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Capes On the Couch - Where Comics Get Counseling

Dec 5, 2018

We cover the Incredible Hulk. And for a character this large, we need help, so we called upon our friends at Popcorn Psychology to guest host with us! This is our biggest and most fun episode yet, with a group therapy session you'll have to hear to believe! Listen now!


  • Introduction

  • Background

    • Created by Stan Lee (RIP) and Jack Kirby in The Incredible Hulk #1 (May 1962)

    • Robert Bruce Banner saves young Rick Jones from detonation of a gamma bomb, but in the process gets hit with radiation – when angered or stressed, turns into a large green (originally gray) hulking creature

    • Goes on to help found the Avengers, but leaves team shortly thereafter because of inability to cooperate with other heroes

    • Military discovers Hulk’s true identity and begins a hunt for him, led by General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross and Major Glenn Talbot

    • Banner is in love with Betty Ross, the General’s daughter, but she also has feelings for Talbot

    • Banner’s control over the Hulk, and the Hulk’s intelligence, waxed & waned throughout the decades

    • At one point in the mid-1980s, Banner and the Hulk were two separate entities, but were eventually rejoined in 1986

    • Later “Joe Fixit”, a Vegas enforcer and handyman was introduced, as another persona

    • In the 1990s, the different versions of the Hulk and Banner merge into the “Professor” persona – contains Banner’s intelligence, Grey Hulk’s cunning, and Savage Hulk’s power

    • 2006 – Planet Hulk/World War Hulk – the Illuminati decide Hulk is too dangerous and send him away – intended to go to desolate planet, but crashes on Sakaar – he becomes champion of the planet, and gets married to Caiera, who gives him 2 sons – she dies, and Hulk returns to Earth to take revenge on Illuminati

    • Bruce is shot in the head, and Iron Man used Extremis technology to heal him – this had the side effect of creating Doc Green, a super-intelligent Hulk

    • Original Sin – we discover that Tony Stark altered the gamma bomb that created the Hulk, but it’s later revealed that his tampering ensured the bomb wouldn’t disintegrate everyone within the blast radius, so Tony saved Bruce’s life

    • Axis – Inverted morality Bruce becomes Kluh, who handily defeats rest of the Avengers until Brother Voodoo is resurrected and Wanda’s inversion is undone

    • All-New Hulk – Amadeus Cho becomes the new Hulk, after using nanites to absorb the Hulk and leave Banner alone

    • Civil War II – Banner is killed by Hawkeye, who revealed that Banner ordered Hawkeye to kill him if he ever tried to turn back into the Hulk

    • Banner was mystically resurrected a few times since then for use in battle, but always returned to death

    • Recently revealed that Banner is alive, and the Hulk has returned

  • Issues (24:36)

    • A metaphor for impulse control disorders, especially intermittent explosive

    • Radiation doesn’t turn you into the Hulk – what does it do?

    • Paranoia over constantly being hunted/tracked

    • Dissociation of different identities/personas

    • Reluctant hero – like many others, doesn’t want this power/responsibility

  • Treatment (59:59)

    • In-universe

    • Out of universe (78:12)

  • Skit (97:02)


  • Randy Orton - Anthony - 32:15
  • Up - Cone of shame - 71:44

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