Ed Norton's favorite gamma-powered man-monster may be set to take on an important role in 2011's The Avengers movie, but don't expect to see a Hulk 2 anytime soon. That's according to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, who's continuing the ongoing tease that it'll be the Hulk that causes the formation of Marvel's premiere superhero team in The Avengers. But he admits that no sequel to this summer's underwhelming Hulk movie - out today on DVD - is currently being planned. With two failed movies in the last five years, we're wondering whether Marvel will give up trying to make us love the Hulk?Between Ang Lee's 2003 Hulk and Louis Leterrier's The Incredible Hulk, we've seen that the potential movie audience for potentially Marvel's third most well-known character (behind Spider-Man and Wolverine, although this summer's Iron Man may have changed that). But is that a failure of the movies, or the character itself? The two movies shared some similarities, but Leterrier for the most part avoided the lack of clarity (both in terms of story and, thanks to the murkiest final act ever, visually) of Lee's more cerebral approach - and yet, the more mainstream, action-orientated Incredible was just as (un)successful as its predecessor. Perhaps Marvel's apparent new plan of making the Hulk into more of an antagonist and less of a focus in future movies shows that they've realized one basic fact about the character: That he kind of sucks.
Okay, that's too harsh. But the Hulk isn't a character that many people really have a strong affinity for, for the most part. Yes, he has a great visual, and yes, there's a wonderful subtext to the concept... but as an actual character? There's not a lot of there there - and certainly not enough to base a movie around, if you want that movie to be more than just smashing and characters talking about how tortured poor Bruce Banner must be to have such a monster living inside him (which is to say, if you want the movie to be any good). It's the problem that the comic version of the character has suffered from since his creation, forcing the series to be reinvented over and over again in an attempt to keep up both the creators' and readers' interest (He's a crafty alter ego! No, he's a misunderstood monster! No, he's the rage of an abused child! No, he's a crafty alter ago again! No, wait, he's the psychoanalyzed hotheaded scientist made good! Now he's rage personified again! Now he's an alien gladiator! Now he's red! etc.): When it comes down to it, the Hulk is much more interesting as a look and an idea than as an actual character. That's why, while we're not completely on board with the "All the heroes team up to fight the Hulk" idea, we're happy to see Marvel realizing that we don't need to see a third attempt at trying to convince the public that they really want to see a Hulk movie. Make him work amongst a community of peers, and then, if there's enough interest to try and spin him back out into his own franchise? Make sure that you put another hero with him, just in case. Will The Hulk Be The Villain In ‘The Avengers’? We Take The Issue To Marvel’s President [Splash Page]