Greyness of the Hulk
‘Hulk not monster!’ So yells the Hulk, as he slams stuff… monstrously… In ‘Hulk: Gray’ by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, we’re reminded of how the Hulk was first featured grey (not green) in the comics, of how anger, as embodied by him is not really ‘black or white’ but ‘black and white’ – because as much as his anger can be righteous at times, it is often destructive too.
The Hulk is really incredible not just for the feats he is capable of doing when angry, but because he is a truly classic personification of the nature of rage. For instance, the Hulk becomes stronger when he is more furious. Yet, he is limited by rashness and lack of clear-mindedness in proportion too – to the extent that his spoken vocabulary becomes simplistic and limited. ‘Hulk smash!’
Yet, thankfully, the Hulk still has enough mindfulness to pull off more heroic feats that horrific ones. A case of being able to transmute the raw energy of anger for altruistic use. If this wasn’t the case, he would be a truly loose canon, who is deemed more a villain than a hero. But still, the Hulk remains an ironic and tragic character – because it is not exactly that he gets a kick out of being mad, but that he does suffer from being so, because his powers lead to both heroism and demonisation.
Sometimes, he does accidentally hurt even Betty, the love of his life accidentally… though his fierce love had protected her many a time too. Yet, without his involvement with Betty, which made him continually persecuted by her father General Ross, she would need little protection. While Ross and the Hulk demonise each other, it’s a dilemma as to who is more monstrous or humane at times. Yes, Hulk matters… are truly grey. A lot like life.