One of the biggest questions of the Marvel Cinematic Universe right now is, where's #Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) at? After he disappeared following the Battle of Sokovia in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and failed to make an appearance during Captain America: Civil War, all we know right now is that he somehow ended up in outer space.
Recent rumors point to Loki (Tom Hiddleston) being the reason Hulk ended up trapped on a "gladiator planet" (hello Planet Hulk!), which isn't too much of a surprise because, it's Loki. Regardless, his appearance in Ragnarok will require filling in quite a few gaps in the backstory.
#Marvel Studios' President Kevin Feige confirmed a while back that #ThorRagnarok will pick up Thor (Chris Hemsworth)'s story immediately after he leaves Earth at the conclusion of Age of Ultron. And the story bridging between the two movies is particularly pertinent as it's looking like Ragnarok will take us to brand new realms, beyond just #Asgard and Earth.
But there's something else that is going to be really interesting about the reappearance of Hulk in the #MCU, beyond just the new dynamic that we'll be seeing between Hulk and Thor. And it's all to do with Hulk's character development specifically.
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Ragnarok may well be the first time we'll see Hulk presented as a fleshed-out, stand-alone character, rather than giving the majority of the screen time to the non-CGI Bruce Banner. While Banner has become fairly well established as part of the shared universe by this point, Hulk himself is still wanting when it comes to character development.
That's the problem with having an ensemble cast though, not everyone gets as much screen time. But Ragnarok may finally fill in some of those gaps. Because, according to Ruffalo, we may finally see a face-off between Hulk and... Bruce Banner? As he told HuffPost:
"I am excited to keep coming back to this role. I see a lot of space for it to grow. I feel like there’s a lot of cool stuff to explore still, especially the relationship between Banner and Hulk."
Speaking prior to the filming of the movie, he went on to comment that he wanted to see the two characters share a scene together. Right now you may be asking, how can Banner and Hulk meet? They're the same person, right?
Well, not really. In The Avengers Banner refers to Hulk as "the other guy," and talks about how Hulk prevented him from committing suicide by spitting the bullet back out. Like the characters upon which Banner and Hulk are modeled — Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde — there are two very distinct personalities at play in this one physical form.
This is demonstrated again at the conclusion of Age of Ultron. Though Banner thinks he may be able to find redemption and a semblance of a normal life with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), the Hulk has other ideas. He hijacks the Quinjet and heads off to the middle of nowhere. While Banner may be able to delude himself into thinking that he can live a normal life, the Hulk knows better.
And it's safe to assume that Hulk — not Banner — is going to be in the driving seat for much of Ragnarok, as it appears the movie is taking heavy doses of inspiration from the Planet Hulk storyline.
So psychologically Banner and Hulk are different people, but still they inhabit the same body. Despite this, they have managed to overcome this boundary in the comics on occasion. They often interact through a shared consciousness of a sort, but there have been occurrences where the two have been physically separated.
Back in the The Incredible Hulk run of the mid-'80s, psychiatrist and superhero Doc Samson attempted to cure Banner via an experimental procedure involving a nutrient bath. He succeeded in physically separating the two consciousness by transferring Banner's mind into a new body, but as you can probably guess this ended badly.
While it did technically work, it left the Hulk without a controlling consciousness (his superego) and he ran amok. Which is kind of what he does. Banner and Hulk eventually join back together several issues later, as it's the only way they can survive.
There's been no confirmation yet as to whether or not Ruffalo is going to have his wish granted when Ragnarok rolls around, but given director Taika Waititi's penchant for the strange and unexpected it wouldn't be all that left of field. Even if we don't get to see the two facing off, it would be very interesting to see a further examination of the dynamic between the two, and would do wonders for both of their characters.
So whether or not we will actually see Banner confronting the monster within him remains to be seen, but either way it's sure to be pretty exciting when the Hulk returns in Thor: Ragnarok this November.
What are you most excited to see in Thor: Ragnarok? Sound off in the comments, and check out Thor's Civil War Mockumentary below!
(Source: Huffington Post)