Among the many many large revelations within the first episode of She-Hulk: Legal professional at Regulation comes the reveal that whereas Bruce Banner was chilling in Mexico post-Blip with the intention to discover himself and unite his two warring halves, he and Tony Stark constructed an outside bar collectively. To commemorate that point collectively, their initials are carved into the wooden. It’s a small element in a bigger dialog, nevertheless it’s a bit of nod to a friendship that was as soon as an enormous a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe fandom — and received a bit misplaced alongside the way in which.
As soon as upon a time, MCU followers dreamed of a world the place the Avengers frolicked and preferred one another. Novel, proper? However again in 2012, proper on the heels of the primary Avengers film, the concept of all of Earth’s mightiest heroes coming collectively and dwelling in a tower like chill roommates was extremely common. The gang performed video video games collectively. Clint lived within the vents, for some purpose. Thor was obsessive about Pop-Tarts. It was an easier time.
Picture: Marvel Studios
One of many large hallmarks of this period was “Science Bros” — what followers referred to as the connection between Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. Generally this was romantic (although that might often be dubbed “Science Boyfriends” or “Science Husbands”). However typically, it was simply the platonic relationship between the 2 smartest Avengers as they geeked out over tech or bantered over science experiments. The friendship kicked off within the first Avengers film, when the 2 bonded over the extra technical features of foiling Loki’s villainous plan — and solidified when Tony didn’t tiptoe round Bruce, who nonetheless couldn’t management his Hulk aspect at that time. It was one of many clearest friendships on this early Avengers period (apart from Clint and Natasha, my beloveds <3), and the whole framing of Iron Man Three ended up being Tony recounting a narrative to Bruce. It was so iconic that even Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo acknowledged it and performed alongside.
Sadly, the later MCU motion pictures sidelined this fan-favorite relationship. Not essentially as a result of the 2 characters weren’t associates anymore, however as a result of the MCU become a juggernaut of 1,000,000 shifting elements and characters that wanted to be strategically positioned like chess items with the intention to kick off the subsequent plot level. Which was all high-quality and good for these excited for the most recent large unhealthy villain on the horizon. However for followers who loved the sudden friendships between these unlikely heroes — who wished a full scene of the post-Battle of New York shawarma lunch — the MCU began to really feel missing. The heroes barely received alongside, and even when motion pictures targeted on the extra emotional elements of being a superhero, the subsequent one would come alongside and utterly undermine what had occurred.
Picture: Marvel Studios
Clint randomly received a household within the second Avengers film, and Natasha had a totally out-of-the-blue crush on Bruce (at the least She-Hulk acknowledged how bizarre this bit was). Tony Stark gave up the swimsuit after Iron Man 3, after which instantly picked it up once more for just a few extra motion pictures. And maybe most frustratingly, after spending all of Captain America: The Winter Soldier in quest of his finest pal Bucky Barnes after which going in opposition to worldwide legislation, Steve Rogers determined to journey again in time and dwell out a lifetime with out Bucky, regardless of consciously realizing that whereas he raised a household with Peggy on this timeline, Bucky was being tortured by Soviet brokers. Followers realized that the MCU was by no means going to be about that group of associates being there for one another.
In a post-Endgame MCU, future Science Bros bonding can’t occur as a result of Tony Stark is useless. However this small acknowledgement is one thing, a bit of reminder that when upon a time, the Avengers received alongside and truly preferred one another on display. And apparently they nonetheless did get alongside and like one another, however within the background and off display, informed to us years after a few of them died. Possibly with more room for respiratory room on Disney Plus, we’ll lastly get to see extra of this emotional connection that followers latched onto within the first place. Or perhaps these moments will proceed to be referenced after the very fact, in carved initials on a picket bar and a shared reminiscence of a happier time.