In the Mid-80s, a supporting character in The Incredible Hulk comics by the name of Doc Samson (played by Ty Burrell in The Incredible Hulk movie), a psychiatrist and fellow superhero also affected by gamma radiation, finds a way to help Banner and Hulk become two separate people. He gets funding from S.H.I.E.L.D. to create the "Gamma Base" and the result of his experiment there is an even more uncontrollable and violent Hulk and a human Banner stuck in a coma.
Banner eventually awakens and helps takeover Gamma Base to hunt Hulk down. These comic book issues helped set the stage for an even bigger Marvel Comics event years later in 1990 when the different personalities inside Banner vying for control (something we really started to see in Avengers: Age of Ultron and something Mark Ruffalo wishes to continue exploring) agree to work together as one. There begins "smart Hulk."
Skip forward a few decades and Hulk and Banner separated once again, this time as a result of something Hulk did without Banner knowing. The two battle each other in their minds and at the end of the "Fear Itself" crossover event in 2011, Hulk is seen walking away from a now-separated Banner who is confused and lost. It was surprising and inexplicable at the time, but it was later revealed that Doctor Doom made this happen for Hulk. Doom cloned a body for Banner and performed brain surgery on the Hulk to somehow create two separate but still fully functional beings. That Banner was partly insane so after a while he had to merge with Hulk once again but during all of this were some unique and interesting stories where each personality - when in control - did things the other didn't know about.
The idea of taking a deeper look into the psyche of Bruce Banner is an interesting one, along with doing more with his intelligence and gamma radiation experiements. A super smart Banner helped join the latest version of the New Avengers/Illuminati in Marvel Comics who were tasked with saving the universe so there's a lot to do with Banner in future big events we may eventually see in the Marvel Cinematic Universe even if we don't see another Hulk solo movie. Banner works well with others and Hulk always needs to fight others, so that's okay. But Hulk can certainly be more than the muscle on the team or another brain for Stark to bounce ideas off of.
Would you still want to see Planet Hulk and World War Hulk adapted in the movies? Should Marvel introduce She-Hulk or Red Hulk? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments!
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange - November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - May 5, 2017; Spider-Man - July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok - November 3, 2017; Black Panther - February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 - May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp - July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel - March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.
Banner/Hulk image edited from art by rainbowplays1