If your interested in the green giant and want to learn more about the Incredible Hulk's mysterious past these are the graphic novels for you!
The big mean green machine we all know and love from Avengers Assemble and Age Of Ultron has been smashing his way around the Marvel Universe for fifty three years. By now you would have thought that Bruce Banner would have run out of things to be angry about but wonders never cease in the Marvel Universe. I’ve been talking to a lot of new fans who want to learn more about the Incredible Hulk as even in the films all we are told is that he was shot by gamma radiation and it turned him into a gigantic rage beast. I’m going to keep the novels on this list to around the last twenty years, this mostly because earlier Incredible Hulk storylines have more of a ‘monster of the week’ feel and do little to shed light on the character of Bruce Banner. If your interested in delving into some classic Hulk action I recommend the Silent Screams story arc.
5. Hulk: Grey
If you want to learn about the Hulk’s history there is only one place to start and that is with Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale in Hulk: Grey. Exploring the early days of the Hulk as Bruce Banner struggles with his darker half and the ways in which it impacts upon him and the people close to him. The art work through out the book is blocky, reflecting early comic book work with modern art industry techniques making the piece the perfect visual retelling of the Hulk’s early adventures. This is a great start to any Hulk collection
4. Planet Hulk
What happens when the heroes of the Marvel Universe get tired of the Hulk destroying every city in North America once a year? They shoot him into space to become somebody else’s problem. Planet Hulk puts Hulk on a planet where being the Incredible Hulk isn’t enough anymore, alien monsters and cyborg killers hide around every corner and Hulk is forced to learn to fight smart to defeat the Red King and lead a peasants revolt against a society based upon fear and slavery.
3. World War Hulk
Directly following Planet Hulk, World War Hulk sees Hulk coming back to earth looking for revenge with his war bound honour guard each as powerful as the Hulk. This novel contains one of the most amazing fights in Marvel history between Iron Man and the Hulk which almost destroys New York City. The novel showcases the true destructive power of Hulk and the fear he evokes in the other heroes of the Marvel Universe. If the piece has a downside it probably lies with the artwork which is a little too sharp and angular at points.
2. Original Sin: Hulk Vs. Iron Man
The Original Sin event revealed a lot of hidden details from different heroes pasts including Tony Stark’s involvement in the gamma bomb project that turned Bruce Banner into the Hulk. Throughout this short graphic novel we see a weakened Hulk get stronger as his rage becomes focused upon Tony Stark leading to another classic Stark vs Banner brawl that sheds a lot more light on the events that lead to Banner’s transformation and both men’s mistakes. This is a fantastic short novel that is well worth your time if you can pick it up for under £10.
1. Hulk: Red Hulk
Considered by many to be one of the greatest story arcs in the history of the Hulk, Red Hulk sees the introduction of a new character into the Marvel Universe, the Red Hulk. In many ways more powerful than Hulk, Red Hulk rampages across America defeating many of the strongest heroes and villains. One of the greatest aspects of the story is a detective arc involving She-Hulk and Iron Man as they try to find a way to deal with the Red Hulk. This all leads to the Marvel heroes turning to Banner to defend them in a brilliant climax that sees the Hulk acting as the hero he is instead of the monster the world sees him as.