Hulk was created by iconic comic writers Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The character first made his appearance in Incredible Hulk #1 (1962). In the comics, Bruce Banner is a genius-level scientist who after a failed experiment is blasted with gamma radiation turning him into the Hulk. Since his creation, Hulk has gone on to become one of the most recognised and beloved pop culture icons, appearing in television, film and animated features over the years. The character received a major popularity boost when he was portrayed by actor Mark Ruffalo in the popular Avengers film franchise.
The main appeal of the Hulk is his brute strength as well as the tension between Bruce Banner and Hulk, Banner’s unstable mutant alter-ego who breaks free whenever he is angered. The film versions of the Hulk gave us jaw-dropping evidence of Hulk’s immense strength and speed. In 2003, Ang Lee’s film saw the Hulk run at great speed and leap incredible distances. However, some felt the character was rendered far too green and too big in Lee’s film.
In the comics, Hulk’s height and strength vary depending on the situation but generally his height and weight seems to hover between 7 and 8 feet (2.1 and 2.4m) and he weighs up to 1,400 lb (640kg). In the films, his height and weight has also varied quite a bit over the years.
In the old television series, The Incredible Hulk (1977-1982), the character was obviously only as tall and big as Lou Ferrigno, the bodybuilder and actor, who portrayed him. At the time Ferrigno’s Hulk was 6 ft 5 (1.96m) and his weight 285-295lbs (129.3kg-133.8kg). Without CGI, that is nevertheless a really impressive size for a real-life Hulk.
In Ang Lee’s version, Hulk was more faithful to the comics in that the madder he got the larger he became. In the film he starts at 9 ft (2.7m), the second time he is 12ft (3.6m) and the third time in the government underground bunker in the deserts of New Mexico he grows to an enormous height of 15ft (4.5m) tall.
In 2008’s Incredible Hulk with Ed Norton as the titular character, Hulk’s frame was slightly smaller than Lee’s version, standing at approximately 9 ft tall and never seems to deviate from that set height.
Rhett Allain, an Associate Professor of Physics at Southeastern Louisiana University, actually did calculations to measure the Hulk’s actual height in the MCU by finding a film frame where the green monster is standing next to some real object of known height. Allain found that Hulk’s height in all the Avengers films and Thor: Ragnarok is approximately 8 ft 5 (2.6m), a noticeable size difference compared to the previous Hulks.
So the MCU version is the smallest and closer to his average height in the comics with Ang Lee’s being the largest we’ve ever had on film. Hulk’s height is relative, changing depending on the story or physical requirements needed. Ultimately, there is no cap set on his strength or height.
Which do you prefer? A diminutive sized Hulk as in the MCU or the Ang Lee Hulk who becomes as large as his anger demands?