Dr. Robert Bruce Banner was the world’s leading authority on Gamma radiation. Via military funding, he designed and built the awesome Gamma bomb in the middle of the southwestern desert.
While preparing for the countdown to test the experimental bomb, Banner noticed a car driving out into the blast zone. He ordered his assistant, Igor, to delay the countdown and frantically raced out after the other vehicle. However, Igor, secretly a communist spy, did not delay the countdown, rationalizing that if Banner wouldn’t share the secrets of gamma radiation with him, he mustn’t be allowed to share it with anyone.
Banner reached the other vehicle to find a teenage boy named Rick Jones sitting in the convertible, blowing nonchalantly on a harmonica and telling Bruce that his friends dared him to drive out there. Bruce grabbed him and dragged him to a safety trench. He threw Jones in but before he could jump in himself, the bomb exploded and Banner was bathed in the full force of the deadly gamma rays.
Hours later, Banner was in a catatonic state as he was examined by a doctor who couldn’t understand why Banner was still alive. Rick felt guilty at having caused this misfortune to Dr. Banner. He stayed with him in his room in case Banner needed anything.
But as the moon rose, the Geiger counter in the room began to tick more and more loudly. Banner started to feel strange. He grabbed his head as his muscles began to swell and burst through his clothing. He grew large and gray.
Minutes later, where Banner had stood, loomed the massive form of the Hulk.
The Hulk would become one of Marvel Comics’ greatest and most popular heroes. He would soon be acknowledged as the strongest character in the Marvel Universe. And his strength would grow in relation to his level of rage, which could be great.
But where Banner gained unmeasured limits of strength, his enormous intellect would be buried in the primitive mind of the Hulk.
Like many of Marvel’s greatest heroes, many popular heroes would later find their initial appearance on the pages of his comic book.