Tag Archives: monsters

The Incredible Hulk, More Werewolf than Hero

I wish I could say I thought of this myself, and maybe I did (along with you), but I never articulated it, so I can’t take credit even on my own blog.

The typical scenario Dr. Bruce Banner finds himself in, at least on film, is being the victim of gang abuse. Wrong place, wrong time or maybe he chose to stand up to someone who responded with a gaggle of thugs. They beat on him or kick him down an elevator shaft, and he hulks out.

That’s the rage-monster-as-hero idea, but Banner/Hulk is more complicated than that, as these guys point out in the middle of a long list of interesting details on Marvel’s The Avengers. If you’ve seen the movie, note #13-14. Joss Whedon sees the big guy as the beast Banner is trying to contain.

I saw a wag, making cracks about this movie, laugh at how convenient it is that Banner can control his power just when the story calls for it, but he’s missing the point. Whedon’s Hulk isn’t one who can’t be summoned; he’s one who can only barely be contained. In this movie, Banner knew he was holding a very dangerous hair trigger. He isn’t telling us, “Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.” He’s telling us, “Let’s keep things under control, because when I get pushed over the edge, very bad things can happen.”