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Beware of "Code Green": Lessons from "Avengers-Age of Ultron"

Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo)

Ph: Film Frame

©Marvel 2015
Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) Ph: Film Frame ©Marvel 2015

Marvel’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron
Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo)
Ph: Film Frame
(C)Marvel 2015

I believe it was Kermit the Frog who once said “It’s not easy being green.”

The easy going Muppet was talking about himself but his words could easily have been attributed to another creature who has made his way to back to the big screen in the last week or so.

I’m talking about the Incredible Hulk, or Hulk for short, one of the numerous superheroes featured in the blockbuster movie “Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.” The film recently premiered in theaters nationwide.

Some folk already know the comic book lore surrounding the Big Green Guy, but for those who don’t, let me catch you up to speed: Most days, he’s friendly and quite sensible Dr. Bruce Banner but all that changes when he gets angry. When he’s mad, he becomes a raging beast who grows exponentially and turns a shade of green that should be known for all intents and purposes as “Hulk green.”

(SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen the movie yet but plan to, you might not want to read the rest of this post right now.)

In one of my favorite scenes in “Age of Ultron,” Banner is sitting quietly off in the woods while the other Avengers attempt to face off with the bad guy Ultron. When someone, the girl who eventually becomes the Avenger the Scarlett Witch, plays mind games with him, Banner tries to reach out to his friends, asking them if there’s a “Code Green.” In other words, he’s asking them if they need his alter ego’s help with this latest dastardly villain.

They don’t necessarily, but he has no way of knowing that so he goes all “Code Green” and all hell literally breaks lose. You begin to see why he’s always reluctant to let him self loose, so to speak, and why his fellow Avengers don’t want him to.

He rampages his way through a city, tearing up buildings, terrorizing citizens, throwing cars — it’s total mayhem. He is out of control.

I must confess that I giggled during this scene because it was one of the parts of the movie that reminded me of faith. There are plenty of other scenes in the film where faith is front and center but this footage with the Hulk just got to me.

This is a personal reflection: the Hulk is a great metaphor for what can happen without the life-changing power of faith. Without faith’s quest to do good and to represent good in the world, there’s a tendency for people, me, to do the opposite — rage at will, unchecked and leaning heavily toward selfishness and any number of nasty attributes. We can see evidence of this going on in the world today and I won’t go into detail, just read the headlines, it’s all there.

In “Age of Ultron,” Banner is mortified when he realizes the destruction he wrought in his Hulk state of mind. It’s a cautionary tale that I thought played out very well, though it wasn’t his fault, poor guy. In the movie, all the heroes wrestle with their private demons and struggle to find ways to overcome them. In real life, that’s often where faith comes in.

There’s much more commentary that explores the faith themes in “Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Check out some of them here:

Christianity Today: “Avengers: Age of Ultron”

Washington Post: “Surprised by hope: Why Christians flocked to ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron,’ an atheist’s film”

Christian Today: “Avengers: Age of Ultron” review

Patheos: “Review: Avengers Age of Ultron”

Russell Moore’s Moore to the Point blog: “What the Avengers movie tells us about marriage and family”

 

Carla Hinton

Religion Editor

 

 

(Photo caption: Marvel’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) Ph: Film Frame ???(C)Marvel 2015)

Carla Hinton

Religion Editor

 

Related Photos
 Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo)

Ph: Film Frame

©Marvel 2015

Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) Ph: Film Frame ©Marvel 2015

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Carla Hinton

Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide... Read more ›

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