In the pro wrestling industry, one consistently effective way to introduce a new monster (someone who’s of great size and power) is to have them mow down another well established monster in order to give them credibility. Granted, promoters don’t go with this creative decision on every occasion, but it’s proven to be a recipe for success a decent amount of the time.
Similarly, directors Joe and Anthony Russo used this method to instantly show just how great of a threat Thanos is. I say that because, as you may remember, the Mad Titan dominated the Hulk in short order in the opening minutes of Avengers: Infinity War. I mean, we’d seen Thor give the Green Goliath a run for his money not long ago, but he didn’t hand him his ass in such a decisive manner.
As the movie progressed, we repeatedly saw Bruce Banner try to summon “the other guy,” but to no avail. This, of course, led fans to believe that the Hulk was afraid or embarrassed to make a return, but Joe offered the following explanation when recently appearing on the Happy Sad Confused podcast:
“I think people have interpreted it as Hulk’s scared. I mean, certainly, that’s not a — I don’t know that the Hulk is ever… he’s had his ass kicked before, and he loves a good fight. But I think that it’s really reflective of the journey from Ragnarok. Is that these two characters are constantly in conflict with each other over control. And I think that if the Hulk were to say why, it’d be [that] Banner only wants Hulk for fighting. I think he’s had enough of saving Banner’s ass.”
What’s interesting is how this has become a point of discussion from a variety of angles, especially when you consider how we were all misled by certain promos that faked us out by showing Hulk standing his ground with other heroes in Wakanda. But I guess the filmmakers had to preserve certain plot points – and sell tickets – by crafty means.
Let’s just hope that the brute doesn’t continue his vacation started in Avengers: Infinity War, and instead resumes his favorite hobby of smashing when the sequel arrives in theaters on May 3rd, 2019.