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The Avengers may be one of the hottest collective entities in all entertainment today, but one member of the crew isn’t getting what he deserves. Of course, he played a major part in Avengers: Age of Ultron (which we enjoyed), but the big green guy is getting left out of a pretty huge new movie that will feature most of those characters. Captain America: Civil War, which arrives in May 2016, centers on a battle between two teams in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and they’re led by the Cap himself and Iron Man. So, if everyone is being included—and new characters are being added, by the way—why no Hulk? Well, as it turns out, the screenwriters thought that the Hulk would be too much of an advantage for either side.
OK, that’s fair. The character is the biggest of the bunch and can definitely do more damage, physically, than any of his cohorts. But still, not even a cameo? No inclusion of Bruce Banner staying calm and not getting involved? For all we know, that very well may happen, as Banner could be involved with an entirely different story when Cap and Iron Man (and their teams) go head to head. And it’d make for a nice surprise given that most movie trailers tend to give away every single thing you’d want to see in the actual film.
That all aside, though, it’s still not looking necessarily great for the Hulk. As we wrote back in October, there are a slew of MCU films in the works, some of which have been delayed and others that haven’t had their titles revealed just yet. And among them all, there’s no new solo film for the Hulk. There are more films featuring the entire Avengers squad, sure, but characters like Thor, Black Panther, and Ant-Man are all getting sequels or their first projects. The Hulk, on the other hand, is suffering from the reboot same issues as Spider-Man, as the character keeps getting bounced from one actor to another (though Mark Ruffalo seems to be cemented as Banner/the Hulk). But wait! Spidey is getting another reboot so he can be properly added to the MCU…
But why not the Hulk? Is it simply a timing thing? Or is it some perceived notion that the MCU-watching audience doesn’t want to see a new film dedicated to this character? Whatever the case, it’s confusing, because Ruffalo has proven he’s damn-good in the role (and it’s worth noting that Edward Norton wasn’t too bad as Banner/the Hulk, either). But, just like with Civil War, it could be that Marvel is looking to surprise fans with a new Hulk film as part of those three unspecified film projects. Maybe they’re just keeping it under wraps because they’re tired of all the reboot nonsense surrounding Spidey.
Funny enough, the same issue plagues the Hulk in the world of video games, though he’s not necessarily alone there. That’s especially true in the time since the MCU really began taking off, because Marvel has been getting hammered by its main competition, DC Comics, something fierce. And that’s all thanks to Batman’s fantastic Arkham series, which actually ended this year with Arkham Knight. But still, you’d think a character like the Hulk would get his proper due here, right? There are so many ways that a developer could utilize the smarts of Bruce Banner and the enemy-crushing strength of his angry side.
And yet, beyond a shabby 2008 title, there have been very few modern games featuring the Hulk outside of two I could gather. The first focuses more on graphics and animation that actual gameplay, as was noted in this review. However, it’s not entirely the game’s fault in that case, as it’s a slot machine that’s been adapted to include the more cinematic attributes of the Hulk. It offers a different twist on a slot, though, so it gets some credit there. And the same can be said for the other title, which is actually only a mini-game, according this write-up. The third-person action in the game looks pretty fun, but it only lasts for so long. Like its slot-based counterpart, it may leave fans wanting more of a full-on Hulk experience, which the character (and his fans!) deserve.
As was mentioned earlier in this post, it could very well be that Marvel is rebooting the Hulk yet again and just hasn’t spilled the beans yet. I’m not necessarily holding my breath on that being the case, but that’d make for one hell of a surprise to the ever-growing MCU audience, some of which has to be thinking: Where’s the love for the Hulk?