Hulk has extraordinary powers, well above that of a normal human being.

Can we say that Hulk is a mutant?

  • 2
    someone with extraordinary powers doesnt have to be a mutant
    – severa
    Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 5:13
  • I don't think one can posses X-genes just by gamma ray exposure...
    – user931
    Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 8:24
  • I assume you are not asking in the real, biological sense of the term but are using mutant in its in-world meaning right?
    – terdon
    Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 3:06
  • Related: scifi.stackexchange.com/q/25036/3804
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 0:25
  • Captain America has abilities well above that of a normal human, he's not a mutant.
    – Robert
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 19:53

10 Answers 10


No. The Hulk is not a mutant. He is a mutate.

  • The distinction is subtle and for all intents and purposes more a matter of how a metahuman acquired their abilities, not necessarily a marker of power, puissance or capacity.

  • The Hulk, a mutate, is one of the most powerful beings on the planet. Magneto, a mutant, has a vastly different power, but no less powerful or dangerous than the Hulk, whose abilities are almost entirely physical.

  • There are mutates whose powers are similar to known mutants and whose powers and abilities may be alike despite their origins. Compare Kraven the Hunter's enhanced senses with Wolverine's for example.

Mutate: a word few use at Marvel.

  • Mutate is a term used to refer to superhumans who acquired their superpowers by exposure to some mutagenic compound or energy (either accidentally or deliberately).

  • The first group explicitly called Mutates were the Savage Land Mutates; a group of humans native to the Savage Land that were genetically altered using technology created by Magneto.

  • Early Marvel heroes acquired their powers due to radiation, technology, unknown or unusual energies. These heroes include, the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Hulk, Daredevil, the Black Panther and Luke Cage, just to name a few.

  • Unlike Marvel's Mutants, Marvel's Mutates require external stimuli to acquire their powers (i.e. they weren't born with the potential to manifest powers). However, once mutated, the potential to pass those ability to their offspring does become a possibility. See: Franklin Richards

  • Unknown to nearly the entire population of the Marvel Universe, the powers and abilities of Earth's Mutates and Mutants alike are the direct result of the genetic manipulations of the Celestials in humanity's distant past, who placed dormant genes within one cross-section of humanity, and the active Deviant and Eternal genes in other cross-sections.

Mutant: Also known as 'Homo Sapiens Superior'

Mutants, a sub-group of Homo Sapiens Sapiens, has shown both a diverse range of powers and a scale of power previously unseen in either Deviants or Eternals. (Both were genetically divergent humanoid species utilized by the Celestials for the testing of their genetic manipulation capacities.)

In addition:

  • Mutants have a wide array of physical abilities without distorting the physical shape of humanity (unlike the Deviants, where form often equaled function),
  • there are also diverse ranges of energy manipulation, temporal manipulation, and vast psionic potential
  • the ability to alter the fabric of space-time, for feats like teleportation and space-flight and even alter the fabric of reality, changing both the past and the future in multiple universes.

These powers are inconsistently scattered among the human populace and has on more than one occasion been potentially capable of destroying the entire species.

  • 1
    Very well put. As I understood it, in the comics someone could gain powers by being exposed to exotic energy or chemicals, and for a while the term used by the comic writers was "mutate". Or someone's parents could have their body/DNA altered somehow, and their children would exhibit strange alterations from normal humanity either at puberty or at birth, and those children were known as Mutants. Quite early on (1970s?), no writer wanted to bother coming up with new accidents for every mutant's parents, so X-mutation became a random event that could happen to anyone. Commented Nov 2, 2013 at 12:04

This is a question of terminology.

In the Marvel universe "mutant" means something very specific. It is the casual term for Homo superior, people whose latent X-gene has become active.

The Hulk is not a Homo superior. The superhuman abilities possessed by Dr. Banner are the result of exposure to gamma radiation. He was not born with them, and they are not a manifestation of the X-gene. Because radiation was involved, one could reasonably call Dr. Banner a "mutant" in the traditional real-world sense--but he is not a "mutant" in the sense which the Marvel universe uses that word.


Mutants are born, not made. The Marvel definition includes people who were born with powers, even if those powers didn't appear until the mutant was a teenager.

Hulk, Spider-Man, Venom - these are examples of mutates, not mutants. Their bodies mutated due to radiation and chemicals, not a genetic mutation that was present since birth.

Wolverine wasn't born with the metal skeleton, but he was born with bone claws (the metal covered them) and his healing factor. Therefore he is a mutant with an added impervious skeleton.

  • 2
    Is Venom still classed as a mutate, even though it's an alien symbiote bonding with a human host? Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 12:31

Actually according to John Byrne's run on Hulk in the late 80s, Banner is a mutant, he has the ability to survive a gamma bomb.


As we know,Hulk is not a mutant by birth.At least he is not like that big monster by birth.He had actually undergone a reaction of gamma rays which improves his genes and make them x-genes.So he became a mutant then.But still there is no change in his skeleton.So he is technically not a mutant.


I would say that, according to the comic book definition, hulk is probably not a mutant. For example, all the X-Men were born with the gene that codes for their powers, which were latent until a certain age and brought about by stress, puberty, or both. The Hulk was essentially "given" his powers by a freak accident.

Now, one could argue that the Dr. Bruce Banner had a rare genetic disposition to accept gamma rays and become the green machine, but then the experiment shouldn't be reproducible. One look at Doc Samson, She-Hulk (well actually she doesn't count because they're related and she could carry the same gene) and the Abomination (or is General Ross as the Red Hulk? I forget which) tells us that the gamma-ray conversion process is, to some extent reproducible, and so Hulk isn't really a mutant. Or so it could be argued.

In the everyday, colloquial usage of the term, Hulk is a mutant. But that's outside of comic-dom, so....


Agreeing with the other writers, mutants are born not made.

Their powers manifest usually around puberty. In the case of most X-Men, they were born with the mutation in their genes. Hulk, according to the Marvel Universe, would be classified as a mutate, powers were bestowed upon him by external forces.

As indicated in Deadpool, Wade was not born a mutant, so technically he is a mutate as well, not a mutant. However, the movie also suggested people are born with the gene, it just never manifested as powers or abilities.


Hulk is a mutant by the definiton

however bruce banner does not have the x-gene that gives the x-men their abilities

I think thats what you were asking anyway


Doesn't Issue 312 lead you to believe he is a mutant? His father made it clear that he passed on his his damage genetic structure to Bruce. Bruce even showed genius levels of intelligence when he was only a toddler. His father even struck him hard enough to send him flying across the room and wasn't injured by it. But, Unlike puberty, it took the Gamma Bomb to release his true being. He had to be some kind of mutant to survive the bomb in the first place, right? Right?

  • I think that with some refinement, this could be the start of a decent answer theorizing that he's a mutant - but as-is, this reads more like something that should be a comment.
    – phantom42
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 18:25

I love the answers on this site..

The top answers are excellent and true, as far as the cannon is concerned.

The Hulk "got his powers" from being exposed to extreme levels of gamma radiation, making him a mutate, or a meta, like Spider-man or Captain America.. technically.

That said, if you watched one of the Hulk movies where the Absorbing Man was his father, in that movie he is a mutant. To be perfectly honest though, I believe that, in fact, Bruce Banner is a MUTANT.

If you see some of my other answers on this subject, you'll see that I believe the Hulk is actually a super REAL astral projection embodying Bruce Banners need to defend himself from the world, starting with his father.

That said, I think that there is sufficient evidence to say Bruce Banner is a MUTANT that can process high energy electromagnetic radiation into a catalyst to draw Astral Energy into his cells, manifesting changes, and site the following...: - Issue 312 (as stated above) shows Bruce Banner's father believing his son to be a mutant. Just because he was a psychotic jerk doesn't mean he was wrong. - Bruce Banner is utterly immune to the effects of Gamma Radiation, and likely other high order radiations. This is easily demonstrated by the fact that Gamma Radiation doesn't cause mutations in large amounts, it causes death.. painful rapid death. And yet Bruce Banner RADIATES IT and never develops any negative side effects. Years after being exposed, he is still radiating, and not dying.. meaning he is probably actually maintaining a gamma decay reaction in his cells. He's a fission reactor of quite a high caliber since he is breaking down atomic nucleii... - Bruce Banner was not exposed to an amount of irradiation that would have caused mutation. Nor was he given time to mutate. He was irradiated by amounts of radiation that would have turned Iron Man into a scorch mark, and broken his cells down into atomic scrap.

The canon says the Hulk is a mutate (and actually, if you read around, there are suggestions that even some of Marvel believes otherwise). I believe he was always able to process Gamma Radiation... and, as such, is a MUTANT.

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