Spoiler warning: If you still haven’t seen Marvel’s superhero crossover film Avengers: Infinity War, it is recommended that you watch the film and then proceed, major spoilers ahead.
Avengers Infinity War saw Marvel Cinematic Universe’s mightiest heroes come together for an epic showdown with Thanos, the result of which has left many fans disheartened. Yes, half of all living life including our beloved superheroes was wiped off. All hope now remains with the Phase I superheroes including the incredible green monster – Hulk. But unfortunately, in this crossover treat, Dr Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) was not able to connect with his green monster post one introductory scene. The big guy just refused to come out and spent most of the movie hidden away inside Banner.
While fans were left speculating that Hulk was actually scared of someone after receiving the mighty beating at the hands of Thanos, director Joe Russo clarifies that it is not the case. Opening up in a recent appearance on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Russo explains, “I think people have interpreted it as Hulk’s scared. I mean, certainly, that’s not a — I don’t know that the Hulk is ever… he’s had his ass kicked before, and he loves a good fight. But I think that it’s really reflective of the journey from Ragnarok. These two characters are constantly in conflict with each other over control. And I think that if the Hulk were to say why, it’d be (that) Banner only wants Hulk for fighting. I think he’s had enough of saving Banner’s ass.”
So, Hulk has finally decided that he doesn’t want to bend over backward to protect Banner anymore. A growing rift between Banner and Hulk was seen in Thor: Ragnarok as well when Banner had been green for a very long period of time.
Also, as a result of Hulk’s refusal to protect Banner in Avengers: Infinity War, Banner ultimately has to take control of the Hulkbuster armor and engage in actual combat on the field. But he’s still one of the few Avengers who get to take down a member of Thanos’ Black Order, Cull Obsidian in this case.