Bruce Banner and the Hulk go hand-in-hand in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but as mind-boggling as it may be to believe, Avengers: Endgame could have the potential to totally change that. At least, that is what a new fan theory is proposing. This new Avengers: Endgame theory about the Hulk and Bruce Banner would completely change everything we know about the two characters, and it sounds like it just might actually happen.
One thing that seems to be pretty clear going into Avengers: Endgame is that fans will see a major shake-up or resolution between Bruce Banner and the Hulk, since the two have suspiciously been at odds in the last two Marvel movies that they appeared in without a real explanation. During Avengers: Age of Ultron and in every movie before that, Banner and the Hulk have seemed to have a mutual understanding where Banner was able to summon the Hulk at will by tapping into his anger. But their relationship became strained recently. In Thor: Ragnarok, the Hulk would not allow Bruce Banner to overtake his body, and in Avengers: Infinity War, Banner found himself unable to summon the Hulk anymore. According to a new theory from ComicBook.com, this tension between the two characters could be leading to Banner and the Hulk actually splitting up in Avengers: Endgame.
So, uh, how could that even happen? It might sound like a stretch at first, but there is a case to be made for this theory. The first thing that you have to consider is that although Bruce Banner and the Hulk occupy the same body, the recent Marvel movies have made it pretty explicitly clear that they are two individual entities — we saw Bruce and the Hulk arguing with one another in both Thor: Ragnarok and in Avengers: Infinity War. Since the MCU has gone to such lengths to underline their respective individualities recently, it could reasonably assumed that Thanos' snap could have actually disappeared the Hulk without affecting Bruce.
We saw Bruce Banner survive Thanos' snap, but Infinity War ended before we actually heard from him, so it is totally possible that he made it through the snap solo, without the Hulk inside him anymore. This would also fall in line with Thanos' mission to bring balance to the universe, since a human scientist with a massive green monster living inside him is not exactly the definition of "balanced."
Plus, if this theory holds true, then it would set up a unique and somewhat full-circle story for Bruce Banner in Avengers: Endgame, which is very heavily rumored to be a reteaming of the original six Avengers. Although Mark Ruffalo's contract his him on the hook for one more Marvel movie after Endgame before he exits the movie universe, Endgame is definitely going to be a big farewell movie to many of the original stars, and a splitting up and reunion between Bruce Banner and the Hulk could be the perfect arc for his character to continue to grow in the movie. Still, it would definitely be weird for Marvel fans to see Bruce and the Hulk as two separate bodies. We will have to see what really happens when Avengers: Endgame hits theaters on April 26.