Several years ago, I was working on my Liceo Matriculation Thesis (sounds a lot more pompous than it actually was). We could choose any theme we wanted and somehow work it into a cross-discipline discussion (science, history, literature, art, philosophy, etc.) My theme, as you can probably guess, was superheroes! For the science part, I purchased a cracking good book, The Science of Superheroes, by Lois H. Gresh and Robert Weinberg. It's a really interesting read for any comic book and science fan. Aside from the chapter on Spider-man another chapter that stuck in my mind was that on the Hulk.
The authors do away with the crazy origin-by-gamma rays and hypothesis a very different sort of Hulk. In the book, they imagine Bruce Banner creating a form of artificial super-steroid which he ill-advisedly uses on himself. The steroid pumps him up into a 940 pound, seven-foot tall behemoth, but also leads the irreversible loss of all his hair, violent mood swings and increasingly aggressive and dull-witted behaviour. During one of his steroid-trip rages, Bruce decides to tamper with his genes, mixing his own DNA with GFP (green fluorescent protein), which leads to him glowing bright green every time he gets angry. I liked their version so much, that I had to use for my Hulk redesign. All I added were some sensor/drips which inject the super-glowy-steroids in controlled doses so that Bruce could have greater control over his transformations, as well as some highly-durable armoured shorts. Because... well you get the idea.
Let me know what you think! Thanks,