The Incredible Hulk has been a part of the Marvel Universe for over 50 years. He was Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s version of the Frankenstein’s monster. He was living proof of what gamma radiation could do to a person. To be fair, the Hulk has fought just about every Marvel Hero in the books. He’s been more of villain then any bad guy I mention here (see World War Huk storyline). Still this misunderstood creature has fought the good fight on many occasions and been pitted against a plethora of villains. Let begin our list and hope the Hulk doesn’t SMASH us in the process. (Had to go there.)
10. Wendigo (First Appearance Incredible Hulk #162, 1973)
Wendigo is the Canadian version of the Hulk, but with more of a bite (literally). The Wendigo Curse, as it’s called, is a result of the right conditions in the Canadian north. The curse was created by northern gods called the Iuna. The curse was designed to cure human cannibalism by turning the cursed into a large furry indestructible Wen-di-go. Hulk fought the Wendigo in numerous battles with the Wendigo usually escaping. Their second fight was made famous by the first appearance of the mutant marvel Wolverine. The Wendigo have also traveled in packs. They attacked Las Vegas and infected the Hulk creating a Wendi-HULK. It took numerous heroes to defeat and cure the Hulk.
9. Tyrannus (First Appearance Incredible Hulk #5, 1963)
You would think Stan Lee and Jack Kirby wouldn’t be short on ideas in ’63. Yet they created a Roman soldier/scientist that ended up being an apprentice to Merlin the magician. Power hungry, Tyrannus was driven into the underground where he discovered the Subterraneans. Tyrannus also discovered a pool which granted him immortality. The Subterraneans are an orange skinned off shoot to the Moloids. The Moloids were always aligned with the Mole Man and eventually caused disruption in the Underworld when Tyrannus attempted to take over the underworld. Tyrannus attempted to invade the surface world by wooing Betty Ross. Of course he ended up luring the Hulk underground. In an attempt to rescue Betty, Tyrannus gave the Hulk a difficult list of tasks. The Hulk finished the list, but not after destroying half of Tyrannus’s lair. Tyrannus has gone on to battle other super heroes only to be defeated time and time again. His latest bout with the Hulk was him trying to possess Pandora’s box. He never really gained control, but ended up sleeping with Betty Ross in her Red Hulk form.
8. Rhino (First Appearance Amazing Spider-Man #41, 1966)
The Rhino was original conceived as a villain for Spider-Man, but ended up battling both Spidey and Hulk. Rhino fought the Hulk when the original scientists that created his armor had convinced him to capture Banner for the knowledge of gamma rays. This resulted in the Hulk almost killing the Rhino from an exploding truck. The Leader ended up reviving the Rhino for the use of stopping the wedding of Bruce Banner and Betty Ross. Yet again the Rhino was defeated yet the hands of the Hulk. Rhino seemed more of a suitable foe for Hulk but he could never live up to the Hulk’s nature or Banner’s wit.
7. Bi-Beast (First Appearance Incredible Hulk #169, 1973)
The Bi-Beast is an android with two heads (one atop the other – the top skull is given knowledge of warfare while the bottom skull was given a knowledge of culture). Bi-Beast was created by an avian race of Inhumans that had died out for no reason. The Bi-Beast never seemed evil for the most part, it only wanted to revive its previous world. It just happened that it would come across battling the Hulk most of the time. When you have a 20 foot android with the passion or programming to survive it makes an excellent foe for the Incredible Hulk. Bi-Beast is somewhat odd and scary at the same time. He later appeared as member of the Sinister Sixteen.
6. U-Foes (First Appearance Incredible Hulk #254, 1980)
The U-Foes are a group led by Simon Utrecht, a former politician and multi-millionaire. He tried to recreate the cosmic ray accident that created the Fantastic Four. It was a sound idea but they were almost exposed to a lethal form of radiation. Bruce Banner had saved them from being killed. They blamed Banner because they thought they would become even more powerful with more exposure. Since their first battle with Hulk they failed to act as a team and well, Hulk Smash. The U-Foes are formed of Vector, the group’s leader who can repel matter telekinetically; Vapor, who can transform into any form of gaseous matter; X-Ray, who can generate and project radiation and fly; and Ironclad, who can transform into any metal form and control his density. They have fought the Hulk on numerous occasions only to be defeated. They have recently been incarcerated during the Siege story line.
5. Madman (First Appearance Incredible Hulk 363, 1989)
Philip Sterns (brother of the Leader) was a classmate of Bruce Banner that became somewhat infatuated with the Hulk’s career. He began experimenting with sources of gamma radiation to make himself into a hulk like creature. His transformation created a multiple personality disorder which more and more pushed the Madman persona to the surface. Madman developed a plot to kill the Hulk with a poison that deteriorated his physical stature. The Hulk had to battle his mortal enemies including the Leader. Madman had almost succeeded defeating the Hulk, but Hulk got the poison antidote, then managed to poison the Madman himself. Philip Sterns had lost complete control and Madman took over the entire person. At this point the Madman was killed by the Red Leader, but in the Marvel Universe does anyone really die?
4. The Abomination (First Appearance Tales to Astonish #90, 1967)
The Abomination was created to be a much uglier version of the Hulk. Upon their first battle, the Abomination defeated the Hulk. It was only due to Bruce Banner’s idea to drain the Abomination of some of his gamma radiation that the Hulk was able to defeat the Abomination. Emil Blonsky is the Abomination’s alter ego and became a Hulk like being on purpose. He has been a brilliant tactician, a tortured soul, mindless beast, and even a protector of the weak. Emil Blonsky was recent cured of his gamma by the Hulk (in the Doc Green persona)w hen the Hulk was removing the world of gamma beings. Considering the Abomination is the Hulk’s evil side, I’m sure he’ll return at some point.
3. The Leader (First Appearance Tales to Astonish #62, 1964)
Samuel Sterns (The Leader) gained his abilities through an accident where his body was bathed in gamma radiation. The gamma radiation enhanced Sterns’s mental capacity. The downside of this being the large green giant brain to go with the intelligence it housed. The Leader’s primary goal for most of his creation was simple, world domination. He believed the world had to be just like him and consistently tried to gamma irradiate everyone. The Hulk has been his primary adversary and has used jade jaws to his advantage through blackmailing the Hulk into helping him. Regardless of the Leader’s plans, the Hulk always managed to become victorious. Through out his history the Leader has been killed and resurrected several times. The Red Hulk had at one time fed the Leader some his energy reviving him. The Leader ended up joining the Thunderbolts and become their Red Leader.
2. General Thunderbolt Ross/RED HULK (First Appearance Incredible Hulk #1, 1962/Hulk vol. 2 #1 2008)
Since the original incarnation of the Hulk, Ross has been the Hulk’s reason for rampaging. The Hulk has been the “Green Whale” to Ross’s “Ahab”. Ross was head of Bruce Banner’s Gamma Bomb experiment that created the Hulk himself. During this time Ross’s daughter Betty became romantically entangled with Bruce. Ross became so obsessed with the Hulk that he aligned himself with the Leader, Modok, and Abomination. In an alliance with the Intelligencia Ross was transformed into what he hated the most:The Red Hulk. His identity was kept secret by Marvel comics in order to keep the idea that Ross was killed earlier by Red Hulk. The murdered Ross was a Life Model Decoy. In recent plot lines the Hulk, now going as Doc Green was de-powering the gamma beings in the Marvel Universe. His first encounter with the Red Hulk didn’t go as planned with the Red Hulk breaking his arm. The second time around the Hulk succeeded and reverted Ross to normal. Ross was imprisoned by the US Government for defecting.
1. Maestro (First Appearance Incredible Hulk Vol. 1 401, 1993)
Maestro is the Hulk, or the future Hulk to be more specific. It has been conceived that Robert Bruce Banner in this version survived hundreds of years. He even managed to do what many of his regular villains had failed to do and take over the world. In the Future Imperfect story line, the Hulk is faced with a bizarre demented version of himself. Maestro was defeated in this story line in a specific ironic way. He has returned from time to time due to the fact that he is a character of the future and writers have used him before Future Imperfect. What makes him #1 though is the fact that after all the Hulk suffered through time he became the bad he never really wanted to become. The Hulk has always been his worst enemy after all.