The MCU never fully explored Bruce Banner’s conflict with the Hulk. Phase 4 can fix this with the introduction of Black Knight and his Ebony Blade.
The MCU has an interesting opportunity to introduce the spiritual replacement for Hulk in the upcoming Eternals. As one of the founding members of the Avengers and the only major hero to remain active after the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers Endgame, Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) will soon need a break from world-saving antics. Unfortunately, his fascinating duality between man and monster has been gone since Bruce Banner found a way to combine them. However, the MCU isn’t stopping anytime soon, and there’s another chance this conflict can make a comeback in the next few years.
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The MCU never truly explored Bruce Banner’s self-antagonism to its full potential, opting instead to develop Hulk’s arc as a side character. With Smart Hulk at peace with his identity and Jennifer Walters practicing law while on her hulked-out form, that conflict is gone. It could return, however, if the MCU instead uses it for Black Knight (Kit Harington), who will be introduced in Eternals. In the comics, those who go under the name of Black Knight also possess the Ebony Blade, a sword that once belonged to Sir Percy of Scandia, the original Black Knight. Due to the bloodshed the weapon had witnessed, the Ebony Blade acquired a curse that makes its wielder crave for blood. And it’s that duality of character that could potentially replace the Jekyl and Hyde dynamic the MCU once had with Hulk.
The Ebony blade not only grants the MCU another chance to develop a better “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde” conflict in the future but also gives the story a twist by placing the curse on an object. The weapon can become as influential to the main plot as the Infinity Gauntlet and could cause different effects on different characters. In the comics, several major characters have wielded the weapon, including Namor, Valkyrie, and Dean Whitman, a Black Knight with close ties to Wakanda. It would be refreshing to see how each hero reacts to Hulk’s dilemma in their own way.
The new cast of Eternals seems to be covering all bases. Sersi (Gemma Chan) and Gilgamesh (Ma Dong-Seok) could easily dethrone Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) as the most powerful heroes in the MCU. Similarly, the speedster Makkari could replace Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) as the fastest superhero. So, why not substitute Bruce Banner and the Hulk with Black Knight and the Ebony Blade?
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Key Release Dates
- Black Widow (2021)Release date: May 07, 2021
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Jul 09, 2021
- 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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