The following week has been tough. I work at a public radio station and our winter fund drive began this week. My job tends to be particularly mind-numbing during fund drive, so to help pass the time I challenged myself to come up with 100 reasons to love the Hulk. Here's the first 50.
100 REASONS TO LOVE THE HULK
1. Hulk is the strongest one there is.
2. Planet Hulk.
3. He helped the careers of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Greg Pak, Herb Trimpe, Peter David, Roy Thomas, Sal Buscema, etc.
4. This picture.
5. Incredible Hulk was one of the first superhero comics to maturely handle the subjects of AIDS and homosexuality.
6. Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
7. Incredible Hulk & The Thing: The Big Change
8. Hulk Hands.
9. Hulk beat up Onslaught. Marvel Universe, you're welcome.
10. World War Hulk
11. The live-action Incredible Hulk '70s show.
12. Numerous Hulk cartoons.
13. Without the Hulk, no Avengers, West Coast Avengers, Great Lakes Avengers, Secret Avengers, Avengers Academy, Young Avengers, Ultimates, etc.
14. Holding up the mountain in Marvel Super-Heroes: Secret Wars. Marvel Universe, you're welcome.
15. Without the Hulk, no Defenders.
16. Without Hulk, no Wolverine. Marvel Universe, you're welcome. Other X-men heroes trying to get attention, sorry about that.
17. Obviously, Hulk is not the first super-hero. Not even close. However, I like to think of him as something of the super-hero missing link. He started as a character who seemed like an awkward transition between Marvel's monsters and its new age of super-heroes. Considering that and what I like to think of as the Hulk's relative moral purity - as in he doesn't share the normal moral code of your every day super-hero - I imagine Hulk, symbolically if nothing else, as the Proto-Super-Hero. The purest super-hero.
18. The Bi-Beast, without whom we would be that much poorer in our collection of sexually explicit comic book humor.
19. The Hulk keeps the non-Marvel heroes in line. Whether it's Batman, Superman, Pitt, or freaking Prime, he seems to have more cross-company brawls than anyone.
20. According to Bradford Wright's Comic Book Nation, a "1965 poll conducted by Esquire revealed that student radicals ranked Spider-Man and the Hulk alongside the likes of Bob Dylan and Che Guevara as their favorite revolutionary icons." That's fuckin' cool.
21. Along the lines of #20, the Marvel Universe used to have a much different feel than that of DC. The heroes of Marvel were more human, more fallible, and arguably more anti-establishment. Perhaps the three most enduring and popular Marvel franchises - Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Hulk - are all rebels. This helped to make the Marvel Universe a much different place, and the Hulk was a big part of that.
22. He was instrumental in bringing the Marvel heroes back from the Heroes Reborn reality.
23. The Church of Hulk.
24. Without Hulk, no She-Hulk.
25. The Hulk was the ultimate super-misfit, and I'm sure I wasn't the only kid misfit who he helped sustain.
26. Zombie Hulk.
27. The dozens of twitter Hulks. Just do a search on "Hulk" on twitter if you don't know what I mean.
28. The Hulk vs. Silver Surfer Planet Hulk statue set.
29. "Nobody Loves the Hulk" by The Traits
30. Twisted Toyfare Theater's Hulk
31. The Infraggable Krunk
32. He keeps Thor and Sentry in line.
33. The Crossroads Saga
34. The Hulk-narrated Defenders #6
35. Thor #385
36. Incredible Hulk #467
37. Xemnu the Titan. Not only is he a weird, cool villain; but the fact that he was the first Marvel character to be named the Hulk way back in Journey Into Mystery #62 is proof of how cool the real Hulk is. He's so freaking cool, he just took another dude's name.
38. This awesome Hulk/Beatles parody.
39. The Hulk Roller Coaster
40. Universal Studios' Hulk statue
41. No Hulk, no Rick Jones.
42. Daredevil #163
43. The Hulk jumps. He doesn't fly, he doesn't drive a Hulkmobile, he doesn't run really fast, or BAMF all over. He jumps. That's cool.
44. The Hulk/Banner relationship is the most blatant example of the Superman/Clark Kent duality in superhero comics, and perhaps the most interesting.
45. Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk
47. When Hulk, Namor, and Silver Surfer get together, they're an unbeatable trio standing for the rights of Nudists everywhere.
48. The Hulk is the personification of our childhood need for the world to be what we want it to be, as I explained more here.
49. The Hulk is a more personal superhero than most, in that he generally doesn't fight to save the world or to stop crime or to save lives. He does those things, but more than anything else he fights for his own freedom.
50. He helped free America.