Many Marvel fans would rank Bruce Banner, The Incredible Hulk, among their favorite characters, but the list of iconic Hulk storylines is surprisingly short. The strongest there is also happens to be one of the toughest for writers to get a handle on, and it’s to find a consensus on what the best Hulk comics are. It does make sense—how does one take the most powerful being on Earth and make him relatable? Despite the challenge, a number of Marvel writers and artists over the years have combined to bring to life some of the best Hulk story arcs ever.
With a superheroic career lasting over half a century, the list of the Hulk’s greatest adventures include trips through time, to far-off planets, and even to the microscopic world. No matter where he roams, the themes surrounding the jade giant are always the same—being angry, being misunderstood, and having the overwhelming desire to SMASH!
Issues: Hulk #92-105
Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Carlo Pagulayan
Planet Hulk sees Bruce Banner sent to a far away planet by his former allies, like Mr. Fantastic and Iron Man, in a last-ditch effort to save the Earth from his destructive wrath. While on the gladiator-themed world of Sakaar, Hulk begins a quest to unite the oppressed population and rise up against the dreaded monarch who rules over them. This storyline heavily influenced the film Thor: Ragnarok.
Issues: World War Hulk #1-5
Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: John Romita Jr.
The follow-up of Planet Hulk, World War Hulk sees the jade giant return from his exile on Sakaar, bent on revenge against the men who sent him there, and who he suspects had a hand in a devastating explosion that killed his bride. This is the Hulk at his angriest, and he cuts a bruised and bloody swath through the Marvel Universe in his quest for justice. Can anything stop him? Not likely.
And Now…The Wolverine!
Issues: Incredible Hulk #181
Writer: Len Wein
Artist: Herb Trimpe
This story is most famous for introducing everyone’s favorite Canadian mutant, Wolverine, but it’s also a fun and furious Hulk adventure. The action-packed tale features a three-way battle royale between the ferocious Hulk, the pesky Wolverine, and a flesh-eating mythical creature from the frozen north, a Wendigo!
Issues: Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk #1-6
Writer: Damon Lindelof
Artist: Leinil Francis Yu
Penned by LOST co-creator Damon Lindelof, this miniseries contains the most violent and bloody clash in the long history of the Hulk and Wolverine. In the no-holds-barred Ultimate Universe, the Hulk is free to let loose, and he does so by literally ripping Wolverine in half, adamantium skeleton and all. And that’s just the beginning!