The Surprising Reason The Hulk is Green, According to Stan Lee

Marvel Studios
Marvel Studios / Marvel Studios

It's always interesting to learn about how your favorite pop culture characters were conjured up, as the final product can often end up being drastically different from the creator's original idea. That was certainly the case with the Hulk, who went through a dramatic change as the result of what turned out to be a happy accident that occurred when the first edition of The Incredible Hulkwas being printed.

If you are a dedicated comic book fan, you might know that legendary comic book icon Stan Lee didn't initially make the Hulk green. His original concept for the character was based on the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and, wanting to give the Hulk a creepy presence, he colored him gray.

When Lee went to print the first issue, however, the printer had trouble keeping the gray of the Hulk’s skin consistent on every page. This prompted the comic mogul to change the color of his skin to the classic green color we’ve known for nearly 60 years.

“It turned out to be a great choice,” Lee later said. “By making him green, I was able to give him nicknames like ‘The Jolly Green Giant’ [or] ‘The Green Goliath.’ So, I’m very glad we made him green.”

As for those purple pants? There's a reason for that hue, too.