The 3 Primary Reasons the Hulk Must Return to the MCU

Mark Ruffalo recently seemed to suggest that Bruce Banner’s days in the MCU will be no more. During an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, he explained that Avengers: Endgame was “supposed to be the end,” leading fans to wonder if Bruce Banner will ever return to Marvel filmic landscape. 

Mark Ruffalo Hulk of the MCU
Mark Ruffalo starring as Hulk is seen arriving at black carpet of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ film screening | Photo by Carlos Tischler/NurPhoto via Getty Images

And, while the final movie may have damaged Hulk’s arm beyond repair, and transformed the Banner-Hulk duo into a merged Professor Hulk, the character’s journey in the MCU is far from over. He needs to come back for three primary reasons. 

1. Hulk should transform Jennifer Walters into She-Hulk 

In the comic books, Bruce Banner is responsible for turning his cousin, Jennifer Walters, into She-Hulk. And, while the movie landscape has not religiously obeyed the source material, such an introduction seems plausible – if not beneficial to how Marvel Studios plans to handle the MCU following Avengers: Endgame. 

Mark Ruffalo’s contract has not yet expired. He has one film left, but maybe the agreement could be renegotiated to account for two or three episodes of a Disney+ series (She-Hulk), allowing Banner to transform his cousin, as well as introduce her to the supers she may come to fight alongside, bringing us to the next reasons for Hulk’s return. 

2. Bruce Banner can serve as a bridge between the old MCU and the new MCU

If Bruce Banner remains in the MCU, he can serve as a bridge between the old and the new. He will likely be one of the only OG saviors left following the Black Widow prequel, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Hawkeye. If he is responsible for Jennifer Walter’s transformation into She-Hulk, he can introduce her to Captain Marvel, which will help lay the foundation for the A-Force — the all-female Avengers team everyone is waiting for. 

Not to mention, Bruce Banner has been doing this hero thing for quite some time, and the newbies who come to define the landscape may need a wise mentor to lend a hand — who better than Professor Hulk? Who better than a man who has confronted extraterrestrial threats and inner demons alike, emerging triumphant and understanding? However, this whole “inner demons” situation brings us to the final reason Hulk must return. 

3. Hulk deserves redemption and a more significant farewell 

The final installment in the Infinity Saga virtually turned Bruce Banner’s Hulk into the film’s tool for comedic relief. He dabbed with the youth and took pictures for Instagram. Furthermore, the film suggests that he has come to understand Hulk, coexisting with the powerful force; however, Banner is resilient to allow Hulk’s strength to emerge, still possessing shame. Is this true coexistence, or is Banner’s mind merely in control of Hulk’s body? 

Finally, Captain America and Tony Stark received satisfying farewells, and the other three original Avengers will receive the goodbye spotlight in the form of a movie or Disney+ series, yet the Hulk just goes off wandering with one strong arm and a damaged one? Doesn’t the OG Avenger deserve more? Doesn’t he deserve a little redemption and a farewell indicative of his prior significance?