a blank Incredible Hulk # 01 cover commission by Rahmat.
Sigmund Freud’s concepts of the ID, the EGO, and the SUPER-EGO always plays in my head when I read the Hulk.
The ID is the animal part of your brain. That’s the part that wants to make babies, eat/drink, sleep, and generally survive. The Hulk is an ID made manifest (most of the time, anyways). Hulk wants to be left alone, and to be feared (Hulk is the Strongest!) so that he can be left alone. Bruce becomes the Hulk when he is angry.
Anger is actually a secondary emotion. It is a reaction that is based in fear. Fear that insults might be true, fear that someone does not feel the same way about you as you do about them, etc.
Anger is a basic coping mechanism. It is a useful one too, which is why people everywhere experience it. Anger is part of who you are, but it is only helpful when it can be controlled and channelled.
The EGO is who you are on a day to day basis. It’s like your basic mode. The EGO is your reality, and for Hulk - it is Bruce Banner. It has downsides too. The EGO is rooted in logic and problem solving, but not in desires and wants. It is a general way of living. Kind of like autopilot.
The SUPER-EGO is who Bruce Banner/Hulk wants to be. It is the goal to be that person, and all of us want it (regardless of whether or not we realize it). Peter David wrote “Smart Hulk” for a while, and that was a literal interpretation of Bruce Banner’s SUPER-EGO. He is super-strong, invulnerable, and super-smart. He cannot be hurt, but he is not a monster.
Not sure where I’m going with this, but it is thought provoking stuff.