‘What If…?’ Season 2: Here’s How Happy Hogan Turned Into a Purple Hulk & How Strong He Is

how strong is purple hulk what if season.jpg

The recent airing of ‘What If…?’ Episode 3 unveils a heartwarming Christmas narrative featuring Happy Hogan’s heroic act to save the day. Transforming into the formidable Purple Hulk, Happy confronts Justin Hammer’s threat, showcasing his strength against the formidable Hulkbuster. Although the Purple Hulk isn’t entirely novel, it proves to be a menacing force. Let’s delve into the identity of the Purple Hulk and explore the extent of his power.

  • Article Breakdown:
  • The Purple Hulk emerges when Happy Hogan accidentally stabs himself with a vial containing the regular Hulk’s blood.
  • Purple Hulk demonstrates strength against Iron Man sentries and faces off against Justin Hammer in Hulkbuster armor, exhibiting remarkable durability against falls, gunfire, and building debris.
  • Happy’s transformed state may not be permanent, as implied by indications that Star possesses a cure for him.

How did Happy Hogan transform into the Purple Hulk?

At the episode’s outset, Happy Hogan was grappling with the stress of organizing the Avengers Christmas Gala, compounded by Jarvis being down for defragging. His concerns proved valid when Justin Hammer, in a rather foolish manner, infiltrated the building, seizing control of the Avengers Tower and all its machinery, including the Iron Man Sentries. Hammer’s dual objectives were clear: seek revenge on his rival, Tony Stark, and transform himself into a superhero by appropriating a vial of Hulk’s blood, using the gamma-radiated sample for a unique Hulk-like metamorphosis.

Hulk blood

As Hammer’s henchmen attempted to crack the safe containing the coveted blood, Happy Hogan unwittingly intervened, accidentally stabbing himself in the leg with the vial. The transformation commenced from his legs, and with each subsequent injury, the affected part of his body turned purple while gaining additional musculature. Confronted by Hammer’s armed men and propelled through a window, Happy Hogan ultimately completed his metamorphosis into the Purple Hulk.

How strong is the Purple Hulk?

It’s not safe to assume that the Purple Hulk possesses all the same powers and abilities as the regular Hulk, given the usual variations in Hulk iterations. However, what stands out is the Purple Hulk’s capability to effortlessly take on the Hulkbuster armor, even though Justin Hammer, who piloted the armor, is a skilled fighter proficient in various martial arts, as he emphasized throughout the episode.

Purple hulk vs hulkbuster armor

Happy Hogan, in his Hulk form, displayed remarkable strength, easily breaking through concrete and steel, surviving falls from considerable heights, and enduring the impact of crashing concrete upon him. Additionally, he demonstrated notable durability by withstanding gunfire.

Furthermore, indications suggest that the Purple Hulk’s transformation might not be permanent, hinting at the possibility that Tony Stark may hold a cure for it.


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In the comics, the character embodying the Purple Hulk is none other than Norman Osborn

Although ‘What If…?’ doesn’t align precisely with the primary continuity in either the comics or the MCU, a glimpse of the purple Hulk has already been witnessed in comic book lore.

Within the Marvel comics, the Purple Hulk is unmasked as Norman Osborn, famously recognized as the Green Goblin and a prominent adversary of Spider-Man. Unveiled in the pages of ‘Avengers’ #24 in 2012, Osborn assumes the mantle of the Purple Hulk following the Secret Invasion events and the subsequent erosion of trust in established institutions. Seizing the moment, Osborn replaces Nick Fury’s S.H.I.E.L.D. with his own authoritarian entity known as H.A.M.M.E.R.

Following Osborn’s tyrannical acts, exposed during the Siege of Asgard, he retreats into hiding but retains substantial support from his former regime. Upon resurfacing, Osborn aligns himself with notorious terrorist organizations—A.I.M., Hydra, and the Hand—alongside disgraced S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Carolina Washington. Leveraging genetic information collected from key Avengers by Washington, Osborn engineers an army of super-powered soldiers, including Spider-Hulks and Invisible Giant-Men.

A.I.M.’s Dr. Monica Rappaccini enhances Osborn’s abilities with a version of Super-Adaptoid technology, granting him the power to absorb and replicate the abilities of those he touches. After assimilating the powers of his Dark Avengers and the Vision, Osborn’s clash with the Red Hulk triggers his transformation into the formidable Purple Hulk. This incarnation wields extensive musculature, density control, and the capability to replicate the powers of those who engage him.

Normal Osborn as purple Hulk

To thwart him, the Avengers devise a strategy to overload Osborn’s powers by subjecting him to a myriad of abilities simultaneously. Despite efforts from genetically volatile characters such as Spider-Woman and the Kree alien Protector, it is ultimately the New Avengers who successfully cause Osborn’s physical form to crumble, leaving him in a comatose state.

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