The MCU’s Incredible Character Arc for the Hulk (That We Never Got to See)

Gladiator Hulk

The Marvel Cinematic Universe marks a remarkable cinematic achievement. Despite a few missteps, the movies accomplished some amazingly in-depth storytelling, stringing together almost two dozen films to tell the stories of dozens of different characters. And for the most part, those characters got a reasonably satisfying conclusion by the end of Avengers: Endgame.

Of course, with so many different characters, the films couldn’t present everybody’s story in a satisfying manner. For example, let’s look at the Hulk. He has one of the longest characters arcs of all the Avengers and changes more than anybody…but none of the interesting stuff happens on-screen.

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An Hour Off

Originally published in The Lyndon Review.

Clock, by George Hodan

I woke up in bed next to a naked woman. Not a Hollywood-style naked woman with skin smelling like fresh soap and the blanket conveniently covering her nipples to keep a PG-13 rating. Instead it was a northern Vermont-style naked woman, with breasts like old yogurt and a small puddle of drool soaking into her pillow. She tightened her grip on the blanket as I eased myself to the waking world. When I saw her reddened knuckles, I began wondering where I was.

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Fantasy as you Like It

Originally published in the Chaffin Journal (as Charlie Martin)
Winner of the 2006 Chaffin Award for Fiction
Incredible Hulk #1 (Marvel Comics)

A man in a lab coat stands in the middle of the desert. His mouth hangs open in an extended scream as his body twists and grows. His glasses fall off and his clothes tear at the seams. American soldiers surround him on all sides, their jaws slack in shock as they watch an ordinary man become a seven foot tall gray-skinned behemoth. A giant question mark hangs in the air behind the scene, invisible to all but the reader and posing one apparently all-important question.

IS HE MAN OR MONSTER OR…IS HE BOTH?

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