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Monday, February 4, 2013

How will the Hulk fit into Marvel Phase Two and Three?

While it appeared that the only way we may continue seeing Bruce Banner (aka, the Hulk) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was through small parts and/or cameos it seems that we were wrong. Or could still be wrong.

Rumor has it that Marvel is working on a separate storyline for the Hulk that will send him far away and will take place in another stand-alone Hulk movie. Kevin Feige pretty much confirmed that another Hulk movie won't take place until after The Avengers 2 which would automatically put it in Phase Three. The only real confirmation for Phase Three so far is Edgar Wright's Ant-Man which was originally supposed to wrap up Phase Two.
However, with the introduction of Doctor Strange there are a couple Hulk arcs that are possible for not only a stand-alone Hulk movie but as a potential lead into both The Avengers 3 and the stand-alone Doctor Strange movie. Those arcs being, of course, "Planet Hulk" and "World War Hulk." Some good points highlighted via Latino Review give a possible outline for the future of Dr. Banner.

Let's start with Planet Hulk:
1. Don't expect to see the Hulk until The Avengers 2, but he might show up in a Phase Two post-credit scene to set up a potential stand-alone Hulk movie.

2. After being deemed incredibly dangerous, Hulk is banished from Earth and shipped off into space by Marvel's version of the Illuminati which includes Tony Stark (aka, Iron Man) and Doctor Strange.

3. After Hulk is shipped off is where the Planet Hulk arc comes into play. He is sent into space where he is held captive on the planet Sakaar and forced to participate in gladiator games. Hulk eventually becomes a hero and leads a rebellion against the Red King.

Now here comes the potential entrance of World War Hulk:
1. After the rebellion the Hulk has a pretty decent amount of loyal followers which is basically an army and at this point, the Hulk is pissed off more than usual. The thought is that Hulk will return to Earth with his army to begin the "World War Hulk" arc.

2. In "World War Hulk", he basically returns and he and his army fight just about every hero and heroic team on Earth. Eventually the teams and heroes are pitted against each other in gladiator style combat which is similar to what he was forced into on Sakaar.

Now this is fully possible due to the fact that Mark Ruffalo signed a 6-movie deal with Marvel which began with The Avengers. He still technically has five more appearances to make. I have no doubt he will be in both The Avengers 2 and The Avengers 3, but that leaves 3 more movies he has to appear in and I highly doubt they will just be after-credit cameos.

Yet another thing that makes this possible, which is my personal theory, is the fact that World War Hulk includes Fantastic Four and X-Men. Seeing that we will be getting a new Fantastic Four in 2014 and we already have the ball rolling on X-Men with the release of X-Men: First Class and X-Men Days of Future Past for next year... it is completely possible that The Avengers 3 could center around the Hulk with this "World War Hulk" scenario. It would be a great way to bring every Marvel hero into play at the same time without overloading. I think that would be awesome, by the way.

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