When you think of the Hulk, romance is probably not the first thing that pops into your mind. However, the angry green brute hides a soft, kind soul within, and Bruce Banner actually had numerous love interests over the years. If you want to hear more about the Hulk’s love interests in the comics and the MCU, stick around and keep reading this article.
Does Hulk have love interests in the comics?
We usually perceive the Hulk as this brute force behemoth whose only emotion is his undying rage. However, Bruce Banner is essentially his polar opposite – a kind, loving, trustworthy guy who has the strength of the mind as potent as the Hulk’s strength of the body.
Those personality traits tend to surface even when Banner is in his Hulk form, so both of them have their own romantic interests. That being said, Hulk’s first and true love has always been Betty Ross.
Doctor Elizabeth Ross worked as a scientist at Culver University and developed a deep bond with Dr. Banner. Much like Natasha Romanoff in the MCU, Betty could calm Bruce down when he became the Hulk and got angry. Their relationship didn’t have a happy ending, though, much like Bruce and Nat in the MCU.
In the comics, Betty became the Red Harpy, which was essentially a form of Red She-Hulk. Despite Betty being Banner’s key love interest, she wasn’t the only one. Caiera – an alien from Sakaar, where the Hulk was banished by the Illuminati – was probably the most important partner the Green Goliath ever had.
They had a beautiful life together, along with a son named Skaar. Their relationship suffered a very tragic end when Hulk’s family was killed.
Full of grief and rage, the Hulk believed the Illuminati were to blame for what happened, and it led to him becoming the World Breaker Hulk – one of the most powerful versions of the Hulk in the comics ever. His mere footsteps caused continental earthquakes.
He was huge then but absolutely tiny when he got shrunken to the subatomic world of K’Ai and met Jarella. She was a warrior member of the royal family in the kingdom of K’ai, and she hit it off with the Hulk almost immediately.
Before you knew it, the happy couple was madly in love and engaged to be wed until the Green Goliath reverted to his regular size, and their relationship somewhat ended. The Hulk still visited Jarella in K’ai from time to time, and she visited him on Earth being sized up. They dated on and off for a while, but it could never work due to the size difference.
Still, the special thing about Jarella was that she absolutely loved both sides of the Hulk – the savage behemoth and the kind, sweet Banner. Both Bruce and the Hulk personas admitted to preferring Jarella over Betty Ross because of that. Unfortunately, Jarella met her end in the Hulk’s arms while she was on Earth-616 with him.
Additionally, the Hulk had somewhat of a short relationship with Zarda, aka the Power Princess, who was a former member of Squadron Supreme. First, they fight over pancakes (literally), then they make up, and then they get close. It’s so close that the Hulk literally says he might eat her… Take it as you wish. This happened in ‘Ultimate Hulk Annual’ Vol. 1 #1.
There are actually many more, believe it or not – some willing, and some against the Hulk’s will. For instance, Umar the Unrelenting was a very evil sister of Dormammu who hypnotized the Hulk into loving her. On the other hand, Nadia Blonsky – the wife of Emil Blonsky, aka Abomination, one of the Hulk’s arch-nemeses, had a fling with Banner.
She was sent on a mission to seduce Bruce, but they ended up actually falling for each other, resulting in a very complicated bond and relationship between the two. On Earth-58163, Bruce Banner had a thing with Monica Rappaccini, an agent who was the Hulk’s ally in a fight against a mutant government’s uprising.
The list goes on with Thundra, Glazier, and Bereet, but those were minor love interests compared to the likes of Jarella, Betty Ross, or Caiera.
Who is Hulk’s love interest in the MCU?
Unfortunately for Bruce and his angry alter-ego, his love interests and relationships hardly ever end up happily. The same can be said for the MCU’s version of the Hulk, as his one and only love interest ended in a tragic death.
That love interest was Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, whose romantic storyline with Banner and Hulk caught some fans by surprise in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron.’ The couple clearly had a lot of emotion for one another, and Nat was the only one who could bring the Hulk to a calm state, resulting in him changing back to Banner.
Unfortunately, before anything more serious could happen, Bruce was exiled to Sakaar, and when he came back to Earth, Thanos happened, and Nat sacrificed herself for the greater good.
Romanoff had a similar role as the Hulk’s love interest in the MCU that Betty Ross had in the comics – both of them having feelings for each other, but it never really materialized into something serious due to various circumstances.
Are Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff love interests in the comics?
The thing about the romantic connection between Natasha and Bruce that caught most people by surprise is that we haven’t seen any chemistry between them in the first ‘Avengers’ film – at least not on the romantic side of things.
But another thing that caught us off-guard is that Nat and Banner never had a romantic relationship of any kind in the comics. They were simply friends due to being active members of the Avengers for quite some time together, but their relationship never went further from being purely platonic.
The MCU writers chose to implement the romantic part of their relationship in the MCU to add depth to both characters, and it really paid off since the characters – and the actors/actresses portraying them – had an amazing chemistry all the way to the end when one of them perished.
You might think the Hulk is just an unhinged savage, but the layers underneath that forceful exterior show a pure heart and a person willing to love and be loved again and again, even if it never seems to work out in the end.
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