After watching Avengers: Age of Ultron I have been wondering why no one can seem to get the Hulk right in a solo film. Mark Ruffalo has truly breathed new life into the character in a way that hasn’t been done since Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno’s crack at the character back in the eighties. Yet he may be, after Spiderman, the most well known Marvel superhero, or atleast he was before Iron Man graced our screens. So why doesn’t it work? Why don’t we flock to the silver screen every time they reboot the Hulk? I think the answer, like Dr. Bruce Banner, comes in two parts.
HULK NEEDS CHARACTER
Whedon treats him as a force of nature, a whirlwind of destruction. In Age of Ultron there are hints of Hulk’s own moral code and his hate for Banner but he never talks and we never get a sense of dichotomy. A simple answer to this would be a movie where the Hulk was the main character and he was trying to fight turning back into Banner, Plannet Hulk might be good for this but my next point will discus the problem with that idea. I would suggest a film where the Hulk was on the run and in some way emotionally wounded. A film where we get to see him deal with his emotions and how he fears Banner.
HULK WANT’S A FRIEND
The second thing a Hulk movie sorely needs is a second protagonist. An audience stand in. We can sympathise with Bruce but once he turns into the Hulk nothing seems to be a problem for him, there are no stakes which makes it boring. A second protagonist could be Rick Jones, a kid who believes in the Hulk’s good side and is as much of a friend to Hulk as he is to Banner. My only problems with Rick Jones is that he becomes Captain Marvel and we now know that’s not happening as there is going to be a female Captain Marvel, also he’s a little too close to another Marvel Cinematic Universe character, Agent Coulson.
Wait. That could work right? Coulson is alive, he even works for Sheild. What about the military trying to track down Hulk and Coulson trying to get to him before hand. That fits with the Age of Ultron storyline and the new more superpowered Sheild agents would be cool to fight against and alongside the Hulk. Planet Hulk wouldn’t work because there would be no human element like this but what if World War Hulk was the sequel to this movie instead.What if Hulk came back to Avengers Tower with a bunch of inhuman Sheild agents who believed that the Hulk was being treated more like a tactical nuke instead of a team member. Maybe the climax of the film could be the reveal to the Avengers that Coulson is still alive and Coulson has to go in and calm Hulk. But it looks like we’ll have to wait for a long time to see any of that, phase twenty seven maybe?