Hulk Reading Order (Peter David, Immortal Hulk, and more…)

  • Fabien 


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Hulk Reading Order

In 1962, Marvel put an end to the title Teen-Age Romance after 86 issues. Its replacement was not romantic, it was The Incredible Hulk #1. It was obviously a comment on the arms race coming from Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Scientist Bruce Banner created a g-bomb—“g” is for gamma!—and was not the one who wanted to test it as fast as possible (it was General “Thunderbolt” Ross), but it happened.

During the experimental detonation of a gamma bomb, the life of teenagers Rick Jones was put in danger. Bruce Banner saved him but, by doing so, was hit by the blast resulting in the absorption of gamma radiation. Banner didn’t die, but something changed in him. He became the Jekyll/Hyde of the Marvel Universe, two “men” in one body, transforming from the mild-mannered bespectacled physicist into the gray-skinned monster named “the Hulk” when he loses control. Feeling guilty, Rick Jones stayed by his side, helping him to become a superhero. 

Hulk Reading Order:

The ’60s & ’70s Hulk Reading Order:

The Hulk’s original series was canceled after issue #6, but it was not the end. The character immediately guest-starred in multiple titles, and became a founding member of the Avengers. The adventures continue as the Hulk became one of two features in the anthology Tales To Astonish, before resuming in Incredible Hulk.

There are three ways to read and collect the first years: The hardcover “Marvel Masterworks” edition, the omnibus editions or the softcover “Marvel Epic Collection”. There also was the Essential Collection, but it’s too hard to find nowadays.

The Incredible Hulk Omnibus


The Hulk: Marvel Masterworks


Incredible Hulk Epic Collection

The Defenders - Hulk Reading OrderCreated by Roy Thomas in Marvel Feature #1 (December 1971), The Defenders was introduced as a “non-team” of individualistic “outsiders. Led by Doctor Strange, the team included Namor, Silver Surfer, and the Hulk. These original members stayed in the series until issue #125. In the Hulk continuity, the series started after The Incredible Hulk #156. No reading order yet, but you can collect thom in the Marvel Masterworks Defenders collection.

Hulk Reading Order

The Incredible Hulk by Bill Mantlo (1980-1987)

In 1980, a new Hulk era began when Bill Mantlo became the series’ writer for five years—beginning with issue #245. Marvel didn’t do a great job at collecting this run. There are gaps in the collected editions, sadly.

The Introduction of She-Hulk! Created by writer Stan Lee and artist John Buscema, She-Hulk first appeared in The Savage She-Hulk #1 in 1980. You can read more about her in our She-Hulk Reading Order.

Secret Wars - The X-Men Reading OrderThis is when the first major Marvel event crossover happened. Fascinated by the presence of superheroes on Earth, The Beyonder chooses a group of both heroes and supervillains and teleports characters against their will to “Battleworld,” a planet in a distant galaxy. It’s the original Secret Wars.


After Bill Mantlo left the title, and before Peter David started to write his famous run, for a time John Byrne and Al Milgrom were at the helm. Again, all the issues are not collected for now.

Hulk Reading Order

The Incredible Hulk by Peter David (1987-1999)

Nobody wanted to take over The Incredible Hulk solo series until Bob Harras asked Peter David. He could do whatever he wanted because the title was mostly dead. He rapidly find success and worked on the title for a good decade, from issue #331 to #467.

Unlike with Bill Mantlo’s run and John Byrne’s, the work of Peter David on Hulk is pretty well collected. We’ll begin with the omnibus editions before looking at the TPBs.

The Incredible Hulk by Peter David: Omnibus Editions

  • Incredible Hulk by Peter David vol. 1
    Collects The Incredible Hulk vol. 2 #328, 331–368, Web of Spider-Man #44, Fantastic Four #320, material from Marvel Comics Presents #26, 45
  • Incredible Hulk by Peter David vol. 2
    Collects The Incredible Hulk vol. 2 #369–400, Annual #16–18, X-Factor #76, material from Marvel Holiday Special #2
  • Incredible Hulk by Peter David vol. 3
    Collects Incredible Hulk vol. 2 #401-435, Incredible Hulk Annual #19-20, Incredible Hulk vs. Venom #1, Hulk: Future Imperfect #1-2, Tales to Astonish (1994) #1, Incredible Hulk Ashcan Edition #1, material from Marvel Holiday Special #3
  • Incredible Hulk by Peter David vol. 4
    Collects Incredible Hulk vol. 2 #436-467, -1; Incredible Hulk Annual ’97; Savage Hulk #1; Cutting Edge #1; Cable #34; Onslaught: Marvel Universe #1; Incredible Hulk: Hercules Unleashed #1; Heroes Reborn: The Return #1-4.

The Incredible Hulk by Peter David: TPB Editions

Thanos - Infinity Reading Order, a Marvel EventThe Infinity Gauntlet event took place at that moment and includes The Incredible Hulk #383-385. So, if you want the complete story, you’ll need the omnibus.

Hulk Reading Order

Hulk Reborn & The Incredible Hulk vol. 3

The Peter David era was so massive, Marvel had to relaunch the Hulk series once it ended. It was technically The Incredible Hulk vol. 2, but vol. 3 didn’t start immediately. First, there was Hulk Reborn for a year (11 issues), then it was renamed The Incredible Hulk vol. 3.

Maximum Security Marvel LogoThis is when the (really optional) event Maximum Security took place. When the civilized alien races-influenced by the Supreme Intelligence and his newly evolved Kree-tire of Earth’s involvement in their affairs, they decide to make it their new prison planet! The Incredible Hulk vol. 3 #21 tie into the event.

House of M Reading OrderEvent Alert! It’s time for House of M (the full reading order is here). The Avengers and the X-Men are faced with a common foe that becomes their greatest threat: Wanda Maximoff! The Incredible Hulk vol. 3 #83 to #86 take place during this event.

Hulk Reading Order - World War HulkSmashing Event! After Planet Hulk came World War Hulk. It’s Hulk versus the world, in an epic story of anger unbound! Exiled by his so-called friends, the Hulk has raged, bled, and conquered on the alien planet Sakaar. Now, he returns to Earth to wreak terrible vengeance on Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Doctor Strange, and Black Bolt -and anyone else who gets in the way! Go to the reading order for more information.

  • Hulk: World War Hulk Omnibus
    Collects World War Hulk Prologue: World Breaker, World War Hulk #1-5, Incredible Hulk vol. 2 #106-111, Iron Man (2005) #19-20, Avengers: The Initiative #4-5, Irredeemable Ant-Man #10, World War Hulk: X-Men #1-3, Ghost Rider (2006) #12-13, Heroes For Hire (2006) #11-15, Punisher War Journal (2007) #12, World War Hulk: Gamma Corps #1-4, World War Hulk: Front Line #1-6, World War Hulk: Aftersmash one-shot, World War Hulk: Aftersmash Damage Control #1-3, WWH: Aftersmash  Warboung 1-5, Planet Hulk Saga.

    • The Incredible Hercules, Vol. 1: Against the World
      Collects Incredible Hulk #112, Incredible Hercules #113-115 & Hulk vs Hercules: When Titans Clash. In the aftermath of World War Hulk, The Incredible Hulk series received a new title: The Incredible Hercules. The focus change to Hercules – but the numeration stays the same. The series focused on Hercules, his sidekick Amadeus Cho, and half-sister Athena.

Hulk Reading Order

Red Hulk & The Incredible Hulk(s)

That’s when things get complicated. Now, there’re two series about the Hulk. We’ve got Incredible Hulk v.2 with Bruce Banner and Hulk (2008) about Red Hulk. What makes it a bit hard to follow is the way Marvel collected the two books.

Hulk Reading Order - World War HulkSmashing Alert! At that point, we have two crossover events—Fall of the Hulks & World War Hulks—that ran throughout the ongoing Hulk and Incredible Hulk series, as well as a self-titled limited series; featuring the Hulk and various members of his supporting cast. 

The best option for Fall of the Hulks is this collected edition if you can find it.

  • World War Hulks
    Collects World War Hulks #1, Fall Of The Hulks: Savage She-Hulks #1-3, Hulked-Out Heroes #1-2, World War Hulks: Spider-Man Vs. Thor #1-2, World War Hulks: Captain America Vs. Wolverine #1-2, and Incredible Hulk (1968) #312 and #609-611.

Hulk Reading Order Icon-40Written by Jeph Loeb with art by Ed McGuinness, the Hulk (2008) series was also collected in other bigger editions:


Hulk Reading Order - World War HulkSmashing Alert! The Chaos War Event is a follow-up to Grep Pak and Fred Van Lente’s Incredible Hercules series. When the King of Chaos unleashes Hell on Earth, Dr. Strange calls on the strongest team there is to save life itself.

At that point in time, with Avengers Vol. 4 #7 (collected in Avengers, Vol. 2), Red Hulk has joined The Avengers.

Hulk Reading Order - World War HulkSmashing Alert! Another event in which The Hulk played a small part: Fear Itself. You can find here the full reading order of this event.

Hulk Reading Order

Marvel Now: Indestructible Hulk & Savage Hulk

At that point, Mark Waid became the main writer on Indestructible Hulk. His 20-issue run is collected in one big volume.

This is where Thunderbolts Vol. 2 starts. Red-Hulk joined the team with Elektra, Deadpool, Punisher, and Venom.


Hulk Reading Order Icon-40What comes next is a collection of mini-séries. To find the story dealing with the events at the end of Indestructible Hulk, you need to jump to Hulk: Banner DOA.


Hulk Reading Order

The Totally Awesome Hulk

For a time, Bruce Banner is not front and center in the Hulk story. Amadeus is taking on the biggest monsters in the Marvel Universe.

The adventures of Amadeus Cho continue in Champions then in Agents of Atlas, it’s time for Bruce Banner to come back full time.

Hulk Reading Order

The Immortal Hulk by Al Ewing

Banner is back, but he never reaaly left because The Hulk is immortal! It’s the acclaimed run by Al Ewing.


The Immortal Hulk series is also collected in omnibus and hardcover editions:

Hulk Reading Order

The adventure continues, more coming soon.

Last Updated on November 23, 2021.

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