Of all the characters in the Marvel universe you don’t want to draw the ire of, it’d probably be The Hulk. So when Freddie Prinze Jr. was written into Mark Millar’s 2002 Ultimates #4, it was probably a bad idea for the actor to take the green guy’s love interest on a date. And while Hulk is prevented from smashing the actor’s comic counterpart to pieces, the real life Freddie Prinze Jr. still held a joking vendetta against the character for years to come.
In the book, Bruce Banner learns that Betty Ross is out for dinner with the actor, discussing his possibly playing Iron Man in an upcoming movie. This triggers The Hulk and once Banner’s transformation is complete, Hulk bellows, “HULK WANT FREDDIE PRINZE JUNIOR!” He then rampages through Manhattan on the hunt for the actor. Fortunately Hulk’s teammates are able to subdue him before he pulverized the movie star.
And more than a decade later, Prinze Jr. hadn’t forgotten about the near confrontation. “Hulk had beef with me,” Prinze told MTV at a 2014 Comic Con. “I’ve got a Hulk pool toy, so he don’t look so tough now. Bring it, Hulk.” The actor went on to challenge Mark Ruffalo to a fight to settle things once and for all. He was obviously joking, though he did go so far as to even suggest a venue for the showdown – Torrance, CA’s Gracie University of Jiu-Jitsu.
Luckily, time heals all wounds and it looks like Prinze Jr. is a good sport that forgives and forgets. As recently as last year he was asked on twitter about the comic and if he had any thoughts on the book and about Hulk wanting to smash tear him to pieces. “We’ve worked out our issues,” he replied, going on to say in the thread that he actually hadn’t even read the book.
But the man is no stranger to the world of comics. Prinze Jr. is the executive producer for DC Universe All Star Games, and two years ago he launched the GEGGHEAD YouTube Channel, which – along with videos covering board games, video game, combat sports, and more – features comedy sketches focusing on various characters from DC and Marvel. He even plays Red Hood in the channel’s Super Stakeout series.
With so much comic-focused content, it would be great to actually see the actor and Hulk finally go to battle in some form. But it seems as if the hatchet has been buried and amends have been made, which is probably a good thing for all involved. Banner doesn’t have to worry he’s going to destroy New York City (again) and, even though Prinze Jr. is a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, Hulk can lift 150 billion tons and nearly killed The Thing with one punch, so the smart money is probably on Hulk. No offense, Freddie.
Next: Hulk vs Superman: The Marvel/DC Crossover Everyone Missed