This is when you can honestly stand a little straighter when one of the actors that’s played a character steps up and says something that validates an opinion that a lot of people have given voice to. Namely, Lou Ferrigno isn’t a big fan of Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk in Endgame, and you can’t really blame him since quite honestly the Hulk has become too friendly of a character that is holding with Disney’s touchy-feely idea of taking the edge off of everything. Nick Evans of CinemaBlend has commented on this just as much as anyone has and to be honest the whole idea of a smart Hulk emerging in Endgame isn’t too far out of what might have been expected. As far as the idea of what Ferrigno is getting at it’s easy to agree and disagree with him since the whole concept of the smart Hulk, being possessed of the Hulk’s body but Banner’s intellect, is something that has happened. Unfortunately he didn’t always get to utilize that mixture in the comics, but the translation from the comics to the big screen wasn’t all that great. In fact, it’s been a lot more convincing when the Hulk has been the big, rage-induced creature while Banner is the brains that has little to no physical stature.
In my own opinion I can state that Edward Norton was one of the best representations of Banner since he came off as weak enough, reclusive enough, and not physically imposing in the least. Mark Ruffalo can match this, and in Avengers he was actually pretty convincing. But in Endgame it became too much. It’s almost as though in Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron he was still somewhat pensive, a bit tentative in his role with the group, but by Infinity War and Endgame he’d become comfortable enough to start doing his own thing, which was kind of hard to stomach really. It’s not just Ruffalo however, as the way that Disney has handled the Hulk at this point has been kind of abysmal given that he’s a rage monster that is able to be calmed by a few key phrases and can be manhandled by characters who he’s at least given a good run in the past. For example, the Hulk has taken on Thanos in the comics before, and the mad titan has actually admitted that he didn’t care to take on the green goliath, not out of fear, but more or less because it’s a fight he doesn’t know enough about. The only real enemy that the Hulk has encountered in the Marvel universe, especially since he’s capable of busting planets apart if he tries hard enough, are the writers.
Yep, that’s right. The writers are the worst enemies the Hulk has ever had, and in Lou Ferrigno’s day there was at least the benefit of not having seen much in the way of a live action show of the Hulk, ever. Bill Bixby was considered to be the best Bruce Banner at the time, and he still stands in memory as one of the best to ever take the role. At this time however I’d much rather see Edward Norton to make his way back to Marvel, though it’s not bound to happen since Marvel and Disney seem to have tied their hitch to Mark Ruffalo, for better or worse. He’s not the worst that’s ever done it, which is uplifting in a way, but the manner in which the Hulk was portrayed in Endgame was kind of upsetting, if only because Banner actually felt it was beneath him to get violent and smash anything. Read a comic in which Banner and the Hulk have integrated and you’ll see that Banner doesn’t shy away from getting destructive when he has to. Hells bells, in World War Hulk he had his intelligence and he was more than willing to come raging down to earth in order to punish those that had shot him into space and then, as he believed, killed everyone he cared about. And we saw in World War Hulk that he was unstoppable, that he could and did take down heroes that have been known to give some of the heaviest hitters in the Marvel universe problems. So really, it all depends on who’s writing for the Hulk, and whether or not he’s being given full power or is being hampered for some reason.
The fact that Lou Ferrigno, the man that made the Hulk so iconic on TV, has an issue with a version of the character he helped to make so popular is enough to think that the current incarnation might not be on par with what it needs to be. Of course that’s a matter of opinion like always, but all in all, the current Hulk really needs a few tweaks. Cooper Hood from ScreenRant has more to say about this matter.