It's a well known phenomenon within the Marvel Cinematic Universe that during one of the hero's solo outings, their super buddies will just take a back seat and chill for a bit. It makes sense: if all the Avengers saved the day all the time, we wouldn't get solo movies, but just a string of team-up flicks. [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409) seems to be an exception to this rule. It's already starting to look like the kind of party that began with a close group of friends and somehow exploded into the whole neighborhood turning up, resulting in massive fights, drunken rioting, and your mom's favorite vase getting smashed. Good luck cleaning this mess up, Steve.
But while the party rages on, founding Avengers Thor and Hulk are left out in the cold, waiting for their next big screen outings in Thor 3 and Infinity War. So why were they left off the guest list? And just what are they doing that's so much more important than the potential end of hero life as we know it?
Hulk Needs Some Me-Time
We all know how rough Hulk's had it lately. After joining a gang of super friends, it looked like he could finally stop running from his checkered and semi-canon past. He even got a bit of a romance with fellow Avenger Natasha Romanoff which, um, ok.
Despite the fact that things seem to be looking up for Bruce, he's still feeling the stress of being a hero. So after he co-creates a maniacal, apocalypse obsessed fiend (nice one), Bruce makes plans with Nat to completely abandon his friends to their fate (huh?) and run away from their hero responsibilities forever. Nat agrees (wait, what?!), but Hulk abandons even her and just sorta absconds in the Quinjet after the final battle (okie dokie then).
So where is he going? One option, of course, is Fiji, the tropical destination Bruce and Natasha chose for their getaway. Another is outer space, as in the comic Planet Hulk. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), the name doesn't refer to a planet filled entirely with a race of Hulks. In the comic, Hulk gets shot into space by the Illuminati when they decide Hulk is just too gosh darn dangerous to remain on Earth. So they trick him into entering orbit, then blast him into a wormhole (semi accidentally).
Though they aren't part of the comic plotline, many fans have wondered whether Hulk will leave Earth completely after [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035), and team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy instead. This of course would mean he would reappear in the upcoming [Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2](tag:1081113)... But James Gunn is firm that this will not happen.
So that theory's out. There aren't really any other Marvel films in Phase 3 that Hulk could appear in, so we probably won't see him again until [The Avengers: Infinity War](tag:738027) in 2018. What's he doing until then? That's anybody's guess, but we came up with a few possibilities...
- Chilling on a tropical island near Fiji
- Racking up some hours with Doctors Without Borders
- Working on a cure for his Hulk mania
- Taking a leaf out of Doctor Strange's book and meditating through the Civil War drama...
Or of course, he could be helping out good buddy Thor...
Just Too Busy With The Apocalypse
[Thor: Ragnarok](tag:956858) is coming soon and you all know what that means: a whole lotta apocalypse to deal with. Thor 3 has had a lot of build up, with doom and gloom foreshadowing in both The Dark World and Age Of Ultron.
I mean, who could forget that epic cave hallucination scene, when Thor tried to take a bath but was plagued by visions of his family and friends dying. Oh, and blind Heimdall wants him to know it's all his fault. Now that's not what I call a relaxing time in the tub.
So Thor's a bit easier to work out than Hulk: once the day was well and truly saved at the end of Avengers 2, Thor's next step was probably to fly straight back to Asgard, to investigate his apocalyptic premonition. It makes sense that home and hearth come before mere mortal tiffs, so Thor's absence from Civil War is entirely understandable. He's not exactly a resident of Earth, so the issue of government control would probably bore him to tears.
Oh, and Chris Hemsworth himself confirmed that the dream sequence would form the motivation for much of Thor's actions after Age Of Ultron...
"It kicks in motion his movement. That’s where he really starts to kind of move through the story. Once that dream occurs he goes, 'Oh, I can see what’s coming and my fear could be true' so yeah, it’s a ticking clock."
I guess there's that mystery solved: Thor isn't in Civil War because he's got far too much to worry about back at home. So could Hulk have joined Thor to lend a hand in averting Ragnarok? It's certainly possible... but not really probable. Looks like poor old Banner will have to wait another 3 years to get a big screen outing.
Do you have any Marvel theories? Let us know in the comments, or write your own post!