We Finally Know The Real Reason Hulk Didn't Heal From The Snap

Even the might of the Hulk is no match for the power of all six Infinity Stones.

During a recent Twitter Q&A, Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo revealed the reason the Green Goliath failed to heal after using the stones to resurrect the dusted heroes in the film's final act Simply put: the combined power of the stones would have been too much for virtually any being in existence to handle, and Bruce Banner is probably lucky to still be breathing. (via Wired)

You'll remember that in Endgame, Banner volunteered to use the stones — housed inside a brand spanking new, Tony Stark-built Infinity Gauntlet 2.0 — to reverse the destruction wrought by Thanos' infamous snap at the conclusion of Avengers: Infinity War. Banner was convinced of his destiny by the stones' radiation signature, which was "mostly gamma" — the same type of radiation that endowed him with the power of the Hulk. "It's like I was made for this," Banner said, and he may have been right — but his snap, while successful, took a terrible toll. The arm on which he wore the gauntlet was seen to be largely useless after his heroic action, and fans looked to the Russos to explain why such a powerful being would suffer such shocking consequences from using the stones.

"Hold on," asked Twitter user Victor Stone Meanmuggin. "The Hulk has a whole healing factor... why didn't his arm heal?" Anthony Russo replied that, healing factor or no, using the combined power of the stones is simply too much for any being to walk away from — even Thanos, who famously slapped the Hulk around like a rag doll in the opening scene of Infinity War.

"The Hulk has never come up against every Infinity Stone in a gauntlet, and the pure power of the stones," Joe Russo explained. "Thanos is nearly invincible, and he did not heal, either. So, clearly, when you wield the full power of the Infinity Stones, it does irreparable damage to your being."

"If it doesn't even kill you," Anthony Russo chimed in.

The ace directing duo also offered some insight as to what led Banner to merge the two halves of himself, which was a crucial development — considering that it's likely that nobody would have been able to talk the Hulk into wielding the Stark Gauntlet, had he not been possessed of Banner's personality and intellect.

"We wanted to track how every single one of the Avengers was moving forward from the experience of Infinity War," Anthony Russo said. "And Banner had this very unique experience, where... in the opening of Infinity War, he loses to Thanos as the Hulk, [and] later in the film he loses to Thanos as Banner. And so, he is left with this reality that... neither version of himself could stop Thanos. So, in the five-year time [jump] that happens early on in Endgame, he sort of dedicates himself to trying to better himself so that this never happens again. And that's sort of the proper motivation for him to finally figure out how to reconcile the two sides of himself."

It was a brutal but necessary outcome for the mightiest Avenger, and one that will have a lasting impact. The Russos have gone on record stating that, as far as they're concerned, the Hulk's injuries are permanent — meaning that if Banner were to make any future appearances in the MCU (which he almost certainly will), he may be decidedly sidelined when it comes to throwing down with superpowered adversaries.

We say "may" because, as you might have heard, the Russos are finished directing MCU pictures for the foreseeable future — and it's not as if another director couldn't come up with some plot device by which to heal the Green Goliath's injuries. Assuming, though, that Banner's smashing days are pretty much over, it still doesn't mean that we couldn't see some Hulk action in a future Marvel flick. 

For one thing, it's been heavily rumored that Jennifer Walters — Banner's cousin, the She-Hulk — is very much a part of Marvel's future plans. According to one of those sneaky inside sources, early development on the plot of the third Spider-Man movie is focusing on Peter Parker's legal troubles after being outed as Spidey by Mysterio at the conclusion of Spider-Man: Far From Home — and Walters happens to be one of the Marvel universe's most prominent attorneys. 

There's also the fact that, as we saw in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Helen Cho exists in the MCU. If you're not familiar with the character, you may have heard of her son — Amadeus Cho, one of the smartest people in all of Marvel lore. Cho has used his smarts and unparalleled knowledge of science to assist a good many Marvel heroes, and has even taken on a few heroic identities of his own — most notably, he used nanotech to render his body's cells capable of harnessing gamma radiation, becoming a new iteration of the Jade Giant and holding down his own title, Totally Awesome Hulk, for two years between 2015 and 2017.

All of which is to say that, should Banner remain sidelined or even fade from the picture entirely, it's pretty certain that his legacy will remain. For the selfless action he took to undo the deaths of millions, he'll always be among the greatest heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — and somehow, we find it likely that moviegoers haven't heard the words "Hulk smash!" for the last time.