Married to his childhood sweetheart, Rebecca, Dr. Banner worked as an atomic physicist for the U.S. government and helped develop the country's first atomic weapons. The more he studied atomic radiation, the more he feared it. Suspecting that he had been exposed to trace amounts of radiation, Banner was horrified when he learned that his wife was pregnant. When she began to suffer complications, he became convinced that the child would be a mutant and grow up to become a monster. His paranoia increased when his son Bruce showed signs of great intelligence. Banner began to drink heavily and often exploded in fits of temper. After striking and accidentally killing his wife, he was convicted of manslaughter and confined to a mental institution. His son Bruce would be profoundly affected by this family trauma.