The Marvel Cinematic Universe is vast in its stories, but it still largely revolves around Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Evans’ Captain America, yet no Black Widow solo movie for Scarlet Johannson. Yet the Hulk has not been let back in from the cold, except for two Avengers films.
The Incredible Hulk has received little love, largely being relegated to a minor player in the bigger films. Previous Hulk films have been universally received as horrible, which could arguably be attributed to them happening before the advent of superhero movies, and partially because Edward Norton is allegedly more difficult to work with than the rage-outburst prone irradiated man he played.
Mark Ruffalo plays a charming Bruce Banner, who is clearly anxious about the possibility of ‘the big guy’ rearing his grimacing, green face. Why, though, have audiences not been given more Hulk screen time outside of him, well, smashing people and making the somewhat-rare witty one-liner?
Thor: Ragnarok’s most recent trailer shows promise not only of an impressive, shiny new addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with a great deal of development for Thor as a character, but it also looks to be a very promising film in terms of redeeming Hulk. The end of the trailer reveals Hulk can speak by way of an amusing conversation with Thor comparing the two to raging flames. Hulk quips how he is more like a raging fire while Thor is burning embers. This is a new, fun direction for a character whose most memorable line otherwise was referring to Loki as a puny god.
While there is still a glut of Marvel movies on the horizon, well-beyond the foreseeable future, these small moments of development for Hulk are huge overall. The big, green guy gets lines! He’s more than just a stack of muscles with a face! There’s some hope of ensemble Avengers getting some much-deserved love.
There’s always the possibility that this is just a tease that won’t amount to much, but there’s always some small measure of hope. Maybe, one day, fans will finally get to see Black Widow and Hawkeye as more, too, but for now let’s all keep our fingers crossed that Hulk is the surprise star of Thor: Ragnarok.
By Phil Gorski