Ant-Man Hulk

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After coming across these Ant-Man questions,

I tried to remember if it was ever explained how Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk, gains and sheds mass.

In the 1960s Hank Pym

discovered and isolated a rare group of subatomic, extra dimensional particles, which became known as "Pym Particles", that could increase or decrease the size and mass of objects or living beings by shunting or adding it from a subatomic dimension.


Pym Particles have the capability to alter the scale, mass, strength and density of organic and inorganic subjects

Even though Pym Particles haven't been mentioned before Ant-Man, could they still be a possible explanation for how the Hulk gains/shed mass?

My Questions:

  • Is there a MCU explanation for where the additional mass comes from when Bruce Banner transforms into the Hulk?

  • If not, is there anything in the previous movies that would contradict the theory that Pym Particles are somehow involved?

  • 2
    Related question on SF&F - scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/5814/…
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Oct 1, 2016 at 21:00
  • @Paulie_D - the best explanation there says: "he pulls in ambient gamma energy and converts it to mass" - Is this also the explanation for the MCU Hulk?
    – Oliver_C
    Commented Oct 3, 2016 at 19:43
  • As far as I know there is no MCU explanation...just like there is no official one. The writers can pretty much make up whatever reason they want....or just shrug and say ... "It's comics".
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Oct 3, 2016 at 19:49
  • @Paulie_D - I would consider "There is no offical/canon answer" an answer.
    – Oliver_C
    Commented Oct 3, 2016 at 19:54

1 Answer 1


It's not pym particles - it's how his body reacts to gamma radiation - I don't know if the woefully underappreciated HULK movie by Ang Lee is still in the movie universe - but there are some implications that Banner's dad did some untoward things...Pym particles were not shared with anyone - it's made quite clear in Ant Man that Hank kept them to himself (and his family) until Scott Lang, because they were too dangerous (hence why he punched the dude in the beginning of the movie)

Also, in the actual comics, Pym Particles have nothing to do with the hulk - though he sometimes has control over the change - the hulk is triggered by emotion - and the angrier he gets the bigger/stronger he gets

  • I'm not asking what's responsible for triggering the transformation (gamma radiation, getting angry), but where the additional mass the Hulk gets during the transfomation comes from. - Pym Particles weren't invented by Hank Pym, he discovered them and then invented technology to harness/use them. As far as I understand it Pym Particles exist naturally and that's why I wondered if Bruce Banner's mutation somehow gives him "access" to Pym Particles.
    – Oliver_C
    Commented Oct 3, 2016 at 19:38
  • Well - there's never been any 'proof' in any of the comics these things were connected - if they do it in the Marvel Movie universe I'll be very disappointed in them - I don't mind adjustments to fit the mainstream but don't mess with the core of the characters
    – user37503
    Commented Oct 3, 2016 at 19:54
  • 1
    Simply for the record, the 2003 Ang Lee Hulk movie is not part of the MCU.
    – DanDoubleL
    Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 16:03

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