In Avengers: Endgame, the Avengers fought back against the world that Thanos created in Avengers: Infinity War. Together, they traveled through time to collect the Infinity Stones, but only one hero could wield their combined power with Iron Man's gauntlet. The Hulk stepped up and succeeded in reversing the effects of the snap, but that powerful action left scars.
Like with Thanos, the power of the Infinity Stones proved too much for any single being — even the Hulk — to handle. The act of wielding the stones burned and damaged Hulk's arm. Co-director Joe Russo sat for a conversation with ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis, during which he confirmed that the damage inflicted by the Stones is permanent.
"He's lost an arm," Russo says. "He lost Natasha. That's not coming back. He's damaged himself. I don't know. It's interesting. That's permanent damage, the same way that it was permanent damage with Thanos. It's irreversible damage. His arm, if you noticed, is a lot skinnier. It's blackened. So, he loses a lot of strength there."
Russo does acknowledge that "permanent" means something different a world of magic and super science, but that's not his concern any longer.
"But who knows? There's a lot of smart people left," he says. "Maybe someone helps him repair that. Maybe someone gives him a new arm. I have no idea where that character goes from here. The nice thing is we didn't have to pay attention to where it goes after this, we just try to tell a satisfying ending."
Fans speculated about the fourth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe may wonder if one of those smart people could be Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four. While the Fantastic Four's role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe remains a mystery, the writers of Avengers: Endgame have alluded to the Marvel Cinematic Universe becoming a very different place once they and the X-Men arrive.
Russo also went into how Bruce Banner and the Hulk transformed from two separate beings arguing over their shared body to the more harmonious Hulk of Endgame. The writers say they wrote a scene showing Hulk acting as a solo superhero during Endgame's five-year gap, but it was cut from the film.
What did you think of Hulk's story in Avengers: Endgame? Let us know in the comments.
Avengers: Endgame is now playing in theaters. Captain Marvel is also still playing in theaters. Upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 2nd.
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