Fans will remember Captain America’s infamous”language” line by the opening action sequence of Avengers: Age of Ultron when he reprimanded Tony Stark/Iron Man for swearing after being taken by the enemy. The line, planned to showcase Cap’s conservative sensibilities, followed Steve Rogers for the remainder of his MCU livelihood as the Avengers and various Internet memes mocked Cap’s need to keep others from swearing. As it happens, nevertheless, fellow Avenger the Hulk also shares Steve’s perspectives on cursing!
Wait, the Hulk? Would not a green rage monster that does not have any problem with tearing buildings down or beating”puny gods” have a more liberal position on poor language? While it might be challenging to think, there were multiple versions of the Hulk in the comics and MCU – including one issued against cussing, Captain America-style reprimands.
During writer Peter David’s acclaimed run on The Incredible Hulk, he introduced viewers to a”merged” Hulk (known popularly now as the”Professor Hulk”). This Hulk had the body of the Green Hulk and face, Banner’s intelligence and strength, and the Grey Hulk’s swaggering attitude. Although not the savage monster most fans were accustomed to, this Hulk frequently displayed an arrogance created from being the most reliable and the smartest person in the room, which directed him to push other people around.
This was revealed in The Incredible Hulk #388 once the Hulk was called in to help protect an AIDS Clinic that had received death threats from a mob leader called Lang. Tyler, lang’s son, was a patient at the clinic and had contracted his illness. Wanting revenge, Lang delivered a mercenary named Speedfreak after Jefferson. However, the Hulk battled and defeated the hired killer. In the aftermath of the struggle, Tyler expired possibly due to the event’s injury and condition.
Jefferson even approached Tyler’s father hiring Speedfreak to kill him, who confessed and attended Tyler’s funeral. Letting Jefferson know he was going to observe as his men died Jefferson right there, Lang cried, “Boys! Kill this little F-” Before he could finish, the Hulk seemed, telling Lang, “Language, please. There are young people present.” Informing Lang that all his goons were unconscious, the Hulk and his partner Rick Jones revealed they’d also taped Lang’s confession and could be turning him over to the police.
Marvel showed a tendency to stop many of their personalities from swearing during the 1990s, with mainstream Marvel titles like The fantastic Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk often using innovative methods to prevent swear words from appearing in word balloons. These included”bleeping” out the words with crap symbols (i.e., @#$%*!) Or merging swears words together (“Sonouva-!”). Peter David even made the near future swear word”Shock” because of his Spider-Man 2099 title that he substituted known swear phrases (i.e., “Who the jolt would be you?!”).
However, the method for eliminating swear words in comics was having the hero knock a villain out before he could complete their offensive sentence. This led many supervillains to get punched in the nose, hit by a repulsor ray, or gagged with webbing as they attempted to scream, “What he -?!” Given all this, the mob boss was probably blessed the Hulk chose to use a less barbarous method of shutting him up. Captain America would approve.