This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Rebecca Banner" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (February 2021) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Rebecca Banner
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceIncredible Hulk #267
(January 1982)
Created byBill Mantlo
Sal Buscema
In-story information
Full nameRebecca Banner
Place of originEarth-616
Supporting character ofHulk

Rebecca Banner (née Drake) is a fictional character, a supporting character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. She is the mother of Bruce Banner, who would grow up to be the gamma-powered superhero known as the Hulk.

Publication history

Created by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema, the character made her first appearance in Incredible Hulk #267 (January 1982).

Fictional character biography

Rebecca Banner was the mother of Bruce Banner who eventually grew up to become the superhero known as The Hulk. During college Rebecca met, fell in love and eventually married Brian Banner and was anxious to start a family with him but he didn't feel the same way as she did given his own troubled past. Brian never shared his personal history with her or of his desire to never have any children, but he couldn't help but fall in love with Rebecca and marry her. After college and getting married, Brian became the youngest person to graduate with a Ph.D. and a degree in physics, his post-graduate options were unlimited but he settled on going to Los Alamos to work on a government project to find a source for clean nuclear radiation so that he could support both him and Rebecca. The stress of the job led Brian to start drinking which also led him to become more erratic and quick to anger with Rebecca and his fellow employees. Despite his behavior Rebecca stayed with Brian hoping things would turn out ok.[volume & issue needed]

After one night of excessive drinking, Brian tried to work on his project and accidentally caused an overload of the equipment. Brian was court-martialed and released from the project; even though he was behind a shield when the overload occurred and multiple doctors examined him and found nothing, Brian still felt that some amount of radiation got through and affected his genetic structure and was even more convinced not to have any children. Brian eventually found another job and started to try and pull his life together when Rebecca announced that she was pregnant, even though Rebecca was happy to have child and finally start a family, Brian was shocked and afraid. Rebecca had some problems during the pregnancy and giving birth to their son 'Bruce'; although the complications were not known to the Doctors, Brian feared and suspected it was because of the Gamma-Radiation from his lab accident and started to become afraid of Bruce. After Bruce's birth in Dayton, Ohio, he was kept in extensive care for observation and examination at the hospital, but the doctors still found nothing out of the ordinary with him. He was also examined for any trace radiation due to Brian's exposure but none was detected. Even so, Brian still thought that something was wrong with Bruce, and would try to spend as little time as possible with him, worrying Rebecca in the process. When Brian and Rebecca would go away, they would leave Bruce with a nanny who showed no affection or attention towards Bruce, making him feel isolated.[volume & issue needed]

One Christmas morning, when Bruce was approximately four years old, he woke up early and snuck down to the Christmas tree, opened one of his presents (which was an erector set), and managed to put together an intricate structure in a short time. When Brian came down and saw it, he grew angry and smashed the structure, and started yelling at Bruce and calling him a freak; saying that a child his age should not be able to do that. Brian had become more convinced that the radiation form his accident had altered Bruce's brain, making him a super-smart metahuman. When Rebecca heard the commotion and saw what was happening she tried to calm Brian down and protect Bruce, but it still didn't stop Brian from hitting her; when Bruce became frightened and tried to run to his mother, Brian hit him, too. Brian looked at Bruce and called him an inhuman monster, he also admitted he never wanted a child in the first place; from then on Rebecca and Bruce would be terrorized and abused by Brian whenever he had a temper-tantrum.[volume & issue needed]

A few years later, after much physical and mental abuse, Rebecca packs suitcases for her and Bruce, and tries to escape Brian permanently. As she was outside with Bruce about to drive away, Brian catches them at the car before they leave and starts to struggle with Rebecca again. Bruce yells to his father to let his mother go and that he will be good but Brian throws Rebecca to the ground smashing her head and kills her by accident. Bruce runs to her side and just sits there frozen in shock beside her lifeless body, it's at this point where Bruce shuts down his emotions and become a repressed personality. After that Brian was placed under arrest and sent to a mental hospital, while Bruce is sent to live with his aunt and mother's sister, Susan Drake. When he grew older, Bruce attended Science High School. Due to his extremely high intelligence level and the fact that he had for all practical purposes turned off his emotions years ago, he had no friends at the school and was subjected to harassment. The headmaster showed concern for Bruce and his unresolved anger and feelings about his father and his mother's murder.[volume & issue needed]

During the Chaos War storyline, Rebecca Banner (alongside Brian Banner) is among the characters that return from the dead after what happened to the death realms. Brian in a form similar to Devil Hulk tries to kill her again only for the Hulk/Bruce to save her and fight his father head-on.[volume & issue needed]

Other versions

Hulk: The End

In an alternate future where Rebecca, along with the rest of humanity, except for the Hulk, had long since died more than 100 years ago after a nuclear war spread across the planet. Bruce Banner at the age of 200, thanks to the power of the Hulk' started dying from a heart attack, but before he succumbs to his death, he sees a vision of a paradise where all his loved ones, including Rebecca, were waiting for him with open arms.[volume & issue needed]

House of M

In the House of M timeline created by the Scarlet Witch, Dr. Brian Banner believes his son Bruce' to be a metahuman monster created through the radiation he experimented with and attempts to kill him in fear and paranoia. He murders his wife Rebecca when she gets in his way and tries to stop him killing their son; but before he can harm Bruce too, Brian is shot to death by policemen who were alerted and arrived at the scene' saving Bruce.[volume & issue needed]

In other media



1. The Incredible Hulk Vol 1 #267