Can Hulk Die | Is He Immortal?


When a comic book character “dies” in a comic or movie, it would be expected that this is the last that you will see of them in future titles or movies.

Unfortunately, it is not quite this simple.

Let’s take the Hulk, for example.

The Hulk has been “killed” several times but has subsequently somehow returned.

In the ten-page prologue accompanying Avengers #684, we are told that the Hulk is, in fact, immortal. Part of the newly defined power is that since the very beginning, every time the Hulk has died, he has come back, and any time he dies in the future he will also come back. The Hulk is immortal.

When the Hulk Died

It is not only cats that have 9 lives, so, apparently, does the Hulk.

Here are the occasions when the Hulk “died” in the past.

On each of these occasions it seemed like the end, but following this latest revelation in Avengers #684 we now know that the Hulk just keeps on coming back whenever he is killed.

Tales to Astonish

The first time the Hulk died was in 1965 when he was shot by an unnamed soldier while the Hulk was trying to destroy one of Bruce Banners’s inventions to stop “The Leader” from getting his hands on it.

The soldier spotted the hulk in the middle of the flames and shot him.

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The Hulk must have been in the midst of transformation because when the body was recovered it was that of Bruce Banner.

There was a long story about how the Hulk came back to life and was eventually reunited with Bruce Banner, but they need not have bothered because we now know the Hulk will just come back anyway.

Incredible Hulk #225

During an assault on Gamma Base by the Leader.

Bruce Banner was helpless, as he had finally found the cure and rid himself of the Hulk once and for all.

Those around him were begging him to reactivate the Hulk, but he would not.

He finally sent a robot hulk to face the leader which was defeated and things were looking very bad when the Leader destroyed the robot sending back feedback which shocked Bruce Banner.

To try and save him, his friends hit him with a wave of Gamma radiation so it would turn him back to the Hulk.

This worked, but Banner died before it was completed.

Incredible Hulk #340

In Hulk 340 the Hulk was pierced by the blades of a mutant Wolverine.

The Hulk had knocked down a plane and when the Hulk found his old enemy, Wolverine, in the wreckage, he goaded him trying to provoke a fight.

Big mistake because Wolverine proved to be unexpectedly strong and skewered the Hulk through his middle.

He thought that the Hulk was dead, but then a few moments later the Hulk gets up and says, “Let’s try that again.”

Incredible Hulk #367

The Leader (again) was responsible for the next Hulk death.

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This time it was the”Gray Hulk” that died in Incredible Hulk #367.

In the four-part story of “Countdown,” we see the Hulk having a mysterious sequence of heart attacks that causes him to slowly weaken.

The fourth and last heart attack (we now know it was caused by poison) finally killed him.

When he revives as we all now know he does every time he dies, he finds a cure for the poison.

Avengers #684

In this story, the Hulk travels to the future and finds that what remains of humanity is ruled by one superpowered villain, which he discovers is his future self.

This future version is called Maestro and is stronger than the present Hulk, has all of Bruce Banner’s intelligence, and just loves the environment which is much more radioactive.

The Hulk takes Maestro on and is killed when Maestro breaks his neck (interesting that the Maestro still existed when he kills his earlier self – sorry was just thinking).

The second Hulk death in this story is when present-day Hulk kills his future self by sending him back in time (does that mean there would be two Hulks in the present when the future Hulk revives?).

Maybe I’m overthinking it.

Onslaught: Marvel Universe #1.

The story Onslaught was a terminal event for many characters in the Marvel Universe.

They were all killed in the current Universe and set the “Heroes Reborn Universe” where their stories were all rebooted and put into sync.

Because it was the Hulk that killed Onslaufght, Bruce Banner was sent to the new Universe with the others but Hulk stayed where he was.

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Destructible Hulk #20

In destructible Hulk #20, Bruce Banner is shot in the back of the head.

We eventually find out that it was She-Hulk that did it (Banner’s former wife).

We don’t find that out until Hulk #8

Avengers: Ultron Forever #1

In Issue No. #1 we see the Hulk, who is part of an Avengers team gathered from various points in time, fighting Ultron.

Almost the moment when Hulk joins the battle, he is apparently decapitated by one of Ultron’s men who throw Captain America’s Shield at him and chops of his head.

In the next issue, New Avengers: Ultron Forever #1, we are told that Hulk did not lose his head but a mask.

Civil War II #3

The most famous Hulk death is also the last one.

Before Civil War II #3, everyone seemed to think that Banner had lost the Hulk forever.

However, Banner was secretly researching Gamma radiation again and ended up being shot by an arrow through the neck.

At the moment this death occurs we see the Banner’s eyes flash green, but the story ends there.

Final Thought

Now we know that the Hulk is immortal and will always revive shortly after his death, it changes the dynamics of the stories, and we know that the Hulk cannot ultimately lose as even if he dies he is going to revive ready to start again.

There is no longer any reason for writers to try and invent plausible reasons why the Hulk is alive again.

Mojmir Trefulka

Fascinated with Superheroes since childhood. I'm 35 years old and I'm from the Czech Republic – a small country in the middle of Europe. I love comic books and superhero movies. Superheroes are my passion for a very long time and I love writing about them – let's have fun together.

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