During the course of the Avengers, you see Mr Banner talk about his alter ego as just another entity inside of himself. Afraid, reluctant and very much un-willing to let him out, even if it means his escape from being captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. Citing Hulk's violence, lack of self-control, and raw power that would come of unleashing such a creature.

However, during the argument on the plane as well as for the final battle, Banner is willing, and eventually does let the beast lose, seemingly without knowledge as to whether or not he can control him properly.

Why does Banner choose to release the Hulk and where does he get the confidence he needs to be sure that he can point the indestructible beast towards the enemy, and not towards the Avengers?

  • I thought this was the greatest plot error of the whole movie, but am hoping that someone will come up with a satisfactory justification.
    – tshepang
    Jun 9, 2012 at 16:33
  • @Tshepang I don't see it as a plot error. It was Banner's character development arc in the film. Most of the main characters had arcs, but they were limited in the amount of time to depict these on screen given the large cast.
    – user209
    Jun 11, 2012 at 15:10
  • Actually, I wrote this before reading other's justification for such, and therefore my opinion above doesn't apply any more: the 1st release was not voluntary, hence the lack of control; this is as opposed to the 2nd one.
    – tshepang
    Jun 11, 2012 at 18:20

4 Answers 4


Largely he gains his confidence from Tony Stark. Their working together and sharing their personal issues caused Banner to rethink the way he thought of "the other guy". Stark coped with his condition by turning it into the Iron Man, and helping others. Banner still feared what "the other guy" would do when unleashed.

This was then reinforced after he is induced into becoming the Hulk on the Helicarrier. Upon awaking in the abandoned warehouse and learning the Hulk aimed for it to prevent casualties, Banner came to realize that the Hulk isn't always a danger to others. Thusly he chose to join the other heroes in New York City to defend Earth, whereas earlier in the film he had made it abundantly clear that his only role was to identify the location of the Tesseract.


I thought the line: "That's my secret Cap, I'm always angry." suggested that he can control the appearance of the beast and that it is bubbling under the surface.

The appearance of the Hulk is a problem when it is a reflex action and his life is in danger, e.g. suicide attempts, or the attack on the ship.

When he is consciously bringing the Hulk out then he can direct the Hulk.


Actually, as evidenced in the ending scene of The Incredible Hulk (2008), Banner already knows how to control the transformation. But, while he does have some control over the Hulk when the transformation is controlled (as opposed to having none when the transformation is spontaneous, like the one on the Hellicarrier), his control is not 100% complete (The Hulk surprise punching Thor). So Banner is comfortable unleashing the Hulk only when there is a real emergency.


Banner's basic problem isn't anger. It's trust.

He not only learns how to trust himself as the Hulk, but he also learns to trust the Avengers - that they will protect the people from the Hulk if necessary, They will be his shield when needed, his direction when needed, and, in the latest movie, his path back to being Banner.

He's still very conflicted, but he was able to trust the people around him and himself more due to recent experiences, and thus felt comfortable in his role as the Hulk under extenuating circumstances.

In The Age of Ultron he finds, though, that he can still be controlled or misdirected, by the scarlet witch in this case, and hurt both the people he trusts, and those around him. As much as he trusts the Avengers, he loses trust in himself.

There's also a hint of mistrust in the Avengers as well. It's easy for him to guess whether the feelings he has for Black Widow are real, but are the actions and feelings she's expressing real, or simply a method to keep him under control, to direct him as a tool for others to use?

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