Avengers: Endgame has been in theaters for several days now, giving fans a look at what the latest chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has in store. For one jolly green Avenger, the film brought along some pretty surprising revelations.
As you would probably expect, spoilers for Avengers: Endgame below! Only look if you want to know!
Endgame opens with the MCU's remaining heroes detailing with the immediate aftermath of The Snap, after Thanos turned half of the universe to dust. Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) sits out of the group's trip to find Thanos in "the garden" after he's still broken up about not being able to tap into the Hulk during Infinity War.
Five years later, the team discovers a way to potentially pluck the Infinity Stones from different points in time, as a way to reverse the effects of The Snap even after Thanos destroyed them in the present-day. The group isn't entirely clear how to safely navigate the world of the Quantum Realm, and they try to track down Bruce for help -- and they find him in a completely unexpected state.
After a prolonged time spent in gamma radiation, Bruce was able to successfully merge his brain into the Hulk's body, allowing for a sort of "best of both worlds" situation. This allowed him to be much more content with both sides of personality, and even thrive as a sort of superhero symbol.
Bruce then helps the team plot out and carry out their "time heist" for the Infinity Stones, and joins the group that travels to the Battle of New York in 2012. Hulk is tasked with visiting the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and attempt to bargain with her for the Time Stone, which doesn't go exactly as planned. The Ancient One briefly removes Bruce from the Hulk's body, and the pair have a long conversation about science and the mystic arts. Bruce eventually swears to the Ancient One that the Avengers will return the Infinity Stones to whenever and wherever they took them from, and she merges Bruce and Hulk back together and agrees to give up the Time Stone.
The group returns to the present day, and create their own version of the Infinity Gauntlet using Iron Man armor. After a bit of a debate about who should wield the new gauntlet, Bruce volunteers to do so, as he knows that a similar feat nearly killed Thanos in the process. He wears the gauntlet and snaps his fingers, which eventually brings the dusted people from all across the universe back to life.
This is quickly complicated by 2014 Thanos arriving and attacking the Avengers compound, which traps Bruce and several other heroes in the rubble. He manages to help all of them escape, and they participate in the battle that ensues.
Once the fight is over, Bruce fulfills his promise to the Ancient One, and sends Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) to put the Infinity Stones back where they came from.
While Hulk's Endgame storyline arguably has a lot of major stuff happen onscreen, it sets a major new status quo for Bruce as a character, especially following the years of him struggling to reconcile both the human and Hulk sides of him.
"I wouldn't call Ragnarok and the next Avengers movies an unofficial Hulk trilogy, but I would say that there is a character arc for Hulk within those three movies that, yes, track together by design." Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige explained in 2017. "And I think it's a testament to what Ruffalo has done to Bruce Banner and brought to this character."1comments
"Ruffalo is a master at not going deep and dark, but taking that inner pain and kind of trying to become zen about it." Feige continued. "We saw that in Avengers 1, where Tony Stark is screwing around and poking him with something and saying, oh, careful, and he goes, "I can handle pointy things." He's much more zen about it. His secret is he's always angry," the producer continued. "I think it's just a much more charismatic and engaging way to see it. I've always wanted Hulk to talk more than he has and find the right circumstances, and finally we see that here."
Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame are in theaters now. Spider-Man: Far From Home will land in theaters on July 2nd.