In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel fans were introduced to an unprecedented relationship that they did not expect to see. Even though some fans were willing to go with the newfound romance between Bruce Banner / the Hulk and Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow, a majority of fans agreed that they simply did not click on-screen.
While other Marvel couples (or imaginary couples) have been put together by the Marvel fan base, like Captain America and Sharon Carter, Star Lord and Gamora, Spider-Man and Shuri, and probably the most shocking "ship" of them all, Captain America and Bucky, Hulk and Black Widow did not receive the same treatment.
Though the characters Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff are great on their own, there's no denying that they really just didn't work together.
Because of this, a number of Marvel fans were overjoyed when their romance was seemingly written off by the events of Avengers: Infinity War.
The big question is, why didn't the Bruce and Natasha relationship work? Well, it's actually a combination of reasons, some having to do with the characters themselves and how they simply aren't believable together, and other reasons having to do with fans' expectations that the romance simply did not appeal to.
With that in mind, here are the 20 Things That Make No Sense About The Hulk And Black Widow's Relationship.
20 There's No Chemistry Whatsoever
This is coming from both an acting perspective and a character perspective. The on-screen relationship between Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff simply wasn't believable because they didn't click on-screen.
Both of their characters are so different that no one would honestly believe that they would be attracted to one another in this way.
Bruce Banner is an optimistic scientist who always sees the best in the world with a gentle heart, while Natasha Romanoff is a pessimistic assassin who has lost much of her hope in the world.
Not even the "opposites attract" reasoning could excuse how incompatible these two characters are.
Both Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson are fantastic actors, but not even they could make these two characters look like a believable couple on-screen.
19 Dropping "Clintasha" Too Easily
After the release of The Avengers in 2012, millions of Marvel fans started shipping "Clintasha," the romantic pairing of Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton (Hawkeye).
The Avengers featured an emotional scene between the two of them, and much of the movie's dialogue implied that they were romantically involved, or at least that Natasha had deep feelings for Clint.
Avengers: Age of Ultron not only ruined this by putting Natasha and Bruce together, but it also revealed that Clint had been married the entire time.
Though Marvel movies shouldn't go out of their way to appease fans' fantasies, the movie threw this huge piece of the Marvel fanbase out of the window with no explanation, simply for the shock value.
18 What Happened To Betty Ross?
In The Incredible Hulk, Bruce Banner had a forbidden romance with Betty Ross.
Even though they were separated for a long period of time in The Incredible Hulk, it was implied at the end that they would wait for each other to be together again, especially if Bruce ever found a cure to his Hulk problem.
While this movie was treated as though it was non-canon for years, it was proven to be part of the canon when General Ross, Betty Ross's father, returned in Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War as Secretary Ross.
Essentially, Marvel is ignoring only the parts of The Incredible Hulk it wants to ignore, while acknowledging other parts.
This creates a bit of a plot hole, with Betty Ross's absence being absolutely unexplained.
17 Natasha Wouldn't Rely On Someone So Closely
Part of the romance shown in Avengers: Age of Ultron revealed that Natasha wanted to rely on Bruce for emotional support, which absolutely contradicts her character both in the comics and in the movies.
In all of her comic-book romances, Natasha never truly relied on anyone else.
She was independent enough of a character that she could stand on her own, so most of her relationships were just to have fun.
This was a big part of why the relationship between Natasha and Bruce was unbelievable, as she showed an emotional side that she typically wouldn't have in any other situation.
Even if she was able to show more dependence as a character, it was not written well at all, and just became confusing to Marvel fans.
16 No One Liked The Relationship Except Joss Whedon
The addition of the Bruce and Natasha romance to Avengers: Age of Ultron was solely Joss Whedon's idea.
There were a number of rumors claiming that Whedon insisted that the romance be put in, and that he possibly threatened to leave if they wouldn't allow it in.
Some of these rumors were confirmed by the Russo brothers, who admitted that the romance was a "Whedon decision."
When an idea only seems like a good idea to one person, it typically doesn't turn out to be a good idea.
Perhaps Whedon should have listened to others about this idea and realized that maybe pitting Hulk and Black Widow together in a romantic plot was not the best idea.
15 They Never Even Dated In The Comics
Throughout the course of Marvel Comics, Black Widow has dated a number of different characters, from Daredevil to Bucky Barnes.
However, Bruce Banner was never a character that Widow dated, as even the Marvel comic book writers knew that Bruce and Natasha just wouldn't click.
Even though the MCU versions of Hulk and Black Widow are quite different from their comic-book counterparts, they apparently still aren't different enough to have a meaningful relationship together.
There are so many romantic plots in Marvel Comics that it's confusing that Whedon didn't decide to go with one of those rather than forcing a romance that just wouldn't work.
Had Marvel Studios waited, it could've brought one of Black Widow's more interesting romantic plots to the big screen, like Bucky and Black Widow - a relationship that Marvel fans have wanted to see for years.
14 Hulk Doesn't Trust Natasha
While Bruce may trust Natasha, Hulk really doesn't.
Though Bruce's bond with Natasha does show sometimes when he's in the Hulk form in order to bring him back to normal, Hulk's distrust is still apparent.
One example of this distrust was Hulk hanging up on Natasha and leaving on a Quinjet at the end of Age of Ultron.
In a deeper sense, this also means that a part of Bruce doesn't trust Natasha either. A relationship is built on trust, and the distrust displayed by Hulk would surely hurt both of them.
In a realistic relationship, Bruce would either need to start trusting Natasha fully, or they would need to end their relationship. Evidently, they chose the latter option.
13 The "Sun's Getting Real Low" Concept
The entire idea of the lullaby that Natasha uses on Hulk to calm him is really quite the stretch.
First off, as already mentioned, Hulk doesn't trust Natasha, so it wouldn't make sense that he would be calmed down enough to do anything but smash when confronted with her.
Secondly, the biggest issue, is how this concept came into fruition. While the idea of a keyword that calms Hulk can make a bit of sense, the manner it which it came to be is incredibly rocky and unrealistic.
Hulk is essentially an uncontrollable beast that would have realistically crushed Black Widow within the first few attempts.
All in all, this was just an idea that didn't make a lot of sense.
12 It Countered Black Widow's Previous Relationships
Hulk wasn't really the first romance that Black Widow got into in the MCU, at least in the eyes of fans.
After Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it looked a lot like a romance would be starting between Natasha and Captain America.
Not only did Marvel toss out this potential romance without any explanation, in addition to her hinted relationship with Clint, but there was yet another romance that Age of Ultron absolutely skipped over.
According to Anthony Mackie after the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Black Widow and Falcon were actually dating, or at least that's how he interpreted it.
Even this romance, revealed by Mackie, was thrown out the window just like every other hinted romance Natasha ever could have had.
11 How Would It Actually Work?
Without getting too detailed, it's quite clear that the modern relationship has a certain need. As seen in The Incredible Hulk, Bruce Banner is physically unable to perform this kind of need simply based on the fact that he turns into the Hulk whenever he gets too excited.
While it's very possible for a relationship to exist without the physical factor, it's unlikely that this would be the kind of relationship that Natasha would want.
Based on her characteristics in the comics, Natasha looks more for the physical parts of the relationship than the emotional.
Simply based on this physical need that Bruce could not fulfill, it's very likely that their relationship would not have lasted much longer after Age of Ultron had Hulk not left the planet.
10 We Didn't Even See How It Started
Another reason why fans couldn't believe their romance was that we never even got the chance to see how their romance even began.
Though we'd seen the characters numerous times before in the MCU, there was never any clue that the two of them would start dating.
By the time we reached Age of Ultron, Whedon treated the two characters like their romance had already been set up. Their relationship was treated like a pre-existing part of the MCU, which really made no sense whatsoever.
Had there been set up for the Hulk and Black Widow romance, perhaps fans would've been more likely to believe it.
However, what we got just felt forced and lazy.
9 It Went Against Where Black Widow Was At The End Of The Winter Soldier
Black Widow had a very in-depth arc during Captain America: The Winter Soldier, adjusting to life where the government she relied on was no longer reliable.
By the end of the movie, both she and Captain America handled the struggle in different ways. Whereas Cap chose to keep fighting, Black Widow decidedthat she needed to be independent for a while.
One year later, Marvel fans discovered that she had quickly given up her idea of being independent and instead had quickly fallen in love with one of her teammates, rejoining the Avengers with absolutely no explanation.
After The Winter Soldier, many Marvel fans were excited to see where Black Widow would go next with her new view on life.
They were very disappointed.
8 The Whole Damsel In Distress Moment
Near the climax of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ultron inexplicably kidnapped Black Widow and locked her up.
This already didn't make a whole lot of sense, as there was no logical reason for him keeping her alive, or why he even needed her there at all.
All he did was tell her his evil plot and leave, which was a rather illogical move on his behalf.
As it turns out, this only happened so Bruce could come and save her without even needing to turn into Hulk.
This was an incredibly forced part of the plot that was absolutely unnecessary and made no sense whatsoever.
How did Banner get in there? Was she really that unguarded? Also, if there were no Ultron bots guarding her, why couldn't she escape on her own?
7 It Made Black Widow More Of A Romantic Interest Than A Hero
The best part about Black Widow is that she's typically not like any other female character in a superhero comic or movie. She's not supposed to be the love interest or the damsel in distress.
Instead, she's the one who goes out to save the day.
If she dates another character, it's because she wants to, not because he has earned her. She is one of the strongest female characters in Marvel comics, yet Whedon's depiction of her in Avengers: Age of Ultron undid all of that.
Rather than being seen as another hero for the Avengers, Black Widow was treated more like a romantic interest to Hulk.
She had no character development outside of this forced love story, absolutely wasting a terrific character.
6 Black Widow Typically Doesn't Like Anything Long Term
As mentioned many times already, Black Widow likes independence, and certainly does not depend on others emotionally.
All of her previous relationships in the comics are only short term flings, typically just used by Black Widow as a means of letting out stress.
Despite this, the entire Hulk / Black Widow love story in Age of Ultron was treated like it was a long term relationship, which realistically isn't anything that Natasha would have wanted.
After everything that Natasha has been through, she has certainly proven that she doesn't need a man to keep her stable, which is why she has never gone for anything long term in the comics.
Age of Ultron simply chose to ignore this important character trait.
5 Their Relationship Is Only Told Through Dialogue
Another big issue with Bruce and Natasha in Age of Ultron is that we never really see them have a relationship. We hear them talk about it a lot, but nothing is ever shown to set up their romance, thus making it rather believable.
The closest two things we get to seeing their relationship told visually is the unbelievable Hulk lullaby, and the awkward moment when Bruce fell down on top of Natasha.
If falling on someone is enough to get them to fall in love with you, then a lot of romantic comedies would be wrapped up rather quickly.
Had their romance been told visually in addition to verbally, audiences likely would have appreciated their love story a bit more.
4 Natasha Should Be Terrified Of Bruce
In 2012's The Avengers, Natasha had a truly traumatizing experience with the Hulk aboard a helicarrier, which almost cost her her life.
The occurrence clearly left her emotionally scarred and traumatized, as she was even a little nervous to see Bruce again in New York.
This isn't to say that Natasha couldn't eventually get over this terrifying incident, as she is a strong woman.
However, the fact that she was able to push through the trauma and presumed PTSD of the incident enough to be able to date the man who almost took her life after losing control is incredibly unbelievable.
Had their been some explanation to her mental recovery, their romance could have made a bit more sense.
3 Natasha Gave Up On Bruce Way Too Easily In Age of Ultron
At the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Hulk / Bruce flew away in a Quinjet. Following this, Natasha really didn't seem to care at all that her romantic interest disappeared off of the map with no explanation whatsoever.
Even after Natasha was given the location of where the Quinjet landed, Natasha seemed to have no interest in trying to find Bruce and help him.
According to the report, the Quinjet landed in the water, which easily could have drowned Bruce. Regardless, Natasha just did not care.
While this likely did have something to do with the fact that Bruce was afraid of what Hulk could do, it still doesn't explain why Natasha wouldn't want to go help him.
Clearly she wasn't as invested in the relationship as Joss Whedon wanted us to think.
2 The Age Difference
Well, first we have the obvious 10+ years age difference between Bruce Banner and the age that we think Natasha is. However, if we look at the comics, it's actually revealed that Black Widow is a lot older than we first thought.
Based on a serum that makes her seemingly not age, Natasha is able to hide how old she truly is.
Shockingly, Black Widow was in action back during World War II, so she is about the same age as Captain America.
The difference between Widow and Cap, however, is that Captain America was frozen for decades. Black Widow was not.
Mentally, Black Widow is about a hundred years old, which would put her at a completely different state of mind than almost any other Avenger.
1 Their Infinity War Reunion
Earlier this year, in Avengers: Infinity War, Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff were finally reunited after three years. Many Marvel fans were excited to see how their romantic arc would be treated after three years of separation.
Shockingly, their romance was wrapped up simply by the two saying "hi" to each other, and then never bringing up or hinting at their romantic history ever again.
While this did appease fans who were disappointed with their relationship, it wasn't necessarily realistic as this huge romantic arc disappeared just as jarringly as it appeared.
Going forward, though, it is a good thing that Black Widow and the Hulk are no longer romantically interested in each other.
They're both great characters, but they clearly didn't match up right.
Can you think of any other aspects about Hulk and Black Widow's relationship that don't make any sense? Let us know in the comments!
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