What’s the deal with the Hulk?

The many faces of the green Goliath have challenged fans of the comic book hero and the movie-going public unfamiliar with the man-monster known as the Hulk. Each time he has appeared on screen, the Hulk’s face has been modeled after the actor playing Bruce Banner. The latest model seen in the 2012 Avengers trailer is based on Mark Ruffalo and appears brutish.

Each time the Hulk appears, the audience has to re-evaluate his look. Is he a brutish primitive, a gentle giant, a muscle-bound ogre or something entirely different? It sounds like I’m splitting hairs here, but look at the images in this post and you’ll how different the Hulk can look.

2012 Hulk in The Avengers

Mark Ruffalo

The previous Hulk from 2008′s film bore a resemblance to Edward Norton’s intense facial expressions.

2008 Incredible Hulk

Edward Norton

The most controversial Hulk could be the soft-faced model based on Eric Bana, star of the divisive 2003 Hulk movie.

2003 Hulk

Eric Bana

Perhaps most damning of the Ang Lee film is this footage of an abandoned animatronic Hulk… Ah, what could have been.

Of course the most familiar face of the Hulk for ages was seen in the TV series starring Lou Ferrigno. Green body paint, a wig and prosthetic brow made the actor into the popular creature.

1978-1982 Incredible Hulk

The common complaint in these live action Hulks is that it bares no resemblance to the ‘real Hulk’ seen in the printed page. With so many artists’ interptretations of the Hulk, that’s impossible to realize… but here are a few that may show just how different the Hulk can appear.

2009 Modern Hulk by Djurdjevic

2005 Modern Hulk by Lee Weeks

Hulk by Sal Buscema

Hulk by John Byrne

Hulk by Paul Pelletier

Hulk by Todd McFarlane

Hulk by Ed McGuinness

Hulk by Gabriel Hardman

Hulk by Dale Keown

1963 era Hulk by Jack Kirby

One more from the King