– by David Kozlowski


Last week we raised some big questions about the Hulk’s role in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok movie, based on actor Mark Ruffalo’s recent terse and open-ended Twitter post. Ruffalo briefly hinted at the resolution to Hulk vs. Thor gladiator-style fight, which only added to the hype, but failed to provide much context. MCU fans have big expectations for Hulk’s development over the next several films, but right now there’s not much intel to go on. During this past weekend’s D23 expo in Anaheim, California Fandango ran into Mr. Ruffalo and goaded him into revealing a bit more about Hulk’s upcoming arc. This time, however, he describes things with a bit more color, specifically what we can expect in the (recently wrapped) Avengers: Infinity War. You can watch the video from Twitter below:

We’ll forgive Ruffalo for butchering the titles to these MCU films (I’m sure someone at Disney will have a word with him)… Hulk no like marketing! What’s really interesting in this interview, however, is the suggestion that Hulk is finally going to be more than just a rage-driven wrecking ball. While Banner’s character has become more nuanced and even romantically involved with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), the Hulk hasn’t evolved much beyond comic relief — he deserves better! As we discussed in our previous article, one big expectation for these upcoming films is giving Hulk more lines of dialog. Here at LRM we strongly favor letting the Hulk speak! Additionally, we’re looking for Hulk to do more than just smash, crash, and punch. For some reason the MCU’s Hulk has been portrayed as a mindless monster, driven purely by anger, but as anyone who reads Marvel comics knows, Hulk is not only intelligent, yet at various times he’s shown a sense of humor and capacity for more than just overt, uncontrolled violence. I suspect that we’re all looking forward to seeing much more meaningful growth in Hulk’s character within these upcoming films. For example, during the epic Planet Hulk comic book series (April 2006-June 2007), which is clearly an inspiration for the gladiator premise in Thor: Ragnarok, he was depicted as not just a n enslaved warrior, but also as a leader. In this storyline Hulk later marries another slave-warrior and even has children — it’s a truly epic story. I doubt the MCU version of Hulk will go quite this far, but it’s worth noting that the comic’s source material contains a far more nuanced version of the Green Goliath than we’ve been led to expect in the MCU.

How do you expect Hulk’s role to evolve between Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War? Let us know in the comments down below! Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on May 4, 2018.

David Kozlowski is a writer, podcaster, and visual artist. A U.S. Army veteran, David worked 20 years in the videogame industry and is a graduate of Arizona State University's Film and Media Studies.