What Does The Hulk In Thor: Ragnarok Mean For The Film?


A big bit of news coming out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was the confirmation by Marvel that the Hulk would have a “major” role in the third installment of the Thor series. Thor: Ragnarok is set for a release in November 2017, and promises to be the most epic, and cosmic of the Thor films.

Coming soon will be a full feature on the story of Ragnarok, and how Marvel can put this story arc into the MCU as seamlessly as they have everything else to this point. There are a lot of things that Ragnarok is, and plenty that it isn’t, so it will be good to get the lowdown on what this continuity will look like.

The focus now will be on how the Hulk, not a part of the original story, will fit into not only the film, but the continuing theme of Thanos and the Infinity Stones being the end game. I know that everyone is excited by the inclusion of the Hulk, but I say to use some caution. Because just as this could be a great thing, it could be something awful. Let’s take a look at both possible scenarios.

The Bad News

One of the rumors going around is that Marvel is going to bring in a new team to work on the story because so far it has been deemed too dark. Let’s hope that now that Kevin Feige is working in a more autonomous fashion away from the Disney mothership, the pressure to keep things as light as previous MCU films will be lessened.

If Marvel does chose to go with something lighter, it could be disaster for our heroes. Maybe I am in the minority, but if Marvel is really considering sending the Hulk into space and having the film take place off Earth, I don’t want a buddy comedy. Ragnarok is the end of times. The end of everything. That’s not an event that is supposed to be laced with lots of quips and one-liners.

This will all be fleshed out more as we break down what the Ragnarok story arc is all about, but if the goal of adding the Hulk to this movie is to provide comic relief and not introduce one of the 10 best stories in Marvel comics history, then don’t even bother. 

The Good News

I’m not sure if the best case scenario is more plausible at this point, but it is definitely more encouraging. Since Marvel left the whereabouts of the Hulk pretty ambiguous at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, there’s a real possibility that instead of hiding out on Earth, Dr. Bruce Banner opted to use the Quinjet to head into outer space.

Why do we want the Hulk in space? Because this is how we get Planet Hulk. If you haven’t read the comics or watched the animated film, please do so. It’s a really cool story, and both versions (comic and animated film) really work. Quickly, the story goes that the Hulk’s ship crash-lands on the planet Sakaar, and he is subsequently enslaved and forced to participate in a fighting tournament indicative of the ancient gladiators.

In the comics, Hulk is visited by the Silver Surfer, and in the animated series it is Beta Ray Bill. It would be simple for Thor to be his rescuer this time around. Obviously, if the filmmakers wanted to incorporate this story arc into the film, it would open up the MCU even more to the notion of a true multiverse.

Let’s all hope that Marvel decides that a story that revolves around the destruction of everything needs to stay dark. Pulling in more alien races and having the Hulk help Thor defeat Loki (who is masquerading at Odin), and save the universe is a perfect story to be the final movie before Avengers: Infinity War Part I. No one wants an intergalactic version of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in the middle of such an important theme.

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