I've always wondered about the parallels between Bruce Banner and Dr Jekyll. Both are good natured men of science and both transform into questionable alter egos...

Is there any evidence that Bruce Banner was based on the character created by Robert Louis Stevenson?

  • Maybe based on, but there're quite a few major differences man. I mean Dr.Jekyll wanted to change, but it got off hands, and even if he knew he was drifting away, he still did it knowing it will eventually be impossible to turn back. Hulk however turns unwillingly and even the first transformation was the result of an accident. Nov 19, 2015 at 19:24
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    Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what you're saying, but, as I recall, Dr. Jekyll had no idea that it would eventually be impossible to turn back.  Also, I suspect that you meant to say "it got out of hand". Nov 19, 2015 at 20:01
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    I can't find the panel, but in Deadpool Killustrated, Deadpool realises that all Marvel characters are influenced by literary figures, decides if he can leap into the literary multiverse and kill their influential origins he can destroy the Marvel characters completely. I believe Jekyll and Hyde make an appearance, so there may be a canonical answer to this!
    – user20155
    Nov 20, 2015 at 4:48
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    So I went looking and found the Red Hulk, but no Hulk :(
    – user20155
    Nov 21, 2015 at 2:35

4 Answers 4


Yes, Stan Lee said he was inspired by Jekyll/Hyde and Frankenstein's Monster

Lee explained this in an interview with Rolling Stone

When you read the first issue of the Incredible Hulk, it doesn’t seem like a superhero title at all – it feels more in the vein of the monster comics you had been writing beforehand. How conscious was that direction?

I was getting tired of the normal superheroes and I was talking to my publisher. He said, "What kind of new hero can we come up with?" I said, "How about a good monster?" He just walked out of the room. I remembered Jekyll and Hyde, and the Frankenstein movie with Boris Karloff and it always seemed to me that the monster was really the good guy; he didn't want to hurt anybody, but those idiots kept chasing him up the hill until he had to strike back. So why not get a guy who looks like a monster and really doesn't want to cause any harm. But he has to in self-defense, because people are always attacking him.

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    "[...]I decided I might as well borrow from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as well—our protagonist would constantly change from his normal identity to his superhuman alter ego and back again." (Lee, Stan (1974). Origins of Marvel Comics. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster/Marvel Fireside Books. p. 75. ISBN 0-671-21863-8.)
    – apollo
    Mar 9, 2016 at 8:35

Yes, in part:

[Stan] Lee said that the Hulk's creation was inspired by a combination of Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

This quote is from the Hulk Wikipedia page, and sourced from DeFalco, Tom (May 5, 2003). The Hulk: The Incredible Guide. London: Dorling Kindersley. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-7894-9260-9.


I went searching for a canonical explanation behind any simialrities, and unfortunately, neither the Hulk, Banner, Jekyll or Hyde show up in Deadpool Killustrated - where Deadpool jumps into the 'Ideaverse' to kill the classical literary inspirations behind the Marvel characters.

However, I did find evidence that General Thaddius "Thunderbolt" Ross is inspired by Captain Ahab, forever hunting his 'White whale', the Hulk.

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Yes in a autobiography of there work on the hulk he explained that the creature was based of of Frakensteins monster and that Bruce Banner pulled from Dr.Jekyll

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