EDITORIAL: How THE HULK Should Be Treated On Film
I, The Incredible Hulksta, break down what Marvel needs to do with their Hulk on film to keep him cool and relevant.
Hey guys, as you may guess, I'm a huge fan of the Green Goliath. I've been thinking of ways Marvel could show the The Hulk some respect on film. I know what many of you will say, that he was the best part of The Avengers. I totally agree, but let's also keep in mind that this is one film. We still have a few more movies left where Marvel could screw things up. So without further ado, here are a few considerations Marvel could (and should) make to keep The Hulk a badass of epic proportions.
DON'T MAKE BANNER A 'RAPE VICTIM'
I use the term in the sense that The Hulk is one of (if not THE) strongest characters in the Marvel universe. He's nearly invincible, can destroy entire armies easily. Yet, some writers are insistent on making Banner fearful of his alter-ego. They keep The Hulk a secret Banner locks inside, and teases us constantly with his homecoming. When all is said and done though, Banner is constantly in fear of The Hulk. Now, one of the major improvements the character made between The Incredible Hulk and The Avengers was that while Banner was hesitant to transform, he ultimately accepts his role for the greater good. If The avengers was even slightly different, I'd be on the other side of the fence. Still, by time The Avengers rolled credits -- we had one badass Hulk who was powerful, and in control.
From here on out, I don't want to see anymore of Banner keeping The Hulk a dirty little secret. He should cautiously embrace the beast, and understand that The Hulk isn't just some monster, but a force for good.
GIVE THE HULK A REASON TO FIGHT
If you're not familiar with the two events Planet Hulk and World War Hulk; *SPOILERS* The Illuminati send Banner into space, where he fights in an arena on Sakaar. Eventually, The Hulk conquers the world. Yet he still harbors resentment for The Illuminati for sending him away from Earth; and for seemingly killing his wife and unborn child. When he returns to Earth, he proclaims his intention of "justice and not murder".
This is an important distinction as The Hulk, when given a good reason, will fight with an unyielding compromise. This is what makes World War Hulk one of my favourite Marvel stories; it's a simple story with a simple motivation: The Hulk's life was taken away, and he seeks justice. It's through his extraordinary actions and how he seemingly beats any and all efforts sent by Earth's Mightiest that we see that he means business. He's not going to settle, or be bargained with -- he's come for justice.
I'd like the films to do this in a way, where maybe SHIELD or The Avengers in a way wrongs Banner, giving him a reason to destroy all of them. It doesn't have to be an exact re-telling of Planet Hulk and World War Hulk but I like that basic idea that you give this unstoppable warrior a reason to keep fighting.
KEEP THE HULK WHO HE IS; NO 'EXTENDED FAMILY'
This is a simple notion, I know some of you may want to see Grey Hulk, or Red Hulk. I don't. I don't think they necessarily add much to the story of The Hulk in general. Even She-Hulk, who's probably the most popular of the Hulk offshoots, I don't want to see her on the big screen.
People in their minds will think that the Red Hulk (or Rulk) is popular but that was only really because of his secret identity at the time the comic came out. The reveal of who the Red Hulk is, is in many ways his only story. Once they revealed who the Red Hulk is, any interest I had was gone. He's not a character I see as a long term staple. Who knows, he may have a great story down the line -- and I'd love to see it happen! That said, as he currently is, I don't want Feige and the head honchos at Marvel to devote too much time to him. However, the exception to the rule will always be...
When I was a young hulking chilling in grocery stores, stealing animal crackers and scratching lotto tickets; I'd occasionally have a comic book bought for me and I can distinctly remember the two issue storyline that was Future Imperfect. This storyline sees The Hulk sent to a dystopian future where a nuclear bomb has gone off, and a much stronger and smarter Hulk emerges as the leader of this apocalyptic dump, and that's Maestro. While World War Hulk is still my favorite Hulk storyline, I'd say Future Imperfect is a close second.
Maestro easily can defeat The Hulk, and even breaks his neck in the story. While it would be tough to an exact adaption of the story; I do think the idea of The Hulk fighting a stronger and smarter version of himself functions both in giving him a worthy adversary, but also not playing into the earlier notion of making The Hulk a 'rape victim'. It gives him a motive, a clear and present danger, and something to fight for.
In conclusion, I'd just like to say that ovr the years writers have had different takes on The Hulk, and while some have been successful, many have not. Look at The Hulk on Film. We had Lou Ferrigno, who was great! Then you have Eric Bana in Ang Lee's Hulk (Snozefest), then you had the 'Good, but not great' Incredible Hulk, and finally Mark Ruffalo made the character even more popular after his portrayal in The Avengers.
Great stories come from a healthy respect for the character(s) involved and I think whoever is writing The Hulk next on film (aside from Whedon who obviously respects the character) needs to have a healthy respect and understanding for the character. Whoever does this might give us a Hulk that's even greater then what were given in The Avengers. I know there's potential, there always has been and always will be.
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