I loved the Hulk as a child. I mean, what wasn’t there to like about the big guy? He was a bad ass, the Chuck Norris of the comics. And he was the typical Marvel character, troubled on many levels. Bruce Banner did not want to be the Hulk, it wasn’t a power he reveled in. But when he was the Hulk he became the most powerful can of whupass on the planet. No other super being could stand against him. Not Namor, not Ironman, not even Thor, though the hammer was quite an equalizer. Namor always got weaker out of water, while the Hulk never got weaker, so that fight was over as soon as it began. Ironman hit the Hulk with a jet, and probably got billed by the Air Force for destruction of Government property. And all it did was stun the big green guy long enough for Ironman to get out of Dodge. The Thing always wanted to think he was a match for the Hulk, but he never stood a chance. Because the Hulk had unlimited strength, the madder he got the stronger he got, and there was no limit to his rage. He was very good at smashing things that got in his way. He was even proficient as breaking things he really hadn’t set out to break, like the jet fighter he just happened to pass through on his way back to the ground after a leap. He broke things but didn’t really kill people, at least in the comics. In the modern movie version it was insinuated that he did kill people, but not out of any desire to kill. He was a bull in the china shop, and our fragile bodies were china compared to his muscular physique.
But the greatest thing about the Hulk to a child was his motivation. He was not really a hero, not really a villain, and a little of both. Sometimes he saved the world. But it was when he blundered into some situation and had to fight his way out that he foiled the plans of the villain based on world conquest or destruction. Mostly he just wanted to be left alone. And the bullies of the world, the militaries of the United States or Russia, or aliens, or evil people bent of conquest, would not leave him alone. Just as the bullies in school would not leave an intelligent child with a lot of imagination alone. But unlike the child, the Hulk could do something about it. He could smash, and drive the bullies away for just a short moment. They always came back, but he was always ready for them.
The other attractive part of the Hulk was the Bruce Banner character, who was always self sacrificing in his attempts to try and keep the beast from going on a rampage among civilization. This didn’t always work, because again and again the bullies tried to capture him in his weakest form, and would trigger the transformation into the unstoppable engine of destruction. Then afterwards Banner would calm down and the Hulk would revert to human form, with no memories of what happened. Sort of like a drunken blackout. But that’s another topic for another time.