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Why couldn t banner turn into Hulk infinity war?

Quick Answer

In Avengers: Infinity War, Bruce Banner was unable to transform into the Hulk during the battles against Thanos and his forces. There are a few key reasons for this:

  • Banner had been integrating Hulk into his mind, allowing them to work together more harmoniously. This meant Hulk didn’t feel the urgent need to take over.
  • After being easily defeated by Thanos at the start of the film, Hulk was afraid to face him again. His confidence was shaken.
  • Banner was consciously preventing Hulk from emerging, likely due to fear of the damage he could cause if unleashed.

So in summary, Hulk didn’t appear because Banner was more in control, Hulk felt fear, and Banner didn’t want to risk freeing the powerful alter-ego. Their dynamic had changed compared to previous MCU films.

Examining Banner and Hulk’s Evolving Relationship

Banner and Hulk have had an uneasy co-existence within the same body since Banner was exposed to gamma radiation that causes him to transform into the huge, green, rage-filled Hulk when angry or stressed.

Over the course of several Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films, they have learned to live together more peacefully through a process Banner describes as integrating their minds.

Early MCU Films

In early films like The Avengers, Banner and Hulk were presented almost like separate characters inhabiting the same physical form. Banner would change involuntarily into the destructive brute Hulk when angry, with little control or memory of events after transforming back.

Hulk was an embodiment of pure rage who didn’t work well with others, while Banner brought intellectual and emotional intelligence but felt fearful of what Hulk was capable of. They were Jekyll and Hyde.

Thor: Ragnarok

By Thor: Ragnarok, Banner had been stuck in Hulk form for 2 years on the planet Sakaar. When he returns to being Banner, he remembers what happened while he was Hulk.

This indicates he and Hulk were becoming integrated, with each more aware of the other’s experiences. Hulk also shows more intelligent speech and behavior, suggesting Banner’s influence.

Infinity War

In Infinity War, Banner says he and Hulk have been having a “thing” and are trying to work it out. This implies ongoing conflict but also a process of integration.

Banner is no longer involuntarily transforming, suggesting he has developed some ability to control it. Hulk is presented more as an alter-ego Banner can consult with rather than an entirely separate entity.

Why Hulk Refused to Emerge in Infinity War Battles

With Banner and Hulk attempting to integrate, this led to Hulk refusing to take over during battles against Thanos and his forces in Infinity War. Several key factors contributed to this.

Banner Gaining Control

As Banner and Hulk integrated their minds, Banner was gaining more control over their shared body. Previously, stress would involuntarily trigger a Hulk transformation whether Banner wanted it or not.

Now, Banner could consciously decide whether to let Hulk take over. This meant Hulk couldn’t just reactively burst out in moments of anger or danger like he used to. His appearances had to be more reasoned and intentional.

Hulk Feeling Fear

Early in Infinity War, Hulk does battle Thanos and is easily overpowered and beaten. This is one of the only times in the MCU we’ve seen Hulk truly outmatched physically.

This likely left Hulk feeling shaken and undermined his usual confidence. After that defeat, he didn’t want to face Thanos again. His fear overrode the anger that would normally trigger his emergence.

Banner Worried About Damage

Banner probably also resisted letting Hulk out because of the danger of him causing unchecked destruction at the wrong moment.

For example, during the battle in Wakanda, transforming in the middle of the massed forces might have put allies at risk. Banner still doesn’t fully trust Hulk’s judgment.

No Immediate Need for Hulk

Another factor may have been that there was less urgent need for Hulk in these battles. With Banner more in control, he could make rational decisions and be helpful to the team through technical knowledge rather than just depending on Hulk’s brute strength.

Scenes Demonstrating Failed Hulk Transformations

There are a couple of key scenes in Infinity War that demonstrate Banner failing to summon Hulk despite wanting and trying to transform:

Fighting Cull Obsidian in New York

When Tony Stark’s group first confronts Thanos’ henchmen in New York, Banner tries to turn into Hulk to fight the huge alien Cull Obsidian. He fails to make the transformation.

This shows there is some conflict between Banner and Hulk, and signals that Hulk is now not just reactively taking over when Banner is in danger.

“Hulk, Come Out!”

Later in the film when Banner returns to Earth, he meets up with the Avengers in Wakanda. After being filled in on the situation, he says “Hulk, come out!” but again fails to transform.

This confirms Hulk is refusing to emerge, even when Banner directly calls on him. It sets up Hulk’s lack of involvement in the ensuing battle.

Almost Transforming

At one point in the Wakanda battle after Banner tries to get Hulk out again, we see Banner’s eyes start to change color, suggesting the partial start of a transformation. But it fails to complete.

This shows he is still unable to get Hulk to fully take over, even though the process begins. It highlights the ongoing inner conflict between them.

Consequences and Impact on the Story

Hulk’s refusal to fight had several consequences on the overall Infinity War story:

Forced New Battle Strategies

Without Hulk’s incredible strength to rely on, the Avengers had to adopt different strategies in battles, using Banner’s smarts more and needing Thor to take on a larger offensive role.

Hulk’s Hidden Motives

It left Hulk’s underlying thought process opaque. Viewers and characters weren’t sure why exactly Hulk was hiding, adding mystery around his motives.

Unleashed Hulk’s Later Return

It built anticipation for Hulk finally re-emerging in a future film after working through his issues, signaling a triumphant, unleashed return. This occurred in Endgame.

Emphasized Banner’s Growth

Banner being able to step up and contribute without relying on Hulk showed how much more confident and capable he had become on his own terms.


In summary, Hulk didn’t come out in Infinity War because Bruce Banner was integrating more control, Hulk felt fear after losing to Thanos, and Banner was worried about Hulk causing uncontrolled damage. This represented an evolution in their dynamic that forced other Avengers to step up during the battles, while leaving Hulk’s return eagerly anticipated.

Tables Comparing Hulk’s Role Across Films

Film Banner’s Control Over Hulk Hulk’s Behavior and Speech Hulk’s Role in Climactic Battle
The Avengers No control, transforms involuntarily Non-verbal, rage monster Fights aliens alongside Avengers
Age of Ultron Gaining some control via lullaby method Minimal speech, still rage-driven Fights Ultron’s robot army
Thor: Ragnarok Significant control, stuck as Hulk willingly for years Capable of nuanced speech and emotions Battles Fenris wolf and undead soldiers
Infinity War Full control, Banner prevents transformation Does not appear Absent from battle with Thanos’ forces

Film Banner and Hulk Relationship Status
The Avengers Banner afraid of uncontrollable Hulk
Age of Ultron Uneasy alliance for greater good
Thor: Ragnarok Have begun process of merging consciousness
Infinity War Tensions over control and refusal to transform

These tables help summarize how Hulk’s role and Banner’s relationship with him evolved across films, leading up to Hulk refusing to emerge in Infinity War.