Fan Theories: Who Dies in “Age of Ultron”?

Posted: March 5, 2015 in Comic Book Study
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NOTE: This is just a fan theory. Nothing I discuss has been confirmed or denied. All opinions are my own. Spoilers will follow.

Marvel is promising the death of a hero” -EW

Fans have both known and guessed about this possibility since the first Avengers film was released in 2012. Even though we haven’t had a character officially die as of yet (a few have, but they never stay dead), it’s been made clear that a death in this film is more or less permanent. Or at least until they decide to revive the character later for some reason or another.

Still though, I rattled off a number of possibilities as to who Joss Whedon and Marvel might decide to kill off in Age of Ultron, and I think I finally settled on an answer:

This guy. Image taken from superherohype.com

No, not the Hulk. I mean his other half, Dr. Bruce Banner, might be the one to bite the bullet in this film.

Let me explain. Everyone else on the team seems to be going off to do more movies, both solo and team-up. Actors Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, and Robert Downey Jr. are going on to Captain America: Civil War, and it’s very likely that Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye will be making an appearance there too. Chris Hemsworth is going to Thor: Ragnarock, and even the new guys (Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Quicksilver, Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch, and Paul Bettany’s Vision) are pretty much untouchable since they’re fresh additions to the MCU and can’t die off that quickly yet. This leaves the Hulk who, as of now, Marvel has no official plans for. However, if they do decide to kill off just the Banner persona, they’re still left with a viable property to make films with.

I imagine Marvel will want to keep him around a while longer. Image taken from superherohype.com

It’s not like this is an entirely new idea either. In a few stories Marvel has released over the years, there have been a bunch of instances where Banner disappears, is removed, or is separated from the Hulk, who then can act independently of Banner himself.

Besides, the Banner personality dying off in this film would make a lot of sense. Think about it: trailer #3 for Age of Ultron (which you can watch above) seems to be pushing a kind of romance for Banner and Black Widow, or at least a deeper connection between the two of them than either of them have with the rest of the team. Having this here is a clear window of opportunity for Marvel Studios to pull the tragedy card and do something to split the two up. It is worth noting that Betty Ross, last seen in The Incredible Hulk, does exist in the MCU; despite this, she and Banner aren’t able to be together, despite how they feel. At least with Black Widow, Banner might feel like he can be with her despite his condition.

A head doctor, she is not. Image taken from superherohype.com

On top of this, you have the introduction of the Scarlet Witch, a character specifically described by Joss Whedon as someone who can “get inside your head”. We saw in the last trailer that Hulk was being controlled by an outside force. Initially, I assumed that it was a sign of Loki’s staff, but with that one shot of Scarlet Witch brainwashing Black Widow in this new trailer, it’s clearly her messing with Banner’s mind and fragile psyche. We also see in the 1st trailer during that shot in the Quinjet that Banner is a broken man at some point in this film, so it’s possible that, whatever the Witch and Ultron are doing, is more than Banner can bear, especially as this psychic torture goes on over the course of the film.

The way I see it, by the end of the film, Scarlet Witch and Ultron will have done a tremendous amount of damage to Banner’s mind, causing him to “die off” and be replaced with strictly the Hulk persona. With the amount of damage and destruction the Hulk’s new rampages would do to the world, the call would have to be made, either by the other Avengers or S.H.I.E.L.D., to send the Hulk into space. Just like that, Marvel made a nice big door into the Planet Hulk film fans have wanted to see for whenever they feel like revisiting the character.

Did I miss a connection somewhere? Do you have a different opinion and care to share it? Then by all means, leave me a comment or send me something on Twitter with that widget on the left. Speaking of, be sure to follow me on Twitter, because I have a few updates about the website coming soon. Stay tuned!

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