The transformation of Hulk is one of the more surprising parts of Avengers: Endgame, but that doesn't mean it isn't problematic. Ever since Bruce Banner was introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe - originally played by Edward Norton - he's been struggling to figure out what to do with his giant green alter ego. When Mark Ruffalo took over the role in The Avengers, he started to show some control over Hulk, but then Thor: Ragnarok saw Hulk become the dominant form.
When Avengers: Infinity War rolled around, the smackdown he received from Thanos proved to be the last time we'd see this regular version of Hulk. Hulk refused to come out and play hero once again, but Banner was able to find the perfect medium in Avengers: Endgame by becoming Professor Hulk. This form retains Banner's intellect while giving him Hulk's super powers, just with less aggression. This was all part of a larger arc for the character, but there was something missing for many.
In Screen Rant's newest video, we take a look at how Professor Hulk was ultimately a problem for Avengers: Endgame. It had nothing to do with the CGI - which is fairly good - but rather how Hulk is treated in comparison to Banner. Even though this form is a melding of the two, it's clearly Banner who's in control and led to Avengers: Endgame missing out on a few moments - and plenty of smashing - that it could've included. Check out the full breakdown in the video at the top of this post.
As noted in the video, Banner and Hulk's reaction to Black Widow's death should've been stronger in Avengers: Endgame. The two formed a romantic relationship during Avengers: Age of Ultron and there are still a few moments of them flirting in Endgame, even if the larger romantic subplot has been dropped. Still, there's only a few brief moments showing how Hulk and Banner are taking the loss, with him punching the floor upon learning of her fate initially, and then throwing a bench across the lake in frustration. Endgame doesn't slow down to let Hulk or any of the other characters truly digest the loss of their friend though, so that may just be a larger issue with the film than specifically for Hulk.
But, the one area that fans are likely to be the most unhappy about when it comes to Hulk's role in Endgame is how he never gets to go up against Thanos again. The Mad Titan easily defeated him at the beginning of Infinity War, and a rematch between them was highly anticipated. This never came to be in Endgame, and is probably for the best in Hulk's case. His entire right arm is severely damaged after using the power of the Infinity Stones to bring everyone back, so he's nowhere close to being ready to take on Thanos again. Plus, Banner said earlier in the film that he feels violence and all the smashing is just gratuitous anyways. With it still being possible that Professor Hulk can return in future MCU films, maybe some of these Avengers: Endgame moments are being saved for his next appearance.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019