The events of Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame have changed our understanding of The Hulk, showing how hard it is for Banner to coexist with his id monster. Although he seems somewhat at peace now, we have to ask: Could a device like NuCalm control this green rage monster and give Banner a better way to be himself? After all, the technology is designed to head off the exact kinds of stress responses that traditionally set the Hulk off.
But to know the answer to this question, we have to understand how the stress response triggers The Hulk’s transformation and how NuCalm might fight it.
Stress, Adrenaline, and The Hulk
In most versions of The Hulk, the transformation is set off by a stress response. Specifically, the comics and related material point to the adrenaline response as being central to the transformation.
For every child of the 70s and 80s, this is forever captured in the stock sequence from the Lou Ferrigno classic TV series The Incredible Hulk. We see the blood rushing through the body, carrying the adrenaline to all the various parts of the sympathetic nervous system, and triggering diverse impacts throughout the body. The various parts of the transformation make sense: the eye change that is the first visible sign of what’s happening is analogous to the pupil dilation, and the muscle growth is like the muscles preparing for rapid action.
In the 70s, they talked about adrenaline tapping into some unspecified reserve of human strength. Today, researchers look to epigenetics as the mechanism for the transformation, but in both cases, adrenaline is the trigger.
How NuCalm Could Control the Hulk
Most of the time, The Hulk transforms back into Bruce Banner offscreen. We have seen The Hulk rampage itself into exhaustion, presumably, and it goes offscreen to rest. Banner awakes as if from sleep. It’s actually similar to what is normally seen in werewolf movies (or similar animal transformation films like Cat People). But in Age of Ultron, we see something different that calms him down. Black Widow (Natasha Romanova) approaches him with what seems to be a preset key phrase. She then gets him to turn his hand palm up to her using various gestures. Once he has his hand turned up, she touches his wrist in several places, which sets off his transformation back to Banner.
There’s likely a role of the sympathetic nervous system in this technique. The wrist has several effective pressure points, which can moderate pain, stress, and nausea. It’s likely that this is a pragmatic approach to roughly influencing the stress response in The Hulk.
NuCalm would likely work more reliably to control The Hulk. First, the supplements or cream (probably easier to smear something on The Hulk than get him to eat something) works to counteract the effects of adrenaline. The neuroacoustic software could then help to take his brain out of anxious, angry high beta waves into more calm alpha or theta waves. Meanwhile, the CES would stimulate the release of relaxing neurotransmitters, including serotonin and dopamine. And, of course, the eye mask would remove all stimuli that would tend to anger him.
This would be a reliable method to transform The Hulk back into Banner, but it would be difficult to get The Hulk to consent to NuCalm. More likely, it’s a technology that Banner would be glad to have to control his outbursts. And it might even be something that would be required as part of any convention that tried to control The Avengers, a la Civil War.
Could NuCalm Have Helped Banner Be Better?
Note: spoilers for all three movies, follow, but if you haven’t seen them by now, you probably won’t care. Throughout these three movies, we see Banner and Hulk go through a dramatic change in their relationship. First, Banner transforms into The Hulk, and stays him for two years. We’re not exactly sure how that happens, but it likely has to do with his repressed anger, amplified by the sacrifice that he feels he has to make to ensure the safety of others. After transforming back into Banner, he has difficulty becoming The Hulk again.
By the time of Infinity War, banner seems to have mastered his ability to transform back into The Hulk. For a while. After he fights Thanos and is defeated, Hulk refuses to re-emerge, forcing Banner to use one of Tony Stark’s Hulkbuster suits to fight in the epic final battle. Finally, by the time we reach Endgame, Banner has merged with Hulk, to be a blend of the two: not as strong as The Hulk nor as smart as Banner. In addition, Banner seems isolated and somewhat lonely (at least, eating all those burritos seemed like comfort food), being unable to reignite his erstwhile relationship with “Nat,” (Romanoff). While The Hulk/Banner hybrid does utilize the Infinity Gauntlet once, the team would probably have liked to have the strength of The Hulk in facing off with Thanos.
In fact, they could have had that, with the ability to make Banner Hulk on or Hulk off at the flip of a switch. And they could have enjoyed the benefit of Banner’s full intelligence. Plus, he never would have had to leave at all with the ability to control The Hulk. Then he could have served as a mediator between Stark and Rogers during Civil War, helping to maintain The Avengers and putting them in a better position to face Thanos in the first place. But that’s an alternate reality that is likely somewhere in the multiverse, but never realized in the MCU, because they don’t have NuCalm in the movies.
Do You Have a Rage Monster?
Although none of us turn into a green gamma beast, all of us experience moments of stress, anxiety, and rage that can be hard to control. NuCalm is a great tool for getting past these irrational limitations that can be harmful to us and to others. It allows you to reach and release that creative genius who sometimes gets pushed into the background by those other influences.
If you would like to experience the benefits of NuCalm in controlling your anxiety and other negative emotions, please contact a local NuCalm provider today.