Do you have any questions about the Hulk? Here are a few examples of some frequently asked questions about the Hulk:
Why is the Hulk green? Why are his pants always purple? Exactly what DID happen at the end of both movies? And what was up with Dr. Sterns at the finale of "The Incredible Hulk", anyway?
Well, all of your questions will be answered here. But there are MAJOR SPOILERS involved, so read the answers at your own risk:
Still with me?
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Okay.  Here we go...
QUESTION: Who is this psychiatrist Leonard that Betty is dating?
ANSWER: In the comics, Leonard Samson is a psychiatrist who was treating Bruce Banner. After Bruce was temporarily cured of being the Hulk by siphoning away the gamma radiation that caused Bruce's transformations, Samson exposed himself to some of the radiation and, as a result, he gained super-strength and his hair became long and green. Like his biblical namesake, the longer his hair was, the greater the strength Samson had. However, after he began flirting with Betty Ross, Bruce exposed himself to gamma rays once more out of jealous and became the Hulk again to fight Samson. Samson would feel guilty about what Bruce had done to himself and tried to help him get cured of changing into the Hulk. He even managed to split apart Banner from the Hulk for a time by making them two separate beings, but they had to merge Banner back with the Hulk after they learned that both would die after prolonged separation.
In the movie, most of Samson's scenes were cut. In one deleted scene, Betty introduces Bruce to Leonard after the two had reunited, and Leonard offers to give Bruce some clean clothes. In two other scenes, the three have dinner and Samson comforts Betty as she cries on his shoulder after saying good night to Bruce. One of the longest deleted scenes with Samson includes Bruce talking with Samson late at night and they talk about Betty and why Bruce left her. Bruce mentions "there are certain aspects of my personality that I can't control." Samson counters that whatever his reason is, he's "heard 'em all", but Bruce quickly replies, "Not this one." In the morning, Samson and Betty are arguing about whether or not Betty should walk Bruce to the bus station when Bruce walks in. Samson shows Bruce a back way out so they won't be seen together. However, we learn that afterwards (but it's never shown) that Leonard was the one who called General Ross and told him that Bruce was with Betty.
Ty Burrell, who played Leonard, mentioned in an interview he will be in another Hulk film if they make one and hopes that his character will get exposed to gamma radiation like his comic book counterpart.
QUESTION: Why are the Hulk's pants always purple and why does Bruce Banner have purple pants after he changes back into the Hulk? Isn't this a continuity goof?
ANSWER: No, it's not. If you missed my explanation in the Notes section, Bruce's body emit gamma rays when he changes into the Hulk and change his skin to its green tinge. However, the radiation he emits also affects the dye of his clothes and always turns the color of his pants to purple.
QUESTION: Who were those two students at the Culver University campus? Their names sure sounded familiar.
ANSWER: They should. The two students pictures above are Jim Wilson (left) and Jack McGee (right, with cell phone). Jim Wilson was the Hulk's friend and his partner for a while in "The Incredible Hulk" comic books. Jim's uncle was Sam Wilson, also known as the Falcon, a superhero and occasional Avengers team member. Sadly, despite being around in the comics for a few decades, Jim finally passed away from AIDS in "The Incredible Hulk, vol. 1, #420. Jack McGee, however, is a much more well-known character. In the 1970s live-action television series "The Incredible Hulk", Jack Colvin played reporter Jack McGee of the National Register newspaper. On the TV series, McGee originally tried to get a story out of Dr. David Banner for his newspaper, but after learning of the Hulk and spying on damage caused to a lab by the Hulk, McGee began to wonder if Banner and his fellow scientist, Elaina Marks, were involved with his creation. However, the lab exploded due to an accident, Jack saw the Hulk carry the dying Elaina out of the lab and thought Banner had died in the explosion. Following Elaina's death and Banner's "death", Jack became obsessed with tracking down the Hulk for their murder. He would later learn that an amnesiac and face-bandaged Banner would physically change into the Hulk when enraged, and Jack became determined to find out who the "John Doe" was who transformed into the Hulk. Despite appearing in the show's five seasons and one telefilm (1988's "The Incredible Hulk Returns"), McGee never found out who the Hulk was. In "Hulk Returns", McGee follows the Hulk and learns that a "viking" (really the hero Thor) and an "unidentified individual" (really Donald Blake, a doctor who, at least in this telefilm, could summon Thor and was the hero's guide in the present) have also been spotted with the Hulk. McGee was last seen on the phone with his newspaper boss Mark, who told him the Register was no longer going to run stories about the Hulk and told him to "go to the Journal if you want to follow on this junk". McGee's last words were vowing to get the truth about what happened and saying it'd give him "great pleasure" to hear Mark beg to print the stories about the Hulk again. Sadly, despite two more telefilms about the Hulk, McGee was never seen, heard from or even mentioned again, and his whereabouts after "Hulk Returns" remain unknown. In the 2008 film, McGee is still a reporter, but instead works for the school's paper rather than the National Register. While another appearance from Wilson or McGee is unlikely, whether or not these two characters will cameo again in a "Hulk" sequel remains to be seen.
QUESTION: So what exactly happened to Dr. Samuel Sterns at the end? What was happening to his head?
ANSWER: Here's a recap, with screenshots from the movie included.
After Samuel Sterns turns Emil Blonsky into the Abomination, he knocks Sterns down and knocks him against a table. As he does, Sterns gets a cut on his head and some of Bruce Banner's blood drips out from the same bottle used to turn Blonsky into his gamma-powered alter-ego.
The blood drips down from the bottle, down over the edge and onto the bloody wound on Sterns' temple he got after Abomination struck him down.
As the drops of blood fall into Sterns' wound, his head starts to grow and expand slowly...
...and Sterns smiles with joy that he's getting his own gamma change.
This is no shock to comic book fans. Dr. Samuel Sterns becomes the Hulk's enemy, the Leader, after a dose of gamma radiation gives him super-intelligence and, as a result, green skin and an enlarged cranium for his oversized brain. And since Tim Blake Nelson said he is signed on to appear in two more "Hulk" movies, expect Blake to return as the Leader in a future Hulk film.
Dr. Sterns as the Leader in the comics:
QUESTION: So if Abomination is stronger than the Hulk, how does the Hulk manage to overpower him with his strength?
ANSWER: If you don't know the comics, please allow me to explain. Though it's not mentioned in the film, the Hulk's strength is limitless and whenever he gets angrier, his strength increases to even higher levels. As the Hulk himself says, "the madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets."
This is also how the Hulk is able to back up after being beaten down by, say, the sonic cannons used by General Ross' troops in the middle of the film. When the cannons are used, Hulk drops the two shields he obtains while fighting Emil Blonsky and holds his ears in pain. But when the Hulk sees Betty being held back by Ross' men and he hears her scream Bruce's name, it makes him so angry that he fights through the sonic vibrations, recovers his shields, and smashes the cannons to bits.
QUESTION: So what happened to Betty Ross at the end of the movie?
ANSWER: At the end of the film, Betty is alone in New York and she looks at a photo that she took of Bruce on her digital camera. However, due to the low battery, the camera goes to black and Betty looks up from her camera sadly.
However, there was an alternate finale for Betty not seen in theaters.
In a deleted scene on the DVD, Betty gets a phone call from her current lover, Leonard Samson, and he checks on her to see if she's okay. She mentions she's not hurt, though a lot of people were. Samson asks her to come home, and Betty asks if he was the one who told General Ross she was with Bruce. Samson mentions he was frightened and asks her to please forgive him. Betty says she does, but says she's not coming home yet. Samson asks where she's going, and Betty says she doesn't know, but she'll let him know where she will be. She says goodbye and hangs up the phone. Although where Betty goes from here isn't known, hopefully it's revealed in the "Avengers" movie and, fingers crossed, a sequel to "The Incredible Hulk".
QUESTION: What does Bruce Banner's last scene mean exactly?
ANSWER: In his final scene, Bruce Banner sits cross-legged and meditates. Instead of trying not to change into the Hulk, he's trying to change willingly. Bruce concentrates...
...and grins as his metamorphosis begins.
So what does that mean? Why is he smiling? Well, there are two theories:
1.) If there is a sequel to the "Hulk" film after the "Avengers" movie, it means that in the sequel (or maybe in "Avengers") that Bruce Banner has finally gotten some control over his green-skinned alter-ego.
2.) If there is no "Hulk" sequel (and why not?!?), then the Hulk becomes a menace for the Avengers to fight in their movie. While the Hulk is a founding member of the team, the Hulk and the Avengers have fought quite often in the comic books, so a Hulk/Avengers fight is possible. But whether that means the Hulk is a villain or if he's tricked into fighting the team by a misunderstanding or something, only Marvel Studios knows for sure.
QUESTION: Wait a minute. How can Tony Stark be in this movie because of the rival movie companies?
ANSWER: Yes, it's true that Paramount Pictures has the "Iron Man" movies and "The Incredible Hulk" was done by Universal Pictures. But while both movie companies distributed the films, Marvel Studios made both movies and own the rights to the characters. This is how Tony Stark can show up in the Hulk movie with no legal problems, and how the Hulk can appear in the "Avengers" film by Paramount and Marvel Studios.
QUESTION: Which "team" are they referring to at the finale? Do they mean the Avengers?
ANSWER: We all know the famous cameo at the very end of the film, where Tony Stark meets General Ross at a bar...
STARK: "What if I told you we were putting a team together?"
ROSS: "Who's 'we'?"
[no reply]
So does that really mean Stark's talking about the Avengers? It's possible, as the Hulk first appeared in the comics before Iron Man did (Hulk got his own comic in May 1962, while Iron Man made his comic book debut in March 1963, respectively). Also, Bruce Banner became the Hulk four and half years before Tony Stark became Iron Man in his first movie back in 2008. In 2010's "Iron Man 2", near the finale, you can see footage of the aftermath from the Army's attack with the Hulk on the Culver University campus, meaning "Iron Man 2" took place during the 2008 "Hulk" movie.  So, when Tony Stark tells General Ross that they're putting a team together, it's most likely the Avenger Initiative he's referring to.  Since this is 31 days after the brawl between the Hulk and Abomination in Harlem took place, which was a few days after the Culver University attack, it seems that a month after "Iron Man 2" ended, Stark and Nick Fury are about to get the Avengers banded together.  However, we won't know for sure until "The Avengers" movie is in theaters in 2012.
QUESTION: So what do we know for sure about the Hulk being in "The Avengers" movie?
ANSWER: Well, we all know that Edward Norton, sadly, will not be reprising his role as the Hulk's alter-ego Bruce Banner.  Banner will be in the film, but played by actor Mark Ruffalo ("Shutter Island", "The Kids Are All Right").  According to producer Kevin Feige, the portrayal Banner will be like the Bill Bixby version of Banner, but also like he was portrayed in the early issues of Marvel's "Ultimates" comics.  Feige described the Avengers version of Banner as "a guy who wants to be left alone and wear his glasses and do his science."  I like Ruffalo as an actor and I'm curious as to see what he'll bring to the role of Bruce Banner, but still, I would've personally loved to have seen what Norton would've done if he had come back for "The Avengers".  As for what role that Banner and his green-skinned alter-ego will serve for the film, that remains unknown.  What is known for sure is that Lou Ferrigno will return to provide the voice of The Incredible Hulk, and the Green Goliath is expected to be done with computer graphics again.  Personally, I think it'd be better if we just got Lou Ferrigno back in the purple pants, put green paint on him, make him look bigger than everyone else with computer graphics assistance like what they did with the scenes between full-grown humans and Hobbits in "The Lord of the Rings" movies, and BAM!  We get an actor to be the Hulk again, save (some) money on the budget, and solve the problem of having the Hulk look like a PlayStation character.  Then again, that maybe just me.
~ Last Updated 8/6/2010

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