Many comic book characters aren’t born with superhuman abilities. Instead, an event in their lives changes them and gives them superpowers. For Peter Parker, it was a bite from a radioactive spider, while for Bruce Banner, it was an accident during experiments with gamma radiation. So, who would win if Spider-Man and Hulk ever fought, and why?
If we’re talking about a fight where one hinders the other, Spider-Man has a chance, using his reflexes, agility, and strength to beat Hulk or calm him down. However, in a clear one-on-one fight – especially a deathmatch – Hulk would destroy Spidey despite his speed advantage.
When I started researching this subject, I thought it would be much more one-sided than it turned out to be, though. Both have incredible powers that could give them an edge over the other, but ultimately, the big green guy would prevail more often than not. Here’s a full breakdown of the Spider-Man vs. Hulk matchup.
It’s no secret that Hulk is one of the strongest Marvel characters ever when it comes to raw physical strength. When Bruce Banner gets angry, he gets so strong that he can lift an entire mountain range. The angrier he gets, the stronger Hulk becomes.
The limit of his strength is unknown, but we’ve seen him accomplish unfathomable things using nothing but his brute physical force. At his strongest self – when he became World-breaker Hulk – his mere footsteps caused the entire continent to shake and crumble.
Regular Hulk is still stronger than Thor physically. There’s no comparison between him and Spidey if he gets angry enough.
On the other hand, Peter Parker is usually not credited enough for his strength. We all know that Spidey has superhuman strength, but it’s actually a lot better than we think. Unlike Hulk, who holds nothing back when in his state of anger, Spider-Man tends to keep his strength in check, as his full force would instantly kill most of his usual opponents.
At his strongest, Spidey easily broke the jaw off of Scorpion – a fully armored, super-strong villain. He can regularly lift around 10-20 tons, but some situations proved his limit is closer to the 70-100-ton range. That’s unfathomable for a guy that doesn’t look that bulk.
Still, as impressive as it may be, Parker is not even close to Hulk strength-wise. Hardly anybody is close to Hulk in that regard, so it comes as no surprise that the big green beast gets the first point in our matchup.
Point: Hulk (1:0) Spider-Man
When people look at Hulk, they tend to think he’s just a mindless brute that probably doesn’t have any quickness in that huge body. Well, those people are wrong.
The Hulk showed to be quick enough to tag several super-fast Marvel characters if they come close enough. He has great reflexes and reaction time at close range. Once, he caught the Silver Surfer with a punch – one of the fastest characters in all Marvel comics.
Also, his incredible strength allows him to leap over buildings, or even mountains, at a very fast pace. Is it enough to compete with somebody as quick as Spider-Man? Highly unlikely.
Spider-Man is not just fast – he is instinctively impeccable. When Parker focuses and uses his Spider-Sense to navigate him, he can dodge a rain of bullets without even a scratch. At times, Spidey showed that he’s quick enough to avoid lasers coming at him at the speed of light, as well as lightning strikes.
As fast as the Hulk can be, he’s just not on the same level as Spider-Man. Spidey’s reflexes are automatic, so he doesn’t have to dodge attacks consciously. Peter lets his instincts do the hard work while he thinks, plans, and moves in for the attack. It would be extremely hard for Hulk to hit him even once.
That’s combat speed. What about top speed?
Again, Spidey beats Hulk in that regard. He can run at least 60 miles per hour, which is impressive, but Parker can reach much higher speeds when he swings on his webs. That means that if the situation requires him to do so, Spider-Man can evade and escape from the Hulk using his speed.
Point: Spider-Man (1:1) Hulk
When we talk about intelligent Marvel characters, Hulk isn’t the one that pops to mind first. However, when he’s in human form, being Dr. Bruce Banner, he becomes one of the most brilliant minds on Earth. Banner is the world’s leading nuclear physicist with expertise in many scientific fields, including medicine, nanotechnology, engineering, mathematics, and more.
When he becomes the Hulk, though, Banner isn’t as mindless as one might think. Hulk still plans and thinks when he fights. The fighting style, where Hulk goes berserk and destroys everything in his path, might seem mindless, but Hulk knows what he’s doing in every moment.
The Banner part always holds the Hulk in check and gives him some intelligence while fighting. If Banner is “turned off,” (which happens very rarely), you get another devolved version of the green beast, literally named Mindless Hulk. He’s even stronger and angrier than ever but lacks any ability to be reasoned with, causing more harm than good.
Although Hulk still has some intelligence when fighting with Banner not turned off, he’s nowhere near Bruce’s full intellectual potential – and nowhere near Spider-Man, either.
Peter Parker is still quite young, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a genius as well. Perhaps he’s not quite on Bruce Banner’s level, but he’s not that far, either. Parker was extremely smart even before the mutation, and after his newfound abilities made his mind immeasurably faster, that high intellect became even higher.
Peter is a brilliant engineer, chemist, geneticist and has great knowledge in almost any other scientific field. Also, his mind is extremely quick when Parker is in battle, allowing him to plan and strategize in a split second.
Generally, Spider-Man is smarter than the Hulk, but Bruce Banner is slightly smarter than Peter Parker. For that reason, both of them get one point for intelligence.
Point(s): Spider-Man (2:2) Hulk
Spider-Man has a certain degree of superhuman durability. He can take extremely hard hits and survive. For instance, Thanos slamming him into the ground or an entire building collapsing at his chest. Parker also has a quick healing factor, allowing him to heal from injuries that would probably be deadly for most people.
Also, Spidey’s mutation made him quite resilient to known human viruses, illnesses, and even opioids. That being said, he can still get hurt and killed. A hard blow to the head could give Spidey a concussion and, if it’s severe enough, kill him right on the spot. If anybody could deliver such a blow, it would be Hulk.
On the other hand, Hulk is invulnerable to physical damage. Anything you throw at him only makes him even angrier. Sure, he can also get hurt, even knocked out, but there’s virtually nothing that can kill Hulk, making him seemingly immortal.
Even when he’s in Banner form, you just can’t kill Hulk. Banner said he tried to off himself countless times. When he slashes his wrists, the Hulk heals them right back up. If Banner drinks a bottle of pills, the Hulk throws them up. Banner even tried shooting himself in the mouth, and the Hulk just spat the bullet out.
He survived a nuclear bomb explosion without even getting hurt. The only time you can knock him out is within a few seconds while he changes from Banner to Hulk. Still, you can’t really hurt or kill him. Hulk always comes back.
Also, Hulk never gets tired, unlike Spider-Man, who eventually fatigues despite his incredible stamina. Even if Spidey can survive for a long time, Hulk can fight longer.
Point: Hulk (3:2) Spider-Man
Finally, the two have fought in the comics several times. And, while Spider-Man was able to win most of the time, he never really hurt Hulk – his victory was always a plot tool.
Spidey usually gets Hulk using his incredible speed to avoid damage for long enough to calm the Hulk down, allowing him to turn back into Banner. On one occasion, he told Hulk a funny knock-knock joke, and it calmed the big guy down, allowing Banner to reemerge.
The only time that Spider-Man really beat the Hulk – as far as I can remember – was in the Spider-Man Vs. Hulk storyline. However, that was Cosmic Spider-Man with Captain Universe powers – making him one of the most powerful beings in the universe.
Spidey proved to be fast enough to hit Hulk numerous times when both are in their standard forms. After hitting Hulk, the big green guy just got mad, while Spidey was left with bloody, hurt hands.
My point is, Spider-Man might incapacitate Hulk, make him turn back into Banner, or steer him away from the city and allow him to calm down. But Spidey couldn’t hurt Hulk in any way – he caused more damage to himself than the big guy.
Still, I’ll give them both points in this category, seeing that they both won some comic battles against one another.
Point(s): Hulk (4:3) Spider-Man
Spider-Man Vs. Hulk: Who Wins?
There you have it – Hulk wins against Spider-Man in a tight 4:3 contest. It’s a very close battle, but of course, it depends on what you consider a win and what kind of battle we are talking about.
If we’re talking about an all-out one-on-one brawl, where the goal is to hurt the other guy to a point where he can’t continue the fight, then Spider-Man stands no chance – Hulk would destroy him every time. No matter how fast Spidey is and how long he can use his Spider-Sense to avoid Hulk’s attacks, only one strong shot is enough to kill him.
Hulk is immortal, invulnerable, have much more stamina, and their strength levels are incomparable. However, if the fight means hindering the other or stopping the fight any way possible, Spider-Man has a shot against Hulk.
Peter is much smarter than Hulk – not while he’s Banner, but while he’s the other guy, Spidey towers over him intellectually. He could certainly find a way to calm him down or at least hinder Hulk for long enough to reason with him. At the very least, he could steer him away from the battle and allow him to calm down somewhere.
Hulk wins in a physical altercation regardless of Spider-Man’s speed. If Parker tries to calm Hulk down or incapacitate him to stop the fight, then he has a chance, using his brain for reasoning with the brute.