During the debut of the Hulkbuster Armor Program in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man gives it the nickname, Veronica — here’s the reason why.
The Hulkbuster Armor Program, which made its debut in Avengers: Age of Ultron was named “Veronica” — here’s why. The name fits with Tony Stark’s convention of naming his AIs and even nicknaming his fellow Avengers, but Veronica has a special meaning.
Following the successful takedown of Loki and the Chitauri during the Battle of New York, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes continued to operate as a unit, tracking down the Scepter/Mind Stone that HYDRA sneakily stole in the winding moments of The Avengers. Within this period, Bruce Banner and Tony Stark devised a contingency plan that would help his teammates neutralize the Hulk in case he went on another rampage. This gave birth to the Hulkbuster armor, which ended up being needed during their mission to South Africa to track down Ultron. Bruce Banner was hexed by Wanda Maximoff, who, with her twin brother Pietro, was still working with the robot villain. Messing up with Bruce’s head brought out the Hulk who was out of control. This prompted Iron Man to mobilize the Hulkbuster Armor Program which he called “Veronica.”
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Tony Stark is known for his penchant of giving out nicknames and over the years, he’d issued a string of them that ranges from playful pet name to a thinly-veiled insult. As such, he also extended the courtesy to his AIs like JARVIS (who eventually became Vision) and Friday. For “Veronica,” however, it’s a reference to Bruce’s love life before he joined the team in 2012’s The Avengers. In 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, Bruce, still played by Edward Norton, started a romance with Betty Ross — the daughter of Thunderbolt Ross. Relating that to the love triangle in Archie Comics, with Betty Cooper rivaling Veronica Lodge for the affection of the red-head titular character.
While this was never explained on-screen, with Marvel Studios not chronicling Tony and Bruce working together to create the Hulkbuster, director Joss Whedon confirmed that the decision to name the program “Veronica” was indeed a reference to Archie Comics. The filmmaker said this during Age of Ultron‘s press conference in 2015:
“You know, I just decided to call it Veronica because he used to be in love with a girl named Betty and Veronica is the opposite of that,” Whedon said, obviously referencing Betty and Veronica, who compete for Archie Andrews’ attentions in Archie.
After years in storage following its debut in Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Hulkbuster was once again brought back out in Avengers: Infinity War, ironically, with Bruce Banner piloting it during the battle in Wakanda against the Black Order and Outriders. At this point, he’s unable to bring the Hulk back out after the green-rage monster was badly defeated by Thanos at the beginning of the film. With the two polar opposite identities now melded together in the Smart Hulk, there’s really no need to bring back the Hulkbuster now. That said, things are different for Betty, with fans waiting anxiously for her potential return to the MCU.
More: Iron Man Teased Kang The Conqueror’s MCU Arrival In Avengers: Endgame
Key Release Dates
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- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: Feb 11, 2022
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
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