In recent MCU films, the Hulk has found himself in wild scenarios culminating in a battle with his nemesis, Thanos. His character has evolved (and devolved) right before our eyes. Does he get it all together in time for one last fight against Thanos in Endgame? As expected, major spoilers are ahead.
A Fighting Champion
At the end of Age of Ultron, Hulk flies to uncharted territory to get some peace and quiet. In Thor: Ragnarok, it’s discovered that he’s been a fighter on the unknown planet Sakaar. This planet was founded by The Grandmaster, who loves nothing more than a good fight. He created the tournament Contest of Champions, which found Hulk as its long-reigning champion. Thor would unexpectedly find this planet through a wormhole. After being discovered, Thor was sold as a gladiator and was forced to fight Hulk.
With the help of The Grandmaster, Hulk managed to take down Thor in a fight. Eventually, he teamed up with Thor to escape the region and return home. During the film’s climax, Hulk gets bitten in the leg by Asgardian creature Fenris Wolf. Fortunately, the bite didn’t stop Hulk from tossing Fenris to its demise.
A Complete Transformation
In Infinity War, Hulk was no match for Thanos. Following their fight, Bruce Banner was unable to switch back to the big green monster. Following the movie, Banner decided to do more research on gamma radiation. He found a way to combine The Hulk’s body with his own high intellect.
In Endgame, he pops up as the best of both worlds. Hulk no longer growls like a complete maniac in previous films. Instead, he delivers proper speech towards his fellow Avengers. Hulk also becomes a role model for the younger fans in town. Comic book fans would recognize this merger as Professor Hulk. Debuting in 1991, Professor Hulk is what Banner always envisioned to protect everyone from the unpredictable monster. Without the constant rage, Professor Hulk can easily live through life normally.
While the Infinity Stones were retrieved, Hulk was the only one able to wear the Iron Gauntlet. His regeneration and durability made it easier for him to withstand the Gauntlet’s gamma radiation. With the snap of his finger, he managed to reverse Thanos’ destruction. While he didn’t do much during the final battle, bringing everyone back was a major moment.
Three In A Row
This whole ordeal with Hulk was actually part of a three-movie storyline arc. Without the rights for a standalone Hulk film, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige decided to improvise. “Kevin brought me in and he said, ‘What would you do if you could do a standalone Hulk movie?’ I said, ‘I think it should be this, this, this, and this, and it should end like this.’ And he said, ‘How about if we do that — love that — let’s do that starting with Thor 3 and end in Avengers 3, and we’ll use those three movies to basically do a standalone Hulk movie. How about that?’ I was like, ‘That sounds great.'” Mark Ruffalo told IGN.
After the events of Endgame, it’ll be interesting to see where Hulk lands in future Marvel films.
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