Bruce Banner is known for his incredible transformation into the monstrous Jade Giant, but he doesn’t always need to become the Hulk to use his gamma energy powers. In Hulk #50, Banner fights a group of angry diner patrons. But, when they hit him, the hero isn’t vulnerable to their attacks. Instead, he channels his powers without transforming into his angrier self, showing that even without Hulking out, he can be quite the terrifying opponent.
Famously, Bruce Banner gained his powers to transform into the Hulk after being exposed to a deadly gamma radiation experiment. The exposure led to Banner becoming the green monster when angry, as his Hulk-form was one of the strongest but most terrifying beings in the Marvel Universe. However, Banner actually died in the gamma bomb blast. But, thanks to the Green Door that connected him with the Below-Place, which granted gamma-infected like the Hulk immortality, Bruce was brought back to life without anyone realizing he had perished – including him. The Hulk’s connection to the Below-Place and Green Door also explained how Banner could use his powers without transforming.
In Hulk #50 by Bruce Jones, Mike Deodato Jr., Studio F, and Dave Sharpe from Marvel Comics, Bruce Banner ends up at a diner, where a group of angry men harasses a waitress. Bruce intervenes, telling a massive man to leave her alone. The aggressor scoffs at the comment and can’t believe that he’s being interrupted by Banner. So he punches him in the face. However, the attack doesn’t leave a mark on Banner, as he subsequently takes down all of the men violently without ever transforming into the Hulk but still using his gamma powers.
Since his strength derives from gamma energy, Bruce Banner doesn’t have to transform into the Hulk to be able to use his powers. Creepily, Banner takes a punch that would knock anyone else out without flinching while beating the group of strong men without even being scratched. It’s terrifying to see Banner able to use his powers without becoming the Jade Giant. But, the Hulk’s powers don’t obey the laws of physics, as they come from another realm. So, he didn’t need to transform to channel his amazing abilities in this fight.
Banner’s cold human form taking out the diner patrons was terrifying. It showed that even though he has struggled to control his transformations into the Hulk, Banner could use his gamma powers without becoming a monster. Ultimately, the comic proves Bruce Banner doesn’t need to Hulk out to be a powerful, menacing threat, and nobody should underestimate him no matter his current form.
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