The Duality of The Hulk and Bruce Banner

[avatar user=”Danielle de la Torre” size=”thumbnail” align=”left”]By; Danielle de la Torre[/avatar]

Thor Ragnorak is fast approaching and one question I’ve been asking since Age of Ultron is what happened to Bruce Banner?

The last time we saw him is at the end of the battle against Ultron. Banner was unwilling to stay with Black Widow in fear of hurting her when The Hulk takes over. You could almost see the fear of Bruce Banner in The Hulks eyes when Black Widow tries to calm him down after his smash down session against Ultron. He ends up leaving in an untraceable jet where the team and especially Black Widow are unable to get to him.

Bruce Banner is the only Avenger who seems to struggle with his abnormality. His struggle has hindered him in reaching his full potential as an Avenger. I’ve come to the conclusion that he suffers from MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder). Let us break down the four points of MPD and see where Bruce Banner fits:

• Two or more personalities are present within an individual

• Gaps in memory recall or amnesia must occur.

• Disorder causes individual distress or distrusts the normal functioning of their life

• The condition must not be a cultural norm.

The first point of criteria is two or more personalities are present within an individual. This one is easy. Bruce Banner a genius in nuclear physics that was in the blast radius of a Gamma Bomb. Which due to an unknown factor in his body kept him alive and gave birth to the vastly powerful, green-skinned, humanoid monster…”The Hulk”. Frequently, The Hulk makes appearances through Bruce Banner so of course, he fits the first criteria of having two personalities. Two separate personalities live inside one body.

Second, comes the criteria of gaps in the memory or amnesia must occur. It’s obvious in the Marvel movie universe that Bruce Banner has trouble recalling what happens when The Hulk takes over. It’s almost like a dream that you have and then all the sudden you wake up and can’t remember any of it or you remember very little in a hazy format.

Our third qualifying criteria is disorder causes individual distress or distrusts the normal functioning of their life. You can tell that the green giant isn’t so jolly with Bruce Banner. In the first Avengers film, Bruce spoke of his suicide attempt. He stuck a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger only to have the big guy spit it out. You can tell that The Hulk being able to take over his body and have the ability to hurt people close to him really takes a toll on the mindset of Bruce. He has already sunken into an all-time low trying to take his own life. Since he can’t take his own life he must live with the circumstances that life has thrown him. These life circumstances have obviously plagued him since the first Marvel film we have seen him in. There is a reason Bruce secluded himself in a foreign country to never be found.


This last criterion is the easiest one on the list. The condition must not be a cultural norm. Turning into a big, angry, green, giant is probably the farthest from the norm you can get. So it’s easy to tell that Bruce Banner qualifies for this criterion with flying colors.

Now I know why Bruce left. I relate it to my life on the scale of wanting to disappear when the beast of mental illness takes over your body. Family and friends have a tough time dealing with it. It is hard for someone outside of your body who is not feeling what you are feeling to know how to help you. You end up feeling like a burden that is hurting your family and friends because they don’t know how to help you and you feel like you are hindering their lives with your illness. For Bruce, he loves Black Widow and The Avengers but no one knows what it feels like to turn into The Hulk but him. His only out is to take care of himself before he does something terrible to his team.

Bruce’s disorder has hindered him since he was first introduced in the Marvel universe movies. Based on the criteria checklist, Bruce Banner checks all the boxes for Multiple Personality Disorder. He is not only Bruce Banner he is also The Hulk. Two personalities that duel it out frequently and sometimes for the greater good. In the Marvel movie universe, we have come full circle with Bruce Banner from his first appearance in Avengers. He has now secluded himself from the people he loves and cares about. But this time he did so in the form of The Hulk so what does this mean for Bruce Banner?

Will Bruce completely revert himself into The Hulk for Ragnorak or will Thor help him cope with his disorder and become the Avenger we need for Infinity War? I’m looking forward to the come back of Bruce Banner along with The Hulk and their time to shine in becoming the ultimate team to kick some major ass alongside his fellow Avengers.

Check out the final trailer for Thor Ragnorak below! In theaters November 3rd!

2 Replies to “The Duality of The Hulk and Bruce Banner”

  1. You know, I think I never really thought of the Hulk from the perspective of this post. It’s easy to not perceive the personality disorder and the toll it takes on Bruce when you get too excited about a giant green creature who enjoys smashing the bad guys.

    Having seen the film now (mild spoilers ahead), it’s fascinating to consider this point of view, because for the first time, Hulk was allowed to be Hulk for a very long time without Bruce coming out. This has led to his intelligence developing a little, to the point where he can communicate to a bigger extent. When Bruce finally comes out, he is confused and shocked to know the amount of time he was Hulk, a dissonance that shows his mind/perception is more affected than simply physically turning into a monster. (This inevitably brings to mind my current-favourite show, Mr. Robot)

    A point that gets brought up in the film is how Bruce is afraid Hulk will “take over indefinitely” if he turns again, which is now making me consider if one aspect of a personality disorder can “conquer” the rest, for better or for worse. (This is also making me think of the film Split, with brilliant work done by James McAvoy)

    It will be interesting to see how they can keep expanding on this seeing as they have confirmed future plans for storylines involving Hulk. I would be super excited if a new Hulk-focused film touched more on this than the usual superhero antics – although there better be a fair amount of smashing.

    Thank you for your post.

    1. Thank you for your kind words! I think ‘Split’ is absolutely brilliant. McAvoy really does incredible portrayal! I hope we get more depth into Hulk too!

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