Hulk is known for one thing: smashing. The giant green rage monster is one of the strongest people in the Marvel Universe, but considering that the Hulk is part of the scientist Bruce Banner, he is also a certified genius. When it comes to saving the world, the gamma-powered anti-hero usually relies on his incredible strength.
The angrier Hulk is, the stronger he gets, and so his weaponized anger management issues have been used to punch out gods and rip enemies in half with his teeth. However, his intelligence is just as much an asset. These are ten times Bruce Banner saved the universe with his brain.
10 Stopping Cancer
Bruce Banner may be a genius, but he has always been jealous of Tony Stark for the ways he saves the world with his mind. During the Indestructible Hulk series, Banner decided to have S.H.I.E.L.D. fund his scientific developments so he could reach his full potential.
When Stark learned of this, he confronted Bruce only to discover what Banner had been working on: a Catalytic Converter, something Tony Stark had only even theorized as possible. This device could be used to neutralize carcinogens in almost anything that contains them. It could also presumably stop any threats that invaded from the Cancerverse. By the end of the issue, Bruce had proven himself the better scientist, leaving Tony shaken and insecure.
Bruce Banner spent years trying to cure himself of being The Hulk. After finally accepting that he could not achieve this, he set out to use his mind to make the world a better place, dedicating himself to inventing one new miraculous device per week.
The first invention was capable of curing all water-borne diseases on Earth over a five-year time period. It could also presumably do the same for space colonies, depending on the biology of the aliens who needed drinking water. It may not be as showy as punching out Abomination, but this device ultimately saved more lives. He invented it in a single day. Hence it’s name: Tuesday.
8 Persuade the Ancient One
This example is from the MCU. During the time-traveling adventures in Avengers: Endgame, Hulk traveled back in time to confront the Ancient One and get the Time Stone from her. She refused to give it to him and knocked his astral form out of his body.
Unable to use his muscles, Bruce Banner relied on an even more powerful weapon, his mind. By speaking with her, he convinced the Ancient One to give him the Time Stone, which lead to the Avengers stopping Thanos.
7 Recruit Hawkeye to Kill Him
Sometimes, the world is threatened by a villain like Thanos using the Infinity Gauntlet or by an invading army from another world like the forces Malekith the Accursed led into battle during the War of the Realms. Other times, the heroes are the real threats.
Few examples better demonstrate the dangers of heroes than the various superhero civil wars. In Civil War II, Bruce Banner feared he might be a danger to others, so he recruited his old friend Hawkeye to kill him if it looked like he might lose control. Recognizing The Hulk as a threat is a level of personal responsibility that Banner should be commended for.
6 Stopping Sociopath Bruce Banner from Another Dimension
During Jonathan Hickman’s run of Avengers, the heroes fought an evil Avengers team from another reality. This alternate reality’s Bruce Banner had been subjected to experiments where part of his brain was removed. He could not turn into the Hulk at will but was forced into the transformation by his teammates. The operation also turned him into a sociopath.
When this evil Bruce Banner tried to break into Avengers Mansion, the main universe’s Bruce Banner saw through his lies and stopped him. Stopping the evil Banner with a blow to the head, but the real feat here was deductive reasoning.
5 Doc Green
There are numerous versions of The Hulk, based on different personalities Banner has developed to cope with the stress and trauma of his childhood and later events in his life. One personality is Doc Green.
Realizing that a world filled with Gamma-powered vigilantes was a threat to the well-being of life, Doc Green set out to depower every other Hulk on Earth using an injection of nanites. He might have made the world safer, but Doc Green made a lot of enemies and betrayed people who had been his closest allies.
4 Recruit Rick Jones
Like with Bruce calling on Hawkeye to execute him or Doc Green depowering the other Hulks, this decision came from one simple fact: Bruce Banner realized The Hulk was dangerous and was unsure about the psychological toll of trying to control the beast.
Bruce took up with a young sidekick, Rick Jones, who ultimately became his support network. Hulk is the Worldbreaker, capable of destroying life in the universe. By giving himself a sidekick, he kept himself from becoming an apocalyptic source of destruction and instead becoming a hero.
3 Found the Avengers
Without the Avengers, it is a safe bet that the earth would not exist. Maybe it would have been blown up in the Kree-Skrull War. Maybe Kang the Conqueror would have dominated the planet. Whatever the case, the Avengers keep the world safe. In fact, they have saved the universe on multiple occasions.
As a founding member of the Avengers, Hulk was in part responsible for this. It was not just his decision, but he made the conscious choice to become part of a team.
2 Super Soldier Serum Experiments
In the Ultimate Universe, Bruce Banner worked on trying to replicate the Super Soldier Serum that created Captain America. He failed to recreate it, but he did give himself superpowers in the process.
By turning himself into The Hulk, Bruce Banner became a superhero who would save the world. More than this, he also helped found the Ultimates. Sure, they might have united to stop a rampaging Hulk, but it brought them together and they have been saving the planet ever since. Also, as his research led to the successful dethawing of Ultimate Captain America, everyone Cap saved is thanks to Banner.
1 Gamma Experiments
In his origin story in the main Marvel Universe, Bruce Banner turned himself into The Hulk while building a gamma bomb. Every time he saved the world was a direct result of this single decision.
Gamma is dangerous. In fact, it even has mystical dimensions to its energy. But no one other than Bruce Banner is better equipped to handle it and despite all the crazy destruction to emerge from the Hulk’s rampages, the universe is around because Banner used gamma radiation to turn himself into a superhero.
The Hulk usually relies on his strength, but intelligence is just as much an asset. Here are 10 times The Hulk saved the universe with his brain.