The Marvel Cinematic Universe has gone through many, many changes over the last 12 years.
For one, back in 2008, Iron Man was still seen as a B-list comic book character, while Terrence Howard and Edward Norton were playing the roles of Rhodey/War Machine and Bruce Banner/Incredible Hulk, respectively.
Fast forward to 2020, and the MCU looks a heck of a lot different. Not only is Iron Man now one of the most popular comic book heroes around, but Kevin Feige and co. also replaced Terrence Howard with Don Cheadle, and got rid of Edward Norton and brought in Mark Ruffalo, who got a nice three-movie arc that started in Thor: Ragnarok and concluded in Endgame. But what comes next?
Well, if a new theory on Reddit is on the right track, then the Hulk might just become the villain in the next Avengers film, as it could very well loosely adapt the famous World War Hulk arc from the comics.
Here’s how it reads:
Banner destroyed his arm and Natasha died, then Tony gets all the credit for the victory when it was Hulk who snapped and brought everyone back.
Banner has anger issues, despite Ruffalo’s version being chill, it’s still in his history.
I see it like this:
Banner gets depressed, starts thinking if only I was as strong as I was on Sakaar I could have snapped and brought Natasha back and/or defeated Thanos and save her from having to sacrifice herself. This leads to the “Devil” Hulk coming out which in the MCU will basically be a vengeful violent version of the super strong World Breaker Hulk brought on by Banner’s guilt and anger.
It’s an interesting theory, and not the first time a villainous arc for Hulk has been predicted, but will we actually see it play out? Possibly, but it’s still far too early to say.
We know that the studio still intends to do more with the Jade Giant, as Ruffalo is all but confirmed to return for the She-Hulk series. There’ve also been whispers that they’ve got the rights back for the character, meaning they can make another solo movie for him.
But again, it’s too early to be mapping out what the future has in store for the Hulk. Rest assured, though, we haven’t seen the last of the fan favorite Avenger and with any luck, he’ll be back on our screens before we know it. Watch this space for more.