The MCU’s Hulk Almost Looked Way Scarier Thanks To 1 Small 2011 Change

  • Concept art reveals that the MCU's Hulk was originally designed to be much scarier, with a more menacing appearance and a darker personality.
  • The Hulk's character has undergone significant development throughout the MCU, going from a mindless monster to a child-like gladiator to the combined Smart Hulk persona.
  • While the scarier Hulk design could have solved the criticism of nerfing, it may have hindered the comedic moments that have become a trademark of Mark Ruffalo's portrayal.
Concept art dating back to before the Avengers came together in the MCU reveals that Bruce Banner's Hulk was almost much scarier. Banner was introduced to the MCU in 2008's The Incredible Hulk, originally portrayed by Edward Norton, who was replaced by Mark Ruffalo for 2012's The Avengers. Ruffalo has now appeared as Bruce Banner and the Hulk in ten Marvel Studios projects, showing up most recently in Avengers: Endgame, What If...?, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. Despite only receiving one solo film so far, the Hulk is an important character in Marvel Studios' roster, but he was almost much more disturbing.
Over the last decade-and-a-half, Bruce Banner's Hulk has been given more character development than many other heroes in the MCU, as he has been taken from mindless monster in The Incredible Hulk to child-like gladiator in Thor: Ragnarok, to the combined Smart Hulk persona from Avengers: Endgame onwards. Unfortunately, this growth has seen its fair share of scrutiny, as many have suggested the MCU's Hulk has been "nerfed" - the act of weakening a character's power level over time. This has also been seen in the actual design of the MCU's Hulk, which has softened over the years, but the Hulk's recognizable appearance almost began in a much darker place.


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