Portrayed by: Mark Ruffalo (formally Edward Norton)
First Appearance: The Incredible Hulk
What makes Hulk awesome: He is a giant green monster that gets stronger as he gets angrier. That’s the essence of awesome.
Best MCU Moment: “That’s my secret, I’m always angry,” or “Puny God.”
Hulk is an awkward character in the MCU. He is the only Avenger to have been recasted, (though, not the first major character—War Machine has that honor) and his only solo movie did so-so both critically and financially, with most people forgetting that the movie ever happened in the first place. That being said, he is a huge fan-favorite, and one of the best parts of the original Avengers.
Bruce Banner was a scientist working with gamma radiation to try to recreate the super-soldier serum that gave Captain America his powers. However, thanks to a freak accident, Banner found himself transforming into a giant, green, near-mindless monster called the Hulk whenever he gets upset or near death. The government wanted to use his new power as weapon, but Banner refused. Now on the run from his own government, Banner decided to live in remote parts of the world in hopes of gaining control of his powers. Eventually he was found, and he decided to return to the US to try to cure his condition.
Meeting up with a friend named “Mr. Blue” that he found on the Internet, Banner tried to cure himself of his condition. At first, it appeared to work. However, in their attempt to capture the newly found Bruce Banner, the government had begun giving a version of the super-soldier serum to Emil Blonsky, one of their operatives. It made him increasingly neurotic and unstable, leading him to inject himself with Banner’s blood. The combination of the gamma radiation in Banner’s blood and Blonsky’s serum transformed Blonsky into the Abomination, and he began terrorizing Harlem. Banner chose to re-infect himself in order to save the city, becoming Hulk again and stopping Abomination. Following this, Banner returned to his life of exile, finally accepting what had happened to him.
The next time we see Hulk is in The Avengers, when Black Widow comes to recruit him for the team. Initially resistant to the idea, he is eventually convinced. He is able to keep himself under control until Loki is captured, due to the influence of Loki’s scepter. After nearly destroying the helicarrier and fighting with both Thor and Black Widow, Hulk is jettisoned from it and crashes to the ground. Waking up as Bruce Banner once again, Banner commandeers a motorcycle and some clothes to get to New York, where he arrives just in time to “hulk up” and help the other Avengers stop the Chitauri invasion.
Following the Attack on New York, Banner is no longer on the run and is allowed to stay in the US. He develops a close friendship with Tony Stark, even getting a cameo appearance in Iron Man 3’s post-credit scene as Stark’s therapist. It is safe to assume that he played a role in the creation of Ultron in the upcoming Age of Ultron due to his friendship with Stark. Based on the trailers we have seen, Banner seems to have a new romantic relationship with Black Widow. And based on the fight between him and Iron Man’s Hulkbuster suit, Banner is still not in complete control of his powers.
Did you just find out there was another ‘Hulk’ movie. Do you think Hulk will have the biggest highlights this time around. Tweet us @YouNerded.
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