First off: What do we expect Captain America: Civil War to be? I think it is safe to say that Captain America and Iron Man will be the only two major superhero headliners. They will be joined, no doubt, by a magnificent host of other superheros that could very well include: Black Panther, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Falcon, War Machine (Iron Patriot), Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, The Vision, Ant-Man, Winter Soldier, and maybe Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, or some Inhumans. Just take a moment and drink in how cool that list you just read is. Sorry Spider-Man fans. And that doesn't include Nick Fury and his ilk. It also doesn't take into account Joss Whedon's quote about "death, death, and more death." I don't think it is overreaching to assume that Thor will not be around. I heard something about Ragnarok and some such nonsense about the end of the 9 realms. He will most likely be looking into that. So with Thor out of the picture that leaves one very relevant question...
Where's the Jolly Green Giant during the Civil War?
Well, let's explore every possible answer:
1. He hides
Many times in the comics (and even in the Marvel Cinematic Universe on occasion) there is a conflict that leaves the reader/viewer wondering, "Hey, I wonder why __________ doesn't show up and help out?" or "Where was Captain America in Iron Man 3?" or "Where was Thor in Captain America: The Winter Soldier?" or "Where was the Hulk during most of Phase 1?" You know you think it sometimes too. Well sometimes they just aren't there. Lame as it may be, that's just the way it is. But I can't help but feel that with a title like Civil War there is no excuse. Banner can't run from this... especially without Shield watching his back. I don't think he is going to hide this one out.
2. He fights
I sincerely doubt it will come to this, because he is such an outrageous advantage. I know the movie doesn't have to be a perfect even match, but the focus (at least in the comics) is the conflict between Steve and Tony. Hulk would just get in the way. He would steal the spotlight. No, I don't think he is going to fight in Civil War.
3. He gets broken
I know, this is the Hulk we are talking about. Nothing breaks the Hulk. But I said every option. What if he loses his hulky powers for a spell? What if he is rendered inoperable by a certain mad robot or a witch? I really am not sold on this concept, so let's move on to my favorite.
4. He get's booted
(into outer space) Before you turn on caps lock let me finish! There is more than one place he could end up off earth. He could be an interesting addition to the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel. Or he could be the cause of Ragnarok on Asgard. But there is another option that makes more sense... a place where he isn't just a sideshow act in another headliner's blockbuster... a place he can call his own. PLANET HULK!
I know what you are thinking... "But Kevin Feige said..." Yeah?... and do you think he showed the whole world all of his cards? Do you really think they aren't capable of misleading the audience? They have shown 3 different trailers for Age of Ultron and we haven't seen The Vision on the screen yet. It's not impossible. You've seen the clues in the movies: Sakaaran soldiers in Guardians of the Galaxy, the Kronan in Thor: The Dark World, and if you have read this far then you probably believe as I do that you saw Beta Ray Bill in The Collector's vault. Well did you notice that Marvel has a very LARGE space between Captain America: The Winter Soldier (May 6, 2016) and Doctor Strange (November 4, 2016)? Look at the following two years... 2017 the have a movie coming out in May, July, and November... 2018... May, July, November. But 2016?... May & November.
Who says Marvel can't make every fan-boy's head explode at San Diego Comic Con this year with a surprise trailer for Planet Hulk, Grey Hulk, or Red Hulk? I totally believe it could happen. As certain as I am that DC is planning some solo Batman and Superman films they haven't announced, I am equally certain that Marvel can do the same thing. What do you think? Is Kevin Feige really going to make us wait until Phase 4?