It’s going to be long and full of spoilers but I hope it will give people a higher appreciation of this guy. PLEASE READ MAYBE IF YOU LIKE AVENGERS, HULK OR MARVEL OR JUST WANT TO BE A BRO. :D
Ok, as oddly as it sounds, my Bruce Banner/Hulk obsession is rather new. It all begin a little less then a year ago when I was visting Universal Studios, Orlando for the first time; of course I was having plenty fun with my sister and cousin when I came across this:
for those of you who’ve never been to Universal, this is the sign(?) right outside of the Incredible Hulk Roller coaster. As an artist, I really like this piece, but in a more personal sense it just stunned me. Before this, all I thought the Hulk was was a stupid green monster hiding and equally stupid man. But this made me began to think otherwise; his expressions (the second from the bottom especially), showed a great deal of pain, even this idea of helplessness. What more, in the line for the ride there was an animated video playing about the Hulk. Yes, it was cheesy, but the scene that got to me was of him staggering out of his lab, falling, and smashing his glasses in his hand as he muttered “No! I did everything right!” And of course, to top things off, you hear him scream at the start of the ride itself, god it was heartbreaking. So, needless to say, I was curious and the second I got home I began to find out everything I could. This post will mostly consist of the things I know about the Hulk and what-not. It’s not perfect, but I hope you’ll gain something out of it.
The story: (Organized by interactions with other characters)
(Robert) Bruce Banner lived most of his childhood at the hands of an abusive, alcoholic father (Brian Banner). Dealing with such events, Bruce sought comfort from his kind mother (Rebecca Banner). When Rebecca tried to escape with her son, Brian found out and killed her. Bruce’s father threatens him that he will go to hell if he dares tell any that he murdered Rebecca and abused Bruce. Unfortunately for him he ended up boasting his secret while drunk and sent to a mental institution, not before swearing to Bruce that he will “get him” someday. Some 15 years later, he was released and put under Bruce’s care. On the anniversary of Rebecca Banner’s death, Bruce and his father got into a verbal then physical fight ending with Bruce accidentally smashing his father’s head against Rebecca’s gravestone. Bruce then ends up repressing this memory which would occasionally return in the series when convenient to the plot.
In his school life, Bruce found comfort from bullies in his studies, which eventually lead him to the creation of the gamma bomb. He intended to use it for medical uses, but General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, who lead the project intended to use it as a weapon. This is also where Bruce meets his main love interest: Betty Ross, who is indeed General Ross’ daughter. (More on them in a bit.) Anyway, during the countdown of the explosion, Bruce sighted a teenager who had wandered onto the test sight. He told his assistant to postpone the launch until he returned but his assistant, who despised Bruce ignored his orders. Bruce selflessly threw the teenager (Rick Jones, who, by the way, was on the site for a bet), into the safety trench but was completely exposed to the explosion. This is where the Hulk began. Rick, who blamed himself for what it caused and believed he owed Bruce for saving him, became Bruce’s best friend.
(Not the best pic, but Rick’s actually pretty cute.)
Their relationship was rather interesting, Rick was loyal, but every so often, misunderstandings would occur leading him to betray Bruce. This included a time when the Hulk harmed Rick and Rick helped convict him as a criminal. (Which lead to Rick pulling a gun on Bruce but being unable to shot him.) He was also the one who helped assemble the original avengers. It started when Loki took control of the Hulk and used him for his evil deeds. Rick was the one who called the avengers together to save(?) Bruce. (He also was Captain America’s sidekick for a while.)
Also, on a quick note with the Avengers, it was mentioned in the recent movie of Bruce’s distrust towards S.H.I.L.D. and the other Avengers about being “caged”. I think the writers were referring to the fact that in the comics, S.H.I.L.D. and the avengers would betray Bruce whenever they basically decided not to trust him and the Hulk. Several times they were the ones hunting him down to kill him and then, some time later, request him back as if nothing happens. In the beginning of the “Planet Hulk” movie/comic they even went so far as to shot poor Bruce into space with basically a note of “lol we don’t want to deal with you anymore so we shot you in space”. (So I don’t blame him for holding a grudge.)
Anyway, I’ll end all this portion off with his relationship with Betty Banner. For starters, Betty was probably one of the most bipolar characters I’ve ever had to deal with. Based on the person who was in charge of writing, she would change from the damsel in distress, to the kind girl, and then suddenly to a fucking bitch who goes off and suddenly marries Bruce’s enemies while he was briefly gone. (Though I have to say, my favorite version of her was one in the late 60’s where she suddenly became a badass and rammed her car into a guy who was attacking the hulk.) She was stubborn, especially with her father (General Ross) who disapproved of her love for Bruce and was constantly hunting him down. But the thing I remember most of her, was her final big appearance in the late 90’s. Around this time, things were going rather well in their relationship until Betty fell ill from radiation poisoning from being around the Hulk too much. Bruce desperately did everything he could to save her but she still died in the end. Immediately after, Bruce attempted to kill himself numerous times but failed each time because of the Hulk. I believed that they did a good job relating this to the recent avengers movie with the whole “You want to kill me but you can’t! I know, I’ve tried!”. I have a headcannon that that line may have been related to Betty death, but that’s just me. It doesn’t help that this the “classical” (before “Red Hulk”, A-bomb and what not came into the series) Hulk ended several years in the future where, due to all the wars and nuclear attacks everyone but an old Bruce Banner (who only survived because of the Hulk) remains. ALL ALONE. That’s really fucking heartbreaking, you know?
Ok, I’ve seen bits of the previous live action movies featuring the Hulk and I just got to say THEY GAVE HIM NO JUSTICE (to me at least). With the Avengers 2012, they actually made him look the way I always believed he was supposed to look, both as Bruce and as the Hulk. It actually showed his social awkwardness and how big of a science geek he was. And of course, the whole scene where he talks about how he tried to kill himself (and the fact that when he first turns into the Hulk he’s fucking CRYING) was enough to tell me they did Bruce right.
But the scene I have to hail the most is with his line: “That’s my secret captain, I’m always angry.” This line always gets to me since I can relate to it. No, I don’t have an alcoholic father who beats me and killed my mom, but when it comes to verbal abuse, my dad takes the cake. And since I know what it’s like to be on the victim side of anger, I always keep it in since I don’t want to throw that pain on anyone. In this way I can relate to Bruce’s idea of forcing himself to avoid being angry since it brings out the monster. Fortunately, I feel that recently I’m able to let out some of this long kept anger through some nasty relationship events as well as just tumblr. (Not that I like the relationship problems, it just happened to come out.)
Whatever the case, I hope this post on all my Bruce Banner feelings helps people understand why I love him so much and maybe even get other people more into him. I’m certainly a nerd, and rather embarrassed of it at times, but I’m glad I could use this to show my nerdiness that I’ve hidden for about a year due to fear of judgement. And if you read all of this, I’m very grateful, since I doubt few actually will.
Anyway, I also added my rant about The Ultimates version if you want to read that here.
If you like, reblog maybe?
Hope you enjoyed,