Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a unique introduction to the Marvel Cinema Universe. Its story is essentially its own but extends to other franchises. This is best seen in the film’s final scene, where Shang-Chi and Katy are in a room with Wong and the holograms of Captain Marvel and Bruce Banner in human form. Although the Banner resembles the place, its recent transformation could be a little more profound. Anything Bruce could hide could have potentially devastating consequences for MCU.
In the cast, Bruce and his friends investigate the ten rings after Wenwu has given them to Shang-Chi before they die. As they try to trace its origin, they realize that it is a mystery that can not be resolved from one day to the next. Carol is the first to say that Bruce has his phone number even though he says no. Before Bruce walks apart, Bruce looks at Sang-Chi and Katie and greets them in the circus. Still, everything about Banner’s behavior seems different from the last time he was seen as a man in the Avengers. : endless war.
The most obvious example is that Bruce’s hair is grayer than ever. His voice grew deeper and deeper. At the same time, a reasonable excuse would lead many to believe that the last five years of weight, along with his nano gangs injury, have made him physically older.
Bruce’s story in the comics, however, shows that he previously had multiple identities. A possible guide could be that Bruce’s character Joe Fixit has been installed. In the comics, Joe is a gangster who takes the form of Gray Hulk. However, Al Ewing and Joe Bennett’s The Immortal Hulk series showed that Joe could also appear in human form. If this is the gray Goliath, it is possible that he adapted the hologram to look like another wounded Bruce Banner. It would also explain why he does not have Carol Danver’s number, as he technically never met her.
According to Eternals co-author Kaz Firpo, he believes Bruce’s human form and appearance is the character he has been trying to find for the past five years. As two of his dead friends and the Hulk still understand their relationship, Bruce’s human form symbolizes that he is trying to refocus. It also explains why his healing agent did not heal his hand as in the She-Hulk teaser. The comics support this idea, as Bruce has spent many years trying to heal himself in many ways. From the merger of characters to the dissolution of the Hulk, Bruce’s biggest problem in the books is the lack of understanding that he and the Hulk are the same, even when things are not always going well.
Another darker choice in Banner’s light behavior and appearance is a subtle tease to create Master Hulk. In the comics, Maestro is a character born after a nuclear holocaust that destroyed much of humanity. The extra charisma transforms Bruce’s mind and trusts his bitterness more, creating an evil spirit with the power of the Hulk. He’s struggling to take control of what he can, and if Bruce’s appearance serves as a game for the future, he could become MCU’s next significant threat. It could also serve as the Hulk’s ultimate goal in MCU, with a climax that hopefully ends with Bruce finding peace.
There is yet a lot to discover about Bruce Banner at this stage of MCU. Knowing that it will not last forever, Professor Hulk also raises questions about the destination of his craziest personality. There is no doubt something different with Bruce at the end of Shang-Chi. Still, until the answers come, speculation will help decipher what can and can be for the green Goliath.