The Avengers, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, with powers rivalling gods and an actual one. They seem unbothered by the ‘puny’ problems of unremarkable mortals, after all, what problem could befall a superhero?
The Hulk or Dr Bruce Banner, your everyday scientist turned “enormous green rage monster”, is a textbook example of how saving the lives of others doesn’t necessarily mean you can save your own.
As a child watching this soft-spoken, shy scientist turn into what I could only describe then as a monster, was mind-blowing. It took a lot of growing up to realize The Hulk isn’t as indestructible as I once thought. The Hulk started to look more like a tough shell simply protecting the ‘puny’ Banner from the outside world. However, a relationship as complex as theirs couldn’t be that simple, would it? The Hulk and Banner more accurately would be described as two sides of the same coin, one person and two very different beings at the same time. Despite the unbelievable powers, Dr Banner was exposed to much more than just gamma rays, he was exposed to a darker life, a burden too much for any man.
The 2012 movie “The Avengers” was nothing short of a blockbuster making and breaking records all around the world. With countless action sequences, a star-studded cast, and most importantly Tony Stark’s snarky comments, there’s a whole lot to love about the movie. But after several rewatches, one scene seemed to stick, something that was quickly overshadowed by more of the action.
The scene in question would be the one where The Earth’s Mightiest Heroes squabble like children after uncovering Nick Fury’s secret. This was followed by Fury revealing the cell where Loki was kept in was meant for The Hulk. This lead to Bruce promptly saying that there was no use since he had tried eliminating himself as well. This one line has more depth in it than just how far he had fallen, it was his cry for help. Even after being a part of The Avengers, Bruce viewed himself as nothing more than a threat, a beast trapped in a man’s body.
The Hulk, the beast that went toe to toe with the God of Thunder was affected by the normal man’s disorder, seems unlikely but just goes to show how intense this ‘small problem’ can be, how much of a toll it might take on a person’s mind regardless of who they might be. Bruce was at a point where he thought isolating himself from the world was the only way to keep himself and everyone around him safe, lead in him to try and fail to suppress the Hulk causing him to fall deeper into this pit from which he saw no return.
Next in line would be our favourite know-it-all, Tony Stark.
Tony was forced to change the way he lived his life after the kidnapping, from just a genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist to an actual superhero. His life of leisure took a complete turn when he decided to use his knowledge and his resources to protect the weak. As unbothered and sarcastic, Tony might have come across, he was often drowning in guilt and fear.
In New York, the invasion made him realize how insignificant he was, maybe not the best feeling for a textbook narcissist. The event affected him so deeply that he developed severe PTSD from it, as seen in “Ironman-3”, where just the mention of New York would give him an anxiety attack and bring the invincible Ironman to his knees. Throughout the movies, we have seen Tony evolve from his seemingly childish demeanour to becoming a hero and a father who didn’t think twice before sacrificing himself for the betterment of others. Tony Stark’s death has created a vacuum in the MCU and our hearts, he would never be forgotten.
As extraordinary as they might be they are still humans, they think and feel just like us but we see how it extends far beyond just Earth with how it affects The God of Thunder himself. Thor or as Tony would prefer “point break” by “Infinity War” had seen enough hardships. From Odin’s death, Loki’s betrayal and eventual death, his battle with his sister which led to innumerable Asgardian casualties, and the last straw being him ‘not going for the head’, Thor blamed himself for the tragedies and loss in his life. Being a literal god who was groomed for the throne and had powers beyond the fathomable, Thor couldn’t deal with things not being in his control. He felt responsible and the guilt manifested as an eating disorder and him being ‘in a slump’ in Endgame.
Eventually, though, we see our heroes emerging victorious in the end. Bruce finally embraced the Hulk, giving us our beloved Professor Hulk, who brought half the universe back with the snap of his fingers. Tony became the saviour of the universe sacrificing himself for the rest of mankind and Thor sparked his way to victory at the end.
The Avengers fought all their battles as a team, on and off the field. If superheroes very evidently needed their partners to help them maybe, mere humans do too, and asking for help from your avengers might help you in your battles.
Written by Nihal Shetty for MTTN
Edited by Anushka Das for MTTN
Featured Image by Michael Cho
Artwork by Phantom City Creative