I’m sure by now everyone has heard the talk about Mark Ruffalo signing on to appear in Thor: Ragnarok. So it’s worth wondering, what exactly is he doing in this movie? First let’s talk about how this is a pretty smart move by Marvel, considering how much of a fan favorite The Hulk has become. Bruce Banner has been used sparingly after The Avengers only appearing again in a cameo and in Avengers: Age of Ultron with a pretty interesting story with Black Widow. So now, Hulk is a bit of spectacle because he doesn’t have solo movies, and his fans will go watch whatever he’s in for sure. Thor movies in general have been less central to the MCU plot, so it’s worth wondering if the Hulk can help make it the fulcrum of phase 3.
I’ve thought for a little while now it was kind of Thor’s turn to be the defining solo movie of the phase (Iron Man in phase 1, Winter Soldier in phase 2). Keep in mind, that both of these Avengers will also be absent from Captain America: Civil War and it’s just as likely that Civil War is the most important movie, but in regards to endgame of Phase 3 (Infinity Wars), I really do think Thor: Ragnarok will play a bigger role. So while we wonder what’s Hulk doing in Thor: Ragnarok, we have to talk about where we last saw him.
Last we saw Hulk, he was on a ship to nowhere (not Knowhere, not that we know at least), and could end up anywhere on Earth. As far as we know, he won’t be in any of the other films before Thor: Ragnarok, and while we don’t know exactly what the Quinjet is capable of, we don’t think it’s capable of going to Asgard.
Maybe The Hulk is in the movie, but never goes to Asgard.
I have no idea how likely this could be, but let’s say Ragnarok occurs and it opens some kind of rift to Earth (this happens in different comics stories, especially ones regarding Asgard). Or the villain (whom I’d assume to be Loki in some capacity) makes Thor have to choose between Earth and the chaos going on in Asgard, Thor chooses Asgard. So who is there to defend Earth? We don’t know exactly the status of the Avengers after Civil War, so maybe it’s just happens to be this rift opens up near an old village that may or may not have one Doctor Bruce Banner in it’s residence. Hulk defends Earth from this portal, and Thor battles the stuff in Asgard. Hulk and Thor don’t interact, but would be in the movie together.
However, that could just as easily lead to Hulk smashing his way through this portal and end up in time for the last showdown between Thor and X (X being representative of the big bad, Loki, Serpent, or whoever).
Maybe The Hulk gets his mind messed with again.
The Valkyrior are said to be central to the story, and the most important member, and there are rumors of Valkyrie (Brunnhilde, the hero) in the movie as well. This is important because her arch nemesis is the Enchantress, someone Loki has a long history with in the comics. The Enchantress also happens to be a character capable of mind control. So maybe Loki, having learned his lesson from The Avengers, that he does need The Hulk to cause damage, but maybe in a more controlled manner this time. Plus, we know this is possible after Avengers: Age of Ultron. So in this case Thor would likely square off against The Hulk until Thor knocks Hulk on the noggin, and gets Banner back on the right side.
Maybe The Hulk is tired of this shit, but Thor says I need backup.
Sure, any of the Avengers could help, but who knows what the landscape will look like after Civil War. Maybe Iron Man will be retired, maybe it’ll be a new Captain America that Thor doesn’t trust, who knows? So Thor (or Heimdall?) will likely locate the one Avenger that wasn’t involved and has the most raw brute strength to help battle through whatever is going on in Asgard. Very simple, but also could help have more time dedicated to what exactly is happening with Ragnarok.
Maybe it’s The Hulk, and he does whatever he wants and somehow ends up in Asgard.
Not much to say here about this one. Thor came down to Earth with dark matter in The Avengers with little explanation, and maybe Bruce Banner just decides he wants to go up to Asgard for whatever reason. Who knows? The Hulk is a fun wildcard in the MCU, and it’ll be interesting to see what his next adventure is. Hopefully we get a fun little moment like this one from Avengers Assemble.
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