Hulk Could Have Been the Most Powerful Avenger — What Happened?

One of the favorite pastimes that comic book fans have is comparing characters with one another in hypothetical scenarios. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, just like the comics, does a good job of fostering those kinds of discussions too. That said, the Hulk is a big departure from what he’s like in the comics.

This isn’t unusual, as many characters, like the Scarlet Witch, need to be changed in order to fit in the MCU. But unfortunately for Bruce Banner, Marvel has had to change the Hulk a lot so that he can fit in the movies. 

How powerful is the Hulk in the comics?

Mark Ruffalo
Mark Ruffalo | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for WarnerMedia

As comic book fans would attest, there have been decades of comics and many comic books have taken the Hulk in different directions. However, like Marvel fans on Reddit wrote, something that has stayed constant is Hulk’s strength when it comes to his rage. Obviously, Banner becomes the Hulk whenever he’s angry.

That said, in the comics, the Hulk can become even stronger the more angry he gets. In fact, in the comics, Hulk’s strength is also tied to radiation, and the more radiation he absorbs, the more powerful he gets. This is what happened in one comic book series, and it’s also why CBR said that the Hulk is the most powerful Avenger.

At one point, the Hulk was so angry and powerful that he could even destroy entire planets.

How powerful is the Hulk in the MCU?

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But, like Marvel fans said on Reddit, the Hulk doesn’t get that crazy in the movies. In fact, the comic books where the Hulk was capable of destroying planets were actually referenced in Thor: Ragnarok

In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor gets stuck on Sakaar, and he becomes a gladiator. There, he has to fight the Hulk, who’s also become a gladiator. Sakaar is the same planet where the Hulk, in the comics, becomes Worldbreaker Hulk, and he, like his name implied, started destroying entire planets. 

The movies never got to that point, and instead, the Hulk was just portrayed as a very strong and tough guy. While he’s very powerful, he’s not unbeatable either, as both Thor and Thanos were able to beat him up.

With that being said, the movies did portray the Hulk as being significantly more powerful than most Avengers. Unlike Tony Stark, the Hulk was able to survive using the Infinity Gauntlet. 

Why did the MCU make the Hulk weak in the movies?

The comics get very crazy, as many characters end up in very weird or strange situations. This also means that some characters can end up being extremely powerful, and for the movies, that’s not always a good thing.

That’s probably the main reason why Marvel has decided to tone the Hulk’s power down, as otherwise, he’d be too powerful when compared with everyone else. 

This was already an issue that Marvel referenced in Avengers: Age of Ultron. During one of the final scenes, Hawkeye, who’s a superhero who just shoots arrows, told the Scarlet Witch that “None of this makes sense.”

This logic applies to the Hulk, who would be very out of place if he was as powerful as he is in the comics. 

But Marvel fans were also quick to defend the MCU’s portrayal of the Hulk in the movies. Like some Marvel fans said on Reddit, Thor is the god of thunder, and he definitely can beat the Hulk in combat.

In fact, one fan even pulled up a quote by Stan Lee saying that. Regardless, the Hulk, as he is in the movies, is a shadow of what he is in the comics.