Incredible Hulk Psychology

Incredible_Hulk_Vol_1_273

This essay is from a SCOD video on the Marvel Hulk comic-books. Is the system working for you? Do you work for the system? Do you have a balance?? Dr. Banner worked within the nuclear science field, and was cursed with the alter-ego of the Hulk after a gamma-bomb test radiation accident. The main over-arching human theme of the ‘System vs Individuals’ originated because the military industrial complex created the Hulk, and Banner uses technology to handle his Hulk problem, but he is always chased by the military as a terrorist because the The Incredible Hulk was very aggressively anarchist libertarian (in effect by savage nature, not due to political ideology) due to his resistance to authority and desire to be left alone. In ‘Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World’s Greatest Comics’Les Daniels addresses the Hulk as an embodiment of cultural fears of radiation and nuclear science. He quotes Jack Kirby: “As long as we’re experimenting with radioactivity, there’s no telling what may happen, or how much our advancements in science may cost us.” Daniels continues, “The Hulk became Marvel’s most disturbing embodiment of the perils inherent in the atomic age.”

The main character core theme for individual psychology is obviously anger (but also fear) as one part of the aggressive/passive dichotomy paradigm; because anger is the main catalyst for his change, and calmness allows the beast to sleep within him again. A third theme might be danger/safety (violence/gentleness), survival regardless of emotions. A fourth theme could be the stoic sadness of living with guilt and responsibility for problems. Humans are animals, but we seek to control our id, ego, and emotions for the sake of society and civilization. The Hulk deals with debates about man and monster, where does one personality end and the other begin??  Oddly enough, his rage doesn’t make him evil or the antagonist in the story. Can he be both a hero and an anti-hero?? Originally the Hulk transformed at night (1962), then randomly. It was not until after about the 30th comic book (1966) with Hulk in it [Tales To Astonish #80], that ANGER became his main catalyst for transformation. Hulk influenced popular culture so much, that the term ‘hulk out’ means to get enraged and rampage. “Don’t make me angry; you won’t like me when I’m angry.” – Dr. Banner (TV show)

Dr. Banner is a scientist dealing with some serious mental issues. As he evolves, so does his monstrous manifestation. The egos of the various incarnations exist within Banner, as Banner exists within them. The metaphor being that our different personality aspects and phases of life exist within us. Who we ‘really are’ does not have to be limited to just one personality, or set of emotional responses. I actually cannot think of a depiction that does not consider them within each-other as they are obviously connected, even if they are also beings in their individual ways.

The Jekyll-Hyde story is not just about literal appearance differences; also about mental disorders and addiction, physical (chemical) and mental bi-polar and border-line… all kinds of things to think about with split-personality concepts (not the diagnosis but the reality of how emotions can be overly intense with many people, making them seem like different people when they experience them).

[More will be added later to this article, like illustrations of the Evolution of Hulk; and more story plot points and descriptions.]

Youtube video:  Incredible Hulk Comics 1970-1990

Youtube video:  Incredible Hulk fan tribute collage – ‘evolution montage’

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: