Mark Ruffalo"s First Hulk Scene Has An Even Deeper Meaning 12 Years Later

  • Hulk's story in the MCU has evolved, leading to a deeper understanding of his character and his relationships.
  • She-Hulk's introduction revealed Hulk's son Skaar, shedding light on Hulk's past and showcasing his desire for family and companionship in a new light.
  • The inclusion of Skaar in Hulk's narrative makes sense, providing a bridge between his past struggles and a potential future direction in the MCU.
The Avengers' first Hulk scene looks different and deeper 12 years after the MCU moment initially appeared on the big screen. The MCU timeline has been sparing with the Hulk's screen-time as a result of his lack of solo movie series or show, but the character has still had a considerable journey across the course of the roster of releases in the franchise.
While it seemed for a long time that combining Hulk and Banner into the MCU's Smart Hulk was the biggest reveal the franchise would bring to fruition, this was proved wrong in 2022 with a reveal about how Hulk's modern day life had changed. Interestingly, this had a knock-on effect that changed both what Hulk's appearances in upcoming MCU releases might look like, and also altered how many of the Avengers' previous big moments look now, including Mark Ruffalo's very first scene as the character.
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Hulk's Last Appearance Changes How You Look At The Avengers' First Bruce Banner Scene 2012's The Avengers Looks Very Different Now Close She-Hulk: Attorney At Law provides the most tangible update of what the Hulk has been up to since Avengers: Endgame thus far, including dropping the absolute bombshell of revealing Skaar, Hulk's son in both the MCU and the comics. This moment saw some not unreasonable shock from audiences, but the MCU has been in many ways building up this kind of moment since Banner's initial introductory scene in The Avengers.
Black Widow & Bruce Banner's terse opening interaction in the movie sees the scientist refer to his unrealized hopes for a family as he rocks a wooden crib, telling her he couldn't have everything he wanted. This is seemingly an allusion to his relationship with Betty Ross, who he both had to separate from due to going on the run, and who he was in The Incredible Hulk unable to be intimate with in the first place due to concerns about transforming into the Hulk as a result of his emotions.
Initially watching this scene in 2012, it's intended to immediately characterize Banner as someone haunted by his Hulk form, and who lost out on his dreams of having a child and stable family structure as a result. However, after She-Hulk: Attorney At Law, the scene instead works as a kind of foreshadowing of sorts by showing how Banner might approach his life if his berserker fears were in some ways put to rest.
Hulk's MCU Arc Makes Building Him A Family A Logical Move The MCU's Focus For The Hulk Makes His Unusual New Stories Work Close She-Hulk: Attorney At Law extends Hulk's family twice - once by debuting Jennifer Walters, Bruce's cousin, and making her another official member of the MCU Hulk family as well, and once by introducing Skaar. Though audiences may not have been expecting the next chapter of Banner's life to be him gaining more of a community around him via more of his kin being shown, this does align with the framework of what the MCU has been hammering home about the Hulk since day one.
The MCU has consistently shown both Banner and Hulk as desperate for companionship and compassion, though Hulk's motivations tend to be more directly aligned with protecting his human counterpart out of a seemingly often misplaced desire to help or protect him. Part of this is in order to justify having Hulk focally feature on-screen - becoming scientist friends with Iron Man and then allying with Thor in Thor: Ragnarok - but a part of it is also a reasonable reaction to someone who had to leave their loved ones behind getting a new chance to build bonds.
With this in mind, showing Smart Hulk as a well-intentioned, family-oriented figure not only makes sense, but furthers the story the MCU has been leaning into for over a decade. It also opens up a lot of doors on a narrative level and a comedic level, as the Hulk's overall screen-time going from rage-induced bouts of chaos to showing Banner and Hulk's combined form as perhaps the most relaxed member of his immediate family is decidedly a bit of a change.
Why MCU's Skaar Story Makes Sense (Even If It Is Weird) Skaar Can Best Bring Hulk's Past & Future Together Close Unveiling Skaar somewhat out of the blue without a Hulk love interest in sight was always going to make the character feel inherently jarring. However, with Banner's entire story being about trying to find peace with the Hulk and seemingly finding it in some form via his Smart Hulk transformation in Avengers: Endgame, introducing Skaar as a physical representation of Banner building the life he never got to have before this point does make sense.
Skaar also opens up the future for the Hulk whatever approach the franchise ultimately takes with the character following his current happy ending of sorts. If Marvel wants to leave Hulk's story where it currently is without much tampering, Skaar and She-Hulk can fill the gap this would leave in the franchise. If Marvel wants the Hulk story to continue onward, exploring more about Skaar and Hulk's familial bond and showing Banner trying to bring his son through the same complicated path he tread could also work wonders for potentially even a few future Phases of the overall franchise.
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The sixth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Avengers is an action superhero film that sees the heroes assembled across the franchise face off with a deadly galactic threat. With the arrival of Thor's brother, Loki, heroes such as Captain America, The Hulk, Iron Man, and Black Widow are brought together to stop him from unleashing an alien race upon earth.
Director Joss Whedon Release Date May 4, 2012 Writers Joss Whedon , Zak Penn Cast Chris Hemsworth , Mark Ruffalo , Robert Downey Jr. , Scarlett Johansson , Samuel L. Jackson , Stellan Skarsgård , Clark Gregg , Paul Bettany , Cobie Smulders , Tom Hiddleston , Jeremy Renner , gwyneth paltrow , Chris Evans Expand Upcoming Marvel Movies
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