As a queer fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s a lot to love in Avengers: Endgame: from Captain Marvel’s ’90s power dyke chop to an openly gay character mourning the loss of his partner to the ladies of the MCU joining forces and beating the shit out of everyone to the Wakandan funereal couture to Captain America checking out his own butt.
For a movie that’s not overtly queer, Avengers: Endgame provided the gags and the goops—and I’m not just talking Pepper Potts.
The biggest gag, however, came in the physical transformations of two of my fave MCU characters, the previously lionized Hulk and Thor.
First, The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), known from here on out as Professor Hulk, has managed to finally get his gamma mutation under control, having merged the Jekyll and Hyde of his personality:
Take in these horn-rimmed glasses. Take in that salt and pepper hair. Take in that height of sophistication: the shawl-neck cardigan. This is no raging monster that no one wants around—this is Hulk living his best life.
This Hulk is a hero to kids and is never too busy to take a selfie with fans.
This Hulk is able to articulate his thoughts and feelings, but is also willing to pop his shirt off for the cause—regardless of how gratuitous it may seem.
Whereas Hulk has gained control, Thor has lost it completely. After the Snap Heard Around the Universe, The God of Thunder blames himself and has really let himself go.
While “Fat Thor” is played for comedic effect—and the internet is already in its feelings about it—I’ve rarely found Thor hotter, which I thought was impossible, post-Ragnarok.
The whole Thor mystique is built on his divine birthright. He’s always looked like a god, though he hasn’t always behaved as one. Thor’s humanity and his humor—Chris Hemsworth is really one of our finest comedic actors—have always made him relatable, despite his immense power and mythological origins. But in Endgame, Thor is taken down a few notches and made even more human and the result is, personally, a real turn-on.
With that beer gut and unruly beard he looks like a sad, sexy Santa. This Thor is cuddly—and maybe this is the part of me speaking that loves cleaning up a mess—but there’s nothing more attractive than a man in touch with his emotions. And Thor has all of them.
While chiseled Thor will always be a sight for sore eyes, Fat Thor offers something more than a visual feast. Fat Thor and Professor Hulk are welcome evolutions of two characters beyond the hypermasculine stereotypes that originally defined them. Hulk no longer mindlessly smashes everything in sight and Thor has finally learned humility, making them both the best versions of themselves.
It’s been quite the journey, fellas.