Warning: Spoilers for the events of Marvel's Civil War II Issue 3 ahead. Read on at your own risk!
"To everything there is a season" and nothing lasts forever. Even when you are the strongest there is. In Civil War II Issue 3, Bruce Banner — the Incredible Hulk — was killed. Whether the reason was to make room for Amadeus Cho (the Totally Awesome Hulk) or if it was just to make headlines, the fact of the matter is the death of the Hulk has left a giant void in the Marvel Universe.
Always An Avenger
The Hulk was an on-again/off-again Avenger, but like Captain America always says, "Once an Avenger, always an Avenger." If things were really bad, Steve Rogers would always call on the Hulk. When Cyclops and Emma Frost were possessed by the Phoenix Force, Rogers went to the Hulk. And when Thanos and his crew were attacking Earth and space looking for Thanos' kid, Cap brought the Hulk with him.
Now that Hulk is gone, where are the Avengers going to turn to when they need someone big, strong, and intimidating? Sure, there are lots of characters that have super-strength and are plenty powerful, but there is nothing like having the Hulk. He strikes fear inside his opponents just by being present. Heck, Bullseye is a crazy killer who poker-faced the Sentry after killing Sentry's wife, but then Hulk showed up and Bullseye gave up immediately. The Mad Titan Thanos has beaten the Hulk and even he avoids future altercations with him.
Speaking of Thanos, with no Hulk to protect the Earth, extraterrestrial beings might start looking at the planet as ripe for the taking. Earth has basically lost their attack dog. Sure, you could take down Steve Rogers or Wolverine. You might even take down Thor. But there's something to be said for knowing the Hulk was coming next. You can't really plan for the Hulk. You just hope that he doesn't show up while you're trying to attack. Now the Earth's gamma safety net is dead.
The Loss Of Bruce Banner
There's also Bruce Banner. People always forget that inside the Hulk is a brilliant scientist whose only real peer in the field of science was Reed Richards. Even Reed knows that sometimes the best person to go to is Bruce Banner. With Reed off creating new realities and exploring them with his family, Bruce Banner was left to pick up the slack when it came to helping the world with scientific problems.
All that's left now is Tony Stark, who's too busy being Iron Man to help and Peter Parker who can barely balance work, Spider-Man, and anything else. Yes, the Hulk is completely important to everything that's going on, but the contribution that Bruce Banner gave to the world can't be ignored.
The Marvel Universe lost its strongest fighter and one of its most brilliant minds. There's still Red Hulk, She-Hulk, The Thing, and Colossus when it comes to strength, and Black Panther seems to be taking over Reed Richards' role as Earth's resident genius, but none of them will have the one thing that made the Hulk special: His heart.
Hulk was like Frankenstein's monster. He was scary looking, people ran from him, misunderstood his power and feared him because they thought him a monster. But the Hulk was always there when the chips were down. You could always rely on the Hulk. Now that he's dead, who will they rely on now?
Check out this classic clip of the Hulk from Marvel's The Avengers:
How do you feel about the Hulk dying? Will he be back and if so, when? Let me know in the comments below