The directors of Avengers: Endgame are still batting all sorts of questions about the final chapter in the MCU's Infinity Gems saga. This time, the fans demand clarification regarding the fate of The Incredible Hulk. In his final appearance at Tony Stark's funeral (Spoiler warning, but at this point in time, come on, what rock have you been living under?), the Hulk had his damaged and blackened arm in a sling. The same arm that he used to wear Earth's infinity gauntlet and snap the people who had been lost at the end of Avengers: Infinity War back into existence.
Many fans have pointed out that one of Hulk's most prominent powers is his regenerative factor. He's no Deadpool, but The Hulk has never been shown to suffer permanent injury even after getting bombed, shot at, and stabbed by every kind of weapon imaginable. But as powerful as the Hulk is, and even with near-limitless invulnerability, this was one time he was up against a level of power that he could not withstand, as the Russo Brothers themselves explained during a Twitter Q and A:
"The Hulk has never come up against every Infinity Stone in a gauntlet, and the pure power of the stones. Thanos is nearly invincible, and he did not heal either. So, clearly, when you wield the full power of the Infinity Stone, it's irreparable damage to your being. If it doesn't even kill you."
The explanation certainly carries weight. After all, it was established in Avengers: Infinity War that as powerful as The Green Giant is, Thanos is a being who is a notch higher on the power scale. And even he suffered permanent injury after wielding the gauntlet.
These kinds of devastating injuries to such powerful beings really serve to underline the fact that the MCU is now operating on a cosmic level and dealing with sources of power that are beyond anything that any one Avenger can handle on their own, no matter how powerful they may be.
Incidentally, this was not the first time that the director duo has commented on Hulk's injury, and the permanence of the effect that wielding the gauntlet had on his body. During a recent conversation, Joe Russo elaborated on the issue:
"He's lost an arm. He lost Natasha. That's not coming back. He's damaged himself. I don't know. It's interesting. That's permanent damage, the same way that it was permanent damage with Thanos. It's irreversible damage. His arm, if you noticed, is a lot skinnier. It's blackened. So, he loses a lot of strength there."
It is difficult to imagine Disney letting an immensely popular character like The Hulk sitting on the sidelines for the remainder of the MCU's films, nursing his destroyed arm. Even the Russo Brothers have pointed out that there are a lot of smart people left in the Marvel Universe, who can possibly help Hulk recover his arm, or perhaps give his arm an upgrade, similar to The Winter Soldier's vibranium arm. That would be pretty badass. This story originated at ComicBook.com.