He goes by many names: The Jade Giant, Green Goliath, The Strongest One There Is, and so on. All the same, Hulk aka Bruce Banner is one of the most powerful and iconic Marvel characters to ever exist. He has become best known for his incredible musculature and limitless strength. It’s inconceivable to many that a brute such as the Hulk has been involved in various relationships over the years. But the truth is he has! This would prompt some to wonder what his sexual orientation is. Is he gay, bisexual, or straight?
The Hulk, or Bruce Banner if you like, is portrayed as a straight character in the comics as well as the MCU. In the comics, Bruce/Hulk was only involved with women including Betty Ross, Nadia Blonsky, Katherine Wynsboro, Caiera, Jarella, Thundra, and many more. In the MCU, he was involved with Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow.
One would argue that the Hulk and Banner are two separate entities. However, both of them share a similar sexual orientation, so we’ll treat them as one. This article will explore Hulk’s dating history in the comics as well as the MCU to determine what the Jade Giant’s true sexual inclination is. So, if you’re interested in finding more on this topic, be sure to read till the end for what is truly an enlightening piece!
What is Hulk’s Sexual Orientation in the Comics?
To understand the Hulk’s sexual orientation, we must, first of all, understand how he came to be.
His first appearance was in 1962’s The Incredible Hulk #1. Bruce Banner, a theoretical physicist studying gamma radiation, was recruited by General Thunderbolt Ross to develop the first Gamma Bomb. However, during an experiment, things went awry and Bruce Banner was exposed to extreme amounts of Gamma Radiation which his body absorbed turning him into a gigantic green monster.
The green monster was an alter ego of Bruce Banner and he would transform into the Hulk when he was under extreme emotional stress, particularly anger. Over the years, we would see various incarnations of the Hulk develop, with some of them being completely different people sharing the name. This time, we’ll focus on the relationship history of the original Hulk, Bruce Banner in the comics.
In the comics, the Hulk has been portrayed as being a straight character, being involved with numerous women in his run in the comics. I’m referring to Bruce and the Hulk as one entity instead of two. This is because Bruce was straight in the comics and even when the Hulk came out he was still straight.
That said, there is evidence in the comics to back this claim of Hulk being straight. In the comics, Hulk (or Banner, whichever fits) was involved with:
Betty Ross- Betty Ross is one of Bruce Banner’s most significant loves and the two were actually married in the comics. She’s the only one capable of taming the anger and aggression akin to his Hulk side. Their story doesn’t pan out so well as Betty dies, before being brought back as the Harpy and later on becoming Red She-Hulk.
Katherine Wynsboro- Dr. Katherine Waynesboro was a biophysicist sent by S.H.I.E.L.D. to spy on Banner by posing as his assistant. Eventually, though, the two would fall in love and it all culminates in Kate resigning from S.H.I.E.L.D. to be with Bruce as his assistant and lover.
Nadia Blonsky- Nadia Blonsky was the wife of Emil Blonsky, who transforms into The Abomination. She was sent by the KGB to help them capture Banner by seducing him but she ends up falling in love with him genuinely. Banner reciprocates her feelings and the two end up having a somewhat complicated relationship.
Jarella- During an experiment with Psyklop, Hulk is shrunk down and finds himself in the subatomic world of K’Ai where he encounters princess Jarella and falls deeply in love. Just when he proposes to her and has a true shot at happiness, his size is restored. The two would continue to date on and off.
Caiera- One of the reasons we got to see one of Hulk’s strongest versions, World Breaker Hulk, was Caiera. She’s one of Hulk’s greatest loves. We meet her in the Planet Hulk storyline where Hulk is stranded on the planet Sakaar. He falls in love with her and she becomes his wife. She even births Hulk twins, Skaar and Hiro-Kala. Things don’t go so well as Caiera and Hulk’s sons are killed and this fuels Hulk’s rage to insane levels giving rise to one of Hulk’s strongest versions.
Thundra- In the alternate storyline Hulk: Raging Thunder, we encounter Thundra who is the leader of an army of Amazonians looking to bring about the end of patriarchy by seeking out and defeating the strongest fighters. This leads them to Hulk whom Thundra falls head over heels for. Their romance, however, is short-lived.
These are just a few of the women that both Banner and the Hulk were involved with in his almost 60-year comics history. Others include Umar, Zarda the Power Princess, Angela Lipscombe, and so on.
What is Hulk’s Sexual Orientation in the MCU?
As of yet, the MCU really doesn’t feature much of a love story for Bruce Banner/ Hulk. We rarely get to see the character’s romantic side on display. Banner/Hulk’s only romantic interest that was lightly explored was Black Widow aka Natasha Romanoff.
The two first met in Avengers: Infinity War when Natasha is sent to recruit Banner into the Avengers. Even from their first encounter, we don’t see any sparks flying around but we, later on, learn that they have feelings for each other. The only person capable of getting through to Banner in his Hulk form is Natasha but other than that we don’t get to see a “moment” between them.
Later in Avengers: Endgame, Natasha and Smart Hulk meet for the first time in a while and it’s quite awkward. She ends up dying while retrieving the Soul Stone from Vormir and Bruce is devastated. He tries using the Infinity Stones to bring her back but that doesn’t work and he’s all the sadder.
In my humble opinion, the romance between Natasha and Bruce was poorly executed and incredibly underwhelming. The producers would have been better off just leaving things as they were instead of toying with us so.
The producers will have to redeem themselves and we’re lucky enough that the Hulk’s story is far from over in the MCU. Heck, we even got to see him in the series She-Hulk: Attorney At Law so maybe there’ll be something in there or even in future MCU Phases.
The Bottom Line: Is the Hulk Gay, Bisex, or Straight?
In conclusion, if you consider the Bruce/Hulk’s loves in the comics and MCU as well, it’s safe to say that he’s straight. He was only ever involved with members of the opposite sex. There’s no evidence in the character’s history both in comics and on-screen that would make me doubt this assertion.
However, the Hulk’s story is far from done. He’s still an integral part of the MCU and maybe in the future, we’ll get to see a queer Hulk or Bruce Banner. Only time will tell!