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David Banner

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David Banner

Bixby-banner

Full name
Dr. David Bruce Banner
Occupation
Various; originated as a physician and scientist
Portrayer
Number of episodes
81 of 82


David Banner is the lead character in the TV series, The Incredible Hulk (1978–1982). He was played by Bill Bixby. He appears in 81 out of 82 episodes of the series.

BackgroundEdit

Dr. David Bruce Banner was born in Trevorton, Colorado, in the first half of the 1940s. His father, D.W. Banner, wanted David to stay on the family farm and take it over from him someday—D.W. went so far as to tell David that he would pay his son's entire way through any agricultural college of his choice. David, though, had always wanted to be a doctor, something his family knew about him ever since he was five years old, when David's sister, Helen, caught him performing surgery on one of her favorite dolls. David, at 18, had even more incentive, though, to attend university someplace far away from Trevorton (always keeping in mind that his eventual goal was, of course, medical school). David had allowed resentment and anger to simmer for years towards his father, because David blamed D.W. for the death of his mother, Elizabeth, whom David had found passed away in her bed when he was a child.

David did attend medical school. His classmate there was Elaina Marks—who years later became his colleague at The Culver Institute in California, where they were engaged in intense research aimed at unraveling the mystery of the enormous physical strength that all humans possess, but of which the typical person uses only 20 percent. David had a personal reason for conducting this particular research, because he had lost his wife, Laura, in a car accident from which David was unable to save her. David and Laura's was a deep and abiding love (though one that did not produce any children). David's grief was profound (it took him a month simply to return to work), and the interviews he conducted with Elaina of people who also had had loved ones in as much life-threatening jeopardy as Laura had been in, but were able to tap into that well of enormous strength to save, accomplished little more than to keep that grief and resentment, and hurt and frustration very much a part of David's everyday existence.

After learning that he did indeed share one trait with those others—namely an elevated adenine-thymine level in his DNA (as a matter of fact, David's adenine-thymine level was elevated even higher than the ones they had interviewed)—David knew there had to be an external force at work with those others that had not been present during the accident in which he was unable to rescue Laura. That external source, David deduced, was gamma-ray bursts from periodic sunspot activity on the surface of the sun. In an attempt to recreate that external force in the controlled setting of the laboratory, David strapped himself into the Culver Institute's radiation emitter and gave himself a 15-second dose of gamma radiation. Unfortunately, David did not know that the emitter had been updated and that he had inadvertently dosed himself with six times what he had thought to be the maximum dose.

The massive dose combined with David's atypical adenine-thymine level in such a way that, from that point forward, he metamorphosed into "the Hulk" (a creature that gave rampaging physical form to all his hurt and anger and resentment and loneliness and loss and helplessness) whenever he became angry or outraged. Thus, after he professed his love for her at Elaina's grave (David did not know, because he always blacked out whenever he became the Hulk, that Elaina's last words had been her own profession of her love for him, going all the way back to the time they shared in medical school), David began his wandering quest to find "a way to control the raging spirit that dwell[ed] within him."

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