When Thanos came along and bought with him a grand reckoning, no Marvel hero was strong enough to escape judgment. Thor lost his entire kind to Thanos, including his own brother, to the Mad Titan. Rocket lost the entire Guardians to Thanos. Captain America lost Bucky. Iron Man saw Peter Parker and Doctor Strange turn to dust right in front of his eyes. But it was the Hulk that lost the most. At the end of Infinity War, the Hulk lost himself. Bruce Banner and the Hulk now no longer work in tandem courtesy of the mother of all beatdowns aboard the Asgardian Refugee ship by the hands of Thanos.
But Ruffalo says it is not Thanos that has made the Hulk look like a scaredy cat. The Hulk is afraid of something else, and it is the reason the Jade Giant’s fate is sealed in Avengers 4. Presenting – Mark Ruffalo reveals [SPOILER], not Thanos, is the Hulk’s greatest fear!!
Thanos is the only one who beat the Hulk to a pulp and within an inch of his life. That too, with his bare hands! Any sane man or monster would logically be scared of this guy. A guy with such monstrous levels of strength that even the Hulk couldn’t beat in sheer muscle power alone now holds the greatest and most powerful artifact to ever exist in the Marvel Universe cosmos. If that does not scare you, I do not know what will.
Believe it or not, the Hulk is not scared of Thanos. He may have been beaten by him but he has been beaten by a lot of evil peeps in the comic books. The Abomination, the Thing, Thanos, and even Spider-Man and Wolverine have beaten him on several occasions. So losing to someone is not why the Hulk is scared. The real reason will kind of surprise you.
But before we dive deeper, let us enlighten you with the worst of Mark Ruffalo himself. In an interview for The Marvelists’ Podcast, Mark Ruffalo said that Joss Whedon, director of Age of Ultron, was the one who helped Ruffalo realize what was the Hulk’s greatest fear. And it was something that was shown in Age of Ultron itself, years before even plans for Infinity War were being conceptualized on paper. He says and we quote:
“There’s a conflict brewing between Banner and Hulk that’s been going on since the beginning. And it all came out of sort of this question that Joss Whedon asked me when Hulk gets the fairy dust from Scarlet Witch sprinkled on him in [Avengers: Age of Ultron], Joss asked ‘What is Hulk afraid of?’”
So as it turns out, the character that the Hulk has been struggling to stand up against to is Bruce Banner himself. As astounding as it may sound, the Hulk is not scared of Thanos as much as he is scared of his alter ego, Bruce Banner. He adds this to the interview:
“And that was a hard thing for me to answer because what is the strongest, fiercest thing in the universe afraid of? And then I realized it’s Banner. The only thing Hulk is afraid of is Banner and so that’s become something that we’ve been riffing on since [Age of Ultron]. We played with it a lot in [Thor:] Ragnarok and it continues to be teased out in [Avengers:] Infinity War and [Avengers 4].”
But why is Hulk scared of Banner? The latter is timid and weak while the former is strong and nearly unstoppable. This does not make sense. There might be one reason though. How would you feel if you become a slave to a smarter but weaker overlord and forced to do his bidding and save his ass whenever trouble peeks his head above the horizon/ That is what Hulk is feeling right now. He is tired of being Banner’s henchman and he just wants to be left alone. But since both the entities fates are tired physically and mentally, Banner is tied to the Hulk’s leg like an iron ball. Or maybe it is the other way around? Avengers 4 hopefully will give us an insight to this unique problem.