It depends on the Hulk. Kinda.
At various times, the Hulk has had:
- A fairly “stable” power level, affected only slightly to moderately by his anger level
- A power level (and even physical body) that increased in direct proportion to anger level
- A power level (and physical body) that decreased in direct proportion to anger level (‘Smart Hulk, Savage Banner’ – some of the most interesting modern Hulk stories in the modern era)
- Many, many other permutations of the above (The Maestro, various Banner/Hulk splits, Grey Hulk, etc etc).
The Thing, honestly, would have a hard time beating down any of these (Savage Banner excluded)… Nevertheless, The Thing tends to be depicted as being “Stronger than a Hulk at rest”, that is, having a more consistent strength that can beat a “barely transformed classic Hulk”, and able to stand toe-to-toe against a moderately angry one.
The only problem is... There appears to be no limit to the rage potential of the Hulk, and fighting tends to make him more angry (he just wants to be left alone, after all).
Thus, whether they are fighting each other, or even working together, even if the Thing starts out stronger than the Hulk, that advantage will inevitably give way to the ever-increasing power level of the Hulk, at least until whatever conflict/issue is resolved that allows Big Green to calm down again.
This answer originally appeared on Quora: Who is stronger: The Hulk or The Thing?
It would be exceedingly difficult to claim that a movie didn’t portray the Hulk’s strength accurately, for one simple reason:
The madder he gets, the stronger he gets.
(Rarrr… Image Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/tim…)
Thus, any time the Hulk appears to be “weaker than he should be” could be argued away as merely a reflection of his lack of sufficient anger at the given moment… Or, in general, a lack of adrenaline, which is not always induced by anger (there’s a scene in The Incredible Hulk which covers alternate potential means of transformation, but those images are all protected by copyright)
(Let’s just say this is a fair facsimile, and be done with it. Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/the…)
Given the comics’ precedent that there is no significant “upper limit” to the level of the Hulk’s strength, which can reach so-called “Cosmic Levels” under the right circumstances, it’s basically impossible that anything the Hulk does in the films could be considered to be “too strong for the character”, for similar reasons[*].
Where the movies tend to fail is in over-simplifying or misunderstanding the Hulk’s many weaknesses.
[* Actually, since the Hulk in The Incredible Hulk movie appears to have closer ties to “Ultimate Hulk” – a creature born of a mutated gamma-irradiated version of Captain America’s Super Solider Serum, there probably is a more reasonable upper power limit, we just haven’t come close to hitting it yet.]
This answer originally appeared on Quora: Were the Hulk movies accurate in portraying Hulk’s strength?