Bruce Banner is an interesting character in the MCU. With the rights remaining to Universal for a solo Hulk movie, Disney had to develop the character in their Avengers movies instead. In doing so they created a character who’s wise, intelligent, and strong. Bruce Banner has an interesting dilemma of sharing a body with the Hulk which results in a constant fight over control. In this fight we see different instances of Bruce and Hulk taking over, however, they refuse to work with each other. This has even led to a suicide attempt by Bruce which resulted in the Hulk stopping him. Overall, we haven’t seen Hulk in his full form until Thor: Ragnarok.
In Thor: Ragnarok, Hulk took over for multiple years and lived as Hulk on the planet of Sakaar. Being a champion gladiator on the planet earned him notoriety and rewards that incentivized him to stay. Since Hulk isn’t fully mentally developed his intelligence is rather low. This leads to an easily impressionable and manipulative character, however, in Thor: Ragnarok Hulk has developed more and can formulate more words than ever before. However, there is a catch to Hulk remaining as the one in control.
With the Hulk being in control for many years, Bruce Banner doesn’t think that he can turn into Hulk when he needs to if at all. With this option on the table, Banner must change as a character. Taking away the strength from one of if not the strongest Avenger means that the team will suffer from a lack of power. Instead, Banner must rely on his intelligence to bolster the team and give them a winning chance against Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. With Banner being a Dr. in multiple fields of science, his brain combined with the mind of Tony Stark can produce endless ideas like they have in the past with Vision. While Banner has the brain and sometimes the brawn, it is pertinent that they rely on his brain for now.
By taking the strength of Hulk off the table, the Avengers must get creative in finding a way to take down Thanos. But, one last option remains for Banner when it comes to fighting Thanos again. If Banner can potentially turn into Hulk one more time before it is a permanent transformation he could attempt to merge with the inner-beast. In doing so would create Professor Hulk, who is a notable character in the comic books. In the comics, Professor Hulk is a combination of Hulk’s strength and size along with the brilliance of Bruce Banner. With Banner in control of the Hulk, they could form an unlikely alliance to help in the battle against Thanos.
Within Banner/Hulk’s five appearances in the MCU, we’ve grown to love and appreciate the awkward scientist and the monster that lives inside of him, however, it might be time that we see these two finally make peace for the greater good. With Avengers: Endgame drawing close, we will see how Banner lives with or without the Hulk in his life when the movie hits the big screen. Until then, the trials and tribulations of Banner and Hulk remain. With Hulk refusing to come out in Avengers: Infinity War, it is crucial that we see the beast come out of his cage for one last fight against the Mad Titan in Avengers: Endgame.