By any standard, the Hulk is one of the most popular characters in the Marvel Universe, and he's usually one of the strongest too. Created in 1962 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Bruce Banner suffered a gamma radiation accident that transformed him into the Hulk. The Green Goliath went on to star in thousands of comic books, a plethora of cartoons, his own live- action TV series, and several big-screen appearances by himself and with the Avengers.
With Mark Ruffalo currently portraying the pacifist Professor Hulk in Avengers: Endgame, many fans are just getting to know another iteration of the Hulk. However, if they want to know which of the many iterations of Banner truly was "the strongest there is," they'd have to look at arguably his most tragic depiction to date, the World-Breaker Hulk. Now, CBR is taking a closer look at this deeply tragic, unbeatable version of the incredible Hulk.
WHO IS THE WORLD-BREAKER HULK?
The World-Breaker Hulk came into being at the end of the 2006 Planet Hulk event. In that fan-favorite story, the Hulk was marooned on Sakaar by the Illuminati, where he became a gladiator, emperor and liberator to the people oppressed by the Red King. Hulk usurped the dictator and become their ruler, taking Caiera as his wife. However, when the ship that brought Hulk there exploded, it killed Caiera and their unborn son.
Enraged, Hulk absorbed all the planet's radiation after just one small step of his began rocking his tectonic plates. Following Caiera's connection to the Old Power which flowed through the planet, it seemed this energy latched on to Hulk as well, and it literally transformed him into a living, breathing cosmic bomb capable of splitting planets.
With a newly unique level of anger, he garnered an uncontrollable level of power in the process, becoming stronger with every angry moment, and he headed home to take out all the members of the Illuminati who wronged him.In the ensuing World War Hulk crossover, this included Professor Xavier, Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, Tony Stark and Reed Richards, but not Namor, who voted against the idea of sending the Hulk into space.
HOW STRONG IS THE WORLD-BREAKER?
Apart from stomping and causing earthquake across entire continents and planets, the World-Breaker has phenomenal destructive abilities. Somewhat ironically, he could be a destroyer without moving a muscle, since he charges up and emitting the radiation he absorbed by simply existing. He was so strong that, even when he wasn't realizing it, the World-Breaker was literally shaking the Earth's core.
In fact, when he faced the Fantastic Four and Avengers, small steps began to cause seismic shifts in the country, and we also saw these effects via simple stare-downs which had the the planet rumbling. This version of Banner was even stronger than the Savage Hulk, and with his intelligence intact and heightened, the World-Breaker truly became the most powerful Hulk of all time.
Apart from his near-invincibility and godlike endurance, the World-Breaker even altered the concept of the "Thunder Clap." It became a wave of violent radiation that swept through cities, demolishing any shred of civilization in sight, as repeatedly seen in Incredible Hulk #632-635 when he returned home.
WHO HAS THE WORLD-BREAKER DEFEATED?
The biggest win would come against Sentry and his power of "a million exploding suns" in World War Hulk. Banner absorbed all of Robert Reynolds' energy (both the supernatural and scientific essences of his powers) and even after punching each other unconscious, Banner somehow transformed back into the World-Breaker to defend Rick Jones when the latter came under danger.
Banner also absorbed Fin Fang Foom's blasts and turned them back on the dragon. He also punched Jen Walters (Red She-Hulk) out and nearly destroyed a planet in the Dark Dimension, proving that he certainly could live up to his title.
The Avengers, including a Hulkbuster-suited Iron Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Juggernaut, Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider and the United States Army all fell at his feet, as he went after the Illuminati. Black Bolt's killer scream couldn't even faze the behemoth. His victims also included the skyscraper-sized Wendigo and Bi-Beast, as well as Arm'Chedon, warlord of the Troyjan empire. While the full extent of his rage and power hasn't been tested, nothing in the Marvel Universe seems like its truly capable of topping the wrath of the World-Breaker.