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Why I’m Glad Thor and The Hulk are Absent from Civil War

Written by Jake Barber

I have to admit it, when I heard Thor and the Hulk were not going to be in Civil War or at least not in any role bigger than a possible set-up/ post credits sequence, I breathed a sigh of relief. I’ll lay my shield firmly on the table right now and openly declare that I’m team Cap all the way. When it comes down to the standalone films featuring members of the Avengers  Captain America: Winter Soldier comes out on top for me everytime, closely followed by Iron Man 3.

What makes those films so great? Well for me it’s a tried and tested formula, a tick list as it were when it comes to any superhero film, Marvel or DC. Whether it be Captain America or Batman. It goes as follows:

– An unflinching moral compass (CHECK)

– Abilities largely dependent on their fighting ability and strategy (CHECK, even though Cap has the Super Soilder serum coursing through his veins).

– A kickass throwing weapon (CHECK)

– An insanely cool suit (CHECK)

– Someone willing to lay across that wire instead of cut it, I mean honestly Tony! (CHECK)

However,  I’ve saved the most important for last. What makes characters like Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow et al so great? They’re human! Sure Banner is Human half of the time, just as Thor is if Marvel stayed the course and followed Thor’s source material, a man channeling a God. Basically put, Hulk and Thor at their very core are not human, Hulk is far from it in fact.

Civil War appears to be a socio/political thriller first and foremost, a deeper debate and battle at play. So what place could a man that is not of this worldly realm or a green mountain who is linguistically challenged possibly hope to offer?

As Tony himself states to Loki, “We have a Hulk”. The statement in itself is definitive and effectively means that they are often called upon to serve as the endgame. I mean picture Avengers Assembleor Age of Ultron  without the assistance of Thor and the Hulk, they the heavy hitters on the team are often relied upon to clear up and dispatch most of the enemies. If they were in Civil War they would need to be on opposing sides or the plot would cease to exist before it had even begun.

Imagine Thor siding with Captain America for instance! Before you know it Iron Man would look like a beaten up fizzy drinks can, Thor once again going full HAMMER TIME on he and his Pro-Registration team. Don’t get me wrong, mechanised armoured suits are very chic at the moment and as we saw in Age of Ultron and Batman V Superman, Gods can fall afoul of some good old fashioned elbow grease thrown in with scientific know-how but honestly who would want to see that again so soon? Narratively it’s just too easy to rely on superhuman, near indestructible heroes to sort out a conflict. That said, if the Hulk were to step into the fray I don’t believe any amount of heavy petting from Black Widow would calm him down, especially after the events of Age of Ultron.

I’ll go on record now and state that Thor and Hulk are my least two favourite members on the Avengers roster. The Hulk offers little in the way of intellectual substance for me and Thor has always failed to grab my attention, the Asgardian realm and its issues not socio/culturally interesting to me. But the true question is, do Marvel feel the same way? Have they decided to bring down the hammer on Thor, to rip up any chance of even giving the Hulk a standalone movie more veraciously than his purple trousers?

The answer to that question is personally quite simple for me. If the two were to appear in the film, it may as well not have Captain America in the title, instead it would pitch more like Avengers 3 than a follow up to Winter Soldier.

I honestly believe I am in the minority, many loving the Hulk and Thor, their appeal especially strong within younger audiences. I mean what kid doesn’t love seeing a green man or a man in a cape trashing building after building or flying about? I do not believe that Marvel are afraid that the majority of audiences are bored of these characters, far from it in fact. I believe it is an active effort on their part to ensure that the show is not stolen from the true stars of the film, Captain America and Iron Man.

There’s plenty of time for crash, bang, wallop in Civil War but it needs to be done right. At the heart of the Civil War comic book arc and from early interpretations of the trailers, two things are clearly indicated. One being that of the break down of our two protagonists’ relationship with one another and two, the debate surrounding government interference. When done right, this offers another parallel for audiences who are besotted and emotionally invested with these comic book icons. The competition, Batman V Superman, in my opinion will take some beating in this department, the heart and deeper ideological battle at play was one of the film’s strongest features for me.

So what do you think? Have I sent you into a furious Hulk out or are you all THOR my opinion? Let me know in the comments below or on our Twitter page. Let’s keep it civil people!

About the author

Jake Barber