HULK VS THOR
THE DEFINITIVE WRITE UP ON MARVEL'S MOST LEGENDARY AND MOST CONTROVERSIAL SLUGFEST
John “THE MEGO STRETCH HULK” Cimino
Dedicated to my love for both characters and the fanboys who can't get enough!
Of all the tremendous battles, slugfests and rivalries that have occurred in a Marvel Comic over the last 70 plus years, very few have been more anticipated or in more demand as “Hulk vs Thor”. Arguably the two strongest and most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe, the Hulk and Thor will never be far from a collision course. They have at times put down their fists and hammer to team up or to make a truce but it never lasts. With their big egos and big mouths they are always just a word-balloon away for some city-leveling fun. It’s the pay-per-view main event of the Marvel mythos, with no wide-screen (or comic book) big enough to capture the action. And for all its glory and excitement, probably no other match up stems as much controversy.
Yes, debating if one fictional character can beat another is taken very seriously between comic collecting fanboys and it has been since the creation of Superman back in 1938. But when it comes to the fanboys with the most “passion” Hulk fans (or members of the Church of Hulk) and Thor fans (also known as Thorites) seem to have some of the loudest voices. And if you put these loud and passionate voices together in an argument about who should really win in a fight between the Hulk and Thor, you get a thunder clap louder and more destructive than anything those two characters could ever muster up. Yes my fellow readers, the Hulk fighting Thor is more than just a mega-ongoing-endless-Marvel-punch-up-tradition, it’s a mega-ongoing-endless-immortal-debate.
|Everyone stands back as the two big-boys get ready to play...and the readers love it!|
To understand why there is such controversy between the two characters, we need to look into the past and see the evolution of each hero and the dynamic between them. As time went on many changes occurred and sometimes not always for the better.
The Hulk first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #1 (May 1962) created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The Hulk is cast as the emotional and impulsive alter ego of the withdrawn and reserved physicist Dr. Bruce Banner. The Hulk appears shortly after Banner is accidentally exposed to mega doses of gamma rays from the blast of a test detonation of a Gamma Bomb (or G-Bomb) he invented. Subsequently, Banner will involuntarily transform into a giant, raging, humanoid monster of great strength, during times of anger, fear or stress thus leading to extreme complications in his life.
A few months later came the great Thunder God, Thor first appearing in Journey Into Mystery #83 (Aug. 1962) and was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby. While having the strongest character on Earth with the Hulk, Stan wanted to go even further. He stated:
"How do you make someone stronger than the strongest person? It finally came to me: Don't make him human — make him a god. I decided readers were already pretty familiar with the Greek and Roman gods. It might be fun to delve into the old Norse legends... Besides, I pictured Norse gods looking like Vikings of old, with the flowing beards, horned helmets, and battle clubs.”
"How do you make someone stronger than the strongest person? It finally came to me: Don't make him human — make him a god. I decided readers were already pretty familiar with the Greek and Roman gods. It might be fun to delve into the old Norse legends... Besides, I pictured Norse gods looking like Vikings of old, with the flowing beards, horned helmets, and battle clubs.”
Alas, Thor and the Hulk enter into the Marvel Universe and two legends are born.
Thor and the Hulk first appeared together in Avengers #1 (Sept. 1963) and formed this super-team with Iron man, Ant-Man and Wasp. But in the next issue of Avengers #2 (Nov. 1963) at the first Avengers meeting, the brash Thunder God is appalled by the Hulk’s appearance and lets the green brute know about it. This insult will forever change the course of the Marvel Universe as the Hulk would continually hold a grudge against the pompous Thunder God. The Hulk would also discover how much all the other Avengers feared and mistrusted him so he would shortly quit the team (and battle them over and over throughout the years).
|Thor starts to talk trash about the way the Hulk looks and starts the immortal feud.|
The first real fight between the Hulk and Thor takes place in Avengers #3 (Jan. 1964) during their second match up when the Hulk teams up with the Sub-Mariner and battles the Avengers (in their first match up the Avengers were just trying to capture the Hulk and didn’t want to really hurt him). But now all bets were off and eventually the Hulk and Namor struggle in their first punch up with Thor. The Thunder God is clearly holding his own as the two savages try to keep pace with him. The Hulk and Namor seemed to be no match for the Thunder God as even the Hulk states that Subby is nuts for trying to fight him alone. It seemed clear to me that Thor was the Heavyweight Champion of Marvel Comics and this altercation proved it.
|It takes both The Hulk and The Sub-Mariner to go with Thor at the beginning of the Marvel Universe.|
After this Marvel started gaining more popularity in the comics world and their heroes were turning into future stars of the industry with Spider-man, the Fantastic Four and The Hulk leading the way. The big question of the day by fanboys was if the Thing could beat the Hulk? And these letters flooded the Marvel offices constantly. In response to the Hulk and the Thing’s first inconclusive fight in Fantastic Four #12 (Dec. 1962), Stan Lee and Jack Kirby gave fans the first real-deal-major-scope-punch-up-ever with “The Hulk vs The Thing in the Battle of the Century!” in Fantastic Four #25 (Jan. 1964)! This answered the question of who the stronger was as the Hulk pounded on the street-tough Thing. So a new question emerged by fanboys, “Who is stronger, The Hulk or The Mighty Thor?” Stan Lee being the genius editor that he is gave the fans just that in Journey into Mystery #112 (Jan. 1965), but the fight itself proved inconclusive with the now much more popular Hulk (he was a college mascot at this time and even voted by readers in Esquire magazine as the number 27th revolutionary icon of college goers in 1965) saving face while dropping Thor down a notch as both characters now were “physical equals.” And why not, it sold a ton more comics and kept the fans coming back for more. And we did...
|There can be no more doubt as Thor and the Hulk are now established as "physical equals" as told in this letter during Marvel's Silver Age.|
In my mind, this was the first blow to the Thor mythos because he was created to be the strongest character and now he was one of the strongest. Because as popular as the Thunder God was, he just wasn't as popular as the Hulk. But in truth, it really wasn't that bad for Thor. He would carry the torch as the self-chosen protector of Earth and was considered quite possibly the most respected superhero in the Marvel Universe. He had the most powerful weapon around with his war-hammer Mjolnir, he scared the bejeezus out of the Silver Surfer with his arsenal of power in Silver Surfer #4 (May 1969) and was always just as strong as the Hulk as shown in Defenders #10 (Nov. 1973) with their 90 minute test of strength. And during the middle of the 70's, Thor was being written as to be "always holding back his full strength because he didn't want to kill anybody." Yes, at this time Thor was a true god in every sense of the word.
|Thor was all powerful against the Silver Surfer in this classic!|
In the 80’s Walter Simonson began writing Thor and brought a whole new legend to the character. These were considered some of the best Thor stories ever published even though Simonson’s interpretation of The Thunder God was nowhere near as powerful as the Lee and Kirby version of the 60's. During this time, Thor appeared as the superhero little Sara Anderson was obsessed with in the movie comedy, Adventures in Babysitting (1987). But as time went on and Simonson left writing, so did the Thunder God’s popularity. When The Mighty Thor #385 (Nov. 1987) hit the shelves, more controversy hit the mythos of “Hulk vs Thor” because now it became established that Thor needed Mjolnir to keep on par with the brute in a toe-to-toe battle. And if that wasn't enough, Thor’s first live-television appearance made its debut on The Return of the Incredible Hulk (1988) and Thor get’s pounded on by the “Lou Ferrigno” Hulk. With the fame of Spider-man, the X-men and the Hulk flying high into the mainstream media, Thor was but an afterthought and only considered a “B” level hero.
The 90’s into the 2000's saw more downgrades to Thor in popularity. It got so bad that Thor was no longer starring in his own comic as Eric Masterson took up the mantel of Thor and would later become known as Thunderstrike (the real Thor eventually returned but sales never increased). When the “Heroes Reborn Universe” rebooted all the Marvel Heroes titles, Thor never got his own series and would just be a supporting character in the Avengers issues. Finally, after two years when the heroes returned back into the regular Marvel Universe, Thor got his own title back but it eventually got canceled after seven years. With lagging popularity also comes lagging respect and power to the character himself. Now Thor was no longer considered bullet proof (writer Kurt Busiek decided to make this official and thank god writer J. Michael Straczynski fixed this nonsense years later), he even freely admits that the Hulk is physically stronger than him in The Incredible Hulk Annual 2001, The Ultimates comic comes into prominence and becomes wildly popular and tremendously influential (even though it’s not in the current continuity) and this version of Thor will take a beating against the sex-crazed Hulk in The Ultimates #5 (July 2002) among others and never truly becomes a super-heavyweight. The real Marvel Universe Thor will take his share of embarrassing defeats as well including a big loss to DC's Superman in the highly anticipated Avengers/JLA #2 (Oct. 2003) ending that debate thanks to writer Mr. Busiek once again and a few years later to 2nd rate Hulk-clone, the Red Hulk no less in Hulk #5 (Aug. 2008). Thank the comic gods that Thor rectified that defeat later on and pounded on the Rulk to avenge his defeat.
|Thor taking a beating from the lame Red Hulk was a travesty. Let's all thank the gods Thor got that one back and redeemed himself against this pathetic Hulk-clone loser.|
But if that wasn't enough, Thor would prove to be a punching bag to the real Hulk in other forms of media. Animated features will come out; The Ultimate Avengers DVD (2006) where the Hulk totally knocks out Thor and then climaxing in the Hulk vs Thor DVD (2009) where the Hulk actually kills the Thunder God in a huge brawl. Thor fans tried to save face by saying these fights weren’t in regular comic continuity so they didn't count. Well, that was until they got Hulk: Let The Battle Begin #1 (March 2010) where the Hulk finally defeats Thor conclusively in a fight and it was just another bitter pill for Thor fans to swallow (I totally feel their angst). So with this, the final nail was put in the Marvel mythos of “Hulk vs Thor.”
Could Thor ever recover?
Yes, like in true Thor fashion, he rises again from the dregs of defeat in the most unexpected way possible…a movie. In the summer of 2011 everyone will witness Thor and it will gross an incredible $448,150,968 worldwide (making more than any Hulk movie ever did) and rocketing The Thunder God right into the pantheon of the most famous superheroes of all! This was a well needed victory for Thor who could now be classed as an “A” level hero!
So how will this new surge in popularity help Thor out in his continued rivalry with the Hulk? In a time where Superhero blockbusters are all the rage at the movie theater, how could the Hulk and Thor not meet up in a clash of the ages for all the world to see? On May 4th of 2012 Marvel's The Avengers is released and becomes one of the top 3 highest grossing films of all time. Plus it showcased the first superhero vs superhero battles ever with "Hulk vs Thor" being the most anticipated and closely viewed. Now this rivalry has truly entered into the mainstream and has become the most popular superhero match up ever in comics! It also will give the mass audience the true levels of power between the Hulk and Thor. And regardless of what any fanboy thinks of it, you just gotta love this match up because now it's bigger than all of us. Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you the Definitive write up of...The Incredible Hulk versus The Mighty Thor!!!
But before we get to the action, let's see the combatants...
TALE OF THE TAPE
Height: 5’9 ½” (Banner), 7’ (Hulk)
Weight: 128lbs (Banner), 1,040lbs (Hulk)
Real Name: Robert Bruce Banner
Origins: Gamma bomb explosion at Desert Base New Mexico
Home Base: Earth
Nicknames: Green Goliath, Green-Skinned Goliath, Jade Jaws, Annihilator, Captain Universe, Joe Fixit, Mr. Fixit, Mechano, Green Scar, Jade Giant, The Jolly Green Giant, Green King, Holku, Green One, Eye of Rage, Eye of Anger, Harkanon, Haarg, Once-Savage, Two Minds, Professor, War, Maestro, Two-Hands, Greenskin, Gray Goliath, Mighty Bob, Anti-Hulk, Friday, Green Golem, Golem, Man-Monster, World-Breaker, Sakaarson, Nul: Breaker of Worlds, The Most Powerful Being on Earth, The Strongest One There Is
Powers: Possesses the potential for near limitless levels of superhuman strength, depending directly on his emotional state, particularly his anger. He is also extremely resistant to physical damage, psychic assaults, temperature extremes, and is completely immune to disease and poisons. He can breathe underwater, survive unprotected in space, and when injured, heals from almost any wound within seconds. His aging is slowed, or may have ceased altogether, due to these regenerative properties of his gamma ray irradiated cells. His powerful legs allow him to leap into lower Earth orbit or across continents. His durability, healing, endurance, and possibly speed, likewise increase in relation to his adrenaline levels. As Bruce Banner, he is considered one of the greatest minds on Earth. He is the foremost expert on Gamma Radiation and has developed expertise in the fields of Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Physiology, and has a PhD in Nuclear Physics.
Favorite Expressions: “Hulk Smash!”, “Hulk is the Strongest One There is!”, "BAH!", “Nothing Can Stop Hulk!”, “Don’t make me angry, you wouldn't like me when I’m angry.”
Incarnations: I listed the “Savage” Hulk’s stats up above because it is generally considered that this Hulk persona is the most popular and most powerful of all the incarnations. But his height, weight and powers can change from time to time depending on his current incarnation. Within each “Hulk vs Thor” comic description listed in “The Slugfest” section, I included which incarnation of the Hulk was present for that fight. To understand this and to see some of the other strengths and weakness each incarnation has click on this link below.
Real Name: Thor Odinson
Origins: Born in a cave in Norway, Odin (father), Gaea (mother)
Home Base: Asgard
Nicknames: The God of Thunder, The Prince of Asgard, Goldilocks, The Thunderer, The Blondhair, The Son of Odin, Vingthor the Hurler, Longbeard’s Son, Hrodr’s Foeman, Veur, Hloriddi, Donar, Jormungand’s Fear, The Warrior-Born, Long-hair, The Champion of Asgard, The Greatest Warrior in all of Mythology
Powers: Superhuman strength, durability, stamina and mental fortitude greater than those of all other Asgardian Gods, while being the physically strongest of the Asgardians, if the battle pressed, he can enter into a state known as the "Warrior's Madness" ("berserkergang" in Norwegian) which will temporarily raise his strength and stamina tenfold, although in this state he will attack friend and foe alike. As a true Asgardian God he possesses unearthly senses, regeneration (with the aid of Mjolnir), self-sustenance, immunity to disease, resistance to some forms of magic, longevity (he is not truly immortal but relies upon periodic consumption of the Golden Apples of Idunn to sustain his extended lifespan, which to date has lasted many millennia) and he can survive in the vacuum of space unaided for a brief period of time. As the son of the Earth Goddess Gaea he has also shown to have some control over the Earth. He has thousands of years of training in Asgardian arts of war, he is highly skilled in hand-to-hand combat, proficient with most Asgardian weaponry, highly skilled in the use of the war-hammer, sword and mace.
Weapons: Mjolnir; magical war-hammer made from virtually indestructible uru metal grants flight, weather manipulation, energy projection and absorption, time manipulation, dimensional travel, electrical manipulation, matter manipulation and the most powerful of Thor's offensives, the God Blast (which taps into Thor's life force), the Thermo-blast and the Anti-Force (which counteracts another force). It can also be used to sense out the auras of evil presence. By throwing Mjolnir in the desired direction and then holding on to the handle's leather loop, Thor can fly at supersonic speeds in Earth's atmosphere and travel faster than light in space. Mjolnir obeys Thor's commands as though it was alive and if Thor's will is strong enough, the hammer can pass through nearly any barrier to reach him should he so desire.
Favorite Expressions: Way too many pseudo-Shakespearean quotes to choose from. Thor always makes slightly long-winded speeches during combat.
The comics listed in this section is each time Hulk and Thor have squared off, had words and fought each other in actual official Marvel continuity. I will also explain each encounter in detail. Unfortunately, all fights and situations are not always so clear cut and I've tried my very best to be fair, objective and unbiased about the outcome of each battle. A fight will only result in a "WIN" if the losing character is rendered unconscious, teleported away against their will or immobilized in such a fashion that they are only freed by the other combatant or an ally. There may even be cases when a character gets a victory due to interference of their teammates, partners, etc. This may not be a definitive "WIN" but it will still be tallied against the losing opponent and explained so. When a character gets an "EDGE" result, they had the advantage at the end of the fight but the opponent may still be conscious or fighting on, so it will not be tallied against him. Simply put, the winner is the last person standing. At the end, I tallied up the totals so you can come to your own conclusions and be the judge to see who holds the overall edge in this incredible match up. Since there is so much debating in the "Hulk vs Thor" match up, I spoke with a few creators to shed some light on the more controversial issues and hopefully it will clear up some of the arguments that they spark off.
THE AVENGERS #3 (1964)
The Avengers try to capture the “Gravage” Hulk. As the brute and the Thunder God engage on top of a train, the Hulk will out maneuver Thor and tie him up with some steel cable. Before Thor can free himself, the Hulk has already escaped the rest of the Avengers in the desert. They decide not to pull their punches next time. RESULT: DRAW
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 1 HULK: 0 – THOR: 0
As The Avengers battle the Hulk and the Sub-Mariner, Namor confronts Thor and challenges him. The Hulk will storm out of the shadows and also attack the Thunder God helping Namor out. But in the heat of the struggle the Hulk will fail to wrestle Mjolnir from Thor's grasp and then unexpectedly change back into Bruce Banner and run off leaving a dehydrating and helpless Prince Namor all alone against the team. RESULT: DRAW
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 2 HULK: 0 – THOR: 0
FANTASTIC FOUR #26 (1964)
So how did Stan Lee and Jack Kirby follow up the biggest fight in comics history with "Hulk vs Thing" in Fantastic Four #25? They threw in the Avengers and let the battle become even bigger! Fantastic Four #26 concludes the epic two-part saga of the Hulk fighting the Thing (as well as against Thor and everyone else). This issue will solidify the Hulk as the first and definitive "team-buster" of the Marvel Universe. This is more absolute greatness that made the Marvel Silver Age the greatest era ever in comics!
Searching for Rick Jones who the “Gravage” Hulk thinks has betrayed him; the brute then tackles both the entire Avengers and Fantastic Four teams including Thor. As the Hulk plows through the heroes, Thor will throw his hammer at the brute but miss. With all the heroes getting in each others way, the Hulk leaps away with Rick Jones escaping them. RESULT: DRAW
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 3 HULK: 0 – THOR: 0
Again Thor takes on the Hulk with the help of the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. But during the entire battle, Thor and the Hulk never really get at each other. In the end, the Hulk escapes but Rick Jones is saved. RESULT: DRAW
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 4 HULK: 0 – THOR: 0
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #112 (1965)
Is there any surprise that this issue opens up with Hulk and Thor fanboys arguing over who the real champion of the Marvel Universe is? And in this issue all fans got their wish with the first real-deal-all-out legendary brawl of “Hulk vs Thor!” This punch up is what I also consider to be an absolute mastery of story telling and pacing brought to you by the masters, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. It's simply one of the greatest slugfests ever to grace a comic book.
Thor retells the tale to a bunch of teenagers of the fight he had with the “Gravage” Hulk back in Avengers #3 (when they were both off panel). They engaged in a tremendous war to see who the stronger was. Thor asked Odin to take away the enchantment of Mjolnir for 5 minutes so he could challenge the Hulk in hand-to-hand combat. But as this happened, the Hulk never took his eyes off the hammer and wanted to destroy it. They went back and forth with both combatants claiming their superiority over the other. The Hulk eventually throws Thor against the underground cavern wall causing an avalanche separating them. Soon the Hulk digs himself out and would find Thor fighting the Sub-Mariner and the rest of this fight continues back in Avengers #3. RESULT: DRAW
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 5 HULK: 0 – THOR: 0
SUB-MARINER #35 (1971)
The “Savage” Hulk reluctantly teams up with the Sub-Mariner and the Silver Surfer and battles it out with the Avengers. The Hulk and Thor square off in an intense scrap. At the end, the Hulk manages to separate Thor from his hammer and unsuccessful tries to lift it. Thor is now worried that he will change back to Dr. Donald Blake in 1 minute and be helpless against the brute. Just then the United Nations attack and distracts the Hulk from his attempt opening him up for Thor to punch him and retrieve Mjolnir. At that moment both teams put away their grudges and will join forces to stop the U.N. RESULT: DRAW
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 6 HULK: 0 – THOR: 0
DEFENDERS #10 (1973)
This issue sparks a lot of controversy due to the “90 minute teat of strength” The Hulk and Thor have in this fight. So I personally asked Defender’s writer Steve Englehart about it in 2011 and he wrote me this, “I just found them both to have a claim on "strongest thing around," and couldn't decide for myself who was stronger, so I went with "not proven."
When the Defenders and the Avengers clash for pieces of the Evil Eye in individual encounters, it is no surprise that the “Savage” Hulk and Thor (the two true “royal” heavyweights on each team) pair up for a legendary rumble. The whole city suffers as these two have no trouble letting their big egos and fists do the talking for them. When their team members find out that they are fighting, they all know they have to put a stop to it before they destroy the entire city. Dr. Strange will finally stop the two titans who have been locked in a test of strength and grappling for over 90 minutes. RESULT: DRAW
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 7 HULK: 0 – THOR: 0
THE INCREDIBLE HULK #255 (1980)
Thor meets up with the “Savage” Hulk and tries to calm him down but unfortunately the Hulk wants to fight! They brawl until the Hulk takes a boxcar and slams it on top of Thor. As it takes The Son of Odin some time to dig himself out from the wreckage, the Hulk leaps away thinking he was finished. Now fearing that the city is imperiled, Thor will fly on after him. RESULT: DRAW
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 8 HULK: 0 – THOR: 0
Thor chases the Hulk into the city and saves a helpless victim who the Hulk throws at him. Now Thor is ready to fight and they brawl it out in the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. Eventually after some major destruction Thor realizes they have to stop the fight or people could die. As Thor was surveying the damage he notices that the tunnel is collapsing, the Hulk will take this opportunity to punch Thor and separating him from his hammer. As The Thunderer will get up and try to hold up the tunnel, the Hulk tries to unsuccessfully lift Mjolnir again. But when the 1 minute time limit is exceeded, the Hulk is then holding a walking stick and realizes that Thor has turned into Dr. Donald Blake. As the Hulk grabs Blake and has him at his mercy, he will tell the Hulk that he is Bruce Banner. The Hulk thinks he’s crazy and throws Blake and the stick to the ground and leaps away. Blake will turn back into Thor and help out the citizens of New York losing the Hulk in the process. RESULT: EDGE HULK (Even though Thor did the heroic thing to forget about his hammer and support the tunnel, he turned back into Donald Blake and was totally at the Hulk’s mercy. This gave the Hulk a definite “edge” in this fight but not a definitive “win”.)
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 9 HULK: 0 – THOR: 0
THE INCREDIBLE HULK #284 (1983)
The Hulk (with Banner’s brain) tries to convince a brainwashed Thor about the Leader and his control over him. Thor will then clobber the Hulk with Mjolnir and make some attacks but will quickly come back to his senses. They will then go and save their other allies that are under the Leader’s influence. RESULT: DRAW
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 10 HULK: 0 – THOR: 0
THE INCREDIBLE HULK #300 (1984)
As the “Mindless” Hulk is destroying New York, the world’s heroes and Police Forces will try to stop him to no avail. The man-monster is soon met up with the last line of defense, the Avengers! The Hulk beats all the members of the team until Thor finally steps in and tells them all to stand back as only he has the power that can put an end to the beast’s path of destruction. They have a tremendous fight until Dr. Strange steps in and banishes the Hulk to another dimension. RESULT: DRAW
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 11 HULK: 0 – THOR: 0
THE MIGHTY THOR #385 (1987)
This issue represents the first of many major controversial confrontations between the two. Before this encounter it was always thought of as the Hulk and Thor being physical equals. But after this fight we see a glimpse of the Hulk’s superiority in strength, durability and endurance especially when Thor was without the aid of Mjolnir.
In the fight itself the “Savage” Hulk and Thor clash as The Thunderer tries to calm the Hulk down from wrecking the city and the Green Goliath just wants to fight. Thor get’s the better of the struggle early on by using Mjolnir to his advantage. But now the Hulk wants Thor to fight him without the aide of his hammer to see who is truly the stronger and will eventually grab a helpless female as a hostage to get his wish. Thor reluctantly does toss Mjolnir away and the Hulk attacks with reckless abandon starting up a major slugfest that causes untold of damage to the city. Thor contemplates fleeing just to save the city and its people but his ego gets the better of him as he attacks again. Little by little though, the Hulk continues his relentless, vicious assault to show his superiority as Thor begins to slow down with his body now showing the effects of the fight (he will even question if the Hulk has any limits to his strength). But being a warrior-born, full of pride, Thor will attack again and continue to get pounded unmercifully with the Hulk screaming at him to give up. As Mjolnir finally returns to Thor’s hand, the Hulk stops his assault because he felt that he proved his point; he was able to pound on Thor and prove he was the stronger when Thor didn’t have his hammer to help him out. Thor angered by this says he’ll fight the Hulk again without the weapon but the Hulk leaps away saying he isn’t angry anymore and will crush Thor next time. Thor looks around at all the damage the fight has caused and realized he failed the people of Earth on this day just to fuel his ego and pride. RESULT: EDGE HULK (Thor’s face and body looked like a mess after this fight, as the Hulk was still fresh and without a mark on him. It was not a definitive “win” for the Hulk because Thor was still standing, but you have to score the Hulk with an “edge” due to his absolute pummeling of Thor in the end.)
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 12 HULK: 0 – THOR: 0
INFINITY CRUSADE #4 (1993)
A brainwashed Thor takes on both The “Professor” Hulk and “Gem Powered” Drax the Destroyer in space. While Thor and Drax are able to fly, the Hulk cannot as he is aided by a mini-propulsion unit. In the short struggle, the Hulk is knocked back by Thor and his propulsion unit is damaged so he cannot stop himself from drifting back to Earth. The Hulk will call out for Drax to help him but Drax does not hear him as he is locked up with Thor in a fierce battle. RESULT: EDGE THOR (While the fight was short lived, Thor’s attack nullifies the Hulk and sends him back toward Earth. Not a definitive “win” by any means but Thor got the ‘edge” in this match up with the Hulk because he was removed from the fight.)
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 13 HULK: 0 – THOR: 0
THE MIGHTY THOR #489 (1995)
The “Professor” Hulk shows up volunteering to take Thor out of Hel by any means necessary. Soon they struggle back and forth in another brawl, but now the Hulk must control his anger or he will change into a “savage” Bruce Banner (which is the Savage Hulk’s mind in Bruce Banner’s body). But even with this disadvantage, the Hulk can still go toe-to-toe with Thor causing major damage in their wake. To Thor's credit he was not really trying to win this fight either as both were more or less focused on causing as much damage as possible. Eventually Kurse will step in and volunteer to replace Thor in Hel, which Hela accepts since it will prevent further destruction to her domain. RESULT: DRAW
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 14 HULK: 0 – THOR: 0
THE INCREDIBLE HULK #440 (1996)
This fight has some controversy because in the previous issue Thor stated he has always held back when he fought the Hulk. But now he would not and this would be their final battle as he would fight the Hulk on even terms with his dreaded “warrior's madness,” which enhances his strength 10 fold. Yes, Thor fought the Hulk on his terms, but no, he never held back in his past fights with the Hulk. Thor has always been very proud and brash especially with his frustrations with the Hulk and this is just another example of it.
The “Young Maestro” Hulk meets up with Thor in Antarctica for a final battle! They both fight each other with raging fury with Thor even entering into his“warrior's madness” looking to kill the Hulk. The U.S. Army will end this intense brawl when they launch a nuke to kill both combatants. The Hulk shows some heart for Thor as he sees the missile coming and punches the crazed Thunder God miles from the explosion to save him. RESULT: DRAW
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 15 HULK: 0 – THOR: 0
HEROES REBORN: THE RETURN #1 (1997)
The “Heroes Reborn” Hulk is seen locked in combat with Thor and the Thing! The fight seems to be brutal as Thor and Thing talk about how hard it is to be slugging it out with the Green Goliath. This is a tough scrap to judge because only a panel is shown of the fight itself. Later we learn that the Hulk got away when Thing is talking about the incident to the Fantastic Four but the reader never actually sees it. RESULT: UNKNOWN (This fight could well be listed as a “draw” but since the ending of the fight is never seen it is impossible to judge.)
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 16 HULK: 0 – THOR: 0
HEROES REBORN: THE RETURN #2 (1997)
The “Heroes Reborn” Hulk faces off against Thor for a rematch from the previous issue. But before they can fight, both combatants are separated by an earthquake that spews out magma. Thor will save some pedestrians as the Hulk leaps away. RESULT: NONE
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 17 HULK: 0 – THOR: 0
THE INCREDIBLE HULK ANNUAL (2001)
While the “Savage” Hulk attacks the Army, Thor will attack the brute and the battle begins! The Hulk will tell Thor that his hammer is what makes him strong and he needs it to fight him. Thor refuses to put his weapon away and says that he will use all the powers at his disposal to stop the Hulk’s rages once and for all (it should also be noted that Thor says that the Hulk is the most powerful foe he has ever faced). They battle back and forth until Thor teleports them to another dimension so innocents won’t be hurt in their conflict. When they get there the Hulk will take Thor and hurl him into a mountain, as Thor rises an avalanche falls on him. It took the Thunder God a long time to dig out, so the Hulk leapt away. RESULT: EDGE HULK (This fight is a little tricky to judge as Thor took a very long time to dig himself out from the rubble and looked very hurt due to it. It could be listed as a “win” for the Hulk but it’s impossible to tell if Thor was unconscious or not by the avalanche so I could only give the Hulk the “edge”. Either way, Thor continued his search for the Hulk despite his pain like the proud warrior he is.)
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 18 HULK: 0 – THOR: 0
After the Hulk makes short work of a bunch of monsters in this dimension, Thor finds him and wants to take the Hulk back to Earth. The Hulk, of course, refuses and attacks starting up the slugfest again. They go back and forth until Thor uses a sneak attack with a lightning bolt he calls down from the sky to hit the Hulk in the back and gets the “KO”. Thor will now take the Hulk’s limp body and open up a portal to take the Green Goliath back to Earth. RESULT: WIN THOR
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 19 HULK: 0 – THOR: 1
Thor will now carry the Hulk off through dimensions but the brute recovers and attacks him. The attack makes the Hulk land on a world where he forgets about his fight with Thor and begins playing with some of the inhabitants. He would soon change back into Bruce Banner and he will pass out due to the lack of air. RESULT: NONE
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 20 HULK: 0 – THOR: 1
While Bruce Banner is now being carried off by Thor and brought back to Earth, he soon quickly changes back into the Hulk and attacks! The Hulk’s assault takes Thor completely by surprise and the brute savagely pounds him into the ground! With Thor now battered, bloodied and knocked out, the Hulk turns and walks away. RESULT: WIN HULK
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 21 HULK: 1 – THOR: 1
But Thor’s indomitable fighting spirit carries him through as he retrieves Mjolnir and slowly, painfully rises once again to attack the Hulk. The Hulk turns and is shocked to see Thor ready to renew the fight once more. Thor claims that the Hulk has more raw strength at his disposal than any other living being including himself but he does not possess the power of a god! Now Thor calls upon a mighty storm that manages to cause more destruction to their surroundings than hurt the Hulk. Innocents were now in danger as the Hulk saves a few and leaps away. Thor would soon see the errors of his ways knowing that his ego, pride and temper got the better of him again. It should be noted that this story revealed that the Hulk was the stronger of the two but Thor was the more powerful. RESULT: DRAW
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 22 HULK: 1 – THOR: 1
HULK: LET THE BATTLE BEGIN #1 (2010)
This is possibly the most controversial “Hulk vs Thor” comic ever made due to the fact that there was a definitive winner thus ending the mythos of the rivalry. Plus there are also claims of non-continuity or even semi-continuity. So I personally spoke with writer Jesse “Blaze” Snider in 2010 and he told me the story is more of an “untold” tale of the Hulk and Thor's past. And regardless of what people think, he is a fan of both characters. Read here for more info on this story:
Well there you have it, totally official Marvel cannon. Some Thor fans may still discredit this but I don't and I love Thor, so here it is. Take it as you will fanboys...
Bruce Banner goes back and forth remembering The “Savage” Hulk’s big confrontation with the Wrecking Crew and The Mighty Thor! Thor will hit the Hulk with a lightning bolt to get his attention to stop his beat down of the Wrecking Crew and from causing more damage to Mount Rushmore. The Hulk attacks and they have another massive slugfest with Thor pounding and bloodying up the Hulk with tremendous blows from Mjolnir! But the Hulk rages, heals and then grabs Thor’s hand (that is holding Mjolnir) and proceeds to pound The Thunderer with his own weapon! This bloodies up the Thunder God and totally knocks him out. After Thor fall’s unconscious the Hulk would leap away. RESULT: WIN HULK
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 23 HULK: 2 – THOR: 1
AVENGERS VS ATLAS #3 (2010)
Space time is being selectively eroded by an unknown force. To stop the effect, the Agents of Atlas seek the help of the Avengers and find the actual team of the past: Captain America, Iron Man, Wasp, Giant-Man and Thor, with the atomic wildcard The “Gravage” Hulk! Now in the present this wildcard proves to be fatal as the Hulk attacks the Avengers and the Agents of Atlas. Thor will eventually teleport everyone to the shores of Norway so they don’t have to worry about the destruction that will come from this battle. The Hulk attacks again and is eventually swarmed by all the heroes and ends up underwater fighting Namora and Thor. Soon Siren will go under the water to sing to the heroes and calm them all down with the Hulk turning back into Bruce Banner and Thor getting passionate with Namora (Thor’s such a stud). RESULT: DRAW
TALLY: MATCH UPS: 24 HULK: 2 – THOR: 1
FEAR ITSELF #5 (2011)
This issue stems a ton of questions for Hulk and Thor fans to battle over. This time it's not just the fight itself that was hard to judge but also the dialogue. And the Hulk had been transformed by the Serpent into “Nul, The Breaker of Worlds!” It is stated that as one of the Worthy, Nul was a “powered up” Hulk, but other than his magical Asgardian war-hammer and fighting tactics it seems very debatable. Readers needed answers to just how “enhanced” the Hulk was so here's writer Matt Fraction in his own words about the Worthy; “These people are still conscious. They still are present and aware, and they know what's going on. But they're no longer the only guy driving the ship. They would have different capabilities, different tactics. Nul would be this sort of cold, cruel, relentless force of nature”. So fanboys will have to come up with their own conclusions if this is a super-powered Hulk, a regular Hulk with a hammer that just fights differently or if it's even a legitimate Hulk to be listed in this write up at all. More head-scratching, controversial and debatable fun as always. But for me, it's close enough so I'm listing it.
Okay, let's get to the comic and more controversy...
To Thor's credit in this fight he fought both Nul and Angrir, The Breaker of Souls (who was a transformed/possessed Thing). In the fight itself, Thor takes a beating from the two behemoths but will soon eliminate Angrir by calling on Mjolnir and it drives straight through the beasts back (who will later be changed back to normal and be saved by Franklin Richards). Thor now feeling guilty of hurting The Thing so badly attacks Nul in a rage! After some major attacks from both combatants, Thor states that he never could beat the Hulk (once again, it's up to the reader to decide if this was Thor being honest or just trying to set up Nul for the final blow). Regardless, Thor ends up hitting Nul with such force that the beast is sent into orbit and crashes back down towards the Earth far away from the battlefield. Thor will then say, “To be...continued...Banner.” and then collapses unconscious. RESULT: WIN THOR (This fight ending is hard to judge because Nul was knocked into orbit by Thor's blow but was totally unfazed by it. And it was Thor himself who fell unconscious after he landed the strike. Still, I had to give Thor the “win” because he did fight both brutes and Nul had no way of stopping himself from going flying off into space. I'm sure fans of both characters have their own interpretations of what happened but this is how I see it.)
MATCH UPS: 25 HULK: 2 – THOR: 2
HULK SMASH AVENGERS #1 (2012)
An untold tale of an early Avenger encounter with the "Gravage" Hulk! As Thor and the rest of the Avenger team (consisting of Captain America, Giant-Man, Wasp and Iron Man) battles it out with the Hulk, they all manage to hold him in a combined effort. But eventually the Hulk rages and will break free from them and leap away. RESULT: DRAW
Later, the "Gravage" Hulk will team up with Baron Zemo, The Enchantress and the Executioner and attack the Avengers. The Hulk will slug it out with Iron Man as Thor exchanges with the Executioner and they never really get at each other. Eventually Baron Zemo holds Rick Jones hostage and this makes the Hulk attack him. Soon Zemo's team departs as the Hulk leaps away again with Rick Jones and the Avengers feeling sorry for the brute. RESULT: NONE
MATCH UPS: 27 HULK: 2 - THOR: 2
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #4 (2012)
When the Zodiac's benefactor revealed himself, it turns out to be the Mad Titan, Thanos! Now the Avengers team of Thor, the "Savage" Hulk, Hawkeye, Captain America, Iron Man and Black Widow (with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) stand ready to face him. While Thor is about to make the first attack on the Mad Titan, he puts the Hulk under his mental control and the brute will grab Thor's hand (which is holding Mjolnir) and smash the hammer into Thor's face and knocking him out. Soon the Hulk will attack the rest of the Avengers to a standstill before Thanos escapes. RESULT: NO CONTEST (Even though the Hulk knocked Thor out with his hammer, it was a surprise attack so it could not be listed as an actual fight.)
After Thanos escaped, Thor regains consciousness and wants to attack the "Savage" Hulk for the brutes attack on him earlier. But Iron Man will stop the Thunderer as he explains that it was Thanos' mental control that made the Hulk do it. RESULT: NONE
MATCH UPS: 29 HULK: 2 - THOR: 2
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #7 (2012)
While the Avengers drift helpless through space, the Black Widow manages to get to the "Savage" Hulk and throws him at Thor who is floating unconscious. As the Hulk grabs a hold of the Thunder God, he smacks him in the face to wake him up. Thor awakens ready to fight but the Hulk will point to the attacking Badoon army coming at them. RESULT: NONE
AVENGERS #1 (2012)
MATCH UPS: 30 HULK: 2 - THOR: 2
AVENGERS #1 (2012)
When the Avengers attack the villain Ex Nihilo, the "Gravage" Hulk get's manipulated by his ally The Abyss. She convinces the Hulk that Thor thinks he is stronger than him and he must smash the Thunder God. The Hulk will attack Thor and they brawl it out. RESULT: UNKNOWN (We never see the fight in its entirety as both heroes are next seen unconscious and prisoners of the villains. This fight could well be listed as a "draw" but it's hard to give a definitive result.)
MATCH UPS: 31 HULK: 2 - THOR: 2
INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #7 (2013)
While the "Gravage" Hulk flies around with Thor's magical war-hammer Mjolnir, he destroys a few Frost Giants in his way. Soon it is revealed that the Hulk didn't lift the hammer after all, it was just returning back to its master. When the Thunder God grabs hold of Mjolnir, the Hulk doesn't want to let go. Thor laughs and will release his grip on the hammer and the Hulk falls off a cliff being dragged down by Mjonir crashing into the ground far below. RESULT: NONE
FINAL TALLY: MATCH UPS: 32 HULK: 2 - THOR: 2
The Hulk and Thor have fought many times in alternate time-lines with definitive and often deadly results. I've noticed throughout the years that both Hulk and Thor fans often make arguments showing these stories to make claims to their debates. But truth be told, despite some interesting stories, these issues don't count. I see them as writers interpretations of “Hulk vs Thor” battles without continuity restraints so they always have fun twists of “What could have been.” Listed here are not all, but just the best of the best of the Hulk and Thor battles that occurred outside of actual Marvel continuity.
THE AVENGERS ANNUAL #2 (1968)
The Avengers (including the "Gravage" Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Giant Man and Wasp) from another dimension go on a tear through their Earth defeating and pummeling all the heroes and villains on it. Throughout the entire adventure Thor and the Hulk get into arguments and almost fight with each other.
MARVEL TREASURY #9: GIANT SUPERHERO TEAM-UP (1976)
While this Marvel Treasury just reprints the legendary "Hulk vs Thor" battle in Journey into Mystery #112, I had to list it due to the incredible front and back cover art done by Gil Kane and inked by John Romita. These are amazing pictures of the Hulk slugging it out with the Thunder God as well as other famous Superhero battles that are part of the Marvel mythos.
The "Savage" Hulk (with a special helmet on that gives Bruce Banner's brain control of the Hulk) battles illusions of his greatest foes inside the infected mind of Glenn Talbot. There, an illusion of Thor is among the many foes that attack and get defeated by the raging Hulk (who has long destroyed the helmet) which eventually frees Talbot from the control.
THE RAMPAGING HULK MAGAZINE #9 (1978)
This adventure was later written out of continuity and said to be a movie created by an alien-fan (and lover) of the Hulk, Bereet. The story takes place during the early years of the Avengers. While the Hulk fights with an alien impersonating Iron man, he is later met up by the real Iron man with Thor, Ant-man, and Wasp. Thor and the Hulk will clash a few times with no victor and eventually team up to send the bad aliens packing.
THE INCREDIBLE HULK #227 (1978)
The Hulk crushes Mjolnir...I think not! While this issue has a dream sequence of the Hulk crushing Mjolnir, I've heard Hulk fanboys claim that if mad enough, the Hulk could actually do this. They are wrong because it is impossible to destroy Mjolnir physically due to the weapons magical nature.
Doc Samson hypnotizes the Hulk and starts his psychoanalysis. The doctor believed that Hulk and Bruce were the same person but this session reveals that Bruce and Hulk are two different persons. During the hypnotic dreams, Hulk fights the Avengers and Bruce Banner himself. In The Hulk's confrontation with Thor, the green brute stops Thor's attack and crushes Mjolnir with one-hand before easily tossing aside the Thunder God.
WHAT IF #29 (1981)
"IF" tale of the Avengers defeating everyone on Earth. When tensions start within the team, the Hulk is shown slugging it out with Thor in a panel that get's broken up by Iron Man.
THE AVENGERS ANNUAL #13 (1984)
The labs at Northwind Observatory in the Catskill Mountains are full of Bruce Banner’s inventions. Reed is called in to determine their purposes. She-Hulk pilots him there in the Fantasticar, where the Avengers have gathered and Jen is introduced to an impressed Hank McCoy. Jen finds the scope of her cousin’s genius eerie. She tells Thor how little Jennifer Sue Walters used to spend her summers in Ohio with her older cousin Bruce.They lost touch as they got older, Bruce breezed through college and was working on top secret projects while Jen was high school senior. She was in law school when he had his gamma bomb accident. Years after, he saved her life with a transfusion. She’s gotten off on being the She-Hulk. She grows somber when she tells Thor she heard Bruce’s mind was lost to the Hulk again. Thor comforts her with the thought that he’s not really lost if she treasures the memories of youth. Suddenly they fight the Hulk & Wasp kills him. But it turns out to be a clone! Then they fight a mass of purple protoplasm that used to be the Hulk clone’s pants: this mass is under the control of Arnim Zola & he kidnaps Reed & Pym. They battle many Hulk clones with 80% Hulk strength. Jen wants to shove every one of these clones down Zola’s throat. If he hasn’t got a throat she’ll find something else to shove them down. Mjolnir saves Jen getting brained by a hurled jeep. Monica electrocutes the pants. Hulk clones trash Zola’s escape ship which crashes in Papacton reservoir. Jen expresses no sorrow that Zola is fish food. Worries that Bruce’s work could reach the hands of other twistos. Reed & Pym confide that they are going to sabotage anything that might reach those hands.
WHAT IF #45 (1984)
Bruce Banner is unable to throw Rick Jones into the trench, but was able to protect him with his own body from the gamma rays. This resulted in a psyche link between the two. Banner will become the Hulk and Rick will be treated for radiation poisoning. Thunderbolt Ross eventually discovered the existence of the link between Jones and the green goliath so he decided to give non-fatal electric shocks to the boy to inflict pain and defeat the Hulk. The Hulk felt the unbearable pain and went to destroy the army base. Soon Rick's condition grew worse, eventually dying which caused the Hulk to go homicidal. Desperately, Ross summons the Fantastic Four for help. But Jade Jaws kills the Thing and the Human Torch. So Iron Man and Thor show up but Tony Stark is eventually killed too. The Hulk now turns his attention to the God of Thunder, whose mystic mallet had fallen from his hands in the confrontation. Now with the sixty second mark almost up which will change Thor to his human form, he must take extreme measures. Thor ends up outmaneuvering the crazed Hulk and snapping his neck. To grant Bruce Banner a peaceful afterlife, Thor takes Banner to Valhalla by summoning a thunderbolt shower to disintegrate Banner's body. Ross and Talbot decide to turn themselves into the authorities. This is easily one of the most hardcore “Hulk vs Thor” stories ever.
WHAT IF #4 (1989)
While this is more of a Spider-man story, it is another interesting “What If” tale that has a “Hulk vs Thor” clash with deadly results.
When the symbiote takes control of Spider-man it causes many events that Spidey was there to help out never to come about. While Dr. Strange tries to send the “Mindless” Hulk to another dimension (as seen in The Incredible Hulk #300), this Spider-man jumps in and knock's him out while taking control of the Hulk's body. Eventually it's Thor that finds this symbiote Hulk and they brawl it out with the symbiote now possessing The Thunder God and leaving Bruce Banner's body in its wake. The heroes will get Black Bolt to help Thor who is resisting the symbiote's control and thus weakening it. When the dust settles, there is no more Mount Rushmore and Thor rises battered, with the symbiote lying at his feet. Soon Black Cat will show up and finally kill the creature with a specially made sonic gun. This one is a real classic, especially for Thor fans! Because they like to use this issue as a prime example of what should really happen if Thor fought the Hulk in a battle to the death.
MARVEL ILLUSTRATED #1 (1991)
During the Summer Olympics "Power Lift" competition, Thor proves to be the strongest being in the world by coming in first place! Overpowering the likes of the "Gray" Hulk, Hercules (who both tied for second place), Wonder Man, Thing, Namor, She-Hulk and others. A truly fitting day for the Son of Odin!
SAVAGE HULK: ONE-SHOT (1996)
Stories that include some of the Hulk's greatest rouges. In a non-continuity tale during the Avengers beginnings, the Hulk slugs it out with Thor in the desert. They go back and fourth landing some power shots until Iron man eventually breaks it up.
THE AVENGERS #4 (1997)
The “Heroes Reborn” Hulk makes short work of the Avengers in the previous issue until he is met up with the “Heroes Reborn” Thor. They have a huge back and fourth fight until the Hulk grows angry enough to knock out this Thunder God. While the Hulk was the genuine article this Thor was not as he fell to the Hulk's raw power. The real Marvel Universe Thor would eventually show up later on in the series and return to the Avengers team.
THE ULTIMATES #5 (2002)
After injecting the Super-Soldier serum into his veins, Bruce Banner turned into the Hulk, but not like the original Hulk. This Hulk is angrier, hungrier, and hornier then ever before. Now The Ultimates set out to find and stop this crazed beast. As The Hulk searches for his ex-girlfriend, Betty, The Ultimates attack! They have a huge battle all over the city with no hope of stopping this Hulk. Then comes the cavalry as a lighting storm pours down that throws The Hulk blocks away. The beast starts to gets up as Thor smashes into him, but it still doesn't stop the monster. The Hulk will then throw Thor down a few streets, only leading to Cap's next plan, which is to use Betty as bait that eventually works in calming down The Hulk and changes him back into Banner who Cap will kick in the face and knock him out cold.
THE MIGHTY THOR #73 (2004)
When Thor decided to move Asgard to hover above New York City many of the powers that be wanted him gone. After the Consortium of Nations staged a massive assault on Asgard, causing its destruction, and the deaths of untold tens of thousands of both humans and Asgardians, Thor resolved to stay and fight for his dream. But him killing his own humanity in the form of Jake Olson was the linchpin event, resulting in him no longer being worthy of Mjolnir. Now a few heroes get pissed and rise up against him. Dr. Strange get's help from the pantheon of skyfathers to strip Thor of the Odinforce. Wolverine attacks and will slice Thor's arm but then get disintegrated by God's eye beams! And now The Hulk and Thing attack and battle Thor for hours before they are killed. This time line ends when Desak attacks Thor and he eventually regains the worthiness to hold Mjolnir and kills Desak with it. Next Thor will travel back in time to change the knowledge of his past self so these events will never come to pass.
This issue is more controversial cannon fodder for the “Hulk vs Thor” argument because sometimes Thor fans say this story actually happened and Hulk fans say it didn't. Was it really a reality that went away or because it did happen and then went away it wasn't a real reality? Confused? Yeah, me too. This is such a head scratching story arch with too many implications to be considered cannon IMHO so I have to go with the Hulk fans on this one. Thor changes the events that make this story never come to pass, so for that, it never happened (I think??).
LAST HERO STANDING #5 (2005)
In the MC2 universe, this Hulk (who is being influenced by Loki) goes on a rampage and is met up by most heroes of Earth and defeats them. Eventually the Hulk is met up by Thor and they have a huge battle while Captain America and others confront Loki. Thor almost unleashes the full force of Mjolnir to kill the Hulk but adverted his aim at the last second. Cleared of his mind control, the Hulk teams with Thor to stop Loki.
ONSLAUGHT REBORN #2 and 3 (2007)
The "Heroes Reborn" Hulk would later meet up with the "Heroes Reborn" Thor again in another rumble. This time Onslaught's influence jumps from each combatants mind as they brawl it out with the Hulk finally throwing Thor to the moon. The rest of the Avengers come in to stop the Hulk with Iron man finally knocking the brute out with a nice hit from behind. I was a bit hesitant listing this fight because this isn't even the real Thor and the horrendous art from Rob Liefeld made my eyes bleed...
NEW AVENGERS: AN ARMY OF ONE #7 (2009)
With the "Savage" Hulk rampaging across the American Southwest, it will take the combined might of just about every Marvel hero including Thor and the U.S. Military to stop him. While the battle is intense with all the heroes piling up on the Hulk, Thor and Hercules manage to get in some big power shots before a team of Military sharpshooters finally take the Hulk out with admantium tipped darts that make him change back into Bruce Banner and sedate him.
BREAKING INTO COMICS THE MARVEL WAY #2 (2010)
Another controversial issue but this time it's not just the fanboys, it's the writer and artist of the comic itself...sheesh. Only in the mythos of “Hulk vs Thor.”
While some Hulk fans claim that this fight where Thor basically pounds on the Hulk is the Red Hulk and not the real Hulk because the art and coloring look a lot like the previous issues where Thor was fighting Rulk, writer Kevin Grevioux tells otherwise; “It was indeed the GREEN Hulk and that Thor was fighting. But the problem was that the artist drew the NEW Thor costume and not the classic Thor costume. Because of this, and the sepia tone coloring of the panel, it came off as the more recent Thor/Red Hulk battle and not one of the classic Thor/Hulk battles of the past like it was intended to be.”
So there you have it to end the debate of this head scratching and controversial 4 page story. Oh yeah, and one more thing...who cares because this comic is meaningless either way and not in continuity.
THE AVENGERS SEASON ONE (2012)
A contemporary retelling of the early adventures of the Avengers and how they came to be (packaged with the Avengers movie at selected locations). Loki is angered about his failed attempts to destroy his step-brother, Thor (which lead to the formation of the Avengers). He is now contemplating another plan. While the three Avengers embark on solo missions looking for the "Gravage" Hulk (who has already left the team), Thor is soon confronted by Zarrko, The Tomorrow-Man! Zarrko has pulled the "Gray" Hulk from time and brainwashed him to attack Thor. While Thor begins to get the better of this Hulk, Zarrko summons another brainwashed Hulk from the past to attack the Thunder God. This "Gravage" Hulk attacks and now both brutes fight with the Tunder God. But using his wits, Thor manages to throw each Hulk into the other and they begin to brawl among themselves until he convinces them that Zarrko is the real enemy. Both Hulk's agree and attack Zarrko but he quickly sends them back in time. Now Zarrko manages to escape and Thor continues his quest to find the current Hulk. Finally, all three Avengers confront the brute, but with their minds being clouded by Loki, they attack. They use teamwork to keep the Hulk off balance and when Thor is about to land the final blow, Captain America stops him. As they argue, the Hulk attacks again and is eventually hit miles away by Thor and crashes into a dam. The impact from the Hulk's body cracks the dam and it begins to leak. As Thor tries to pursue the brute, he is stopped by Iron Man and they realize that Loki is behind their actions. The Hulk is now trying to save the townspeople from the rushing waters but they seem to be more afraid of him than anything else, so he leaps away. Now Cap, Thor and Iron Man manage to stop the waters, repair the dam and help the people to save the day. They make a promise to stay united as the Avengers for the betterment of mankind and to never doubt their friendship again. As for Loki, Odin finds out about his schemes and punish his step-son by dripping venom into his eyes...ouch!
AVENGERS: EARTH'S MIGHTIEST HEROES #11 (2013)When Thor and Hercules engage each other in a battle for the ages, it's up to the Hulk to put an end to it. A nice little twist where the Green Goliath is the voice of reason...or is he?
Listed in this section is every time the Hulk squared off against Thor in a movie, cartoon, video game, magazines, etc. Now this category might not be in actual comic continuity but it plays a very important role in how the mainstream audience views each character and where they stand when facing off with one another. Plus, these two have had some great fights that have been animated onto the small screen and they cannot be denied.
THE MARVEL SUPERHEROES: THE INCREDIBLE HULK CARTOON (SEASON: 1 EPISODES: 22-24 (CHAPTERS: "THE SPACE PHANTOM", "STING OF THE WASP", "EXIT THE HULK" 1966)
This cartoon is basically a retelling of Avengers #2 when The Hulk first meets Thor at the the Avengers meeting that results in him quitting the team. These cartoon cells are taking right from the Jack Kirby panels of the comic and come to life with “limited” animation. Despite the toons flaws, it's great to see the very beginnings of the Hulk's rivalry with Thor in an animated form.
OFFICIAL MARVEL COMICS SUPERHERO STAMP ALBUM (1976)
Marvel stamp album that showcases "Hulk vs Thor" in dramatic fashion on a stamp.
THE INCREDIBLE HULK CALENDAR (1979)
The Hulk is seen slugging it out with Thor and the Avengers from the early days of Marvel.
THE INCREDIBLE HULK RETURNS (1988)
This is the very first time a superhero match up was brought to the public on a major platform, the television screen! Although the Hulk and Thor battle was short lived (and a little corny), it did cement the fact that this rivalry was an all time classic in the annals of Marvel history and well on it's way to new heights of popularity.
This television movie acted as a backdoor pilot for an unproduced television series featuring Thor. This is the first time another character or element from the Marvel Universe appeared in Hulk's TV series. Thor's appearance differs significantly from the comic version of the original, resembling a more realistic version of the Thunder God of Norse mythology but still closely following the comic in that he is sent to earth to learn humility. This is also the first and only time that magical or supernatural elements have been used in the universe of the television series. When both heroes first meet, Thor looks upon The Hulk as a great challenge and eagerly engages him in combat. The Thunder God doesn't fair so well against his savage opponent as The Hulk makes Thor rethink his decision and ask for friendship instead.
THE INCREDIBLE HULK (SEASON: 1 EPISODE: 9 "MORTAL BOUNDS" 1996)
While the Hulk 1966 cartoon was basically a retelling of the Hulk's first meeting with the Avengers from Avengers #2, this stands as the first cartoon to showcase the "Hulk vs Thor" rivalry to a generation. I have to admit that this is Thor's finest showings against the Hulk in the media format. Because both characters came off looking very powerful and very even.
The Gargoyle releases a gamma virus on the citizens of Detroit, and Bruce Banner is the only one who can stop it from spreading. To make matters worse, Betty is infected with an extreme dosage of the virus! Bruce eventually meets Doctor Donald Blake (who is treating Betty), and he transforms into the mighty Thor. They have two big fights in this episode with the second being a three way free for all with the Abomination included. But both fights end in a draw and eventually together, the Hulk and Thor team up and race to find a cure!
MARVEL VS CAPCOM: CLASH OF THE SUPERHEROES (1998)
This is the fifth Marvel Comics-licensed fighting game by Capcom and the third game in the Marvel vs. Capcom series. A new twist featured back up characters that would assist your team. While the Hulk is a playable character and used in previous installments, Thor made his debut to this series as only an assisting one. And even though he cannot engage the Hulk fully, he can still attack the Hulk while assisting an opposing team with his lightning strike. It was kind of a let down at the time because fans would have perfered to see Thor as a usable character to engage the Hulk as well as other characters in this game.
The game takes place within the Marvel comic continuity, as Professor Charlies Xavier calls out for heroes to stop him before he merges with the consciousness of Magneto and becomes the being known as Onslaught, the final boss. The game was developed in late 1997 and first released in January 1998 to both the arcade and then to home game systems.
HULK VS THOR: CLASSIC MARVEL BATTLES AND TEAM UPS (2005)
A classic retro tin toy from Schylling pays homage to the "Hulk vs Thor" mythos. Just squeeze the handle together and watch Thor and the Hulk pummel each other into oblivion. Props have to be made to this toy for using the classic Jack Kirby art to showcase each character. A must for all Hulk or Thor fans!!
ULTIMATE AVENGERS: THE ANIMATED MOVIE (2006)
The first animated dvd feature to show "Hulk vs Thor" to a major audience! While this was more of an Ultimates / Marvel version of all the characters, the Hulk and Thor brawl in this was the first to show the gap in power levels between them with the Hulk coming off looking much more powerful and definitely the stronger. The public perception of "Hulk vs Thor" was now truly changing.
In the last days of WWII in the European Theater, Steve Rogers, a U.S. soldier, known as Captain America due to being enhanced with the "Super-Soldier Serum", prevents a missile launch by Nazi's which are soon revealed to be shape-shifting extraterrestrials led by one taking the form of SS officer Herr Kleiser The missile explosion, however, sends Rogers into a catatonic state, and he falls into the icy waters of the North Atlantic, presumed dead. In the present day, Captain America is found and revived by a S.H.E.L.D. team led by General Nick Fury. Bruce Banner and his ex-girlfriend Betty Ross lead a team of government scientists working to recreate the Super-Soldier Serum in order to try and stop the real power that backed the Nazis - the alien Chitauri. Banner thinks the Super-Soldier Serum is the key to him controlling the Hulk, and he secretly uses his blood to try to create a cure, instead of using candidates that had been selected for the rebirth procedure.
A Chitauri attack on a S.H.I.E.L.D. satellite designed to track the Chitauri ships forces Nick Fury's superiors to order the implementation of "Project Avenger", which involves the formation of a team of super-humans. Fury tries to recruit - with mixed success – Giant-man (a scientist who had been released from S.H.I.E.L.D prior to the film), Wasp (Giant-Man's wife), Iron man/Tony Stark (an industrialist playboy), Thor (whose claims to be Thor are not widely accepted) and the Black Widow (a S.H.I.E.L.D. spy) - and after several setbacks, including a botched mission that led to all but Black Widow walking away from the team, the heroes unite to fight the Chitauri. Although successful, the team must then fight an enraged Hulk, after Banner released his alter ego to aid in the battle against the Chitauri before losing control. Thor and the Hulk have a huge fight with the brute eventually getting strong enough to pick up Mjolnir and knock Thor out with it. The rest of the team managed to eventually distract the Hulk long enough for Betty to calm him, and Banner is then incarcerated. The heroes then celebrate their success.
What makes this interpretation of the heroes interesting is that the creators use both elements of the Marvel and Ultimate Universe versions of the characters.
HULK VS THOR: ANIMATED FEATURE (2009)
This animated feature once again brings the "Hulk vs Thor" match up to the masses to showcase the dynamic and powers they bring to the table. While this feature did showcase the Hulk's true power over the Thunder God, the gap between them was now growing even further apart with the Hulk clearly being shown to be the stronger and more durable. While The Ultimate Avengers movie of (2006) was a different interpretation of each character, there could be no more excuses because this was the "traditional" Marvel versions of Hulk and Thor at their best.
Loki, god of mischief, has kidnapped Dr. Bruce Banner and brought him to Asgard with the help of Amora, once Thor's lover, now the super-villain known as the Enchantress. Loki makes Banner angry and he changes into the Hulk. The Enchantress then casts a spell over the Hulk which separates Banner from his monstrous alter-ego and grants Loki control over the Hulk's body.
Hulk/Loki arrives at the gates of Asgard and attacks the Warriors Three (Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg) and other Asgardians. Thor comes to the gates and is attacked by Hulk/Loki. Thor is familiar with Bruce Banner, but does not know that Loki is controlling the Hulk. Thor tries to communicate with Banner, which results in Loki actually talking through the Hulk.
After a prolonged battle, Hulk/Loki attempts to pick up Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, which is enchanted with a spell that renders it usable only to those it deems worthy. Amora warns Loki that he can not wield Mjolnir, and has to stop before he is no longer in control of the Hulk. Loki, of course, does not listen and continues to attempt to lift the hammer via the Hulk's unimaginable strength. Mjolnir flies to Thor, who uses his powers to separate Loki from the Hulk. It works, but this proves to be a huge mistake. Without Banner's personality or Loki's control, the Hulk is an unstoppable living incarnation of pure rage, and he beats Thor to death.
Hela, the daughter of Loki and ruler of Hel, the underworld, attempts to claim Thor's soul but is stopped by the Enchantress. Amora refers to Thor as "my love" and kisses him, which revives the thunder god. At first Thor appears to intend to go back after the Hulk, but realizes another fight would only have the same result. To stop the Hulk they must reunite him with Bruce Banner. Amora betrays Loki and gives Thor the location of where he is hiding.
Thor arrives at Loki's hideout with the aid of the Enchantress and they discover that Loki has murdered Banner, after growing tired of Banner's warnings about the Hulk. Therefore, Amora has no way to send the Hulk back to Earth. Thor tells Amora that she must go to Sif, the woman Thor now loves, to aid and defend Odin. She reluctantly agrees and Loki summons all of his evil forces to stop the Hulk and Thor and Loki travel to Hel together. However, not even good and evil combined could halt the Hulk's advance, as he was beckoned by the light coming from Odin's chambers.
Thor and Loki arrive in Hel where they meet Hela who at first refuses to bring Bruce Banner back. Saying that once he is dead his spirit is hers. Though Thor and Loki convince her to bring him back, since Bruce's spirit was split from the Hulk she has an "Incomplete Soul". Since his death, Banner is enjoying an afterlife in which his life is back to normal, living free from the Hulk, he is the husband to his true love, Betty Ross and father to a boy named Bruce Jr. Soon though, this vision ends when Hela brings him to her throne where Thor and Loki await. Thor says that Asgard needs his help but Banner does not want to help and wishes to remain dead, in his happy vision. Loki slyly manages to convince Hela to bring the Hulk to Hel, so that she could have the complete being. She complies and teleports the Hulk to Hel, just as had reached Odin's slumbering form.
Hulk attacks upon seeing Banner, and after another battle with Thor who loses the fight even with Loki's help, Banner gets Hulk's attention dropping Thor and Loki to charge him when he comes in contact with Banner they rejoin and is teleported back to Earth by Hela, who considers him too dangerous to be kept, even in the Underworld. However, due to the damage the Hulk had caused to her kingdom, she punishes Loki for it but promises his stay won't be permanent, given that she is his daughter. Odin finally awakens and Sif and Thor kiss each other as Amora quietly leaves, deeply saddened. Odin holds a celebration that day for all of the Asgardians who triumphed over evil and also gives his thanks to Bruce Banner who is back on Earth. The final scene is of Banner walking alone down a barren highway.
HULK VS ONLINE GAME (2009)
This is an online game at Marvelkids.com that is based on the Hulk VS Wolverine and Hulk VS Thor animated features. As the Hulk you must smash through the Weapon X facility to battle Wolverine and then battle some Asgardian warriors as you make your way for a one-on-one showdown with The Mighty Thor.
The game can be played here: http://marvelkids.marvel.com/games/play/51/hulk_vs
SUPERHERO SQUAD SHOW (SEASON: 1 EPISODE: 12 "DEADLY IS THE BLACK WIDOW'S BITE!" 2009)
While this is not a "Hulk vs Thor" slugfest in a cartoon, it does show the Hulk and Thor battle for the affection of the Black Widow (who is really Mystique in disguise). They argue over who has the bigger biceps and who is the better squaddie for her attention.
SUPERHERO SQUAD VIDEO GAME (2009)
While this game has two options of play; Adventure Mode, where Hulk and Thor along with the other members of the Superhero Squad go through various levels defeating waves of enemies and bosses to eventually fight the final boss Dr. Doom. The other option is Battle Mode, where you pick one character to use in free-for-all fighting action. Players defeat their opponents by depleting their health or knocking them out of the arena! Hulk fighting Thor has never been cuter than this!
AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROES (SEASON: 1
EPISODE: 8 "SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED" 2010)
SUPERHERO SQUAD SHOW (SEASON: 2 EPISODE: 37 "SO PRETTY WHEN THEY EXPLODE!" 2011)
While not a Hulk vs Thor vs Hercules vs She-Hulk slugfest in a cartoon. I have to mention this episode because they all try to prove to the other who is truly the superior in strength, especially Hulk, Thor and Hercules (with their ego's in high gear). It is a fun episode that plays out the controversy on who is the strongest hero in the Super Squad universe!
MARVEL VS CAPCOM 3: FATE OF TWO WORLDS/ULTIMATE MARVEL VS CAPCOM 3 (2011)
The game is a modified version of earlier systems seen in the Marvel vs. Capcom series. It is the first game in the franchise to feature three-dimensional character models as opposed to two-dimensional sprites, though gameplay remains restricted to two-dimensions, allowing characters to move only backward, forward, or straight up into the air.
In Marvel vs Capcom 3, Thor is finally an actual character that a player can use (he was left out of the previous Marvel vs Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes in 2000) and can now engage the Hulk in full combat or partner up with him. "Ultimate" Marvel vs Capcom 3 was later released in late 2011 that added twelve new characters to the game as well as fixing some of the games flaws. Thor and The Hulk actually got more devastating in this newer version and both are total powerhouses.
This Hulk toy released as merchandise for the Avengers movie has the Hulk saying a few lines against Thor like “Hulk smash… Hulk smash Thor! (Crash!)" among a host of other Hulk-like phrases. This is the first figure ever that actually brings the whole "Hulk vs Thor" dynamic to children and fans.
MIGHTY STRIKE THOR (2012)
This Thor toy released as merchandise for the Avengers movie has the Thor saying “Hulk...Truly your strength is unmatched!" among a host of other Thor phrases. This is the first figure ever that actually brings the whole "Hulk vs Thor" dynamic to children and fans.
THE MIGHTY AVENGERS: AN ORIGINS STORY (2012)
A children's book that retells the origins of the Avengers. This story is taken from the original comics and simplified for children, While the Hulk clashes with Iron Man in the story, Thor will confront the Hulk and throw Mjolnir at him, but it turns out just to be an illusion conjured up by Loki.
CAPTAIN AMERICA JOINS THE MIGHTY AVENGERS (2012)
A children's book that retells the origin of the Avengers. After the Hulk quits the Avenger team consisting of Thor, Iron Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp, he will then attack them with his new ally, the Sub-Mariner. As the Hulk and Namor fight and are about to totally defeat the Avengers (with Thor being the only member still conscious but on his knees being humbled by the duo), the Hulk will then surprisingly punch Namor into the water. The entire event turned out to be plan that the Hulk concocted to defeat Namor. Soon the Hulk befriends the Avengers again and they eventually find Captain America's frozen body. Now under Cap's leadership, the Avengers will chase off Namor and his Atlantean Army.
Avengers Alliance is a nod to the classic turn-based role-playing games that players have known and loved for decades. Your party will feature three members, and each member and enemy on the field will take turns performing single actions. Actions consume stamina, and range from offensive attacks and defensive buffs to item uses, stamina recharges, and more. It’s a simple enough system to understand.
While the Hulk and Thor are characters that becomes an ally and helps you on your missions, they can clash if visiting other players Battle Chamber. You can also go up against other players in the Training Room and climb up the Leaderboard.
THE AVENGERS MOVIE (2012)
This is by far, the biggest event ever to happen to "Hulk vs Thor" because it stands as the very first time a superhero rivalry has ever hit the big screen (Iron Man vs War Machine in Iron Man 2 in 2010 were two allies fighting each other and not rivals) and was presented to the masses!! And with this movie becoming a major hit on a world-wide scale, "Hulk vs Thor" stands as the most popular match up ever in comics! Move over "Superman vs Captain Marvel" because a new king has been crowned!!
In the fight itself, the Hulk and Thor clash aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. helecarrier after Thor saves Black Widow from the Hulk's onslaught! They slug it out a little before the Hulk sends the Thunder god flying with a punch (it should be noted that Thor needs his two-hands to stalemate the Hulk who is using just one)! Thor rises as he wipes off blood from his nose and breaks out into a broad grin ready for more. Then Thor hits an attacking Hulk with a nice uppercut with Mjolnir that sends the brute into a plane and dazes him for a few seconds. Now getting madder and stronger, the Hulk attacks and they fight back and forth, it's nice to see the Hulk trying to pick up Mjolnir but cannot do it (with scenes taking directly from Defenders #10) At the end, the Hulk is seen pounding on Thor until the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents intervene and fire on the brute, but the Hulk soon attacks them.
Later on as the battle against the aliens rages, Thor and Hulk begin working together, smashing aliens left and right as a team. They pause for a moment, and stand side by side in the frame. Then, in a funny moment, Hulk turns and suddenly smashes Thor, who goes flying right out of the frame. Totally unexpected, and absolutely hysterical. A highpoint of the movie!
Okay, the Hulk fanboys can rejoice a little in this because the Hulk is clearly shown to be the stronger in the movie but Thor is no slouch, as he is a powerhouse as well. And nobody should complain because it's "HULK VS THOR" on a freaking theater screen and both characters shined!!!!!
AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROES (SEASON: 2
EPISODE: 48 "THE DEADLIEST MAN ALIVE" 2012)
General Ross as the Red Hulk manipulates the Hulk to go on a rampage and this causes him to battle it out with Thor and the rest of The Avengers. After a battle, the Red Hulk convinces The Avengers that he should be on the team, while Captain America refuses to believe that the real Hulk has gone rogue. After Cap and Wasp free the Hulk of the mind-control device that is making him rage, they all regroup and find out it was the Red Hulk behind the scam and eventually defeat him while finding out that he is really General Ross in the process.
The ultimate super hero brawler, Marvel Avengers Battle For Earth features 20 different characters including the Avengers Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, and Thor, as well as other fan favorite super heroes and villains from the Marvel Universe. Players will use motion gameplay to execute explosive super attacks, unleash devastating special moves, and battle their friends in a wide variety of game modes. You are able to team the Hulk and Thor up or have them face off !
An updated remake of the two classic Capcom fighting games for a new Generation. This downloadable game includes Marvel Superheroes (which Thor is not included) and Marvel vs Capcom: Clash of the Superheroes (which has Thor as an assist character).
AVENGERS: EARTH'S MIGHTIEST HEROES Vol. 6 "END OF THE COSMOS" DVD (2013)
While this dvd set has the final 12 episodes to the cartoon series. On the first disk bonus features the voices of the Avengers (Captain America, Thor and Iron Man) give commentary on their missions throughout the cartoon. When the Hulk steps in and starts getting angry, he begins to slug it out with Thor until Cap breaks it up by tricking the Hulk into leaving. It's hilarious to hear while the feature is playing.
BACK ISSUE #66 (2013)
Cover of Back Issue magazine that shows a "Hulk vs Thor" Terry Austin inked cover from Marvel Treasury #9 (1976). And what is even more special about this magazine is the fact that it showcases my first nationally published work on "Superman vs Captain Marvel", so make sure you go and check it out.
Order BACK ISSUE #66 here:http://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1067&zenid=72ngsr7ujt90sa57vvm3t5a5t4
To know the Marvel Universe you have to know about the "BIG 3". These 3 characters are at the top of the food-chain when it comes to levels of power for the greatest Marvel Heroes. These 3 characters strike the most fear and gain the most respect from opposing opposition. These 3 characters are without a doubt The Marvel hierarchy of ultimate power. They are The Incredible Hulk, The Mighty Thor and The Silver Surfer. Yup, these guys are the standard, and every other hero that wants to be deemed "super" is measured up against them to see how high up the ladder they are and regarded among peers. Here is how the "BIG 3" rank in certain categories between each other.
Strength and Durability: Hulk Skill and Mindset: Thor Overall Versatility: Silver Surfer
You can make an argument on who ranks second and third in each category between them, but there is no doubt that the character listed as number 1 is the rightful owner of that power-level. And if you read my other write ups; "Thor vs Silver Surfer" or "Hulk vs Silver Surfer", you will notice that each of the "BIG 3" is so insanely powerful that they balance themselves out when it comes to fighting each other. While Thor has the edge over Silver Surfer in their battles, Silver Surfer has the edge over the Hulk, which leads me to this write up where the Hulk has the edge over Thor.
For now, the “Hulk vs Thor” overall tally ended is in a 2 to 2 tie in 32 match ups, but I believe in my heart that those numbers are a little misleading because the Hulk has a overall edge with better showings in all their slugfests. Now I know Thor fanboys will shout, “I SAY THEE NAY!”, but when you look closely at all the actual fights and totally forget about alternate reality battles and disregard the silly thoughts of Thor always holding back against the Hulk, you can see the answer is quite clear. It does show that Thor is physically not equal to the Hulk in terms of strength, durability and endurance, how can he be? As the Hulk gets madder, he gets stronger and that's how his powers work. Thor even admits to the Hulk's superior strength and has always been in awe of it. To top it all off, the Hulk’s got this crazy healing factor that makes it almost unfair. The truth is; it’s just Thor’s fight to lose the longer it lasts because that’s how the Hulk’s powers work. If given the chance, the Hulk will outlast and grow strong enough to conquer just about any opponent and Thor is no exception. Now Thor may have originally been created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby to be the strongest in the Marvel stable but as time went on things changed for the Thunder God as his powers seemingly decreased as well as his popularity against other top-tier heroes.
Defenders #10 is always thrown into the conversation as the undeniable proof of Thor being the Hulk's equal in strength and it was a valid argument for years. But truth be told, that’s not the case anymore. The Mighty Thor #385 and all the fights thereafter (especially in The Incredible Hulk Annual 2001 and Hulk Smash Avengers #1) have put that “90 minute test of strength” debate to rest and I know it’s hard for most Thor fans to admit. Cannon has now spawned all the cartoons, animated features and movies you see of the Hulk currently beating up Thor or at least showing superior strength and durability (we even see it on a world-wide scale in The Avengers movie in 2012). It is also seen in the controversial comic; Hulk: Let The Battle Begin #1, where the Hulk definitively out-muscles and pounds on Thor for the first real win in this rivalry. I know it’s hard for Thor fans to see this because it does drop Thor down a notch from his “majestic” Silver Age days.
But for me, what always made Thor capable of being a match for the Hulk (or almost anyone else) are three things; 1.) The war-hammer, Mjolnir, this tremendous weapon makes Thor all powerful and grants him such an array of versatile powers that I believe it makes Thor one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe. 2.) Fighting ability, Thor has thousands of years of training and that makes Thor crazy tough in a slugfest (I hate when some writers sometime down play this skill, it drives me nuts). 3.) Lastly, and most importantly, Thor’s never say die, warriors’ heart! Nobody in comics (in my eyes) has the fighting spirit of Thor, NOBODY! He just keeps coming and coming despite the odds and defeats. Whether it’s to protect the innocents, his name, his heritage, his ego or his glory it doesn't matter, Thor just keeps coming back for more. It’s just part of his mindset, so when he eventually dies and goes to Valhalla, a throne of his glorious conquests will await him (it’s actually beautiful when I think about it). These are the things that Thor brings to the table that make him so awesome. This is also why he never uses his “other” powers that Mjolnir grants him (like the Godforce, etc.) because Thor wants to beat the Hulk in physical combat!!
And when Thor fanboys complain about how Thor should always beat the Hulk and doesn't because Marvel always protects its more popular characters, lets not forget that The Thunder God has always been able to maintain an edge over these Super-Heavyweights; The Silver Surfer, Sub-Mariner, Black Bolt, Hercules, Juggernaut, Abomination, Gladiator and “Gem Powered” Drax the Destroyer, all who have given the Hulk trouble in the past. As I see it, no one should be complaining because Thor cleans up in just about every other fight. And ol' Goldilocks will always be a champion of good and one of the most respected and powerful beings on Earth (and in comics). But when you are talking about pure raw-strength, durability and stamina is anyone the Hulk’s equal? So to put an end to one of the frequent arguments in this rivalry, I’ll admit that the Hulk the stronger and more durable while Thor the more powerful and talented. When you look at all the fights with unbiased eyes this observation is just so obvious. So expect them to be peers with some advantages over the other until the end of time.
And with “Hulk vs Thor” being a Marvel tradition, there’s always the next big fight that looms within an upcoming funny book. Let’s see how that one goes and what new arguments come with it. Regardless of who wins or loses, it’s a tradition all of us fans alike are always waiting for.
Agree?? Disagree?? Let’s hear it fanboys…
Check out other "DEFINITIVE WRITE UPS" here:
Superman vs Captain Marvel
Captain America vs Wolverine
Thor vs Ulik
Hulk vs Silver Surfer
Hulk vs Superman
Hulk vs Juggernaut
Hulk vs Hercules
John "The Mego Stretch Hulk" Cimino - "Hero Envy" Central
John Cimino is a Silver and Bronze Age comic, cartoon and memorabilia expert that contributes articles to BACK ISSUE Magazine from TwoMorrows Publishing and has written and starred in the "Hero Envy" webisode series. He is also the host of the Reckless Sidekick "Swass-Cast" and has contributed to the "Hero Envy" comic book. He also thinks he's really Captain Marvel, people just don't have the heart to tell him he's just an obsessed fanboy that borders on the insane. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know.