Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, the Hulk first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #1 in 1962. The concept of Hulk was primarily taken reference from Frankenstein, Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde, and the figure of Golem from that of the Jewish mythology. It was also clear that the character was another product of an era where the world believed that the America's nuclear power could produce monsters and weird creatures.
Some fun facts about the character during its initial stage. Stan Lee had wanted the character to bear a skin character that would not represent any ethnic group, thus Grey. However, during that time, the colour Grey was hard to be determined correctly during inking and printing. Therefore, during the printing of its first issue, in some copies, the Grey-skinned Hulk may turn out to be Green. From there and then, Stan Lee eventually decided on Green for Hulk.
When naming the Hulk's alter-ego, Stan Lee had misremembered his character's name in one instance and called him Bob Banner. Somehow, to cover up for that, therefore the full name for him as Robert Bruce Banner at a later time.
During the experimental detonation of a gamma bomb, scientist Bruce Banner rushes to save teenager Rick Jones who has driven onto the testing field; Banner pushes Jones into a trench to save him, but is hit with the blast, absorbing massive amounts of gamma radiation. He awakens later in an infirmary, seeming relatively unscathed, but that night transforms into a lumbering grey form that breaks through the wall and escapes.
Truth had it that Bruce was actually cured of his ordeal of transforming into Hulk by The Incredible Hulk #4. But he had later decided to resume the power, but retained the brilliant mind of Bruce Banner after the transformation.
Hulk is also noted as one of the 5 founding members of the superhero team The Avengers. After certain events, he also founded The Defenders with some other superheroes, with the likes of Dr. Strange.
The big guy went through several evolution and changes depicted by his mental status, level of intelligence, skin colour and strength, through much dramatic and twining story plots, which eventually sees him at a somewhat levelled state where he is strong and yet with the intelligence of Bruce Banner.
The Red Hulk, however is another character althogether, with his alter-ego as Robert Ross (aka General Thaddeus E. "Thunderbolt" Ross), father to Bruce Banner's love interest Betty Ross. We will perhaps have a separate column for the scarlet skinned fella later on.