I have a confession of sorts to make. It's really more like something I need to get off of my chest. It's been burning inside me for a while now and maybe it took this long because I just didn't want to face the facts or maybe I was just afraid of admitting it out loud... Whatever it is, it's ingested inside me for far too long and it's screaming to get out so here it is: I will not be among the sheep who "Baaah" their way to the movie theater when The Incredible Hulk is released this summer. I just can't do it because I don't want to be an enabler. People, Bruce Banner -- otherwise known as The Incredible Hulk -- is a steroid abuser. I don't know this 100% for sure. But I know it in my heart, which is the last place I would have expected.
As a Yankee fan, I'm a huge Roger Clemens worshiper. I own a ton of Clemens gear and can probably give you his major stats for any given year. Now I don't know for a fact that Roger Clemens used steroids or HGH, but the evidence appears to be pretty overwhelming. Clemens' skull did seem to get bigger the same way Barry Bonds' skull and foot size did.
Now consider what we know about Bruce Banner. The guy has always been, for lack of a better term, kind of a dweeby weakling. And all of a sudden, we're supposed to believe he can jump 80 feet into the air no problem? This is a man who had trouble moving IKEA furniture up and down a flight of stairs and now can pick up tanks and launch them at helicopters? No, no, no this doesn't add up at all and I'm amazed I didn't pick up on it sooner.
Kids look up to the Hulk. I know I always did. I used to think I was the Hulk too. My parents even thought about sending me to a psychiatrist because I was always using simple Hulk-speak, picking up our cat and throwing it full-force at the wall (don't worry, it always landed on its feet). That was Hulk rage. And Hulk rage is an obvious result of what? You guessed it. Roid rage.
Baseball fans might remember the time Mike Piazza, longtime Roger Clemens nemesis, had part of a broken bat thrown at him by The Rocket during the game. I remember being completely befuddled by this incident. But given what I believe, I know now it really isn't all that confusing. Roid rage. I'm equally less confused today regarding the Hulkster's odd anger issues. And now I ask you to consider the two photos below.
Look at the skull size difference there. That is NOT natural. That is chemically induced.
Now I know some people are going to say steroids don't help the Hulk fight crime, that he doesn't get any substantial advantage from it. Baloney. Maybe Hulk could have taken Juggernaut without the roids. But Abomination? The Absorbing Man? I don't think so. I would argue, in fact, that Hulk's battle record would be reduced in half. And with those stats ... could he really be considered an elite superhero? Can he even make it to the esteemed Super Friends caliber? You cut Hulk's battle stats in half and you make Aquaman a more impressive action hero and everyone knows what a loser that guy is. He's like the Super Friends version of Andy from NBC's The Office. Nobody respects that clown.
I've seen Bruce Banner as a little weasel weakling in Rounders. I've seen him bulk up impressively in American History X. But we are miles off course from where he was when he played that Neo-Nazi. I mean, get real. And if any further evidence is needed, check out this suspicious leaked photo of Banner. Uh, something tells me that's not a B12 shot.
So those are my thoughts. I felt the need to let this out because I care about the Hulk. I don't want to see him go the way of Ken Caminiti. I don't want other up-and-coming superheroes to feel the pressure of a steroid filled crime-fighting world and resort to these tactics. Because believe you me, Hulk is not the only guy using. Where there's smoke, there's fire. Radioactive spider, my ass. I'm onto you, Parker.
Now I know the bad guys out there are probably using as well and that doesn't always make it a level playing field. That's why we have to separate our legitimate heroes from our phony ones. Look at The Thing. He can't help who he is, but he's made the best of it and he can kick butt and he does it au natural. Our superheroes are supposed to stand for something. We're supposed to be able to look up to them. Clemens used to be a hero of mine. The Hulk used to be too. But I guess they can't all be the Superman types we so want them to be.
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Dre writes three times a week for Film.com. Sadly, he really did used to think he was The Hulk. Email him!