It’s pretty cool that superhero stuff has become totally mainstream, but sometimes it seems like the general cultural acceptance of The Justice League and The Avengers might actually be a bad thing. Case in point, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has recently been comparing his pro-Brexit agenda to the Hulk, saying (via Deadline), “The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets… Hulk always escaped, no matter how tightly bound in he seemed to be—and that is the case for this country.” The escape in Johnson’s case is about breaking out of the EU, but it still doesn’t really make sense for him to be pitching Brexit as the work of a mindless rage monster (or… maybe it does?).
Anyway, that’s pretty dumb, but now Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo has jumped with a passionate—and very, very nerdy—rejection of Johnson’s interpretation of the Hulk. On Twitter (because where else would you do this?), Ruffalo noted that “the Hulk only fights for the good of the whole” and that being “mad and strong” can also be “dense and destructive,” which is why the Hulk “works best when he is in unison with a team” and “is a disaster when he is alone.” On top of that, he points out that the Hulk always has Dr. Banner somewhere in his head to promote “science and reason,” not-so-subtly implying that Johnson should be paying more attention to his own Dr. Banner.
It’s nice to see Ruffalo dunking on a politician who—from what we understand—sucks, but on the other hand, this is also kind of dumb. Ruffalo’s Hulk stuff is right, but using your deep knowledge of a comic book character to own somebody online isn’t what cool people do, it’s what nerds like us do. What Ruffalo should’ve done, at least if he wanted to avoid being stuffed into a locker, is replace his smart response with something cooler like, “Psh, check out this nerd.” He still would’ve gotten the dunk on Johnson, but then we wouldn’t be sitting here worrying that Hollywood icon Mark Ruffalo is some kind of nerd.