WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.
When the scene-less credits for Avengers: Endgame begin to roll, audiences are generally left with two indisputable conclusions. In the case of Tony Stark, Iron Man is no more as his self-sacrificing move to defeat Thanos and his invading army with the Infinity Stones ultimately cost him his life. As for Steve Rogers, he has passed on the mantle of Captain America to Sam Wilson, but not before returning the stones to their respective timelines and living out his life with Peggy Carter. And then there’s the Hulk.
Aside from Tony and Steve, Bruce Banner has also lost Natasha Romanoff, who sacrificed herself so that the team could get the soul stone. His right arm, which he used to wield Stark’s gauntlet in order to bring everyone back from the snap, is also badly damaged. But how badly? According to co-director Joe Russo, who sat down with ComicBook.com for a live Q&A, it’s permanent:
“He’s lost an arm,” Russo says. “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.”
Of course, this is the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or multiverse?) we’re talking about. Most of what happens never really seems to be permanent. (After all, Scarlett Johansson will be back for the upcoming Black Widow film, though it’s supposedly a prequel.) Russo acknowledged this in the Q&A: “Maybe someone helps him repair that. Maybe someone gives him a new arm. I have no idea where that character goes from here.”
Either way, the conclusion of the “Professor” Hulk storyline offered by Endgame is pretty depressing, so here’s an official clip from Marvel of his first scene in the film.