A character published by Marvel Comics
. Betty Banner first appeared
in The Incredible Hulk #1
Betty Banner was born Betty Ross, the only daughter of legendary
general Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross. Betty's mother died when she
was a teen and she was shipped off to boarding school.
After getting out of school, Betty returned to live with her father. He
was stationed in the American southwest, heading a project to create
the world's first gamma bomb. It was here that Betty first met Bruce
Banner, the head scientist of the project. Though Banner was quiet
and shy, Betty grew to like him, much to the dismay of her father.
During the first test firing of the gamma bomb, Banner saved a teenager
who had wandered onto the test ground and was exposed to massive doses
of radiation. The result was that periodically Banner would change into
the gamma powered monster, the Incredible Hulk.
The responsibility to stop the Hulk was given to Ross and his assistant
Major Glen Talbott, who carried a torch for Betty. During this time, it was discovered that Banner
was the Hulk and this caused Ross to hate Banner all the more. Still,
Betty cared for Banner despite this knowledge.
During one period, Banner gained control of the Hulk and was able
to not only control his transformations, but also kept his intelligence
while he was the Hulk. He asked Betty to marry him and she accepted.
With the threat of he Hulk seemingly gone, Betty's father had no choice
but to allow the marriage. The marriage was taking place, when one
of the Hulk's enemies the Leader interrupted the ceremony, exposing
Banner to a massive dose of gamma rays and triggering his change into
the Hulk. Banner no longer had control of the Hulk and his alter-ego
wrecked the church and went on a rampage. Betty and Banner's hope for
a future were dashed.
Later after the Hulk was transported to a subatomic world and fell in
love with one of its inhabitants Jarella, Betty Ross married
Glen Talbott, believing that she had lost Banner's love. Talbott
and Ross continued to track the Hulk and during this time, Talbott
was believed killed by the Hulk.
The evil entity M.O.D.O.K. exposed Betty Banner
to a massive dose of gamma rays transforming her into the Harpy. In
this form, the upper half of Betty's body was normal, except green and
the lower half was bird-like in its form. She could fly and shoot
green energy beams from her hands. M.O.D.O.K. used the Harpy to attack
feeding Betty's hatred of the Hulk whom she blamed for Talbott's supposed death and paralyzing the Hulk because he
would not hurt Betty. Eventually, the Harpy was overcome and Betty was
returned to normal.
In the years to come, Talbott was revealed to have been taken by some
of the Hulk's enemies. When he returned, he and Betty realized that
they were having marital problems and divorced. Talbott blamed Banner
and the Hulk and continued to track him until an accident while trying
to capture the Hulk cost Talbott his life.
Eventually, Betty sepated from Banner, believing that they could never
be happy together. She fell into a relationship with a man named Ramon
but eventually, she returned to Banner.
During a brief period in which Banner and the Hulk were split, Betty and
Bruce Banner were married. Their joy was brief, because the Banner and
the Hulk could not be separated and both live and they had to be rejoined.
During this time, the Hulk returned to his original grey and devious
version. The Hulk along with Rick Jones, Clay Quartermaine, a
SHIELD agent, and Betty attempted to track stolen gamma bombs which
had been taken by the Leader. An encounter between the Hulk and
the Leader lead to the seeming demise of the Hulk and left Betty,
widowed and pregnant.
The baby never made it to term and Betty in her grief joined a convent.
When the Hulk and Banner returned, Betty and Bruce tried to reconcile.
During this time, Banner's multiple personalities were melded into one
through the efforts of Doc Samson. The new intelligent Hulk and
Betty tried to work through their differences, but with much the same
results they had always had.
Finally, it was discovered that prolonged exposure to Banner and the
Hulk had given Betty advanced gamma poisoning. She ultimately died
from the condition.