One thought on “Comic Book Noise 807: Strong Characters”

  1. While I’m all for sidelining a major character to create a major buildup for his/her return (e.g. Death of Superman), it still bugs me how they killed Bruce Banner in Civil War II. It just doesn’t ring true to me in terms of the motivations and concerns of the heroes behind this event. On the one hand, he had been completely de-powered, which is how we have a Totally Awesome Hulk running around now (this also creates a continuity problem with Uncanny Avengers and Secret Empire, both resurrecting Banner to use his power as the Hulk), so I don’t see how anyone would be seeing him as a threat of any kind. On the other hand, he’s a founding Avenger and known hero. The last time anyone saw him “Hulk out”, it was where he was a member of the team in Avengers Tower (pre-Secret Wars) and saving human lives from a multi-megaton bomb (post-Secret Wars and how Amadeus Cho took his power). Even when he was a rampaging monster, heroes consistently balked at helping the military to kill the Hulk, choosing to instead help the jade giant or just let him go his merry way. In my world, there was absolutely zero reason people would 1) expect Banner to Hulk out or 2) be at all worried if he DID become the Hulk again. So while I understand the business decisions why this action was taken, the way they pulled it off will never stop bugging me.

    Also, your comment about Marvel giving the Hulk the intelligence of Banner got me thinking. When Peter David “combined” his personalities in the early 90s (the Pantheon era), we had a Hulk who possessed all of Bruce Banner’s memories and was supposedly all of his personalities in one being, i.e. the “whole” Banner. David later revealed that this was actually just another of Banner’s many personalities, and this particular personality (dubbed “Professor” Hulk) wasn’t the SAME as Banner, but had full access to all of Banner’s thoughts and memories (and vice versa, Banner knows what the Professor knows), which is why he thought that he WAS Banner. Anywho, the reason this got me thinking is that now I’m wondering if we can attribute the Banner Hulk given to us by Bill Mantlo in the early 1980s to actually being this Professor personality. I’m inclined to think so, but would be open to discussion on the matter.

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