The Marvel Universe has numerous superheroes with truly remarkable superpowers. From telepathy to superhuman strength, these powers are used by the heroes to save the world from evil. But, with unique powers come even more unique personalities. It’s definitely desirable for a hero to be the paragon of humanity, but where’s the fun in that? Captain America is quite amazing, undoubtedly. But his inherent goodness and moral righteousness sometimes make the story arcs unbearable. And that’s where chaotic heroes enter.
Equipped with a dangerous persona and an almost diabolical nature, the anti-heroes of Marvel are the ones who add the spice to stories. Enter, James Howlett aka The Wolverine. One of the most popular X-Men characters, Wolverine is not your conventional hero. The cigar-smoking, whiskey-drinking mutant is known for his nasty temper and brutish nature. Blessed with the ability of regeneration, Wolverine can regenerate from wounds which can turn a mortal into pulp. From gunshots to getting obliterated into smithereens, Wolverine has always returned back from the dead. His regenerative ability was tested to its limit when Wolverine was able to regenerate from a single drop of blood. Technically, an unkillable killing machine! His adamantium skeleton makes him one of the most dangerous fighters. When the strongest metal is paired with an insane regenerative ability, it practically grants immortality to the Wolverine.
Despite such remarkable powers, the Wolverine is not the only devilish hero who can take a shotgun blast to the face and survive. Bruce Banner aka The Incredible Hulk takes the cake when it truly comes to surviving. A mild-mannered scientist, Bruce Banner is one of the most intelligent people on the planet. In a freak accident which exposed him to fatal levels of gamma radiation, Dr. Banner instead turned into the raging green monster called the Hulk. Like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-esque story, Dr. Banner turns into the Hulk when emotionally stressed. As the Hulk, he gains unimaginable super-strength and durability. As the Hulk resides inside Bruce Banner, the green monster’s survival capabilities are truly legendary. From surviving in the cold vacuum of space to being able to sustain planetary level destruction, the Hulk is another unkillable being. His physiology has no finite limit to his strength. His strength increases proportionately with his anger levels, which makes him an extremely dangerous fighter. Over the years, Bruce Banner has been able to control the Hulk, which makes him the ultimate machine of destruction. Banner’s genius intellect and Hulk’s invincible body has taken down cosmic beings with ease.
Despite being heroes, fans have always wondered who would win if the Wolverine and the Hulk fought. Wolverine’s unparalleled regenerative ability against Hulk’s invulnerability is something we wish to see be settled once and for all. In the comics, the Wolverine and the Hulk have fought a few times. In Old Man Logan, Wolverine had to fight an evil Hulk who had an incestuous relationship with his cousin, the She-Hulk. The Hulk and his evil offsprings killed Wolverine’s entire family which enraged the Wolverine. In a final showdown, the Hulk swallowed Logan only to meet his demise. Wolverine tore down the Hulk’s inside and emerged out, alive.
In the Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk set in Earth-1610, the Hulk rips apart the Wolverine into two. Sent by Nick Fury to kill the Hulk, the Wolverine finds his upper torso ripped apart from his legs and thrown apart. But his regenerative ability helped him to survive as he dragged himself to his severed legs and attached them. In the Ultimate Universe, the Hulk was powerful enough to rip apart Adamantium!
But the question arises, what would happen if these two seemingly immortal beings fought each other in the main universe? Well, it has been actually answered in the World War Hulk storyline.
Exposure to a gamma bomb makes the Hulk lose all control and attack Las Vegas. As a result, the Illuminati deems the Hulk to be too dangerous to be left on the planet. As a result, they trick him into entering Earth’s orbit in a spaceship. The Illuminati planned the spaceship to land on a peaceful planet, but accidentally it landed on the planet of Sakaar.
Taken as a slave gladiator, the Hulk was ordered to fight other gladiators on the planet. The ruler of Sakaar was Red King who took pleasure in such fights. Thor: Ragnarok derives some elements of the Planet Hulk storyline when Thor lands in Sakaar and fights Thor.
The Hulk defeats everyone, frees Silver Surfer and flees. As the events unfold, the Hulk defeats the Red King and marries Caiera, a loyal subordinate of the Red King who later betrayed him upon learning his true intentions. Caiera becomes pregnant with the Hulk’s child and they both lead a peaceful life. But unfortunately, the spaceship which had carried Hulk to Sakaar exploded as per its self destruct command, killing Caiera and her unborn child. Enraged, the Hulk came back to Earth to punish the Avengers.
The enraged Hulk defeated most heroes of Earth. Unsurprisingly, Wolverine was one of the few remaining ones. As their fight ensued, the Hulk baited Wolverine to use his claws and maim his eyes. Falling for the trap, Wolverine came close to the Hulk. Using his massive physique, the Hulk caught hold of Wolverine and started punching him with dangerous precision.
Remember, this Hulk had the brains of Bruce Banner. Despite Wolverine’s insane regenerative powers, the Hulk repeatedly smashed Logan’s skull, traumatising him. As his brain was squashed in his adamantium skull, Wolverine survived the physical assault but the trauma was too much for him. The Hulk gave him thousands of concussions and finally incapacitated him. And, that is how you effectively use brains and brawns to even take down an unkillable killing machine.
With the X-Men now a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, maybe a Hulk vs Wolverine showdown can really take place on the silver screen. Let a fan hope.