Perfection. Especially because the way I saw it first, I swore it was Coulson texting Bruce, and even if it’s Bruce texting Coulson (as I am sure is the intent), STILL AMAZING.
Let’s take a moment and consider Jessica’s arc in regards to Hulk in this story. She starts out planning to control him with her pheromone power, and she ends up here: refusing to let Tony drop Hulk down for the fight unless Hulk gets the chance to vote about what’s happening to him. She’s gone from seeing him as an entity to brainwash as needed and sees him, instead, as a person who shouldn’t be forced to something he doesn’t want to do. I am really, really looking forward to watching their friendship build.
And Hulk chooses being an Avenger, which makes me feel like we’re on the edge of getting the Hulk stories I have been DYING to see for awhile.
Okay, who’s got the post-battle scene of Clint walking up to Bruce and being all, “Hey, so you’re the green guy. Beers?”
I love that Tony, Bruce, and Peter aren’t pissy that Janet took care of them by stepping on them, but that the solution was so EASY. Men of science, indeed.
Did anyone else notice all the green paint behind Bruce Banner in the India sequence?
Seriously. Look behind him in the hospital, then at all the green paint in the hut at the edge of town.
Coincidence? I think not….
I really think the green paint is only the beginning of what’s going on with set design here. Look at how small Bruce looks in these shots. All this green paint around him. All these half-destroyed rooms worn down by time and at least some human intervention. Look how his suit is the same shade of brown on the walls in the second gif. Bruce is hiding, but he’s hiding in this room that looks so big. So green. Bruce is hiding IN Hulk, almost. Tucked away and blending in, hoping not to be found, hoping that the low-simmering angry he carries with him now (“I’m always angry.”) will keep his broken self standing in the same way this broken house, with it’s green paint, is still managing to stay upright.
And his shirt, that dusty, orange-red shirt looking as battered as his suit and his house. Looking worn-down, but still wearable, still usable, just like Bruce and his heart and his mind.
Avengers: Bruce gets down to business
What do you do if the other Avengers have cool costumes and props, and you only have a ratty button-down shirt and big honkin’ watch? You work it. That’s what Bruce is doing here, shedding his doctor disguise and getting down to business. His body language instantly becomes less shlubby and diffident as he assumes command of his domain of expertise.
Bruce demonstrates a lot of dexterity and precision in the way he uses instruments, befitting someone in a technical field—maybe that’s why he gets the cube-wrangling duties in the final scene. The rolled-up sleeves signify how willing—eager—he is to get back to doing the thing he’s so good at. How does Tony know that Bruce will “suit up” and join them for the final battle? Maybe it’s the sleeves. Their working-class look contrasts nicely with the nerdy watch that, in a nice bit of continuity, is lost when Bruce transforms for the first time. It’s gone in the final scene, but not the sleeves; they stay rolled up. Bruce is back on the job.
We all know how I feel about costume meta (hotness) so enjoy this costume meta hotness.
(Oh, no. Not that. …and this sort of got away from me. Whoops.)
“He’s not changing back,” Coulson says.
“He’ll get there,” Tony replies, walking over and thumping Hulk on one bicep. Hulk looks up from where he’s stacking pieces of rubble off to one side. “Right, Big Guy?”
“This job is for Hulk,” Hulks says, not looking away from his stacking.
“See?” Tony says, turning back to Coulson with a grin that Coulson feels is entirely too wide for the circumstances. “Everything’s good.”
Coulson wants to thump his head against the hood of the SUV, but he refrains. Barely. They’ve leveled a city block, and Coulson’s released the rest of the team to base for debrief, but Banner’s not switching back, and Stark is entirely too pleased by it. “Everything is not good, Stark. We have to clear the scene, which means getting Hulk into a chopper harness and—”
“No harness,” Hulk says, looking over at Coulson and Tony. “Harness uncomfortable.”
“We have to get you back to base,” Coulson replies. He and Hulk stare each other down for a moment until Hulk looks at Tony.
“No harness,” Hulk says to Tony.
“He can come back to the tower,” Tony replies. “I’ve got the space. When he and Banner swap places, we’ll drop by base.”
“That isn’t—” Coulson cuts off when he hears a faint scream for help and realizes that Hulk’s been stacking rubble to get to the people below it. “How long has he been doing that?”
“Search and rescue?” Tony asks. “I think this is the first time. Usually Bruce swaps out with him as soon as the smashing’s done.”
“But you don’t seem surprised he’s doing search and rescue.”
Tony shrugs. “The Big Guy’s got a good heart, Coulson.” He gives Hulk a thumbs-up when Hulk reaches down and pulls out three dusty and slightly bloody civilians. “I think he and Banner have been discussing how better to use it, so Banner’s waiting for Hulk to finish saving civilians before he swaps back.”
Coulson thinks about it as he watches Hulk watch the EMTs work on the civilans. “Hulk,” he says, “is there anyone else you need to save?”
“No,” Hulk says.
“All right. Go with Stark if you want. We’ll debrief once you and Banner switch back.”
Hulk nods and lumbers over to Tony. Coulson has to fight very hard no to look astonished when Tony takes the Hulk’s hand and leads him down the street like a wayward kid.
“This is the weirdest damn job,” Coulson mutters and turns to finish organizing clean-up.
“Hulk tired,” Hulk says when he and Tony get into the tower.
“You wanna nap, Big Guy?”
“All right. Come on.” Tony leads Hulk to the huge gym in the basement. Half of the floor space is covered in exercise mats, and Tony points to them. “I don’t have a Hulk-Sized bed, so this is gonna have to do.”
Hulk sits on the mats then lies down. He grabs Tony before Tony can walk away and tugs at him.
“Easy, Big Guy. Don’t dent the armor.”
“Sleep,” Hulk says. “Banner says you need sleep.”
Tony snorts and rolls his eyes. “You tell Banner he’s one to talk. He was up with me the last two days.” He taps a hand against Hulk’s knuckle. “Gimmie a second to get out of the armor, and I’ll crash, buddy.”
Hulk lets go and watches Tony get out of his armor. He wrinkles his forehead when Tony climbs over his legs and scoots up his side.
“You roll over, I’m a pancake,” Tony says. “So I’m gonna camp atop Mount Hulk for my nap, all right?”
“Hulk sleepy,” Hulk says, and he falls asleep with a snort and a growl.
Three hours later, Bruce wakes up, Tony cuddled up against him with an arm and a leg wrapped around him to keep him as close as possible. Bruce turns his head and raises his arm and runs it through Tony’s hair.
“Hey,” Tony says, snuffling against Bruce’s neck before kissing his shoulder.
“Hey,” Bruce replies. He yawns and rolls closer to Tony. “Where am I?”
“Tower gym,” Tony says. “Hulk wanted a nap and a cuddle, and this was the easiest place for it.”
“How’d he do?” Bruce asks, sliding an arm around Tony and closing his eyes again when he presses his face against Tony’s chest to the side of the reactor.
“Saved some civilians. Talked Coulson out of the harness.”
“He hates the harness,” Bruce mutters.
“So you’re here, and once we’re up and moving, we’ll go debrief.”
“Mmm,” Bruce hums. “Thanks.”
“Hey, I got the Big Guy’s back,” Tony says. “And yours, too.” He kisses Bruce on top of the head and tightens his grip with his arm and leg. “We got this.”
#in which Bruce Banner finally finds somebody who isn’t afraid to kid around with him #because he has a sense of humour after all #’i’m sorry, that was mean’ anyone? #but everybody tiptoes around him because ‘oh shit, he’s a monster’ #but then he meets Tony #someone who’s not afraid to be around him #someone who might actually be a friend #and that means so much to him and permeates so deep that even when he’s the fucking Hulk he still wants to save Tony’s ass #because by not treating the Hulk like a monster, Tony stopped him from being one
#SCIENCE BRO FEELS
#because by not treating the Hulk like a monster, Tony stopped him from being one
I’m fucking slow-clapping over here for this.
Is it possible to get a five-foot THIS sign to post on tumblr? BECAUSE THIS. SO MUCH THIS.
Just. God. Yes. Tony’s greatest trait is that he gives no fucks when he decides someone is worth his time. Oh, you broke Harlem? NO FUCKS GIVEN. Oh, you go all green and giant? NO FUCKS GIVEN. I HAVE SCIENCE STUFF. C’MON. SCIENCE.
And seriously, of course Tony gets it. If anyone understands your own scientific work biting you in the ass, it’s the man with shrapnel in his chest from a bomb with his damned name on it.