Throughout the course of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Bruce Banner has struggled with the inner beast plagued by rage. From The Incredible Hulk, to The Avengers, to Thor: Ragnarok, we've seen these issues come to the forefront. And when Banner needed the Jade Giant the most during Avengers: Infinity War, the brute was nowhere to be found.
It looks like those problems will come to an end in Avengers: Endgame. A brand new piece of merchandise for an action figure with the Hulk might reveal a new arrangement between he and Banner, one that might benefit the both of them in the fight against Thanos — but at what cost?
The package for the Titan Hero Series of figures describes the Hulk thusly:
"Bruce Banner masters his temper to become the giant, super-strong hero, Hulk."
Fans have speculated over the nature of the Hulk's relationship with Banner after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron divided the two. In Thor: Ragnarok, we learn that Hulk has been in control for years without changing back into Banner. In Avengers: Infinity War, Banner takes over and Hulk refuses to come out and fight after being defeated by the Mad Titan in the opening scene.
"People speculated whether there was some fear on the Hulk’s part about having to face Thanos again but I think ultimately what it is is that he’s tired of playing hero to Bruce Banner," co-director Joe Russo explained on the Avengers: Infinity War commentary track.
"This was an interesting journey that we went on with Banner, trying to decide how to move him forward in the Marvel universe," he added. "What makes him unique as a character is that there’s a host body that is being fought over by two distinct personalities who hate each other. Both want control of the host body."
"We thought an interesting direction to take him in is, ‘Well, what if Banner, who typically uses the Hulk to solve crisis situations, what if the Hulk were no longer interested in solving those problems for Banner?' So, the relationship is becoming increasingly dysfunctional and that’s what’s going on here."
We'll find out what happens with Banner and Hulk's dynamic when Avengers: Endgame premieres in theaters on April 26th.
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