After reacquainting myself with Avengers: Endgame last week I was able to truly enjoy and observe the individual characters’ growth in the film. You see, Avengers: Infinity War should’ve been called Thanos: Infinity War because the movie was really about him. The writers gave us a crash course on this psychotic villain with a “noble” plan to wipe out half of all life and as he obtained each Infinity Stone we had to watch our favorite heroes get beaten over and over again until the film’s shocking conclusion.
Thanos, however, was put on the back burner for Avengers: Endgame, allowing the writers to take these heroes who were at their very lowest and highlight their individual heroism in particular ways for their own character developments. It was beautiful to see. So beautiful in fact that I had to talk about it. So, for the next week, I’m sharing with you a new series called A Hero’s Redemption. This series focuses on the characters I found to have the greatest and most heroic storylines in Avengers: Endgame and I’m happy to announce the first hero of this series is Bruce Banner/Professor Hulk. Enjoy!
The Avengers’ Failure
Bruce Banner’s inclusion in this story is a bit harsher than most of the other characters. In Age of Ultron, he found love with fellow Avenger Natasha Romanoff but, afraid of harming her or anyone else after his violent outbreak in Africa, he decided to leave aboard the Quinjet and go to an unknown destination. He didn’t realize that the Quinjet’s trajectory would send him to space, hence Sakaar, where he remained as The Hulk for years fighting in The Grandmaster’s Tournament of Champions. When he finally did become Bruce Banner again he was on a different planet embarking with Thor on a wild adventure to save Asgard.
Even though there was the chance that Bruce Banner would never return he transformed back into The Hulk to help the Asgardians and with Hela defeated things seemed fine for the Asgardians. That is until Thanos showed up who pulverized The Hulk in mere seconds.
Utterly petrified The Hulk never returned for the fight, leaving Bruce Banner to handle the oncoming threat of Thanos alone. In short, he as well as The Avengers lost, leading to Endgame.
At the beginning of Endgame, it’s been three weeks since The Avengers’ defeat and Bruce Banner wants to fix what’s happened but it seems like there’s no hope. Hope arrives with the slim chance that the stones can be retrieved and everyone who was killed could be restored but that hope is squashed when it’s learned that Thanos has destroyed the stones.
Once again, Bruce Banner was defeated. He lost twice, first The Hulk, then Bruce Banner, and it sent him into the lab where he resided for years.
Out Plops Professor Hulk
Professor Hulk manages to move on over the last five years but there’s always the guilt within him that he failed. His inability to stop Thanos got trillions killed. As Professor Hulk told his fellow Avengers friends, in the lab Bruce Banner realized that The Hulk was the key to making everything right. And he was correct. With the opportunity to potentially go back in time and right the wrongs, Professor Hulk was quick to help and ready to do whatever it took to save the world.
Despite the fact that his relationship with Natasha hadn’t worked out he still loved her. So when the Time Heist was complete and Natasha didn’t return it was as if he lost all over again. This was yet another heartbreaking moment for Bruce Banner but it spurred him onto making one of the most heroic choices in the movie.
Wearing the Infinity Gauntlet
Bruce knew he could die wearing the Infinity Gauntlet but too many bad things had happened. He had to witness half the Asgardians get murdered, then he had to see half of all life get turned to dust, and then finally he lost the woman he loved. He was determined to fix everything, to show that Natasha’s sacrifice hadn’t been in vain. It is his single most heroic moment in the franchise and a true testament to why he is an Avenger.
Eight years before he had run from Earth to prevent anyone else from dying by his hand. He left the woman he professed to love, he turned his back on The Avengers, but, when the galaxy needed him most, he was able to use his smarts and his unyielding goodness to help save the day. It was his personal path to redemption and it was beautiful to watch.
Tomorrow the series focuses on another amazing hero, Hawkeye. I can’t wait for you to read it.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a wonderful day.