Despite the characters of David Banner and the Hulk being portrayed time and time again by actors like Eric Bana, Edward Norton and Mark Ruffalo, we all know who the real Hulk is: Lou Ferrigno.
The Incredible Hulk series started in 1978, making this year the 40th anniversary of the show. While, yes, we know that Banner technically died in 1990’s The Death of the Incredible Hulk, we’re just going to forget about that and pretend that Banner’s storyline ended with “A Minor Problem,” where he had to find an antidote to a deadly bacterium to save the few residents let in a small town, along with himself.
As we know, Banner always manages to solve the case, so what was his next stop across the country?
We imagine it went something like this…
Since the show ended in 1982, it seems that his natural next stop would be the beaches of California… where he would finally come to terms with his “abilities.” Muscles were huge — literally and figuratively — in the '80s. As he walked along the beach in sunny SoCal, contemplating his next move, he noticed a group of men lifting weights.
“These guys look like ‘Hulk,’” he thought. “Well, aside from the green skin.”
Later that day, Banner stopped at a local mall and picked up a couple of neon fitness outfits. While they were a little big on him at the moment, he wanted to make sure that if he “hulked out,” he didn’t rip his brand new shirts. The next day, he went back to the beach and got to know the muscle men. When he dropped a weight on his foot, he turned, but the muscle men accepted him as he was.
“Bro,” one of them said, “You’re like, totally ripped.”
After a while, the more he focused on his fitness, the less time he spent traveling, and the less trouble he got himself in.
As the '90s rolled around, Banner continued his fitness regimen and his outbursts continued to be few and far between. He got really into grunge music and it was a great outlet for his frustrations. Sometimes, when he started getting angry, he would take his Walkman and head out into the wilderness until he calmed down. Of course, he would still hulk out from time to time when his Tamagotchi died, his dial-up internet took too long to load, or he lost his wallet — but this was solved when he finally got himself a handy new wallet chain.
While Banner made significant strides in controlling his anger, nothing was as effective as yoga. While the practice has been a huge part of Eastern lifestyles, it swept the Western world in the '90s as a method of exercise and relaxation. While Banner was hesitant to give it a try, he quickly realized how beneficial it was to clear his mind. When he feels a “hulk out” coming on, he focuses on his breathing, just like he learned in his beginner classes. He hasn’t had a full-fledged episode in nearly 10 years. He met a new woman in one of his yoga classes and the two live in California, where he guest lectures at the University of Southern California.
It’s been a long, harrowing road for Banner, but 40 years after The Incredible Hulk started airing, it’s good to know he finally got his happy ending. We think.