Is the Hulk a Hero or a Villain? (& When Was He a Villain)


The Hulk has always been one of the most popular Marvel Comics characters of all time, as there was a time that he was arguably more popular than the likes of Iron Man. But while he may be popular, the thing is that he doesn’t have the usual heroic characteristics of the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, or Spider-Man due to his very nature as an angry being. So, is the Hulk a hero or a villain?

The Hulk is simply the Hulk in the sense that he does what he does. There are times when he is a hero, especially when he and the planet are in danger. But there are times when he is a villain as well, especially when he is pissed off. But he is one of the good guys most of the time.

When it comes to the Hulk, it really depends on the situation because he is a very mercurial character that would attack anyone that pisses him off. That’s because he was always a creature of pure rage, especially during the early part of the character’s history. So, with that said, let’s look at whether or not the Hulk is a hero or a villain.

Is The Hulk A Hero Or A Villain?

The world of Marvel Comics is one that’s full of different characters that have different personalities. Of course, some of the most poverful characters in Marvel Comics are heroes, as we can’t help but think of the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, and Spider-Man when talking about the most popular heroes in Marvel Comics. Then there’s the Hulk, who is also incredibly popular but tends to be someone who doesn’t fit the conventional standards of what a hero is.

How do we define a hero? In most cases, heroes are the ones that use their powers and abilities for the sake of others without necessarily doing things for their own sake. Heroes are also people that value putting others before themselves and are almost always on the side of the weak and defenseless, especially when fighting villains that want to achieve selfish desires.

In that regard, heroes don’t do things for self-affirmation, as it is more important for them to put the needs of others before their own. And when we talk about Marvel Comics, most of the characters aren’t only heroes but are also superheroes because they have powers and abilities that ordinary heroes don’t have.


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So, when it comes to the Hulk, it can be difficult to put him on the same level as heroes like Iron Man or Spider-Man. There is no doubt that he is super because he is one of the strongest and most durable characters in the world of Marvel Comics. But the “hero” part of being a superhero tends to be tricky when it comes to the Hulk.

As a character that was inspired by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide, the Hulk is the angry split personality of Bruce Banner, who is no doubt a good person but ends up on the wrong side of the US government when he develops a split personality that turns him into a gigantic green brute with strength that is unfathomable. And it is the nature of his power and transformation into the Hulk that makes his status as a hero questionable.

At the start, the Hulk was a character on the run and had his own storyline to tell while he was running away from the people that only wanted to do him and Bruce Banner harm. Despite the fact that he is a green giant with anger management issues, there were plenty of instances when he actually showcased his goodhearted nature, which most likely stemmed from the fact that a truly good person is the host of the Hulk’s personality.

That is why, despite the tough beginnings that the Hulk experienced when the US military wanted him dead or captured, he ended up becoming a superhero that saved people from greater threats. The Hulk was simply a really angry man that wanted to stay away from people that wanted to do him harm. But when he needed to save other people from truly evil threats that wanted to harm the weak and defenseless, he always found a way to deliver. Eventually, he became a member of the Avengers, which is a group of superheroes that work together to save the world from great threats to the planet.

In that regard, the Hulk is almost always a hero in the comics, especially when he knows for a fact that the weak and defenseless need him and whenever there is a threat that needs to be defeated in order for him and the world to be safe.

But the fact is that the Hulk is kind of an anomaly in the world of superheroes because of the fact that he can also be a villain due to his very nature. Unlike villains that have selfish goals and desires, the Hulk is simply destructive due to the fact that he is a creature of pure anger. And that means that he simply has no ulterior motive behind some of the things that he does whenever he is angry.

Of course, an angry Hulk is only angry because something made him angry. In most cases, it is a traumatic experience that pushes him to the point that he becomes too angry that he is already a threat to the entire world. But whenever there is no external factor that angers him to points that are beyond controllable, he is a hero with a grumpy disposition in life.

When Was The Hulk A Villain?

While we never really said that the Hulk is a true superhero in every sense of the word, he is almost always portrayed as a hero. Then again, there were instances when he became a villain due to his nature as an angry entity that would destroy anything in his surroundings whenever he was unable to contain his anger. So, when was the Hulk a villain?

Actually, there are plenty of instances in the comics where the Hulk is a villain. At one point, the entire Bruce Banner persona ceased to exist within the Hulk, and that turned the green giant into a creature of pure rage because Bruce’s personality was what acted as a limiter. As such, he fought the entire Avengers team simply because he became an uncontrollable beast of rage without Bruce Banner’s personality keeping his anger in check. In fact, the only solution of the Avengers in that situation was for Thor to battle him until Doctor Strange could send him away to another planet.


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This savage version of Hulk came in handy at one point when the Hulk himself requested Jean Grey to block Bruce Banner’s personality temporarily so that the green giant could battle Onslaught in his stronger savage form.

Of course, there is also the savage grey form of the Hulk, which is one of the purest forms of the character. A gamma bomb was powerful enough to revert the green giant to his grey form, which is a lot more savage than his green state. In that regard, the Hulk easily defeated the Fantastic Four and wreaked havoc in Las Vegas. And this was the event that forced the Illuminati to send him away to a different planet.

After Hulk was sent away by the Illuminati to a different planet, he became the angriest version of himself during the World War Hulk storyline, and he became a villainous creature that functioned on pure anger alone. After he got back to Earth, he turned an entire city into his personal coliseum and even took out the entire X-Men on his own. This was a misguided Hulk that became so angry because he believed that all of the bad things that happened to him and the planet he was exiled to were caused by the Illuminati.

The only being powerful enough to match this enraged Hulk was Sentry, who reverted to his normal form due to exhaustion. But the death of Rick Jones enraged the Hulk once more. This Hulk was so angry that he radiated so much gamma energy that he threatened to destroy the planet. And it was only through the efforts of Tony Stark and his satellites that the Hulk’s gamma radiation was nullified as the green giant was finally defeated.

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