When Bruce Banner was left in the airplane headed to the unknown, the big question was, “When would we see him next?” Many fans, myself included, were quick to point at Guardians of the Galaxy 2, claiming that Planet Hulk would be folded into the film. In the past couple days, however, we got official confirmation that Hulk will not be in Guardians 2, but rather Thor 3.
That’s right, the Asgardian Apocalypse will see Hulk included in the devastation. In case there’s any confusion on the matter, there is no comic precedence in this at all. There were actually very few heroes aside from Thor involved in the story-line, especially in the latter half when things get very bad.
So why exactly will we see Hulk there?
In short, we don’t know. We knew that we had to see Hulk at some film in phase 3 (as Feige told us after Avengers 2). Many used this as evidence for Planet Hulk. Others assumed Civil War. No one really saw Ragnarok coming, however.
Focus on Thor?
My greatest fear in this is that Thor won’t be the focus of the film. Thor 2 already suffered from a suffocating presence of Loki. With the conclusion of his trilogy, we need a film that will allow Thor to grow and bloom in his final outing in a single movie. If we have to share time with Hulk, will we see more of a hybrid film of a Thor conclusion and Hulk sequel?
This needs to be the height of Thor’s character. I fear that Hulk will distract from that.
How does he get there?
There are two options for how Hulk shows up in the movie, really depending on where Hulk went after Avengers 2. Did he go into space or on Earth? While I anticipate it will show more Asgard than Earth, contracts seem to imply that Jane Foster and Erik Selvig will be in the film, therefore Earth will be involved.
Therefore, Hulk could show up through the theory of space travel, but it would be more logical to assume that Hulk never left Earth’s atmosphere at all. Somehow, in his hiding he comes across Thor, or perhaps the Selvig/Foster research team.
Trust in the Marvelous Plan
The fact that this is a surprising move indicates that Marvel has some plan in mind. There are more logical places for Marvel to play the Hulk Card. The fact that they are playing it now means that Hulk has a part of their grand plan.
So while I don’t understand the decision, I don’t believe it is automatically the wrong decision. It has issues to overcome, but until it comes to fruition, only time will tell.