Up until very recently, the only thing that connected The Incredible Hulk to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was William Hurt’s Thaddeus Ross, and even then he’d been absent for eight years before making a return in Captain America: Civil War.
The franchise’s second installment arrived just weeks after Iron Man in the summer of 2008, but it’s been largely swept under the rug and ignored ever since. However, that could be about to change in a major way following the unexpected return of Abomination, who’s already been confirmed for two Phase Four projects.
There was widespread surprise when it was announced that Tim Roth was coming back as Emil Blonsky to play a supporting role in Disney Plus series She-Hulk, and the internet went wild when the first trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings revealed Abomination facing off against Doctor Strange’s friend and confidant Wong in some sort of superpowered cage fighting tournament.
While there’s no word on whether or not we’ll be seeing Roth in the flesh as part of Shang-Chi or if it’s strictly a CGI job, director Destin Daniel Cretton teased that we’ll be seeing a new side of Bruce Banner’s monstrous arch-nemesis.
“He’s big and scary and looks really cool. I can’t really say anything about Abomination. I think Abomination got a bit of an upgrade, or we might call it an evolution going through time. I do really love the design that we landed on for that character.”
It would be safe to assume that nobody had Abomination showing up in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on their 2021 bingo card, but it’s not as if we’re opposed to the idea. After all, Phase Four is all about legacy in the end, so bringing back the antagonist from the MCU’s second-ever movie to fight Wong in the 25th is perfectly in keeping with the overarching theme of the saga’s latest chapter.