Off My Mind: Is Hulk The Strongest There Is?

Posted by G-Man (30656 posts) - - Show Bio
Hulk is known for saying two things, "Hulk smash puny humans" and "Hulk is strongest there is." The angrier Hulk gets, the stronger he gets. Is his claim of being the strongest there is true? My answer is yes. Despite the various incarnations of the Hulk at different power levels, he has been in and won several intense battles that will show that he is the strongest.  
 
One recent example was in 2007's World War Hulk: X-Men # 1-3. Hulk was pretty ticked off after being exiled out in space by the Illuminati. When he sought out Professor X (who actually wasn't part of that decision), Hulk ended up fighting the X-Men, the new X-Men, X-Factor and even Juggernaut
 
While we're on the topic of World War Hulk, what about the events in issue #2. Hulk utterly defeated Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, the New and Mighty Avengers, Doc Samson, She-Hulk and a bunch of other heroes in no time at all. This was Hulk Smashing at its finest. 
 
Another epic battle involved Hulk and several powerhouses in the Avengers. This took place in 1986's Incredible Hulk #321-322. Hulk may have had a slight advantage since this was when Samson was able to separate Hulk and Banner. Without Banner's psyche, Hulk was simply pure rage. The East and West Coast Avengers were called in and Hulk easily plowed through Iron Man, Namor, Hercules,  Captain America, Captain Marvel and many others. Even though being pure rage could have given him more strength, the fact is he always has the potential to tap into it. Hulk is only limited to how angry he can get. 
 == TEASER == 
When I mentioned Hulk being the strongest there is in the Comic Vine office, Norm was quick to point out that Silver Surfer could be stronger. They were both in the gladiator arena on Sakaar. Even though Silver Surfer had a restraining device to keep him from escaping, I still say Hulk was the winner. Also, what would Silver Surfer be without the Power Cosmic?
 
When the Illuminati banished Hulk into space, that wasn't the first time the "heroes" realized Hulk was too much for them. There was also the time in Incredible Hulk #300 where Hulk fought against the Avengers, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Daredevil and even Thor. When they realized that even their combined strength couldn't stop Hulk, Doctor Strange sent him to another dimension.  
 
Other impressive battles include withstanding Black Bolt's full sonic powers in World War Hulk #1, fighting Wolverine and Wendigo in Incredible Hulk #180-181 and even managed to survive fighting his older, more experienced self (the Maestro) in Hulk: Future Imperfect #1-2. Many of these battles display not only Hulk's impressive strength but also the fact that he has battle tactics, even when not in possession of Banner's intellect.  
 
One of the earliest and most impressive displays of Hulk's strength I witnessed was in 1984's Secret Wars #4. In a battle of good vs. evil, the heroes ended up with a mountain thrown on top of them. According to the cover, it weighed one hundred and fifty billion tons. Guess who was underneath holding it up in order to save the heroes? What makes this more impressive is Hulk wasn't even at his angriest at this time. Reed Richards did his best to insult Hulk in order to make him angrier. To me, one hundred and fifty billion tons is quite a bit. I'd like to see other characters lift that without any sort of cosmic powers to assist them.  
 
While it may not count, there was also the DC Comics Vs. Marvel where Hulk went toe to toe with Superman.
 
Hulk is the strongest one there is. What makes him even more fierce is even when he's in "Hulk Smash" mode, he still has a brain. He's managed to defeat nearly everyone in the Marvel Universe. It's something you should always remember, especially if you ever cross paths with him. 

Staff
#1 Posted by TheHood (155 posts) - - Show Bio

I've heard people say (in response to the Planet Hulk movie) that there was no way that Hulk could beat Beta Ray Bill. The way I see it, Thor could take down Bill, Red Hulk beat Thor, and the Hulk has beaten Red Hulk.
 
So, yeah, Hulk is the strongest there is.

#2 Posted by DMC (1550 posts) - - Show Bio

Hey what about the Sentry at the end of World War Hulks? It seemed like a pretty even match if I remember correctly and they were going all out.

#3 Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir (19714 posts) - - Show Bio

This am stupid question ! Of course Hulk strongest there is!

#4 Edited by Vitality (1761 posts) - - Show Bio

No he's not. 
 
WWH showed that Juggernaut is either stronger or at least at the same levels of strength as the hulk. 
 
Also...you posted the screenshot of WWH beating on Herc...but that's taken out of context. Herc didn't fight back because he was showing WWH that they were there to help.
#5 Posted by Vitality (1761 posts) - - Show Bio
@DMC:
Yes...it can be argued that Sentry let WWH beat him because Sentry himself was losing control over his power and he wanted hulk to stop him so he didn't lose control...that's why robert reynolds says thank you bruce at the end of that fight. 
However, as I said, it can only be argued.
#6 Posted by G-Man (30656 posts) - - Show Bio
@Vitality: Hulk did beat Hercules, Iron Man, Namor and Wonder Man at the same time in 1986. 

Staff
#7 Posted by Outside_85 (8146 posts) - - Show Bio
@Vitality said:

"No he's not.  WWH showed that Juggernaut is either stronger or at least at the same levels of strength as the hulk.  Also...you posted the screenshot of WWH beating on Herc...but that's taken out of context. Herc didn't fight back because he was showing WWH that they were there to help. "

 
Juggernaunt's power is to be the unstopperble force, not being the strongest and his powers are rooted in mysticsm and that quite often trumps anything from planet Earth. 
     
@DMC said:

"Hey what about the Sentry at the end of World War Hulks? It seemed like a pretty even match if I remember correctly and they were going all out. "


They werent, Hulk produced the greatest feat of strength after the fight after he found out he had been wrong all along, where his mere footsteps threatened to sink the eastern seaboard, had he hit  anyone they would have been mush, be they Sentry or god.
    
 
Anyways, physically and in comparison to size, then yes Hulk is probably the strongest there is, because there seems no limit to anger.
#8 Posted by NXH (1031 posts) - - Show Bio
@Vitality:
I think Hulk could beat Sentry even if they were at it neck and neck. 
Besides, you heard it from the horse's mouth, Hulk is strongest there is.
#9 Posted by RetolledTruth (941 posts) - - Show Bio
@G-Man said:
" @Vitality: Hulk did beat Hercules, Iron Man, Namor and Wonder Man at the same time in 1986. 

"
thanks G-Man don't let these fan boys scarer you off....strength is the Hulk's MO....Superman may have other things....but at peak levels Hulk is stronger.....While supes has a whole other host of abilities....
Someone even gave him a Red Hulk ring and equal speed/reaction time to superman in his WWH form and thought it was balanced....and this was current Superman.
 
Fanboy's ...gotta love them
#10 Posted by weapon154 (339 posts) - - Show Bio

No doubt about it... well, in the marvel universe at least. His power is infinite.

#11 Posted by tensor (3885 posts) - - Show Bio

about time the big green giant got some love

#12 Posted by Risky (12629 posts) - - Show Bio

Well, like others who are "the best at what they do" (Iron Fist being the best at martial arts but we also have Stick and Elektra, Shang Chi, The Cat and a gazillion others who claim to be Marvel's best martial artist, Punisher being the best shooter but that being contested by Domino, Solo and a few others, etc.) the fact that Hulk is stronger than Herc, Sentry or others is hardly debatable because of an uncomfortable habit that comics inevitably produce: Inconsistency.
 
Yeah, at times Hulk IS the strongest there is (without a discussion) but depending on the writer or storyline people like Thor, Herc, Sentry and at times even Wonderman (who lets face it is not really weak himself) have beaten him and Namor was stated to be stronger than Hulk when in the water, too. Juggernaut stated in Worl War Hulk X-Men "I beat you before, Hulk" saying he was stronger than Hulk before and Hulk was only able to let Juggy run past him, not beat him. Of course that was a battle tactic but it was absolutely NO feat of strength to avoid a battle he was uncertain if he could win. 
 
There is this fact that he supported the mountain of several billion tons but Beta Ray Bill and Thor had an even more impressive feat of supporting a rock (I think it was Asgard but I'm not sure right now) during Secret Invasion or Godslayer (not sure again but I'm too lazy to dig through my collection right now) and noe of them was lucky enough to be able to support it with his back like Hulk does in this picture.
 
If you ask me: Hulk is the strongest there is (like everybody else is) as long as the story demands it.

#13 Posted by Danial79 (2333 posts) - - Show Bio

Don't forget in Planet Hulk when he pulled 2 tectonic plates back together!! Surely that beats a measly mountain :)

#14 Posted by nightshroud1 (64 posts) - - Show Bio

almost every incarnation of the hulk has been the strongest in most battles apart from the joe fixit persona
#15 Posted by Doctor!!!!! (2055 posts) - - Show Bio

Hulk is the strongest there is !!!!! 
He proves it every time....

#16 Posted by Vixen (66 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah... Hulk's pretty damn serious.

#17 Posted by dondasch (926 posts) - - Show Bio

At the very least, you can't look at the Secret Wars issue and think that the Hulk isn't the strongest

#18 Edited by Superguy1591 (2680 posts) - - Show Bio

DC guys are stronger. Three of DC's mightiest heros moved the planet Earth and each took on a 1/3rd of the planet.  
 
The Earth is 6.6 sextillion tons -_-... Now, I'm no math wiz, but a sextillion is larger than a billion which, according to you, is Hulk's greatest feat. Not to mention that Superman, Diana and J'onn aren't even the strongest beings in the DC universe makes Hulk severely weaker in the DC universe. In Marvel, sure, Hulk may be the strongest, but in comic books, he is not. 

#19 Edited by Dr. Detfink (460 posts) - - Show Bio

Green Hulk yes. Grey Hulk no. 
 
In Fantastic Four 320, The double cosmic dosed, Pineapple Thing beats the living tar out of Grey Hulk.

#20 Posted by Danial79 (2333 posts) - - Show Bio

#21 Posted by speedlgt (2109 posts) - - Show Bio

hulk is the strongest marvel.........not in all comics.  
 
SUPERMAN is stronger than hulk and most all DC powershouses are as strong or stronger than hulk.  
 
and once again everyone needs to remember that he was world breaker ONE TIME! only ONE TIME! he will never be that angry again he walks around strong but not as strong as herc he has to really get pissed to be that strong. Sure he can tap into that strength but that just like also saying superman can sun dip any time he wants as well. they both can do that but they dont it all the time. 
 
Hulk fans you need to know you place and be kept in check. Bottom line Hes the strongest marvel Yes but it stops there.
#22 Posted by Danial79 (2333 posts) - - Show Bio

Pfft, DC fanboys :P

#23 Edited by Vitality (1761 posts) - - Show Bio

I find it funny how everyone calls each other fanboys.  Hilarious.

#24 Edited by Danial79 (2333 posts) - - Show Bio

hehe I know :) I love using it whenever people start spouting my favourite is better than your favourite, because it really annoys them ;) 
 
The DC and Marvel universes are like apples and oranges. There's really no need to compare them to one another... 

#25 Edited by Vitality (1761 posts) - - Show Bio
@Danial79:
Haha, yeah, that's what I'm saying...anyone can call anyone a fanboy of something.
#26 Posted by The Hottness (4226 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah Hulk is the Strongest...

#27 Posted by Kid_Zombie (824 posts) - - Show Bio

I think he is the strongest for sure, there is no limit to his power. So in marvel yes he is the strongest. In DC im not sure, nor do I care. But In Marvel For sure the strongest.
 
@Danial79: @Vitality:
Ya it's like when people call people Noobs in video games ha ha, I always find that funny because it's more or less making fun of yourself. OHHH you dont play this game 24 7 and you have a life! u suck noob for having those, while i dont! Sorry was called a noob the other day, just found it helarious ha ha

#28 Posted by Vitality (1761 posts) - - Show Bio
@Kid_Zombie said:
 @Danial79: @Vitality: Ya it's like when people call people Noobs in video games ha ha, I always find that funny because it's more or less making fun of yourself. OHHH you dont play this game 24 7 and you have a life! u suck noob for having those, while i dont! Sorry was called a noob the other day, just found it helarious ha ha " 
 
 


Haha...classic.
#29 Posted by Video_Martian (5645 posts) - - Show Bio

HULK IS STRONGEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =D

#30 Posted by Archetype (731 posts) - - Show Bio

Hulk may be the strongest Physically without any other energy or power source to aid him,other than the gamma radiation that transformed him to begin with.Of course once characters start augmenting their strength with other sources of power then we are talking about a whole different ballgame. The Hulk is strong but in a battle thread for instance he should never beat someone like Thanos or the Silver Surfer who have so many other abilities it really isn't a balanced match up.

#31 Edited by Danial79 (2333 posts) - - Show Bio

Despite the film's flaws, I love the scene at the end of Ang Lee's Hulk where Bruce's father is wanting his energy and Hulk just yells, "Take it! TAKE IT ALL!!" and it's too much for him to handle and ends up destroying him. I think that scene is a great testament to Hulk.

#32 Posted by Thunderscream (1809 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd say after defeating Rockslide, Colossus, Warpath, Thing, Thor, Juggernaut, Silver Surfer and Hercules....he's pretty much unbeatable by any physical measure.

#33 Posted by Loki9876 (2993 posts) - - Show Bio

You can't just say that hulk is the strongest one there is. He is the strongest one (in lifting things) in his most angry form but characters like abomination can defeat him in calm form. So to beat the hulk you got to take him out quikly before he gets mad. In that way thor and maybe even iron man can win against him (I think).

#34 Posted by CaptainUseless (730 posts) - - Show Bio

Hulk is definitely the strongest there is. 

#35 Posted by N7_Normandy (2430 posts) - - Show Bio

Hasn't Thor beat him a few times?
#36 Posted by antvent85 (8 posts) - - Show Bio

Dude The Hulk became a ELEMENTAL FORCE when he went up against the Sentry.  His power became so great that, steps alone cracked the earth beneath (not stomps, STEPS!)  him.  There is no doubt that he is the strongest!
#37 Posted by kitsuneconundrum (208 posts) - - Show Bio

to be honest, another character that i don't really care for.

#38 Posted by Danial79 (2333 posts) - - Show Bio
@antvent85 said:
" Dude The Hulk became a ELEMENTAL FORCE when he went up against the Sentry.  His power became so great that, steps alone cracked the earth beneath (not stomps, STEPS!)  him.  There is no doubt that he is the strongest! "
Impressive first post :)
#39 Posted by HellionVulcan (3630 posts) - - Show Bio

Juggernaut is alot stronger then Hulk hes magical & magic out does anger & juggernaut has infinite magic to call upon to make him stronger & stronger as anger has a limit magic doesn't ... oh & world war hulk x-men tie in proved juggernaut out strength hulk easy .

#40 Edited by AssertingValor (5382 posts) - - Show Bio

 


HE still cant stand up to supes no matter whant incarnation or rage level he is in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    
Supes level is at least twice that of world breaker! 
Plus characters like despero who waste superman, would rip hulk in two. 
 I would say there are characters (not cosmic) in marvel that are above him too.
#41 Posted by antvent85 (8 posts) - - Show Bio
@HellionVulcan:

Skarr defeated Juggernaut recently.  I think he launched him into space, if I remember correctly.
#42 Posted by warlord1234 (1262 posts) - - Show Bio

It depend on the level of his rage

#43 Posted by Vitality (1761 posts) - - Show Bio
@antvent85 said:
"@HellionVulcan: Skarr defeated Juggernaut recently.  I think he launched him into space, if I remember correctly. "

Yeah...Skaar tricked him and he used the Old Power.
#44 Posted by Karkarov (16 posts) - - Show Bio

He is the physically strongest marvel character sure.  He is not the most powerful Marvel character.

#45 Posted by Noray (32 posts) - - Show Bio
@Danial79: What arc/issue is that from?
#46 Posted by Mainline (1129 posts) - - Show Bio

Answer: "Yes, but only because you asked the question assuming the answer."  It's like asking, "Is Flash The Fastest Man Alive?" rather than "Who could perform this feat more easily?  Who would win in this fight?  Etc." other measures by which to gauge strength rather than using a self-referential self-defining catch phrase which can't really be appropriated by anyone else.  And that's essentially where Hulk's strength lies... in the vagaries of subjective absolutism.  Not a bad thing, but his strength is less rationally driven than a lot of other characters.  At least with respect to his strength, The Hulk is more of a concept than a well-defined character. 
 
You can interpret strength a couple of ways including: Subjectively, Objectively, Technically, Mechanically, and Potentially.  Here's my break down. 
 
Subjective - This is a catch-all for the Title ("Strongest there is!"), Writer Fiat, Fan Popularity, Historical Significance, Character Pedigree, Tradition, etc.  This is essentially a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Hulk is the strongest because he is the strongest.  No other reasoning really needs to exist because as long as it is accepted as a truism, all the subsequent created fiction, surrounding facts, or fan discussion will just affirm said truth.  Hulk's great accomplishment here is to develop and be popularly attached to the catch phrase first.  So even when faced with the Unstoppable, the Irresistible, or the Unmovable (incidentally all X-Characters) his pedigree trumps theirs and his "strength" gets his way.  This is the core and the basis for Hulk's strength and as such is essentially unassailable because it is a meta realization existing outside the comics themselves- untouchable- yet continually influencing what actually appears on the page.  That means much of the following analysis is "corrupted" by this factor, but nonetheless I press on....

Objective - This generally refers to "feats" or actual demonstrations of strength in book and in continuity.  You can have all sorts of rules for interpreting the objective: cherry picking only the highest and greatest feats, selecting the same but discarding the ones that are outliers or uncharacteristically extraordinary, selecting only times when strength is explicitly compared, selecting times where an objective measurement of strength is stated, taking all appearances and attempting to develop an average, etc.  At the end of the day, Hulk has no shortage of feats, but he's also decidedly mortal, physical, and planet bound.  So by any of the above measures there is going to be someone who can- objectively- trump him in Marvel.  What that leads us to is....

Technical - This is the outworking of the Subjective upon the Objective using semantics to define strength in such a way that the objective feats adhere to the subjective belief.  Objectively, Galactus is going to have an easier time doing XYZ than Hulk.  However, for the benefit of the Subjective, we will start interpreting what constitutes "Strength" such that Hulk is doing it only by strength whereas Galactus is doing it otherwise.  The semantic parsing here is not really robust or consistent.  You might say Hulk is purely physical strength versus cosmic strength, but why is Gamma Irradiated Anger Fueled bench press more physical than a bench press executed by the Power Cosmic or One Million Exploding Suns distilled into a serum?  The real reason is to produce any kind of strength, which by definition, would exclude anyone but Hulk as the strongest.
  
Mechanical - This relates to how the powers actually work.  Truth be told they don't.  Hulk's powers aren't carefully rationalized or explained, mechanically divided or strictly rule based.  We only get a heuristic... "The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets!", which, of course, is in service of the Subjective, trumping even the mechanical explanation we're given.  Why?  Emotions are mechanical.  Biochemistry, neurobiology, etc. place an upper finite limit on what emotion is.  Only so many chemicals can be dumped into the brain and have meaning.  Nonetheless we discard this reality for something symbolic... impossibly infinite anger.  We do this because of....
 
Potential - A combination of the above factors and the sublimation of the Subjective... we completely discard any guise of rational comparison or objective measurement and simply embrace infinity by saying Hulk is the strongest because his potential- something unseen, unmeasured, only believed- is infinite.  How can you argue with that?  You can't deny it objectively because that measures the past and potential lies in the yet to be measured future.  It embraces semantics by being- perhaps- technically true.  And it fits what little mechanical explanation we're given, that Hulk- despite being a biological being- could achieve infinite anger somehow. 
 
So, Hulk is the strongest there is... because Hulk is the strongest there is.

#47 Posted by Om1kron (1170 posts) - - Show Bio

The Hulk may be the strongest but even he can't beat cancer. *ZING*
 
R.I.P : Bill Bixby

#48 Posted by G-Man (30656 posts) - - Show Bio
@Thunderscream said:
" I'd say after defeating Rockslide, Colossus, Warpath, Thing, Thor, Juggernaut, Silver Surfer and Hercules....he's pretty much unbeatable by any physical measure. "
I loved what he did to Rockslide. 

Staff
#49 Posted by IIDEADxPOOLII (1414 posts) - - Show Bio

When the Hulk destroyed that asteroid and stopped a planet from splitting apart proved to me hes the strongest he has some incredible feats of strength.
#50 Posted by Namor1987 (1883 posts) - - Show Bio

My idea they need to take the "strongest there is" at what they do & have a tournament of champions where only a handful of the most elite heroes from the MU can battle it out. But have it elimination style with the winner being the true strongest there is. But besides all that Thor, Silver Surfer & Thanos could all beat Hulk

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