While most of us thought that next year’s Captain Marvel would see the first appearance of the Skrulls in the MCU, one user on Reddit believes that we’ve been watching one of these extraterrestrial shapeshifters for two movies and just haven’t known it.
According to TheLazerShell, Bruce Banner literally hasn’t been himself over the course of Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War but has actually been one of these villainous creatures in disguise. In a lengthy post, the Redditor points out some supposed inconsistencies in Banner’s personality and the Hulk’s abilities, and offers an elaborate explanation for these changes.
“The Skrull law is once youre shapeshifted into a human you can’t use your own or the powers of the person you’re transformed into. Banner is a good option for being a Skrull because as Banner he doesn’t have any power and him turning into the Hulk can just be a Skrull shapeshifting into a bigger form that looks like the Hulk. But he’s nowhere near as strong as the original Hulk, which is why he gets beaten by Thor in Ragnarok, barely beats a big puppy and almost gets thrown off a waterfall, and finally gets his ass kicked by Thanos.”
TheLazerShell also posits that the fake Banner was planted on the planet Sakaar with the intention that Thor would eventually escort him to his intended destination.
“[H]e gets sent to Earth, which is what they wanted. The Humans think it’s just normal Banner, him not turning into the Hulk is just a bamboozle, and he gets shifted from one team to another. He gathers more intel from Strange and wong, now knows how the Sanctum works. He has a brief talk to Tony, just a little bit more info given that Tony is a public figure anyway. He sees Spidey in action. He’s taken DIRECTLY into the Avengers facility where he can easily gather ANY info he can get and even further than that he gets sent to wakanda, even better, INSIDE of wakanda. He has a nice look of how wakandan defense systems work, who’s in charge etc. Everything the Skrulls need for a nice invasion.”
You can read the full theory over on Reddit, but honestly, this one seems a little hard to buy. At the very least, from a storytelling perspective, to find out that every endearing and emotional moment spent with Banner throughout Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War was pure fakery would feel like a bit of a slap in the face, especially given the lack of clear foreshadowing in either of those movies. There are twists, and then there’s just lying to your audience for two films.
That being said, if this is indeed what Marvel’s going for then there’s a good chance that Captain Marvel will provide a lot more context on the Bruce Banner switcheroo when it drops on March 8th, before the Hulk (or someone who looks a lot like him) returns to the action with Avengers 4 on May 3rd. But before all that, you can catch Ant-Man and the Wasp in theaters from July 6th, with the Peyton Reed-directed sequel looking to close out what’s been an incredible year for the studio