally and teammate; deceased.
- Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch - Enemy turned ally and teammate.
- Vision - Teammate; deceased.
- Sam Wilson/Falcon - Teammate.
- James Rhodes/War Machine - Teammate and friend.
- Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel - Ally.
- Nick Fury - Ally.
- Erik Selvig - Ally.
- Thaddeus Ross - Ally turned enemy.
- Samuel Sterns - Former ally.
- Emil Blonsky/Abomination - Enemy.
- Loki Laufeyson - Enemy turned ally; deceased.
- T'Challa/Black Panther - Ally.
- Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier - Ally.
- Chitauri - Enemies; deceased.
- Ultron - Enemy; deceased.
- Brunnhilde/Valkyrie - Friend and ally.
- Thanos - Enemy; deceased.
- Black Order
- Marvel Cinematic Universe (12 films)
- The Incredible Hulk (First appearance) - Edward Norton
- Thor (Mentioned only)
- The Consultant (Mentioned only)
- The Avengers - Mark Ruffalo
- Iron Man 3 - Mark Ruffalo
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Mentioned only)
- Avengers: Age of Ultron - Mark Ruffalo
- Captain America: Civil War (Mentioned only)
- Thor: Ragnarok - Mark Ruffalo
- Avengers: Infinity War - Mark Ruffalo
- Captain Marvel - Mark Ruffalo
- Avengers: Endgame - Mark Ruffalo
- Marvel Cinematic Universe (2 TV series)
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe (9 comics)
Behind the scenes
- Regarding The Avengers, Joss Whedon declared that he focused the most on creating the Banner's character, trying to make him more similar to Bill Bixby's version of the character, always trying to help other people, than to Eric Bana's and Edward Norton's one, "obsessed" with curing himself.
- Before Edward Norton was cast as Bruce Banner, actor David Duchovny was a front-runner for the film and Dominic Purcell was also rumored for the role.
- Edward Norton was approached to play Bruce Banner in Hulk, but turned it down.
- Before Mark Ruffalo was announced to be replacing Edward Norton, Joaquin Phoenix was rumored for the part.
- Ruffalo was the first choice for Banner in The Incredible Hulk.
- Ruffalo says Banner is a reluctant part of the team, and said his metamorphosis is as painful to the character as an addiction problem – even if he can sometimes be used for good. “The rage is something that is like going on a binger — you wake up after a blackout and you did all this f—ed up shit. Oh God, what did I do? And so we were talking about it like that, actually. At the beginning of The Avengers, “[Banner] starts like he's sober in a weird way. He's started a whole new life when we find him, and it's cool. Things don't stay that way, of course."
- Edward Norton was originally set to reprise his role in The Avengers, but was fired after The Incredible Hulk was released. There are various theories as to why he was fired. It was initially reported that Norton was hard to work with but this was later proven to be false by Louis Leterrier. After being fired, Kevin Feige released a statement saying that Norton would be replaced with "a name actor" who shares a similar creative mind with the studio; Norton's estate responded that Feige's comments were "degrading" to the actor's image and that he is pleased to have worked with Marvel despite their differences.
- Bruce has brief flashes on when he is in his Hulk state suggesting they're the same person.
- There are several noticeable visual differences between The Hulk in The Incredible Hulk and The Avengers, despite the fact they are both in the same continuity. The Hulk in The Incredible Hulk is much taller and muscular then he is in The Avengers, and dark green skin, whereas in The Avengers he has brighter skin and a shorter hair cut. Their faces are also different. Much of these differences are because Mark Ruffalo is using motion-capture to actually play the Hulk, whereas Hulk was entirely CGI in The Incredible Hulk.
- Bruce's screen time in The Avengers is 28:03.
- Although being the only primary Avenger without a solo film in Phase Two, Mark Ruffalo reprises his role as Banner in a brief cameo during the post-credits scene for Iron Man 3.
- Iron Man 3 marks the first time in a MCU film where Banner appears without turning into the Hulk.
- Iron Man 3 also marks the first time that Banner has been played by the same actor in more than one film.
- Bruce's screen time in Avengers: Age of Ultron is 23:55.