Let’s just admit one thing. Everyone in the MCU, not just the heroes and villains, but literally anyone with an internet connection, knows what The Hulk’s junk looks like. Just let that sink in. Everyone. Hell, Japan probably has a scale model somewhere for people to take selfies with. At this point, if you are a modestly sane person, you are likely asking yourself, “What do you mean?” or “How is this important?” or even “What is wrong with you, Joe?” These are all valid questions. Especially that last one. So let’s consider these questions.
Bruce Banner is just a normal sized dude that turns into a green, bulging giant. His mutation however, doesn’t allow his clothes to change with him. The Hulk’s clothes just rip right off… except for his pants. I for one cannot stretch my belief that far, and yes, by that I mean to say that I can suspend my belief enough to allow for a small, normal pasty white guy to be able to turn into a giant green monster, but somehow the fact that his pants don’t rip off is a bridge too far. Maybe Bruce has thought ahead and always wears slightly over-sized, elastic pants. That’s reasonable. But elastic stretched that far is going to become incredibly thin and incredibly tight. Every detail of his manliness is going to be exceedingly obvious to even the most causal viewer. Consider that we’ve become an always online, filming everything interesting even if it might get you killed society, and you just know there would be film. The film would be enhanced, stabilized, trimmed, and distributed within minutes of its acquisition.
Everyone. Would. Know.
When I wrote The Hunger: Book One of the Diary of Charlotte, I basically wrote a superhero origin story. Charlotte is a scrawny girl of average height who similarly turns into a large(r) monster, albeit a different shade of green. Worse than just her size increasing, when fully transformed she has sharp, bony protrusions in random spots all over her body. Her simple clothes just would not last, and unlike Marvel, I didn’t try to pretend otherwise. Charlotte gets naked a lot. (Sorry other pervs, I didn’t go into detail). And while it isn’t a condition she revels in, it’s also not a foreign concept either.
When researching for the book, I found that public nudity in France around the 1800’s wasn’t too uncommon. Impoverished people in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens are sometimes shown to be nude or barely clothed. Additionally, before and during the revolution it became fashionable for liberty-minded women to wear clothes that exposed their breasts. Represented in art like the painting Liberty Leads The People by Eugene Delacroix (although the painting commemorates the later July 30th Revolution), the embodiment of Liberty was often shown with breasts exposed because Liberty is the mother of all people. Women of the time who were liberty-minded often expressed their political stance by imitating Liberty. For this reason, Charlotte isn’t necessarily completely adverse to being seen nude, but she is a little bit of a scrawny, awkward girl that values her privacy. I think I walked that line well enough, but then again, I would.
In the end, I don’t know why I think about these kinds of things. Earlier today, when I mentioned to my wife that I almost had my “The Hulk’s Junk” post finished, my daughter looked at me with a somewhat confused expression, slowly backed out of the room, and closed the door. Honestly, that reaction alone was worth this entire enterprise. I guess I’m just a little bit broken. Or awesome. I’m going to go with brawesome.
Meanwhile, somewhere in Japan…
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