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Homegrown Hulk

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The newest jade giant has been code named "Nerd Hulk," he was "grown" in a lab by the older brother of Tony Stark, Gregory Stark, in order provide the brute strength required to "Project: Avengers." Nerd Hulk was grown by SHIELD scientists using stem cells collected from Bruce Banner, these stem cells were collected while Bruce was in SHIELD custody. Miraculously Nerd Hulk is both Bruce Banner and the Hulk, he has Bruce's incredible intellect and the brute strength of the Hulk. However, Captain America believes Nerd Hulk to be at a severe disadvantage because Nerd Hulk does not posses the Hulk's unique rage that allows him to grow stronger. Captain America believes/understand that his rage is what makes him so powerful, dangerous and unpredictable and without this Nerd Hulk is nothing in comparison. Captain America and Nerd Hulk spar and Cap easily defeats him, further proving his point.

First Mission as an Avenger

Nerd Hulk first mission with the Avengers was to takeout the deadly, elusive mercenary the Red Skull. At first they believed his actions were only petty enforcer work but it was something much more devious. After a series of events - mainly capturing a rogue Captain America - the Avengers are sent to Alaska to stop A.I.M from creating a Cosmic Cube from stolen blue prints. The team expected an easy fight against A.I.M soldiers but were shocked to see that the Red Skull possessed the Cosmic Cube and had killed everyone in the base. After War Machine blindsides the Red Skull, Nerd Hulk helped, in a futile attempt, to stop him by dropping a huge boulder on Red Skull. Nerd Hulk was too terrified to engage the Skull saying "he could kill me just by thinking about," but Monica Chang reminds him he is a Hulk so though terrified he charges at Red Skull. In an amazing display of strength, endurance and durability Nerd Hulk fought against powerful heat blasts (they were actually burning his clothes off) to get to Red Skull. Also surprising about his assault against him is Nerd Hulk finally stands up for himself, yelling at the Skull to stop insulting him as he crushed the cube.

Though impressive, Nerd Hulk was tricked, he had not crushed the cube Red Skull only made it seem like he did "for fun." Red Skull then blasts Nerd Hulk with the cube sending him flying. Though they all survive(except for the Skull who was killed by his father) Nick Fury began searching for a new target.

Ultimate Avengers 2 & 3

The Avengers are then given a task from the White House that even scares Nick Fury, they have to kill the enigmatic Ghost Rider. After a team of Avengers are sent to protect a potential target of Ghost Rider they begin to suspect he is not a mutant as they once believed. In order to learn more about their new target Nerd Hulk and Monica Chang question a caged man in a Spider-Man costume they refer to as "Spider." He reveals the origin of Ghost Rider and informs him the Rider's next target is the man the sent the kill order, the Vice President.

Since he hates the code name "Nerd Hulk" he decides to change it to simply, "Banner," and since he became a full time staff member. Yearning to be a useful part of a team, Banner approaches Captain America while he is working out. He informs Steve that he wants to feel useful and also wishes to be able to be out in public. Steve informs him that he is a clone of the original Hulk,

Ultimate Avengers 3 #2
Ultimate Avengers 3 #2

and besides the implications that having an actual clone, they had to consider the public's safety . During the process of the discussion, Steve insults Banner, telling him that he fights like 'lady scientist'. Feeling slighted, Banner leaves the Triskelion that night to attend a public signing at a local comic shop. On his way he is seemingly cut off by Iron Man and two vampires. Believing it to be Tony Stark, he hesitates and is quickly put down. He is then captured and turned into a vampire.

Later he is shown to have captured both the new Daredevil and his mentor, Stick. Following his conversion, 'Nerd Hulk' serves as Anthony's second in command and participates in the Vampire assault on the sewers beneath Manhattan, an attack that results in Captain America becoming infected. However, Banner soon falls out of favor due to his role in the Avengers' discovery of the Vampire hideout; a tracking device had been implanted within his chest cavity without his knowledge. Anthony's displeasure is later reciprocated when Banner challenges him for control of the Vampire clan, with the Vampire hulk proceeding to decapitate his opponent with a single strike. Seizing control of the clan, Banner leads the final assault on the Triskelion, marshaling a force of more than one hundred thousand vampires. Whilst Daredevil and Stick attempt to assassinate Blade, Banner combs the area in search of Nick Fury, killing Perun in the process. Though seemingly poised upon the edge of victory Banner's plans are dashed by Captain America, who manages to repel the vampiric infection from his body due to his super-soldier serum enhanced immune system. Cap uses the 4 dimensional teleporter of Perun's hammer to transport the Triskelion to Iran during daylight hours, killing the Vampires in the process. Burning to death, Banner complains that Rogers cheated in order to win the fight. Cap replies by stating '...that wasn't cheating, that was tactics', after which he proceeds to decapitate Nerd Hulk with Perun's hammer.

Powers and Abilities

As a stem cell grown clone of the Hulk, Nerd Hulk possessed vast superhuman strength, endurance and a healing factor, though he also retained the original Bruce Banner's genius level intellect due to brain surgery. However, he lacked the killing edge provided by the original Hulk's rage, whereas the vampire leader Anthony theorized that defects with the cloning procedure had left 'Banner' prone to dozens of auto-immune diseases, Alzheimer's disease and arthritis. These faults may have affected Nerd Hulk's immune system, as Banner was easily infected and converted into a vampire, whereas the super-soldier serum enhanced immune system of Captain America was able to fight off the infection (considering that the original hulk had mixed his serum with Captain America's blood, it is possible that he too would be able to reverse the procedure). When converted to a vampire, the mixture of Vampire blood and gamma radiation further enhanced Nerd Hulk's abilities; however, he also acquired a Vampire's vulnerability to sunlight.

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