Death in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a much-talked-about subject, and the consensus is Marvel made dying a little too relative to be considered permanent. Nevertheless, a few characters have died who may not get a resurrection. Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff) and Tony Stark are two examples.
One reason is they were entirely human, something the other characters superseded, if human first. Captain America and Hulk are examples of normal humans being made superhuman thanks to super soldier serum and radioactivity.
Hulk is one everyone speculates over now on whether he could technically die. After self-willing himself to die and failing, Bruce Banner/Hulk may be, arguably, immortal. So will he outlive his Avenger peers?
The MCU Hulk is stronger than the Hulk of yore
Let it be known that Hulk did die in Marvel comic books, albeit brought back to life numerous times. The television version of Hulk (The Incredible Hulk) also technically died in the final TV reunion movie done with Lou Ferrigno and Bill Bixby.
Yes, in Death of the Incredible Hulk in 1990, it had to take falling off an exploding plane onto concrete to kill (David) Banner as the Hulk. Even then, there were reported plans to do another TV movie where Hulk would be resurrected.
Just by circumstance of no further Hulk movies being done (due to Bill Bixby’s death), the most famous version of Hulk stayed dead. Whether such a thing will happen in the MCU is still up for plenty of debate.
Many fans argue this case on social media, especially after many instances of Bruce Banner trying to die and his Hulk transformation preventing it from happening.
What would it really take to kill off Hulk?
Based on some recent discussions on Reddit, a good argument exists for the MCU version of Hulk never being able to die. As long as Hulk is still a part of Banner (and he is with Smart Hulk), Banner can essentially overcome any threat to his life.
One Reddit user noted: “By conventional means, I don’t think he can die, purely because he can heal through anything conventional. But certain things are stronger than his power, like the Infinity Stones. If someone with them wished him dead, I’m certain he’d die.”
Chances are small that anyone would want to kill Hulk with the Infinity Stones in the post-Endgame universe. While Hulk’s arm was damaged when acquiring the stones, it was not enough to kill him and perhaps even heal over time.
Other fans even note someone trying to decapitate Bruce Banner would perhaps never lead to death due to Hulk’s fast ability to heal from anything. If this is all true, then what does it mean for Hulk going forward? Is he going to be on earth for thousands of years more, perhaps with similarly long-lived Thor?
A natural death for Hulk might occur eventually
Hulk is probably not done in the MCU, if likely never having another solo movie anytime soon. All reports show that Mark Ruffalo will return as Smart Hulk in the upcoming Disney+ series She-Hulk.
Going beyond, though: if he truly is immortal, what does it mean for Hulk in outliving his comrades? At this rate, he might even outlive Thor who may end up living for hundreds or thousands of years more.
Imagining Hulk as he is now would make it hard for him to live on earth for so long without being noticed. Perhaps someday we’ll see an MCU movie dealing with Hulk outliving all the Avengers and how he deals with it.
Or, maybe one thing has not been revealed yet proving Hulk is mortal like any other normal human. For sake of reality, it might do the MCU well to find what that is and give Hulk a proper send-off. Otherwise, he could be very lonely living on a future earth with no one he remembered still living.