Avengers: Endgame was the movie of the year, and has rapidly gained a reputation as the peak of the superhero genre — the movie all subsequent DCEU and MCU spectacles will have to live up to. A box office success, a critical triumph, and a fan’s dream fulfilled, Avengers: Endgame was action-packed, sincere, emotionally stirring, and nostalgia-infused.
Perfectly balancing multiple internal character arcs with a singular save-the-world mission, the movie was perfect for Tony Stark’s denoument and Captain America’s bittersweet farewell. While Tony Stark’s sacrifice epitomized his transition from selfish egotist to the selfish savior, and Captain America finally got to live out the life in his mind, not all characters were treated equally.
While many feel Black Widow was robbed of a little dignity, she is not the character most fans feel got the shortest end of the stick. Considering Natasha has a prequel coming up and displayed the familial nature she developed across the Avengers saga via her sacrifice, her narrative (at least) worked. However, what about the Hulk? What about the stomp and smash savior; did he not become a professorial laughing stock — a device for humor ripped of his heroic identity?
Why fans feel ‘Avengers: Endgame’ did the Hulk dirty: How the film failed Bruce Banner
When speaking about Avengers: Endgame, most fans have few complaints. However, one of the few that often rears its ugly head has to do with the Hulk. Fans feel that Professor Hulk was more of a joke than a hero. Not to mention, he lacked screentime, which was an upset given his status as an OG Avenger.
While some fans note that the lack of a Hulk solo movie may make it difficult to award the character the narrative development he deserves, others note that he used to retain more dignity anyway. One MCU fan stated:
The problem isn’t that he doesn’t have solo films, he had plenty of good moments and development during Phase 2 with the first two Avengers films.
The problem is that the MCU is wasting his screentime now going for stupid “funny” stuff like having him dab or wearing Tony Stark’s clothes. He’s been in three films in the past three films and it doesn’t feel like we’ve seen the Hulk at all during that time because he’s been written like a joke!Reddit User
One fan noted that, with Hulk being able to combine his brain and brawn in the final movie, we should have seen some tactical fighting, but the movie didn’t fulfill that desire. The fan stated:
…the bigger turn off for me was having him in ONE fight in the beginning of IW, then nothing else for the rest of that movie and Endgame. Out of EVERY SINGLE OG, Hulk got the least amount of action, easily. Im pretty sure most Hulk fans are disappointed in that more so than his off screen development. I thought we’d get to see the same powerful Hulk, with more brains and tactics being brought to battle, but nope. We didn’t get that at all.
Fans explain that the new Hulk was the “culmination of his arc,” yet is was lazily explained away. Avengers: Endgame didn’t award Hulk the screentime he deserved or the explanations his character warrants. As an original Avengers, minimizing the Hulk felt unfair and out of place to fans who have been following the Avengers saga since the beginning.