Will Professor Hulk Emulate X-Men’s Beast Following ‘Avengers: Endgame?’
Avengers: Endgame introduced MCU fans to Professor Hulk — an amalgamation of the brainiac Bruce Banner and the stomp and smash super savior Hulk. However, while the comic books follow a similar trajectory, the silver screen failed to merge these two in a way that implies coexistence. Rather, we’re left with Bruce Banner’s personality on a big green body, and a man resilient to use his immense power to smash things up.
In the comics, when Bruce and Hulk combine, Bruce allows Hulk to exist alongside him, accepting that he is a human with an individual disposition and unique qualities, boasting his own (no matter how adolescent) set of emotions.
In the movie, a superiority situation is at play, as if Banner has come to control his alter-ego, despite the persistence that they have come to an understanding. If there’s an understanding, why is Banner resilient to allow Hulk’s grand strength to shine when requested; at one point, he half-heartedly pounds a vehicle with a single, uninterested, filled-with-shame blow.
All this raises a single question: what does Hulk’s future look like? Will Bruce allow Hulk to shine in all his primitive glory when need be, or (with Bruce Banner’s brain now behind the operation) will Hulk come to fight in a new way?
Is combat prowess in the cards for Professor Hulk after ‘Avengers: Endgame?’
Now that Hulk is operating with Bruce Banner’s brain, could the character become a combat master with a little bit of training? What if Bruce Banner learned to fight with technique and tact, over a pure destruction mentality?
If Hulk learned to fight — with a degree of skill — the character would quickly come to emulate X-Men’s Beast, who is also a scientist who turns into a formidable foe. The difference between the two: Beast is quite ninja-like and, though strong, he fights with his brain more than his brawn.
Beast could throw a strong punch, but he will dodge every hit and wind up tossing you across the room before you have a chance to follow his fast maneuvering. While Hulk may not fight with the same tactical style, he could come to fight with a different technique (maybe one like Rocky Balboa), as such would make sense following the events of Infinity War.
Hulk lost to Thanos (who fought like a boxer)
In Avengers: Infinity War, Hulk comes smashing in to save the day, and prevent Thanos from killing Thor. He lands some solid punches on Thanos; however, Thanos soon realizes that this beast has no skill, and the tables quickly turn.
Thanos dodges Hulk’s blows and attacks Hulk as if he is a professional boxer in the ring — landing punches to the mid-region to destabilize his combatant. If Hulk and Bruce were already combined here; if Hulk already knew how to actually fight, he would have been a much greater challenge for Thanos.
Given Hulk’s backstory, and Banner’s noticeable resistance to his alter-ego’s smash and destroy approach in Avengers: Endgame, the MCU could turn Bruce Banner into a technical fighter, mimicking Beast in the X-Men. However, with only a few more Banner appearances likely in the cards, is there enough time?