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All superhero stories require the viewer to suspend a certain amount of disbelief. Some more than others.

When it comes to the

Incredible Hulk

, the original 1962 series was canceled after just six issues — indicating that maybe even comic book readers couldn’t buy into the concept of a nerdy scientist who turns green and grows muscles whenever he gets ticked off.

Then the character was given a second life as a founding member of the Avengers. Ever since the popular 1970s TV series, this Marvel superhero has been around to stay.

Created as a mix between the Frankenstein monster and Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, Stan Lee knew full well that audiences are far more captivated by a conflicted superhero rather than someone who is always on the right side of the issue – and flawlessly handsome to boot.

While these character traits were suited to this age of anti-heroes, the Hulk’s jump to the big screen wasn’t a flawless one. The 2003 feature starring Eric Bana was a mixed bag for moviegoers, and while 2008’s The Incredible Hulk was a massive step in the right direction, the film has proved to largely be at odds with the rest of the MCU.

So with that in mind, let’s take a closer look at

15 Things That Make No Sense About The Hulk.

15. Why don’t his pants rip all the way off?

The Hulk Avengers 15 Things That Make No Sense About The Hulk

The easy answer to this question is that the filmmakers can’t show full-frontal in a PG-13 film. The MCU isn’t Watchmen, after all. But no pair of over-the-counter stretchy pants is stretchy enough to stay on a man who goes from 180 pounds to over 1,000 pounds in the matter of a few seconds.

In the comics, Stan Lee said he always assumed that Banner and Richard Reed/Mister Fantastic would have been friends, and that Reed would have hooked Banner up with a pair of elastic trousers — allowing the writers and artists to stay well within the guidelines of the Comics Code.

Of course, ever since Banner has been a member of the Avengers, we’re sure S.H.I.E.L.D. or Stark could have easily manufactured a pair of pants stretchy enough to stay on the Hulk. But that doesn’t explain every previous time that Banner Hulked-out before!

14. How he made it to Sakaar

Thor and Bruce Banner Hulk in Thor Ragnarok 15 Things That Make No Sense About The Hulk

Kevin Feige has promised more unusual team-ups in the MCU after the conclusion of Phase Three. Audiences already got a taste of this when the God of Thunder partnering up with the Strongest Avenger throughout Thor: Ragnarok.

While this new team dynamic made for a thoroughly enjoyable film, the plot was especially vague when it came to how the Hulk ultimately arrived on Sakaar.

At the end of Ultron, the Hulk departs on a Quinjet, fearing that he’s become a liability to the Avengers, and the next thing we know he’s made it all the way to the Grandmaster’s planet on nothing but happenstance.

Since it’s not hard to assume that the jet was sucked into one of the many vortexes that lead to Sakaar, we can’t help but wonder why they didn’t make this explicitly clear in the film.

13. How he stayed in beast mode for two years

thor ragnarok 15 Things That Make No Sense About The Hulk

In Ragnarok, we learned that the longer Bruce stays the Hulk, the harder it is for him to change back. But how did Bruce end up staying as the Hulk for two years in the first place?

In any previous film, every time the Hulk is knocked out or falls asleep he wakes up back in his regular body.

On Sakaar, the Hulk actually lived quite the luxurious lifestyle when he wasn’t fighting for the Grandmaster — meaning he had plenty of time to relax.

At the end of the film, Bruce rolls the dice and decides to transform again, knowing full well that he may be stuck as the Hulk forever. This would make sense if Bruce is continuing to lose control — but even this theory doesn’t seem to hold true ever since Bruce made a reappearance in the Infinity War trailers.

12. Bruce can control the Hulk, until he can’t

Bruce Banner Hulk Green Eyes Age of Ultron 15 Things That Make No Sense About The Hulk

Bruce’s primary objective in The Incredible Hulk is to achieve total control over his other half. After trying to discover a permanent cure ends in disaster, Bruce returns to his methods of using exercise and meditation to command the Hulk — which seems to end successfully.

In The Avengers, Bruce has one bad spill and can’t do anything to stop the Big Green Guy from resurfacing.

Since then, Bruce’s control over the Hulk has been dubious at best. Sometimes he’s able to cull out his anger whenever he needs it, other times he’s at the mercy of his surroundings. Not to mention that the Hulk’s ability to work as a team player always seems contingent upon whether it’s convenient for the story.

It’s almost as if The Incredible Hulk played no part in Bruce’s character development at all.

11. The Incredible Hulk was a reboot… and a sequel

Hulk 2003 and The Incredible Hulk 2008 15 Things That Make No Sense About The Hulk

These days, no one bats an eye when a series is rebooted. But there was a time when movies like Batman Begins and The Amazing Spider-Man had everyone thinking “Too soon.”

Therefore, when The Incredible Hulk was released just five years after Hulk, the filmmakers circumnavigated this problem by forgoing Bruce Banner’s origin story and instead picking up with the character while he’s continuing to live off the grid in South America.

In other words, The Incredible Hulk could be viewed as a continuation of the 2003 film.

Even the producer of both films, Gale Anne Hurd, said the movie was both a bit of a reboot and a bit of a sequel. Although, we doubt anyone (especially Kevin Feige) would like to think that Hulk has ties to the MCU.

10. He’s no longer worried about his blood being weaponized

Edward Norton in The Incredible Hulk  15 Things That Make No Sense About The Hulk

In The Incredible Hulk, we learned just how powerful Banner’s DNA really is when a few drops of his blood make it into one of the out-going bottles at a soft-drink factory in Brazil. This incident eventually makes its way back to General Ross, who tracks down Bruce and sends him on the lam once again.

While back in the States, Bruce also learns that while Dr. Sterns has used Bruce’s blood to research a cure, he too plans to weaponize the gamma radiation.

Thus, Bruce Banner is like a walking-talking weapon’s silo — which makes him a target for anyone looking to duplicate his powers.

However, this is another concept of The Incredible Hulk that has also slipped through the cracks. You’d think it would be a major cause of concern for the Avengers not to let one drop of Bruce’s blood ever go unaccounted for.

9. He’s totally forgotten about Betty

Liv Tyler as Betty Ross from The Incredible Hulk 15 Things That Make No Sense About The Hulk

The MCU doesn’t have the greatest track record of following through with its romances. We finally learned that Thor and Jane broke up courtesy of an offhand line in Ragnarok, while Stark’s relationship with Pepper Potts has also been put on the back burner following the third Iron Man film (where Stark ironically promised to make more time for her).

Then there’s the case of Bruce and Betty, who haven’t gotten a mention since The Incredible Hulk.

While it’s understandable that Bruce would want to keep his distance from Betty while he’s still being hunted by her father, his alliance with the Avengers has finally earned him safe haven in the States.

General Ross even made a surprise appearance in Civil War — meaning that the Ross family hasn’t been totally forgotten. There’s still no mention of Bruce’s long-lost love.

8. Edward Norton’s Hulk looked nothing like him

Edward Norton The Incredible Hulk  15 Things That Make No Sense About The Hulk

While The Incredible Hulk ultimately failed to fit into the MCU’s overarching storyline, at the time, it was easily the best big screen adaptation of the character to date.

How could the filmmakers have been so short-sighted as to not make the Hulk look anything like Edward Norton?

While the appearance of the Hulk is an undeniable step up from the gargantuan uber-green beast from the 2003 film, at least that creature had a slight resemblance to Eric Bana. Ever since The Avengers, the Hulk’s facial features are clearly taken from Mark Ruffalo’s.

In The Incredible Hulk, Bruce and the Hulk don’t even have the same hair color.

Even when Betty gives Bruce a haircut halfway through the film, the Hulk still sports the same shaggy black ‘do throughout the remainder of the film.

7. He says he’s always angry, but he certainly doesn’t seem like it

Mark Ruffalo Bruce Banner The Avengers 15 Things That Make No Sense About The Hulk

Throughout The Avengers, Tony Stark desperately tries to discover Banner’s secret for not going all Jolly Green giant. He asks him outright, playfully teases him, and even goes so far as to zap Bruce while they’re aboard the helicarrier. But nothing makes Bruce lose his cool.

Then, when the Avengers are at their most discouraged, Bruce emerges from the ruble on a motorbike and willingly prepares to unleash the beast. His secret, he tells them, is that he’s always angry.

While this transformation is undoubtedly one of the coolest moments in the film, it also doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Gamma radiation aside, Bruce is one of the most level-headed members of the Avengers.

Not to mention that the whole point of The Incredible Hulk was to show how Bruce gains mastery over his anger through exercise, deep breathing, and meditation.

6. His inconsistent powers

hulk hulkbuster johannesburg avengers 2 age ultron 15 Things That Make No Sense About The Hulk

Like any superhero franchise, the MCU isn’t immune to buffing or nerfing its characters’ powers for the sake of storytelling.

We’ve seen the Iron Man suit take hits from Mjolnir only to be smashed to pieces by a semi truck, and we’ve watched Captain America stand his own against Ultron despite Thor getting beat down by the same villain earlier in the film.

These inconsistencies also apply to the Hulk, who is able to stop a gargantuan Chitauri monster with a single punch in Avengers, only to get taken down by Stark’s Hulkbuster armor in Ultron.

While one could argue that the MCU Hulk’s powers are contingent upon his anger level, his capabilities have been all over the place in the comics as well.

While once nothing more than a superhuman beast, the Hulk has gone on to punch planets in half and inexplicably be able to breathe underwater.

5. He discovered a cure in The Incredible Hulk

Edward Norton Hulk 15 Things That Make No Sense About The Hulk

While Bruce seemed to have gained complete control of the Hulk at the end of the 2008 film, we’ve since learned that this mastery has been far from an exact science.

Why hasn’t Bruce ever continued the research that he began in The Incredible Hulk?

Here, Bruce works with Dr. Samuel Sterns (AKA Mr. Blue) to reverse the effects of the gamma exposure. By the film’s end, Sterns is successfully able to subdue one of Bruce’s episodes — meaning they were at least on the right track to discovering a permanent solution.

Despite Bruce continuing to lose control of his other half, he’s never once been shown to continue the research that Dr. Sterns started. The Incredible Hulk also teased Dr. Sterns’ transformation into the Leader — one of the Hulk’s most memorable villains — but this idea has also been abandoned.

4. His ever-changing appearance

The Hulk Avengers Thor Ragnarok 15 Things That Make No Sense About The Hulk

The Hulk underwent a considerable makeover between The Incredible Hulk and The Avengers, which was well beyond the change needed due to Bruce Banner being recast. In fact, one could argue that the original Hulk actually looked more like Mark Ruffalo than Edward Norton in the first place, meaning the changes could have been relatively subtle to help maintain continuity.

Apparently, Joss Whedon didn’t like the ripped muscle look that they went for in Incredible Hulk, and the character was redesigned to have a more typical body-builder physique. Additionally, the actor’s facial features were carried over into the transformation.

While this was met with mostly positive feedback, some felt the new Hulk was too ape-like and a bit on the doughy side. While the Hulk has looked mostly the same ever since, the character design still seems like it’s being tweaked with each new film.

3. His relationship with Natasha

Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff Avengers Age of Ultron 15 Things That Make No Sense About The Hulk

On paper, a relationship between Bruce and Natasha seems like it could have been the heartfelt love story that the MCU desperately needed.

They’re both damaged characters who got their powers largely against their will. They both can’t have children, meaning that their relationship won’t take them away from their work. And they’re both played by extremely charismatic actors.

Unfortunately, the franchise has been so preoccupied with establishing their relationship without ever showing why these two ended up falling for each other in the first place. Sure, they have a lot in common, but logic rarely makes a difference when it comes to love.

To make matters worse, Bruce and the Hulk have been particularly flighty when it comes to easing Natasha’s concerns, making this relationship seem doomed before it ever really started.

2. The Incredible Hulk’s tone doesn’t mesh with the MCU

Hulk fights Abomination in The Incredible Hulk 15 Things That Make No Sense About The Hulk

Aside from the fact that few of the characters or storylines from The Incredible Hulk have yet to reappear in the MCU, the overall tone of the film is also strikingly different from anything we’ve gotten out of the franchise before or since.

While Tony Stark does make a brief cameo, The Incredible Hulk severely lacks the levity that made Iron Man such a smash hit.

You could probably count all the laugh-out-loud jokes within the film on one hand.

This is likely because Incredible Hulk was released just a month after Iron Man, when the idea of any kind of shared universe was still in early development.

Additionally, the film forgoes the origin story that was a staple of Phase One, as well as introduces a reluctant hero who seeks to destroy his powers rather than try to harness them.

1. How Marvel still doesn’t own 100% of the rights

Marvel and Universal Hulk Rights 15 Things That Make No Sense About The Hulk

Everyone knows the hoops Marvel Studios had to jump through to get everyone’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man incorporated into the MCU. Marvel has another complicated deal with Universal when it comes to the Hulk, which makes it very unlikely that we’ll ever get another standalone Hulk film.

Although Marvel regained the film production rights to the character after the failed 2003 film, Universal still owns the film distribution rights — meaning that it still has to give the go-ahead on another solo-outing, just as the studio did with The Incredible Hulk.

While Kevin Feige has hammered out seemingly impossible deals in the past, Mark Ruffalo outright said that Universal isn’t willing to bend on the issue, meaning Ragnarok is as close to a “Planet Hulk” movie as we’ll probably ever get.

What else about the


doesn’t make sense? Sound off in the comments!

TAGS: the incredible hulk
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