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Betty Ross Banner

REAL NAME: Elizabeth Ross Talbot Banner
OCCUPATION: None
IDENTITY: Publicly known, although the general public is unaware that she was the Harpy
LEGAL STATUS: Citizen of the United States with no criminal record
OTHER ALIASES: The Harpy
PLACE OF BIRTH: An unidentified location in California
MARRIED STATUS: Married (twice)
KNOWN RELATIVES: General Thaddeus E. "Thunderbolt" Ross (father, deceased), Karen Lee Ross (mother, deceased), Glenn Talbot (first husband, deceased), Robert Bruce Banner (second husband), Jennifer Walker (cousin by marriage)
GROUP AFFILIATION: None
BASE OF OPERATIONS: Formerly Desert Base and Gamma ("Hulkbuster") Base, New Mexico
FIRST APPEARANCE: Hulk #1
PORTRAYED BY: Jennifer Connelly, Hulk (2003), Liv Tyler, The Incredible Hulk (2008)

HISTORY: Born in a house in California, Betty Ross Banner was the only child of Air Force General Thaddeus E. "Thunderbolt" Ross and his wife Karen Lee. Karen Ross died when Betty was a teenager, and "Thunderbolt" Ross shut Betty out of his life, claiming that a military base was no place for a young woman. Betty went off to boarding school.

She returned to her father's home after finishing school, but then, as for much of her life, she was dominated by her father. By now General Ross was in charge of the top secret Gamma Bomb Project at Desert Base in Nevada. Betty Ross greeted the bomb's creator, Dr. Robert Bruce Banner, when he arrived at the base. A strong attraction grew between Banner and Betty Ross. How ever, General Ross had contempt for the quiet, slender nuclear physicist, thinking him a physical and emotional weakling. The general's dislike of Banner intensified when he realized that Betty was falling in love with him.

Exposure to intense gamma radiation caused Banner to transform repeatedly from then on into the monstrous Hulk. Although Banner managed at first to keep his double identity secret, his activities as the Hulk led to circumstances that caused General Ross and his security chief, Major Glenn Talbot, to suspect Banner of being a traitor.Talbot fell in love with Betty Ross himself. However, Betty remained devoted to Banner through all of his trouble, even when it became known that Banner was the Hulk.

At one point, Banner's condition changed so that he could now control his changes into the Hulk and could maintain his normal personality and intelligence when he was in the Hulk's form. Reluctantly, General Ross consented to the wedding of Banner with his daughter, which was held in the house in which she had been born. However, during the ceremony, just before Banner and Betty Ross could be pronounced husband and wife, the Hulk's archenemy the Leader, seeking vengeance, fired radiation that returned Banner to his previous condition, turning him into a savage Hulk. The enraged Hulk tore the house apart, and hopes for the wedding to occur were smashed.

Betty remained in love with Banner, but she eventually learned that he also loved Jarella, a queen from a "subatomic" world. Believing she had lost Banner to another woman, Betty finally allowed herself to fall in love with Talbot, and they were soon married.

While the Talbots were on their honeymoon, General Ross continued his pursuit of the Hulk, only to be captured by the Soviet scientist known as the Gremlin and sent to a Soviet prison. Major Talbot joined a mission the rescued General Ross, but Talbot himself was captured. General Ross and the other Americans on the mission incorrectly believed that Major Talbot had been killed. When Betty Talbot learned of her husband's death, she suffered a nervous breakdown.

Modok, then the leader of the subversive organization called the Advance Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.), took advantage to Betty Talbot's condition to use gamma radiation to transform her into the monstrous and insane Harpy, who then battled the Hulk. Betty's transformation was reversed shortly afterward, apparently permanently, and she regained both her normal form and her sanity.

Major Talbot was finally rescued, but Betty Talbot realized that she was still in love with Banner, and the Talbots' marriage soon ended in divorce. For a time Betty Ross lived on her own, apart from her father. Ultimately she returned to Banner. As for Glenn Talbot, he blamed the failure of his marriage on Banner and died trying to destroy the Hulk.

Again Banner achieved a state in which he could control his transformations and maintain his normal personality and intelligence while in the form of the Hulk. This time, however, Betty Ross was upset because she wanted Banner to be rid of the Hulk, not to be in control of him. When Betty learned that General Ross conspired with Modok to kill the Hulk, she accused her father of treason. Realizing she was right, General Ross nearly committed suicide and then disappeared.

The Hulk disappeared from Earth for an extended period, and Betty Ross became the lover of a man named Ramon. Upon learning that the Hulk had been sighted on Earth again, Betty left Ramon and returned to Gamma Base, where the Hulk was subjected to a process that split him and Banner into separate entities. Believing himself cured, Banner proposed to Betty, and she accepted. General Ross appeared at the wedding with a gun demanding that the marriage not take place. Courageously, Betty confronted her father, accused him of tyrannizing her throughout her life, and cowed him into surrendering the gun to her. Then, finally, Bruce Banner and Betty Ross were pronounced to be man and wife.

However, Bruce Banner began dying as a result of being physically separated from his other self, the Hulk. Banner and the Hulk secretly merged together once more. Betty knew that Banner was again the Hulk.

General Ross died before his daughter's eyes when he sacrificed his life to destroy an unnamed mutant that nearly killed both herself and her husband. Betty was distraught on learning that Banner had sometimes consciously triggered his transformations in the past and was even now willing to become the Hulk on order to deal with certain menaces. She left Banner and returned to Ramon, but then changed her mind and abandoned Ramon as well.

She as then captured by the Leader, who set her free after learning she was pregnant with Banner's child. She was reunited with Bruce Banner, but soon afterward, the Hulk seemingly perished in a tremendous explosion. So far Betty remains unaware that the Hulk is still alive.

HEIGHT: 5 ft. 6 in.
WEIGHT: 110lbs.
EYES: Blue (as the Harpy, green)
HAIR: Brown (for a time dyed blond; as the Harpy, green)

STRENGTH LEVEL: Betty Ross Banner possesses the normal human strength of a woman of her age, height and build who engages in moderate regular exercise. As Harpy she possessed the superhuman strength, the exact extent of which is unknown.

KNOWN SUPERHUMAN POWERS: None

FORMER SUPERHUMAN POWERS: As the Harpy, Betty Ross had the body whose upper half resembled her normal one, except that it was green, and whose lower half resembled that of an enormous bird. She had large wings enabling her to fly, and could project concussive energy blasts from her hands that were powerful enough to harm the Hulk.

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