Summary

  • Hulk has been overshadowed by other Avengers and has only had one solo movie, but he could follow Iron Man’s lead and become a prominent figure in the upcoming Avengers 5 and 6.
  • Bruce Banner, as a founding member of the Avengers, has the experience and connections to become the team’s new leader and bridge the gap between older and newer members.
  • If Hulk doesn’t get a solo movie to showcase his full potential, having Banner take on a leadership role can be a fitting compensation and continuation of his story in the MCU.


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It’s no secret that the MCU has a Hulk issue that has been ongoing for 15 years, but it’s not too late for Marvel to repeat a trick that helped to define Iron Man with the upcoming MCU movies. In contrast to most of his fellow founding Avengers, Hulk has only ever received one solo movie, which doubled as his introduction to the MCU. Even Avengers latecomers like Doctor Strange and Captain Marvel have each received two movies, while fellow founder Thor is set to be the most prolific superhero in cinema as he heads towards a potential Thor 5 film.

Throughout that time, Hulk has mostly played second fiddle to the stories of his cohorts – most notably as a co-star in Thor: Ragnarok and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. This has led many to decry Marvel’s neglect of the Jade Giant, especially now that Smart Hulk has indefinitely replaced the big green rage monster that is not only more famous but more beloved. However, Marvel could still do Smart Hulk and Bruce Banner justice by pulling off a trick that helped keep another Avenger at the forefront of the MCU timeline without a slew of solo movies to back them up.


Hulk Can Repeat Iron Man’s Avengers Trick In Avengers 5 & 6

Bruce Banner wears Iron Man's Hulkbuster Armor in Avengers: Infinity War

Tony Stark was arguably the star of the Infinity Saga, with his ultimate sacrifice being the single most important part of defeating the saga’s arch-villain, Thanos. With that in mind, it can be easy to forget that his solo movies came to a halt at the very beginning of MCU Phase 2, meaning that both he and Hulk found that their solo careers were spent in mostly one phase. This did not preclude Iron Man from being the MCU’s main star in the proceeding six years, however, and that was thanks to the roles he played in the Avengers movies.

Three more Avengers movies followed Iron Man 3, in which Iron Man took on a leadership role alongside Captain America. There has now been a power vacuum since Phase 4, with theories abounding over which hero could lead the new Avengers. Hulk’s appearance at the end of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings then hinted at his role in the new iteration of the Avengers. Given that the Multiverse Saga will contain just two Avengers movies, Marvel could satisfyingly solidify Banner’s legacy by making him the new head of the team in both Avengers movies to follow in Stark’s legendary footsteps.

Why Bruce Banner Makes So Much Sense As The Avengers’ New Leader

smart hulk in she-hulk attorney at law

As a founding member of the team, Bruce Banner has the most extensive experience of being an Avenger, alongside Thor and Hawkeye. He played a pivotal role in the events of previous Avengers installments, most notably being responsible for the Blip and part of the science behind the Time Heist. Additionally, Hulk’s interactions with new Avengers candidates like Shang-Chi and She-Hulk place him in the perfect position to bridge the gap between older and newer members of the team.

If Hulk does not receive a solo movie wherein his latent power levels are finally given the payoff they deserve – such as in a World War Hulk arc – then having Banner assume the leadership role with his brilliant mind replacing Tony’s own would be suitable recompense. Now that his son Skaar has been introduced, what is certain is that Banner’s MCU story isn’t over yet. All that remains to be seen is how much of a central role he will take in the upcoming Avengers movies.

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