Avengers: Endgame — Why Hulk's new and improved avatar in Marvel's Infinity saga finale is a winner
Warning: This article contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame. Don't read further if you haven't seen the film.
Move over, Thor. There’s a hotter Avenger on the horizon.
In Avengers: Endgame, we meet a brand new incarnation of Bruce Banner’s gamma-made persona Hulk. Professor Hulk is an amalgamation of Bruce and his alter ego the big green, angry guy. Gone is the weird shiny-green body from the previous films. He has, also, ditched the distressed purple-shorts and shirtless look for a more stylish preppy appearance. Think black-rimmed glasses and chunky knit cardigans in powder blue. His ‘vocab of a two-year-old’ from Thor: Ragnarok is a thing of the past. Hulk now speaks in full sentences in Mark Ruffalo’s calming voice. And, he even shares his tacos.
Hulk fans have been left feeling incomplete for a while now, given that he didn’t really make an appearance after the first scene in Avengers: Infinity War. After getting a hiding from Thanos, everyone’s favourite big green guy retreated back into Bruce Banner and simply refused to come out for the rest of the film, no matter how dire the situation. Sure, Banner was around but the fact that he had to suit up in Tony Stark’s Hulkbuster to join the fight at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, was a little dissatisfying to say the least.
No surprise then that one of the most anticipated return to form in Avengers: Endgame was that of The Hulk.
Fans have spent the last year discussing possible arcs in the character’s journey, and what his role could be in defeating Thanos, because Thanos has to be defeated, right? Doesn’t take a genius to figure that’s what the three hour film is about—no spoilers there. What no fan could have predicted, however, was the makeover from a WMD (Weapon of Mass Destruction) to gentle, hot and understated muscular guy, the kind that has women and men swooning alike.
In the five years since The Snap, Bruce and the Hulk have stopped fighting for control over their shared body. After some serious gamma experiments, the two personalities have managed to live in harmony.
Professor Hulk has the brute strength of the monster and the mind of the man. He is dapper, charming, has a wager and a little gray around the temples. “These are confusing times,” Professor Hulk says. “I know! It’s crazy. I am wearing shirts now!”
The new and improved Hulk even uses charm and logic to get The Ancient One to part with her Time Stone. And, he is funny to boot. There’s no evidence of an inner rage, and he looks calm, taking in Mark Ruffalo’s rugged good looks. He’s still green, but a paler shade of, making him closer to human than he was before. There’s a moment in the film when a couple of kids approach him at a diner asking him for a selfie, and he obliges with a smile and a dab, going “Hulk dabs! Hulk dabs!” How do you not love this overgrown, gamma-fied softie?!
The inspiration for the new Hulk, however, hasn’t just appeared out of thin air. The comics have featured different versions of The Hulk over the decades, one of them famously being Professor Hulk who has the Hulk’s strength and Banner’s brains. This version of the character that appeared first in the early ‘90s, however, is flawed and transforms back into Banner when he gets too angry, a kind of reversal where he has the mind of the savage and the body of Banner—in other words, totally useless as an Avenger. This version of The Hulk has gradually disappeared from the comics, as the original Hulk gets smarter.
The movie franchise, however, had this one film to take this character arc to a conclusion and they’ve done a bang up job. That he’s Professor Hulk (of the comics) without the flaws and in control, seems like a good way to sign off. The fresh problem MCU has created though, is one they couldn’t have anticipated. After seeing Hot Hulk, will anyone really care about the others? More Hulk, please.
Updated Date: May 03, 2019 13:03:36 IST
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