Last week, we started a brand new ongoing series that looks at how Marvel comics, both past and current, could be used as inspiration for the MCU. If you read last week’s From Comics To Cinema, we talked about how the upcoming decision to make Riri Williams the next Iron Man could be a possible road that Marvel Studios could explore when it is time for Robert Downey Jr. to step out of the armor. This week, we are going to discuss about the much talked about and latest issue of Civil War II. If you have not yet read Civil War II #3, turn away now and come back after the fact as the following contains major spoilers.
Spoiler Warning for Civil War II #3
Now that you are still reading – and hopefully have read Civil War II #3 – the comic world at this moment in time is without Bruce Banner. This is something that is likely not permanent on the comic side, as no comic character really ever dies, but the way that Banner is killed got my brain thinking about what Marvel should do when Mark Ruffalo‘s contract is up. They have already re-cast Banner before after Edward Norton‘s portrayal in The Incredible Hulk, but Ruffalo has become the definitive version of the character at this point. Ruffalo is only 48 and being Banner/Hulk seems to be something he loves to do and does not require the physical toll that Chris Evans or Chris Hemsworth have to endure. Even so, at some point Ruffalo will be done playing Hulk and with there being a desire for Amadeus Cho or Jennifer Walters to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel will face the difficult decision of how to get rid of the unkillable monster.
Coincidentally enough, the way that Banner dies in Civil War II #3 is an easy adaptation to make. If you did not read the issue and are still reading, Banner develops a specialty arrow for Hawkeye to use on him if he ever starts to Hulk out again. Then when Carol Danvers, Tony Stark, and basically every other Marvel hero arrive on his door telling him of a possible disastrous future at his hands, the transformation appears to begin. Now, this scenario is most likely not going to happen by the end of Phase 3, but I do think this is a real possibility for Phase 4 in either an Avengers film, or the long awaited Hulk solo movie. How is this possible? Well here is my pitch.
From what little we know about Thor: Ragnarok, it appears that we will see much more of Hulk than we will of Banner. Then by the time that Banner can gain control again, he will have to Hulk out again to battle Thanos. That is quite a lot of time for a man to be a prisoner to his alter ego. After all this time of not being himself, Phase 4 Banner devotes his time to trying to remain a human being as much as possible. This is where they can adapt the story told in Civil War II #3. He has been experimenting on himself to contain his alter ego, and eventually develops a full proof device that will kill him once and for all. This would not only be a crushing end to his character in the film – and why he almost Hulks out I am not sure about – but it would also give Hawkeye a huge role in a defining moment that he has really yet to have.
Marvel cannot simply let Banner retire or leave the status of Bruce Banner in the air when it is time for Ruffalo to walk away. This path gives the character an end and opens the door for Cho, Walters, or someone else to be the new Hulk figure in the MCU moving forward. Did you like the decision to kill Banner in the comics? Could you see a similar plot play out on the big screen? Let us know what you think in the comments below!