The Hulk has a wide range of powers beyond raw physical strength, including the ability to see ghosts and astral projections.
The MCU Hulk has differences from the comics version due to a range of reasons, but there are still opportunities to explore his unique powers on-screen.
The MCU Hulk has more limitations compared to his comic book counterpart, but is still a formidable hero.

Hulk is known for being a heavy-hitter in terms of raw physical power, but the comics also depict him with a variety of less straightforward powers that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has yet to show off. It’s easy to think of The Hulk as little more than a bruiser, being able to punch things very hard and take a beating before being put away. But the green alter ego of Bruce Banner has some wilier tricks up his sleeve that would be interesting to see in Marvel’s upcoming films.

Like all characters the MCU adapts, the MCU Hulk has many key differences from his iterations in the comics. For as much screen time Bruce Banner has been able to secure as a founding member of The Avengers, showing up as a supporting character in a wide range of other properties, the legal issues around The Hulk that tied Marvel Studios up in releasing second solo film hamstrung the character’s deeper development. The Hulk has a lot of strange powers in the comics beyond mere physical strength that would fit into the MCU with varying degrees of success, and more time with the character on-screen would be a great chance to explore them.

10 The Ability To See Ghosts

The mastery over mystic arts isn’t usually the first thing audiences relate to Hulk. Yet magic being a key weakness of a character so physically invulnerable means that Hulk has had plenty of supernatural encounters over the years. In the comics, Hulk has demonstrated the ability to see ghosts and astral projections. This includes being aware of the spirit form of Doctor Strange, something no mortal man should be able to accomplish.

The explanation for Hulk’s ability to see into the realm beyond stems from Bruce Banner’s abusive late father, with Hulk’s fear of encountering his father’s ghost being strong enough to manifest the ability. In the MCU, the closest this ability has gotten to being explored is Professor Hulk’s encounter with The Ancient One, who effortlessly separates Bruce Banner’s spirit from his corporeal form. This would’ve been an interesting power to include upon Hulk’s first encounter with Stephen Strange or other magic users, but unfortunately, the prime window to show off the ability seems to have already passed.

9 A Psychic Connection To His Origin Point

In the Marvel films, Hulk’s origin differs rather significantly from the source material. In the comics, Hulk is born when Bruce Banner finds himself in the testing range of an experimental gamma bomb, which bombards his body with a healthy dose of gamma radiation, creating Hulk. In the MCU, Bruce Banner is instead recruited in one of the universe’s many attempts to replicate Captain America’s super soldier serum, using gamma radiation on himself intentionally as an activation agent.

The Hulk is frequently depicted as having an innate mental connection to the site of the bomb test where the creature was born years ago. The mystical link between his mind and the location is the result of a future version of Bruce Banner, known as Maestro, dying there, guiding Hulk back to the location as a refuge after suffering major trauma. In the MCU, this would make no sense, and the dime-a-dozen lab in which Bruce Banner’s powers were created is a less dramatic location to return to than a haunted crater in the New Mexico desert.

8 Limitless Stamina

The MCU’s Hulk is among the most powerful Avengers, but his strength and durability are given limits. In Avengers: Age Of Ultron, we see Black Widow taking advantage of his tired state after a raid on a HYDRA base, using a lullaby that puts the persona “to sleep” to slowly return control to Bruce Banner. He also tires out in his fight with Thanos, losing for the first time and suffering from an existential crisis as a result.

Conversely, the Hulk of Marvel Comics is a master of endurance, able to fight for days at a time, especially when truly enraged. The World War Hulk storyline tests this aspect of Hulk’s power to it’s limit, as the fearsome brute wages war against the planet as a one-man army. In the MCU, Hulk needs to be balanced against the relatively lower power levels of the universe’s characters, leaving him still incredibly powerful, but limited in stamina.

Related: 6 Theories Explain Why World War Hulk Happens In The MCU’s Future

7 Hulk’s Separate Memory

The separation between Bruce Banner and Hulk as two individual characters trapped wrestling for control over the same body is a key aspect of the character in both the films and comics. Usually, this eternal tug-of-war is emphasized as a struggle for Bruce Banner, the two constantly at-odds with each other. It’s not clear exactly “where” Hulk or Bruce Banner go when the other is in control, but not being present in conscious world can have some surprising benefits.

Hulk seems to be able to remember things that he shouldn’t be able to, defying laws of science and magic alike. In the comic run Spider-Man: One More Day, the entire Marvel universe magically forgets that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, yet Hulk is able to recognize Peter in-costume and call him by his real name, ominously remarking, “Banner forgot. But I don’t forget“. Since Spider-Man: Now Way Home’s ending also wipes the MCU’s knowledge of Peter Parker, the movie series has a great opportunity to include this power, but the MCU Hulk’s merged personality and lack of prior interaction between the two heroes makes it an unlikely prospect.

6 Telepathic Resistance

Hulk’s enigmatic personality is a frequent source of frustration for both Bruce Banner and his allies. The dangerous well of range the persona fosters causes some intense fights in both Marvel’s comics and movies, as other heroes must subdue the temperamental personality. However, Banner’s fractured psyche and anger management issues actually have come in handy when it comes to resisting psychic attack.

Telepaths, such as the X-Men’s Charles Xavier, target their opponents’ minds rather than their bodies. But the Hulk’s fragmented mind and intense suppressed rage make controlling his thoughts an impossible task, as demonstrated by powerful telepaths in the comics who have tried and failed, such as Professor X, The Scarlet Witch, and even the powerful Sentry. Hulk’s telepathic resistance is likely to come into play in the future of the MCU, as the series gears up to introduce the MCU X-Men into the fold.

5 The Mr. Fixit Persona

Beyond just Hulk, Bruce Banner has also played host to a variety of other, lesser-known personalities that feature their own unique transformations, including one Hulk transformation that could re-shape the MCU. But one of Banner’s most bizarre and well-known alternate personalities is that of Joe Fixit, also known as the Gray Hulk. Harkening back to the Hulk’s original skin tone in his first appearance, Mr. Fixit isn’t as strong as the normal Hulk, but makes up for it with a cunning intelligence and some loose morals than Banner or Hulk generally are shown to possess.

When Joe Fixit takes over, he manages to completely banish Banner away, permanently wrestling control over his body for a time. From there, he travels to Las Vegas and becomes a mob enforcer, scheming for money and power in the city of sin. While Mr. Fixit might be too strange for the MCU, he would be a treat to include for in-the-know audience members as a cameo, or featured in the spin-off series What if? as a standalone episode.

4 Adaptational Mutations

Similar to Wolverine, Hulk is known for his enhanced healing factor. An ability that lets him quickly recover from mortal wounds, Hulk’s healing factor in the comics in shown to be strong enough to allow him to regenerate after being blown to pieces. In the movies, this aspect of his powers is also present, if tamed down, but Hulk’s unique biology extends far beyond mere healing.

In the comics, Hulk’s body is capable of mutating on the fly to adapt to any environment he may find himself in. Astonishingly, this has allowed him to survive underwater for extended periods of time and even in outer space, his cells quickly forming unique tissue within his lungs giving him the ability to breathe in such hostile environments. The ability of Hulk’s biology to evolve to suit any danger may be a bit too much for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as establishing such an impactful power this late in the game would likely give audiences whiplash.

3 Immortality

Hulk’s healing factor is frequently depicted as being powerful enough to even reverse the effects of aging. As much as immortality may sound like a power, in Bruce Banner’s case, it frequently proved to be a curse more than a blessing. Maestro, a version of Hulk that had survived into a dark future, demonstrated this. Having outlived his friends, loved ones, and enemies, Maestro grew into a cold and ruthless warlord, losing his humanity in the process.

Beyond Maestro, this power also sees significant use in the famous Wolverine storyline Old Man Logan, in which Hulk is the only one able to keep up with the aged X-man in the far future. As the MCU enters the Multiverse Saga, it’s not out of the question to visit a timeline in which the events of Old Man Logan or the creation of Maestro had come to pass. Hulk’s immortality has a possibility of showing up in the MCU as a cautionary tale more than anything else, as it’s unlikely that the Bruce Banner of the main timeline audiences have come to know and love would be subjected to such a cruel fate.

Bruce Banner has frequently proven himself to be useful for more than just Hulk’s babysitter in the MCU. Holding 7 hard scientific PhDs, Banner’s intellect was great enough for him to be poached in General Ross’s super serum re-creation project in the first place, meaning that the Hulk was only created because of Banner’s actions. In the comics, Bruce Banner is estimated by Norman Osborn to be the 4th most intelligent person on the planet. Bruce has repeatedly demonstrated this with his own signature technology, BannerTech, which is easily able to compete with Tony Stark in terms of innovation.

Bruce has unleashed his scientific mind with some wondrous inventions over the years of Hulk’s comic runs. Some of the highlights of the BannerTech catalog include a personal teleporter, a powerful defensive force field, and even a localized black hole contained within a duffel bag. Even if BannerTech hasn’t appeared by name, the Bruce Banner of the MCU is certainly no slouch in the engineering department, able to assist Tony Stark in the creation of Ultron and Vision, not to mention expertly piloting the Hulkbuster Armor. It’s very possible that audiences get treated to even more of Banner’s technological prowess over the course of future films.

1 Infinitely Scaling Strength

Hulk’s strength is his primary characteristic, usually referred to as one of, if not the most, physically strongest beings on the face of the planet. But the secret to Hulk’s true power is his terrifying lack of limits, which have yet to be hinted at in the MCU. The secret to his strength hides in plain sight in Hulk’s classic line from the comics; “The angrier Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets!“.

The Incredible Hulk of the comics has no true limit to his strength in many runs, able to generate almost unfathomable amounts of force and even punch hard enough to break into new dimensions. This is because his strength is directly proportional to his anger levels, and he can always seem to get angrier. The MCU Hulk isn’t even the strongest character in the universe, certainly having limits to the force he can generate. Sadly, this iconic aspect to Hulk has been lost in translation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, along with many of his other powers.

Key Release Dates

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Avengers: Secret Wars

 Outside the MCU, the Hulk can do much more just than smash.  Read More