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These Two Marvel Characters Are The Same Person

We hope you've got top-notch health insurance, friends, 'cause we're about to blow your minds. 

Those who have seen 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming and its 2019 sequel Spider-Man: Far From Home will remember Roger Harrington, the slightly dorky, more-than-slightly bumbling, well-meaning science teacher played by Martin Starr. In Homecoming, Mr. Harrington instructs the students of Midtown School of Science and Technology and oversees the school's Academic Decathlon Team, of which Tom Holland's Peter Parker is a (mostly absent) member. And in Far From Home, the bespectacled academic tries his hardest to make his students' summer trip across Europe as wonderful as possible, but proves hilariously incompetent — booking rooms in a rundown motel in Italy, scheduling a visit to a museum that isn't even open, and never once questioning the many "upgrades" from a "travel company" that was really just Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) hijacking Peter's plans.  

Mr. Harrington is a memorable MCU character for certain, but Homecoming and Far From Home aren't the only Marvel movies he's been in. As several sharp-eyed fans have pointed out, Mr. Harrington made his MCU debut way back in 2008, when he cameoed in The Incredible Hulk (which is definitely part of the MCU despite its titular character getting re-cast a few years later). Remember the student who smiles and waves a slice of pizza at Edward Norton's Bruce Banner in the chemistry lab at Culver University? Yeah, that's Roger Harrington, credited in the film simply as "Computer Nerd." The Culver University student and the goofy teacher-slash-debate coach are the same person. (We'll give you a minute to soak that in.)

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed the fact during an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on Reddit. One fan wrote, "Martin Starr was both in the Incredible Hulk (very briefly in the computer lab) and in Spider-Man: Homecoming as Peter Parker's debate coach. Can we assume these are the same people?" Feige answered, "I do."

It makes sense that the book-smart student became a not-so-street-smart teacher — and a science teacher, at that — and Feige's confirmation makes this a nice bit of Marvel trivia to share at your next dinner party. However, the admission that Starr's character from The Incredible Hulk and Mr. Harrington from Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home are the same person puts a wrinkle in the overall Marvel canon. It doesn't impact the MCU in any negative way — in fact, it only adds some extra coolness to the already-awesome franchise — but it does complicate an established narrative in the Marvel comics and messes up the novel that accompanies The Incredible Hulk

As many fans have noted, the Incredible Hulk novelization details that the character Starr played in the film is actually Amadeus Cho — a Korean-American genius, the seventh most intelligent person on the planet, an expert computer hacker, and a gifted inventor. In the novel, Banner meets Cho when he sneaks into the computer lab, finding the student studying for his final exams. Banner offers Cho some pizza, then later receives a message showing a monster crashing through the walls, which Banner believes is General Thunderbolt Ross going on a rampage. When the creature is shown chowing down on pizza, Banner realizes that the message was just a prank Cho had pulled. 

A scene like this was actually supposed to be included in The Incredible Hulk. Starr's appearance in the film wasn't much more than a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, but he and Bruce Banner actor Edward Norton shot a longer sequence that didn't make it into the theatrical cut of the movie — one that would have made Starr's presence more substantial. The deleted scene sees Banner masquerading as a pizza delivery guy, showing up to the computer lab and telling Harrington that the men in the radiation lab ordered the pizza and bailed. Harrington jokes that Banner is a "hero" for giving him such a delectable dinner in his time of need, then grants Banner permission to use the computer and search for the data he needs. 

The connection between Roger Harrington and Amadeus Cho is pretty undeniable after hearing the details of that deleted scene, but there's something important to know about Cho: he succeeds Banner as the Hulk in the 2015 comic issue The Totally Awesome Hulk #1. Since Feige has stated that the computer nerd in The Incredible Hulk is Roger Harrington, that means he isn't Amadeus Cho, which means that the Incredible Hulk novelization isn't canon. According to Feige, it was Harrington with whom Banner interacted in the theatrical cut of the film (and gave pizza to in that deleted scene), not Cho. 

This isn't to say that Marvel fans won't ever see Cho on the big screen, becoming the Jade Genius after Banner passes on, but it does suggest that there will be no placing of Cho's true MCU debut in a movie that released over a decade ago. In the same vein, there's very little chance that Harrington could become the new Hulk after Banner. He could hardly stick up for himself over the phone when trying to book better accommodation for himself and his students in Spider-Man: Far From Home, so we can't exactly imagine Harrington Hulking out — now or ever.