The madder #Hulk gets, the stronger he gets — but could the Green Goliath ever become angry enough to take down an actual god? Comic book fans have argued for years over who would win in a grudge match between #Thor and the Hulk, but most of their comic book brawls end in a draw, because comic book writers are too scared to whip up an Asgardian storm among fans.
Check out Hulk and Thor battle it out in the first Thor: Ragnarok trailer:
Step forward Stan Lee, the creator of both characters and all-round overseer of the Marvel Universe at large. During a Q&A with KJ Ricci, a Leukaemia survivor who interviewed his idol at Rhode Islands Comic Con, Lee finally revealed a definitive winner, 54 years after Goldilocks and the Hulk first appeared in Marvel Comics.
“I would have to say Thor because as strong as Hulk is, he’s still mortal. Thor is one of the Norse gods.”
Stan does make a fair point. Thor is an actual god, after all, which is why it was surprising to see Chris Hemsworth struggle to match the Hulk's strength in the MCU. Then again though, the Green Goliath also took down Loki, so does this logic apply? Taking a closer look at this ongoing grudge match in the comics should shed some light on the matter.
Journey Into Mystery #112 (1965)
In one of their earliest fights, Thor recounts a time when the Hulk turned 'evil' following his ejection from the Avengers roster.
For some reason, the Asgardian warrior decided it would make sense to ask his father, Odin, to remove his hammer from the battle in order to make things fairer. Surprisingly, this didn't result in Goldilocks's face being smashed over and over, but it probably couldn't have hurt to retain Mjolnir's powers of flight and control over lightning.
While the Asgardian held his own thanks to centuries of fighting experience, Thor and the Hulk were eventually separated, so no clear victor emerged.
Incredible Hulk #440 (1996)
Decades later, the Hulk's ongoing rivalry with Thor resurfaced when the US Army grew concerned that Bruce Banner could be slowly turning into the Maestro, an evil version of the Hulk who took over the world in a particularly dark future timeline. How did they know about this? Comics.
As the Hulk was hiding out in the Antarctic, the only innocent bystanders who could be potentially hurt were penguins and they're surprisingly resilient creatures, so the resulting fight between Thor and the Hulk became a no-holds barred affair.
Despite putting their all into the fight, Goldilocks and the Green Goliath were too evenly matched once again... That is, until the US military decided to end things by firing a nuke directly at the Hulk's face. While the Jolly Green Giant survived like the giant emerald cockroach he is, once again, there was no clear winner.
Fear Itself (2011)
Ever thought that the Hulk needed a weapon to balance things out? Neither did we, but that didn't stop the God of Fear from taking control of the Hulk and bestowing him with a hammer of his own. The newly crowned Nul, Breaker of Worlds became an agent of chaos during Marvel's Fear Itself crossover, forcing Thor to step up and take on his rival and ally once again.
Even though the odds were clearly against him, Goldilocks actually managed to knock the Hulk into outer space, who then reverted back to his puny human form when he landed halfway across the Earth. Thor fainted with exhaustion right after, but don't hold that against him.
The only issue with this fight is that Thor previously struggled to take on the Hulk solo, yet here he manages to defeat a powered-up, weaponized Green Goliath alongside other super-strong allies, leading some to question the validity of this particular storyline.
Winner: Thor... kinda.
Incredible Hulk Annual Vol 1 (2001)
If there's one thing we've learned from years and years of fights between the Hulk and Thor, it's that the two are evenly matched, to a frustrating extent. Trust Asgardian royalty to resort to foul play then...
In a sneak attack that rivals Loki's takedown of the MCU's Asgard, Thor knocked the Green Goliath out completely with a cheeky lightning bolt to the back of his head. Seems strange that some stormy weather could knock out the Hulk when a nuke couldn't, but who are we to judge?
Hulk soon had his revenge though — As Thor carried sleeping beauty off to god knows where, the Green Goliath woke up and beat the Asgardian into unconsciousness, making his win short-lived indeed.
Winner: Thor... for a very, very short time.
See what happens when the Hulk plays nice and helps make cookies in the video below:
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Whether you think that Thor should be ultimate victor here or not, it's hard to argue with the man who created both of these iconic characters way back in the early '60s. I for one am just happy that I finally have an answer to this age-old question, as it's been tough going this long with so many sleepless nights. Let's just hope the fight between the God of Thunder and Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok honors Stan Lee's wishes too. Excelsior!
Who do you think would win in a fight between the Hulk and Thor?
Source via Comicbook.com. Poll Image Credit: Marvel Studios