The Hulk and Wolverine have quite a turbulent relationship in Marvel comics, going from friend to foes dozens of times. Both have incredible healing to go along with their other abilities, so their fights almost can’t end fatally for either. They fought each other many times, yet the question remains, who would win, Hulk or Wolverine?
Hulk has had the upper hand against Wolverine more often than not. Although he can’t kill Logan due to his unfathomable healing powers, he tore the mutant in half on some occasions, punched him across the US, and even ate him.
Still, Wolverine had his victories as well, albeit less of them. When the Hulk ate him, he regenerated in his stomach and ripped him inside out in a gruesome battle. He pierced his head and cut him numerous times, but they could never finish each other. Let’s compare their powers and check their most iconic fights to see who would eventually come out on top.
Hulk And His Powers
The Hulk is one of the strongest Marvel characters ever, first appearing in The Incredible Hulk #1 in 1962. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby developed the character and his backstory. Doctor Bruce Banner experimented with gamma radiation, and an accident caused Banner to develop an alter-ego, Hulk – a green, superhuman being of unfathomable strength.
Banner goes back and forth between being himself and turning into the Hulk. Every time he gets angry, Hulk comes out and wreaks havoc. However, it’s not only strength that makes the Hulk one of the most dangerous beings in the universe. He has a wide range of different powers that make him more than just a brainless muscle.
I’m putting Bruce Banner as Hulk’s superpower because power comes from more than just muscle. Although he’s just a fragile human being in this form, dr. Bruce Banner is one of the most intelligent humans in the world. His genius mainly manifests through incredible knowledge in physics.
His best work, the gamma radiation research, eventually led him to become the Hulk, which is a curse as much as a blessing. However, the balance between the two is what makes Hulk such a powerful character.
Bruce is kind, intelligent, and usually the one that finds solutions to their problems. In contrast, Hulk is motivated with rage in most versions and states, so he is usually on a mindless rampage instead of thinking things through.
Superhuman Physical Abilities
I’ll begin with the obvious – the Hulk is strong. I mean, REALLY strong. When in his normal Hulk state, he is one of the most powerful beings in the galaxy. But, as he gets angrier, he gets even bigger and stronger, up to unlimited boundaries.
There’s no limit to how strong Hulk can get. On one occasion, when he became the World Breaker Hulk, he was so big and strong that merely taking a step caused an entire continent to start crumbling.
Apart from being unfathomably strong, he also has incredible speed, and he just never gets tired when in Hulk form – his stamina, much like his strength, is limitless.
While he can’t fly, he uses his strength and speed to leap incredibly high – sometimes jumping over buildings with no problem.
Durability & Healing
Although physical durability and healing might be considered superhuman physical attributes, Hulk’s durability and healing abilities are so strong and potent that they deserve to be considered a separate superpower.
Even when he’s in Banner form, you can’t kill the Hulk. Even in the MCU, Banner stated that he tried killing himself on numerous occasions, even shooting himself right in the mouth, but the Hulk just spits the bullet out. They hit him with bombs, rockets, tanks, and all kinds of extraterrestrial weapons, but instead of hurting him, he just gets angrier and stronger.
That’s not saying that he’s completely invulnerable. Thanos gave him a proper beating in Avengers: Infinity War, and even Wolverine managed to get through his almost-impenetrable skin and hurt him with his Adamantium claws. However, even when the Hulk gets injured, his healing powers are too strong and too quick.
Finally, his durability and healing are strong against physical damage and other forms of harm as well. He’s immune to almost all known diseases, and he ages at a very decelerated rate.
Hulk is also quite resistant to even the strongest telepathic attacks, meaning he is dangerous not only against physically strong foes but those who use their mind instead of their muscle.
Hulk can easily adapt to new environments in a heartbeat. He can survive for a very long time without air underwater and even develop new tissue to help him breathe, and he can survive the vacuum of space without any gadgets or aid.
His healing abilities give him reactive adaptation, meaning he can create new tissue and heal from wounds in a matter of seconds. Even when he gets blown to pieces, he can regenerate with his healing & adaptation abilities.
Wolverine And His Powers
Wolverine, aka Logan Howlett, is one of the most powerful human mutants on Earth, first appearing in The Incredible Hulk #180 and #181 in 1974. The character is also referred to as Weapon X. Many of his abilities have been enhanced with experiments and testing. Roy Thomas, John Romita Sr., and writer Len Wein created the character.
The character is mostly connected with the X-Men, but he operated in other groups, too, such as the Alpha Flight, the Avengers, and as a solo act. He’s gone from superhero to antihero many times.
As his story goes, Logan was already a mutant with high powers. He had bone claws appearing from the back of his fists before adamantium – an almost-indestructible metal – had been forcibly injected and coated his bones – making him the almighty Weapon X. Apart from having razor-sharp, indestructible claws, Logan can do much more than meets the eye.
Adamantium is an indestructible metal, even stronger than vibranium (although vibranium has other properties that adamantium doesn’t have). Wolverine had been kidnapped for the Weapon X experiments, where he’s been injected with adamantium that now coats his entire skeleton, making his bones virtually indestructible.
Also, his retractable claws become adamantium-enhanced as well, giving him a completely new dimension of power. Although adamantium enhanced his power, even without them, Logan was still a very powerful being. But, instead of adamantium claws, he had bone claws that were not nearly as strong but very capable of killing.
Apart from having an adamantium-coated skeleton, the Wolverine has many other superhuman abilities stemming from his mutation. While some of those abilities aren’t exactly on a superhuman level, they are significantly increased.
For instance, Logan has peak human strength – maybe even slightly above that. The same goes for his speed, stamina, agility, and dexterity. However, he has some attributes that other human beings and mutants don’t have. His senses are highly amplified, and Wolverine also has incredible reflexes.
Healing & Durability
Wolverine is second to none when it comes to healing, especially after his adamantium enhancements. Apart from having an indestructible skeleton, Logan can also heal from any sort of injury – even the nastiest ones.
He was once eaten and digested by the Hulk, only to regenerate in his stomach and cut himself out. That’s how powerful his healing is – Wolverine is virtually “unkillable.”
Physical injuries are nothing for him, but many people don’t know that Wolverine ages a lot slower than other human beings and mutants. He was born at the end of the 19th century, fought in World War I, then in World War II alongside Captain America, and still kept his youth.
When you put it all together – adamantium-coated skeleton, incredible healing factor, and slowed aging – Wolverine is nearly invulnerable. His only weaknesses are telepathic and magical attacks, although he had shown higher-than-normal resistance to them as well.
Wolverine became an extremely proficient combatant with years of service in multiple wars, working as a mercenary, and training as a part of the X-Men. He is one of the best hand-to-hand fighters in the Marvel universe, especially with his adamantium claws.
Logan is a great martial artist as well, so when it comes to pure, hand-to-hand fights, he can go toe-to-toe with anybody.
Hulk Vs. Wolverine: Who Would Win?
The fight between Wolverine and the Hulk is extremely close, which is why the writers go back to it so many times. As I mentioned before, they fought dozens of times in the comic books, and we still don’t have a clear-cut winner, as both have taken some battles. So, who would win in a no-holds-barred match?
I love Wolverine, but I have to go with the Hulk on this one. If you take Hulk’s strongest version and Wolverine’s strongest version and pit them against each other, Hulk would simply smash Wolverine around.
He still might not kill him due to his spectacular healing abilities, but Wolverine is simply outmatched in this battle in terms of raw power.
Logan might stand a chance with preparation and planning, as he is far more intelligent than the Hulk (but not when he’s in Banner form), but in the end, he couldn’t kill the Hulk, and Hulk couldn’t kill him.
It would be a matter of hindering the other, and a few good punches to the face would give Wolverine a concussion, rendering him unconscious for at least a while, giving Hulk the win.
Now, if the question is, who’s more powerful, there’s more room to debate. We’ll compare some of their abilities and powers to see who comes out on top.
Hulk Vs. Wolverine: Power Comparison
Both Hulk and Wolverine are virtually invulnerable due to their very strong, fast healing abilities. You can’t harm the Hulk physically – he just gets angrier when taking damage, making him even stronger.
On the other hand, Wolverine has an indestructible skeleton, but he can still take physical damage. Sure, he heals back to normal rather quickly – even after getting a few bullets to his brain – but the fact that he can take damage in the first place gives a slight edge to the Hulk in this regard.
Stamina & Durability
This category also goes in Hulk’s favor, as he simply doesn’t get tired, nor do longer fights impact his durability. He can go for as long as he’s angry and as long as his opponents keep fighting.
On the other hand, Wolverine also has enhanced stamina and durability compared to humans, but he can get tired and absorb damage. While his stamina and durability are quite high, they are nowhere near the Hulk.
Hulk is one of the strongest characters in the entire Marvel Universe, as his physical strength nearly has no boundaries – depending on how angry he gets and what enhancements he has done. For instance, Worldbreaker Hulk can shatter continents with only a few steps.
On the other hand, Wolverine has incredibly enhanced strength, but I wouldn’t say it’s superhuman – it’s closer to peak human strength than Hulk strength.
But, what gives him another level of power is the adamantium. It’s an indestructible metal that coats his skeleton, and he can slice his claws through virtually any material with relative ease.
Nevertheless, the nod goes to the Hulk yet again.
If we’re talking about the regular Hulk, he’s not the brightest guy in the room. He doesn’t operate much using his brains but rather goes on savage rampages and mindless destruction. Pitting Wolverine against this version of the Hulk, it’s no question that he is far more intelligent.
However, if the Hulk is in Bruce Banner form, he’s one of the most intelligent human beings in the world. His intelligence dwarfs Wolverine’s in that regard, and he also learned how to merge Banner and Hulk, later on, containing Hulk’s power, but giving him Banner’s mind.
Wolverine has the intelligence edge over the Hulk, but not over Banner. When you take a look at all the categories, it’s always a close battle, but in the end, the Hulk is just slightly better in all of them.
Hulk Vs. Wolverine: 5 Times They Fought In Comics
It’s very hard to say who would win in a deathmatch, as neither Hulk nor Wolverine can be killed. So, the best we can do is look at their beetles in the comics to see who ends up winning more.
Old Man Logan
The Old Man Logan series focuses on a future world where Wolverine’s in old age and supervillains are in charge. The series has many numbers, but one of the most iconic moments of the series was the battle against the Hulk.
In the future, Bruce Banner and She-Hulk created the Hulk Gang – a group of inbred Hulk children – to which Logan owed money. They kill his entire family, driving the old man insane.
He confronts the entire Gang and the even-more-so-mutated Bruce Banner. Banner’s Hulk is stronger than ever in this scenario, so he devours Logan, but the old man regenerates and heals inside his stomach and then cuts him from the inside out, making it one of their most gruesome battles to date.
He kills the entire Hulk Gang, except for one little Hulk baby, and he decides to be a superhero and do good once again after avenging his family.
The Incredible Hulk #181
It would be wrong not to include Wolverine’s first full appearance on this list, especially since it came against the Hulk in the first place. He appeared in #180, but only as a cameo on the last page, announcing the battle in #181.
The Hulk was battling a beast called the Wendigo, and the two were causing way too much damage, so the Canadian government sent Wolverine to stop the harm by killing the Hulk. They briefly join forces to defeat the Wendigo.
But, once that was finished, Logan continued his initial mission – taking down the Hulk. Hulk didn’t like that, of course, and he ended up knocking Wolverine out. It wasn’t as bloody as some of their later battles, but I enjoyed the introduction of the character nevertheless.
Ultimate Hulk Vs. Wolverine
This one was my favorite Hulk vs. Wolverine battle of all time, but probably the nastiest, too. It wasn’t really a battle, though, as it was completely one-sided. It took place in the Ultimate Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Hulk Vs. Wolverine had only four issues, but the story was quite insane.
Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk, was out of control, so Nick Fury sent Wolverine to kill or incapacitate him. He finds him in the Himalayas, but the battle is short-lived.
As Wolverine tries to attack the Hulk, the big green fellow picks him up and – literally – tears him up in half and throws the upper half of his body into the mountains. It was nasty but so iconic. I revisited this series numerous times.
The Wolverine managed to crawl back, heal, and defeat the Hulk with some tactics in the end, but the entire sequence was as brutal as they get.
World War Hulk: X-Men #3
The battle between the two characters in World War Hulk: X-Men #3 was as one-sided as it gets, but it was brutal, and the entire series was quite dark. Long story short, the Hulk had been sent to another planet by the Illuminati, where he grew even stronger, settled, and had a family, only for them to get killed in a huge explosion.
The Hulk believes it was Illuminati’s doing, so he returns to Earth to kill them all at his most sinister, strongest version ever, being the World War Hulk. The leader of the X-Men, Professor X, is one of the Illuminati, so the Hulk fights all of his subordinates to get to him – including Wolverine.
Seeing he can’t kill Wolverine, he realizes that he doesn’t have to. He takes him and bangs his head repeatedly with furious punches, giving him a series of heavy concussions in the process.
That incapacitates Logan for long enough to take him out of the battle. It was a brutal sequence that had the hair on my body rise.
Savage Wolverine #5
The fight between the Hulk and Wolverine is usually quite one-sided, but this time, the clawed mutant got the nod over his green foe. In the story, Wolverine travels to Savage Land to destroy a machine which is the only thing that’s keeping a giant monster trapped and caged on Earth. If the machine is destroyed, the creature is released.
We learn that the monster uses its powers to control others to come to the Savage Land and destroy the machine. Luckily, Logan fights off the monster’s influence and then helps defend the machine from being destroyed.
But here comes the Hulk. He attacks the machine while Wolverine, Amadeus Cho, and Shanna the She-Devil try to defend it. Logan literally pierces the Hulk’s head and brain with his claws, making the green giant fall, but it’s too late – the machine is already damaged, and it eventually breaks, so Logan’s efforts against the Hulk were futile.
These five battles are my all-time favorite Hulk Vs. Wolverine fights because of the storylines and the incredible artwork depicting the battles, but there have been many more occasions where the two went head-to-head.
Here are some honorable mentions: Punisher #37, Wolverine #145, Hulk #8, Marvel Fanfare #2, Wolverine/Hulk #1, Incredible Hulk #340, Hulkverines #1, etc.