Teenager Rick Jones couldn’t foresee the monster his action would create the day he took a shortcut through the testing grounds of a U.S. Army research facility. When his truck broke down, he was unaware he was within the blast radius of a highly dangerous gamma experiment.
Dr. Bruce Banner was one of the top physicists at the military base conducting the experiment. Spying the stranded youth through his binoculars, Bruce raced to retrieve the teen as the gamma bomb counted down to detonation. Although he arrived in time to throw Rick into the protective cover of a ditch, Bruce was exposed to the full bombardment of the blast’s radiation, irreversibly altering his cells. From that point forward, whenever Bruce became angry or stressed he transformed into a raging, green, muscle-bound behemoth whose strength surpassed that of any other creature alive.
Bruce kept his savage alter ego secret from those he knew and worked with, even his fiancé, fellow scientist Betty Ross. Betty’s father, General Ross, commanded Gamma Base and made capturing the Hulk a priority. A priority he assigned to his semi-competent right-hand man, Major Ned Talbot. Having seen Bruce transform into the Hulk, only Rick knew his secret. Because he felt guilty for what happened, Rick did everything he could to help his friend find a cure. When not assisting Bruce, Rick spent his time at a nearby diner called Rio’s Ranchero, where his romantic interest Rita worked for her father Rio.
Although filled with action, the series might best be remembered for the reverse transformation of the Hulk, back into Dr. Banner. Whereas Bruce’s clothes tore to shreds when he transformed into the much larger Hulk, those same clothes inexplicably mended themselves when the Hulk reverted to Banner. Luckily for Bruce, it made keeping his secret a lot easier.
In the show’s first season, episodes of The Incredible Hulk paired with episodes of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends to form the hour-long program, The Incredible Hulk and the Amazing Spider-Man. In its second season, the title of the hour-long show became The Amazing Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk.