During the climatic battle, Banner says 'That's my secret. I'm always angry', and transforms into the Hulk. Does this imply that Banner learned how to control Hulk?

If this is the case, why did he transform during the Helicarrier attack?

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    There are a couple of good answers to a very similar question over on SciFi.
    – hairboat
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 14:30

6 Answers 6


My theory is this:

Banner can already control The Hulk at the beginning of Avengers

This is shown when he is about to show his 'secret' to Black Widow the first time. They are then interrupted (I forget by what already) before he can show her (presumably, his instant transformation). It is then shown (in a very epic fashion) that he can turn into The Hulk at will when the giant Chitauri is approaching them stating to Widow "I'm always angry".

However, when Loki was escaping and caused the floor to pop out from underneath him and Widow, he then loses this control due to the sudden nature of the event and therefore doesn't have full control over The Hulk, hence the battle with Thor.

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    This is also supported in The Incredible Hulk starring Edward Norton. As the movie ends, we see Banner meditating. Then his eyes pop open and we get the impression he's on track in getting his inner monster under control. firstshowing.net/img/hulk-norton-eyes-hdrimg.jpg
    – ray
    Commented May 7, 2012 at 0:06
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    @ray023 Ah you're right, I had somewhat forgotten about that due to the change of actors.
    – Tablemaker
    Commented May 7, 2012 at 0:13
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    yeah, I was bummed Norton did not continue his role. I'm not exactly sure why but I would've loved to seen him on screen with robert downey jr. Kudos to Ruffalo though. He made a great Bruce Banner.
    – ray
    Commented May 7, 2012 at 0:48
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    I would pitch in and say him losing control at that point was due to Loki's trickery and also he didn't turn into Hulk for a year prior to that I think he might have gotten little rusty because of that as well among the other ensuing chaos which happen in that area.
    – Dredd
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 14:15
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    @ray023 I also like Edward Norton very much, but Ruffalo did a really good job. Before seeing it, I thought Banner might be one of the paler characters, but on the contrary.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Jun 7, 2012 at 19:50

My impression was everyone kept assuming the hulk was something he was constantly fighting for control, and whenever he got angry enough to lose his focus he'd run wild, when the reality was Banner doesn't "lose" to the Hulk, he calls him out. Once he transforms he doesn't have a great deal of control over what the Hulk decides to smash, because like he keeps saying, it's 'another guy' taking over at that point, but the choice to change is Banner's.

It makes sense if you accept Banner the man isn't necessarily a great person to begin with, which I don't think he's ever claimed to be, and can get to the point where he actually wants to unleash the Hulk and let the consequences be damned. This also explains why he'd run off to hide in one of the most densely populated areas of the world, where the collateral damage would be massive if he ever let the Hulk out. It's not to get himself away from stress, it's to put himself in a position where the cost of calling the hulk would be more than he's willing to pay.

On the airship Loki manipulates them all into wanting to fight each other, which explains why Banner would let the Hulk come out to play, he wasn't losing control over a monster, he was just as eager to throw down as the Cap and Stark were a few seconds earlier.

Just a thought.

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    Where do you get the idea that he isn't a nice a person? Sounds like mere speculation to me, especially since on various occasions he appears like he hates the transformations, not to mention the fact that he tried to commit suicide, to avoid the risk of another transformation. He also appears to be a charitable person in the movie (i.e. living among the poor he appears to be helping, but my memory is foggy).
    – tshepang
    Commented Jun 9, 2012 at 17:23
  • I have to say I just watched that scene and it doesn't fit this way. Banner fought and fought to keep from turning Hulk as the Widow was stuck next to him. It was obvious that he didn't want to turn.
    – user9733
    Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 3:36

When Banner and Stark were in the lab, Stark poked Banner with something. Then in the same scene he said something along the lines of "I learned to control Iron Man with this thing (points to light on chest) - you can control the Hulk with something too." Banner then says something like: "That won't work for me." Tony then says something like, "Yeah you will, you'll see." Then Banner turns into Hulk on the ship, but whatever Tony did hadn't kicked in yet (at least not fully).

This is also why Tony knew that Banner would show up at the final battle , saying "Let me know when Banner gets here, okay?" to everyone's surprise, because he knew that Banner should be feeling the effects of whatever Tony did to him. Then, at the very end, Bruce and Tony ride off together - because now they are close friends who understand each other and share scientific acumen as well.

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    Interesting insight. So you're saying that when Tony poked bruce with the thing in the lab, he actually injected something into him to help him control The Hulk?
    – DForck42
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 13:34
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    I will have to disagree. My impression of that scene on the ship with Tony and Bruce talking, it was Tony poking him with an electrical prod, curious if he is such a time-bomb that a sudden jolt would trigger him. This is why Capt gets angry at Tony, claiming he's going to endanger everyone on the ship. The whole 'point', if you will, for the speech is to inspire Banner that he doesn't have to be afraid of his alter ego, but rather embrace it and control it for his own benefit.
    – Tablemaker
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 21:38
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    Good theory though, a way I had not thought of, +1 :)
    – Tablemaker
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 21:39

As we saw in the end of the Incredible Hulk, Bruce banner has to have some form of calmness and meditation before he transforms, it's the difference between being calm and under a lot of stress and anger. Also he has to have a clear picture on his enemies and his allies before transforming

On the helicarrier they all fought with each other which caused stress and anger, and to top that Hawkeye blew up one of the engines which caused more stress and anger so the situation took advantage of Bruce, (Hulk controls Banner)

In the city we see him much more calm and at ease before transforming. Captain America tells him that now would be a good time to 'get angry' meaning to transform and Bruce responds by say his secret is that he is always 'angry' just another way of saying he can always transform at will and thus Bruce takes control of Hulk!


He learned to control Hulk, as you could see when he didn't try to smash all of the avengers along the enemy.

On helicarrier he still din't know "his secret", that's why he pummeled them all.

At first he tried to control his anger, on helicarrier it was proven impossible and as a completely wrong solution... After that he realized that he should stop trying to control himself and let his anger take over, which lets him maintain some control. Simply put he was never calm, he was just building up his rage, that's why he said "I'm always angry".

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    So this happened betweenthe time he crashed into land and when he travelled to NYC? I guess that's what confused me.
    – RHPT
    Commented May 6, 2012 at 12:41
  • There is no scenes of him after he crashed until the conflict but obviously he had some time to think about what happened on helicarrier.
    – Mentales
    Commented May 6, 2012 at 13:15
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    I'm not sure if this is entirely right as he was about to show Black Widow his 'secret' before events started to occur that interrupted him, showing to me that he already had control of the Hulk. I interpret the scene of him battling Thor as uncontrollable because he got surprised by the sudden explosion and drop into the lower bay, therefore going on a rampage.
    – Tablemaker
    Commented May 6, 2012 at 14:55
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    @TylerShads That's my perspective as well. The scene with everyone arguing also implied that Loki's scepter was inciting the argument, possibly making everyone more angry.
    – user209
    Commented May 6, 2012 at 23:50
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    @Keen I was speculating that as well, especially when at the end Banner is holding it without realizing it.
    – Tablemaker
    Commented May 6, 2012 at 23:50

It seemed to me that Banner's influence over the Hulk depended on how much control he had over the transformation.

The first time, he transformed because he was in pain, and Hulk was out of his control. The second time, he transformed by choice for a specific reason.

Helping things along was the fact that during the second transformation, Hulk had a lot of targets to take his rage out on - and no enclosed, confined spaces, either.

Think of it as the difference between a professional football player getting knocked down in a crowded nightclub, versus getting knocked down in the middle of a game. In the second case, he's prepared for it, and has a strategy for venting his anger in the next minute. In the first, he's blindsided.

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