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In The Avengers, despite the mess Hulk made with the ship, why was the Iron Man so sure that Dr. Banner would return to fight?

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Because, d'oh, he's Tony Stark! :-) Joking aside, one could devise a deeper explanation from their chit-chat on the ship, but I believe it boils down to what I wrote in the first sentence. –  Vedran Šego Nov 24 '13 at 13:18

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Stark is shown to have taken a liking to Banner, and in their talks aboard the helicarrier, he encourages Banner to "suit up" with the rest of them.

I suppose it could be argued that Iron Man is such a good judge of character that he innately knew that Banner wouldn't let them down, but this being the arrogant Tony Stark, I think it's more likely that this confidence stems from his self-assurance, i.e. he was convinced that his little pep talk with Banner would work.

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