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Continuing on our recent article on how the Hulk can die, we’re going to analyse one specific manner of death for the Green Giant – old age. This is an often-debated question and we are going to dig into the facts in order to give you a precise explanation of whether it is possible and if it is, how it is possible. So, if you want to know more – keep reading!
Theoretically he can, but he can live for so long that he is – in fact – immortal when it comes to aging. Bruce Banner, though, does age and if Banner died before transforming into Hulk, the Hulk would die as well.
Marvel Comics is a comic book publishing company founded in 1939 under the name Timely Comics. Timely Comics changed its name to Marvel Comics in 1961. Along with its chief rival, DC Comics, Marvel Comics is the biggest and most important mainstream comic book publisher in the United States. Marvel has, along with DC Comics, contributed to the development of American comics, specializing in the superhero genre. Stan Lee, Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby are just some of the pivotal writers who’ve helped shape the style and universes of Marvel Comics.
Throughout the years, Marvel has created several pivotal superhero characters and has launched successful franchises such as the Avengers, X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy, all of which have been adapted into movies, TV shows and video games. Some of the most famous Marvel Comics heroes are Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, Wolverine, Professor X, Storm, Cyclops, Jean Grey; but, the franchise also includes famous supervillains such as Thanos, Apocalypse, Galactus, Loki, Magneto, the Mandarin, Doctor Octopus, the Green Goblin, Venom and others.
Now that we’ve given you a short introduction, let us discuss the topic of this article in more detail.
How can Hulk die?
Although we have analysed this question in a separate article, we think it would be better if we went through the answer once more. So, here are the known ways by which the Hulk can die or be killed:
- Ageing – although we are going to analyse this one separately, there is a way through which the Hulk can die of ageing. Namely, the Hulk himself doesn’t really age – or, he ages at such a slow rate that he is practically immortal – but Bruce Banner ages normally, so if he were to die of old age, the Hulk would likewise die, or would have to remain in the Hulk form, because he would die in case of a transformation.
- Nuclear explosions – although this is a very tricky aspect (he was basically created by one), some iterations of the character did indeed die after being exposed to a nuclear explosion, such as Maestro, the strongest iteration of the Hulk. On the other hand, some iterations of the characters have survived a nuclear holocaust, so the canon is not completely consistent here.
- Being killed in battle – this is another proven possibility, but it is very difficult to achieve because of Hulk’s strength and his healing factor. He has been killed by Abomination and by Old Man Logan, for example, but he would always find a way of coming back. He has also been killed in several “What If?” stories by various characters such as Deadpool, King Thanos, and others.
- Magic – as it was demonstrated in several comic books, Hulk is vulnerable to some forms of magic. For example, Zeus magically removed his killing factor, thus making him completely mortal.
- Removing the gamma radiation – by removing the force that actually created the Hulk, one could theoretically kill the Hulk because the Green Goliath would cease to exist at that point. This is what Red Hulk did on one occasion.
- Killing Bruce Banner – most iterations of the Hulk are completely dependent on the existence of Bruce Banner, meaning that killing the latter would certainly lead to the death of the Hulk. The only known version of the character that is not so closely tied to Banner is Space Punisher Hulk, who became an autonomous being.
Does Hulk age?
This is one of the most often asked questions in comic book fandom. Namely, Hulk is usually depicted as looking more or less the same all of the time, and there are often-present implications that Hulk is immortal and that he does not age. Well, that is both true and it is not true.
Strictly speaking, the Hulk does indeed age, but due to his regenerative factor, he does that so slowly that it seems that he does not age. And indeed, the Hulk does manage to keep his physical appearance the same as decades and – in some cases – even centuries pass. Some future versions of the character (like Maestro or the imprisoned version captured by King Thanos) do show signs of ageing (bald head, grey beard), but his physique remains the same and Hulk does seem to be even stronger as time passes.
So yeah, as you can see, the Hulk does age, he gets older with time and will show some signs of ageing, but he does that so slowly that it is practically unnoticeable.
Can Hulk die of old age?
Now that we’ve cleared up whether Hulk ages, we can answer the question – can he die of old age? Theoretically, he can, but it’s a bit complex. Let us see how and why.
As we’ve said, the Hulk does age and, theoretically, at one point in the distant future, he would also die. The issue is that this moment is so far in the future that it is debatable whether there would be any life remaining at all. The one-shot comic book Hulk: The End (2002) implies that Hulk remains as the last living being at one point in the future. He’s more resilient than cockroaches it seems. So, yes – in theory, he would die from old age, but don’t count on it, really.
But, there is an easy and effective to “kill” the Hulk by ageing – Bruce Banner! As a human, Bruce Banner ages normally and his body does not have the necessary regenerative factor to remain immortal. This means that Bruce Banner can only live as regular humans can, which would, in a best-case scenario, mean that he could potentially live for about 120 years, but even that is a stretch. So, after these 120 years, Bruce Banner would die, but while he is Hulk, he would technically not die until he transforms back again. If he transformed back, Banner would instantly die and with him, the Hulk would also die. Hulk realises this in one comic, facing the fact that if he transformed back, he would die.
And that answers all your question. Yes, the Hulk does age, but extremely slowly and yes, he can die of old age, but it is a truly complex process and you shouldn’t really count on it, unless you have an effective way of transforming him back to Bruce Banner and killing the host and the monster alongside him.
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!