by Paul Montgomery
Though Mark Ruffalo's world-weary Bruce Banner appeared as recently as the post-credits coda to this summer's "Iron Man 3," his not-to-jolly green counterpart the Hulk last surfaced in "Marvel's The Avengers." Little over a calendar year, but for those audience members that went berserk for the green behemoth, it feels like a lifetime since Ruffalo got to cut loose. The pang of that absence is only accentuated by the reluctance of Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige to, ahem, greenlight a new solo feature for the character or even entertain the possibility. It's understandable given the Hulk's accumulated false starts with Eric Bana in 2003 and Edward Norton in 2008, but should the big guy be relegated to team-ups in Whedon's "Avengers" films, or does he deserve another shot in some hypothetical feature we'll call "The Indestructible Hulk"?
That title originates, of course, with the ongoing comics series by writer Mark Waid and a succession of wunderkind artists like Leinil Francis Yu, Walt Simonson and Matteo Scalera. In Waid's estimation, Ruffalo represents the strongest portrayal of the character yet, and in a recent interview with Newsarama he said the audience reaction practically demands a gamma-gamma go order.
"Oh, please, yes! He's tailor made for a film adventure," said Waid, "Wasn't he the breakaway star of 'Avengers'? He was in my theater, I'll tell you that! [Ruffalo is] spot-on. I love how he's more driven than tormented, and the Bruce Banner/Tony Stark bromance is positively inspirational."
What do you think? Does Ruffalo's performance in "Marvel's The Avengers" suggest that the third time's the charm for a "Hulk" solo outing? Or should he be held in reserve for sequels like "Avengers: Age of Ultron"?
Would you line up to see "Indestructible Hulk"? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter!