“Bruce Banner, I know thee to be a man of honor. I know thee to be a hero. The lives at stake are not your concern, not even human, but I ask you anyway. Be that hero now.”
- Thor to Dr. Bruce Banner
“Go for it, big guy! Tear this whole godforsaken place down to the ground! DO IT!”
- Wolverine telling Hulk to destroy the Weapon X facility
HULK VS. (2009):
First off, the movie is actually two different scenarios. One is Hulk vs. Thor. The other is Hulk vs. Wolverine. In one, Hulk is captured by Loki, and separated from Hulk by magic, so that Hulk can fight Thor. In the other, Hulk is rampaging in Canada and is kidnapped by Weapon X while fighting Wolverine. Both movies are excellent and have tons of superhero battling action. Though, again, maybe not for the 12 and under crowd.
In the first scenario, Hulk smashes into Asgard and punches Thor into the ground. Loki seems pleased with himself, and goes to pick up Thor’s hammer, but only Thor can wield it, and he zaps Hulk with a lightning storm. This knocks Loki out of Hulk and he becomes free of any control. Thor convinces Loki to let Dr. Banner back inside Hulk, or let Asgard be destroyed. Loki reluctantly accepts. If you know Norse mythology, you know the dead are held in Hel. (One l.) They find Dr. Banner there, where he has been put to sleep and made to believe he’s living a happy life. Loki convinces Hela (Queen of Hel.) that she needs both Banner and Hulk to actually kill him, so she let’s Thor talk to him, and Hela lets him know he’s in a dream, and Hulk is on the loose.
Meanwhile, Hulk destroys Odin’s Valkryies (all of whom are shown riding Pegasus; who’s actually Greek.) Asgard struggles with the Hulk, in some truly great Hulk SMASH action. The sorceress Amora transports Hulk to Hel. Once there, Thor talks Banner into snapping out of his happy dream. Bruce insults Hulk to get him to run at him, and then Loki casts the spell to rejoin their bodies and Hulk transforms back. There are several messages here for disability theory.
One of which, of course, is that we all must deal with the monster within. I already blogged about that in detail in my posts called “Fighting Monsters”. Check out those posts! The other message is that we, as disabled people, mustn’t confuse comfort with satisfaction. Sometimes, we need to wake up from a dream to make our lives actually improve, not just settle for happy illusions, but confront uncomfortable realities and conquer the fear of physical failure. Uncomfortable though it may be, we can rise above it, and make a difference.
In Wolverine’s part of the story, he’s tracking Hulk in Canada when they are ambushed by Weapon X, who wants to experiment on them and turn them into mindless weapons. Unlike Thor, Wolverine convinces Bruce to use his anger to strike out at the villains, and tells him to “stop crying”. The message here seems opposite as to what Thor says. Wolverine and Hulk have anger issues in common, but Wolverine knows anger is useful if you can focus it on a common threat. Anger can also form into passion.