“We know each other – he’s a friend from work!”
While he’s due to receive a significant upgrade in time for Avengers 4, Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi’s wacky MCU threequel, was all about chronicling the Hulk’s journey from deep-space drifter to the champion of Sakaar, the junk planet on which Chris Hemsworth’s God of Thunder is forced to do battle against an old friend… from work.
It’s arguably the film’s true centerpiece, as we see Marvel’s strongest characters duke it out for the first time since their brief squabble in The Avengers. And though Thor struggles to admit it, Hulk actually emerged victorious, no thanks to that awesome gladiator armor.
The actual design of said battle suit evolved quite dramatically throughout development, though, as this newly-revealed piece of concept art attests to:
Coming to us by way of Marvel Studios concept artist Anthony Francisco (h/t Heroic Hollywood), you’ll notice that Hulk actually retained his blue shoulder armor in the final film. Here’s the official lowdown from Francisco himself:
Incredible Hulk concept art I did for Thor: Ragnarok. The art team was lead by the talented [Marvel Studios Visual Development Supervisor] Andy Park who also designed Hela and Thor for this film. This movie was a pleasant surprise! One of funniest I have ever seen. The blue shoulder armor that designed ended up in the film. Check out the final design by one of my good friends, Head of Marvel Studios Visual Development, Ryan Meinerding. I am still in awe on the kind of work I get to do.
The artist goes on to tease his involvement in a series of other MCU projects – namely Ant-Man and the Wasp, Infinity War and Captain Marvel – so we’ll be keeping a close eye on his Instagram feed over the coming weeks and months.
Next up for the MCU is the U.S. release of Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6th. Thor: Ragnarok, meanwhile, is currently available on Blu-ray and DVD (order here).