Friday, August 30, 2013

My Avengers Project: The Other Guy

Natasha Romanoff: You're a monster!
Loki: Oh no, you brought the monster.

It took me a little while, but I'm finally doing an update in my Avengers series. Yay! I had originally planned on doing Captain America next, but that didn't turn out exactly as planned. However, I think it'll be fitting to do the "climax" with the Cap. For now, I give you, The Other Guy:

The Hulk is not my favorite of comic book stories. Who really cares about a guy who hulks out as some green, rage monster? I didn't. I actually enjoyed Ang Lee's The Hulk mostly because I found it an original, artsy take on the story with a great soundtrack and a deeper, darker look into the Hulk's story, yet even then I still wasn't that impressed with the Hulk's story. It wasn't until Mark Ruffalo's performance that I stopped to take notice. Obviously everyone did. Mark Ruffalo wasn't the star and he didn't get all this screen time to develop the character, but somehow he gave us the most convincing Bruce Banner yet. We can praise Joss Whedon again and his great writing, but I think Mark Ruffalo himself gets a lot of credit. He played Bruce quietly, and I think that is the key right there, the contrast between man and monster. Bruce is a little awkward, a little paranoid, but entirely unobtrusive, while inside of him he holds a raging beast that threatens to break the normal existence he is trying to maintain. There is a tension and a depth there that Ruffalo expresses so well through his nervous body language and dry, pessimistic humor. It makes you think about the inner turmoil of this man and the monster that was unleashed within himself. In this storyline, it was Bruce Banner's taking part of the "super-soldier" program (the one that made the one and only Captain America), that made him what he is. He was mistake, or so it seemed. I think it is intriguing to see The Hulk as a sort of alter ego to The Captain. Steve Rogers, though a man who was outwardly weak, was given the super power because of the strength and integrity of the man within. On the flip-side, The Hulk is the creation of unworthy, little men desiring power and doing everything they can to manipulate it. Indeed, Bruce Banner spends most of his time hiding and running just so no one can misuse the "other guy". Even Loki's plan was centered around the Hulk, hoping for his transformation and the much needed destruction that would ensue. Obviously all pretenses of trying to control "The Hulk" for selfish ambition fails in the end, which leaves Bruce Banner a haunted Dr. Jekyll at the mercy of his Hyde. Or is he?

The Hulk 2003. Science. So pretty and yet so dangerous.
Another intriguing contrast/comparison is between Bruce and Loki. When Bruce meets Loki he claims his "brain is a bag full of cats" denouncing him as crazy. Funny coming from a man with a "condition". In my post on Loki I talked about his dual nature, and in this way also Bruce has a dual nature, that struggle within himself. Yet unlike Loki who must choose one or the other, Bruce has the unique position of embracing his duality and becoming something better because of it. What was awakened in him was out of his control and ugly, but doesn't have to remain so. Tony expresses the idea of his condition being a privilege rather than a hindrance, an opportunity to something greater. Tony points out that the gamma radiation exposure should have killed him, but it didn't. Maybe then Bruce, like Steve, could be worthy of this fearsome power. Not because of any greatness in himself per se, but because of a humble understanding of what it would mean to bear this power. Bruce Banner is a superhero after all, just not your average run-of-the-mill kind. I would love it if they made another Hulk film post-Avengers with Bruce embracing this new role and no longer being the pawn of everyone's ambition. It would be awesome. More Ruffalo, please.

For my own piece, I kept it simple, with the vivid colors of green and purple. It was difficult for me to create movement in the piece, but thankfully to my current obsession with veins/trees, I was able to add the pattern of the veins throughout the piece. I thought it was fitting, since the Hulk is a part of him, running in his veins, part of his system and body makeup. This is science after all! Also, it wasn't a coincidence that the composition is similar to my Loki piece, except flipped. In this way I wanted to express that same duality which is like, but unlike Loki's; the raging Hulk materializing behind the unassuming Bruce Banner, separate, but part, and the path before him is one that is unlike either. Here is a detail:

Thus ends my Hulk post. Prepare for the Cap next time around! Stay tuned!

That's my secret, Cap. I'm always angry.

He makes everything beautiful in its time . . . Ecclesiastes 3:11


  1. I love the colors in this piece, and your newfound obsession with veins/trees really helps to tie the whole image together as well :) And that picture of the cell spliced with the nebula is from Hulk 2003? Wow, it's gorgeous! Maybe I should watch that movie.

    1. Thanks, Brittany! I'm glad you loved this piece! And yes, that is Hulk 2003. I was going to say, you should definitely watch it. I think you would enjoy it a lot and at the very least enjoy all the artsy science shots. Hehe.

  2. I love this one because of the duality and the awesome, angry hulk in the background contrasted with the calm and collected doctor. It's perfect! I love the colors too, the purple and the green. Not sure if they did it intentionally, but it was funny to dress Bruce Banner in purple since his shorts were always purple when he turned into the hulk in the comics lol!

    1. Thanks, Alexis! :) Yes, I think they did it intentionally. Purple looks good on Ruffalo. ;) Haha!