Bruce Banner was a major player in the first few episodes of She-Hulk on Disney Plus, but in recent weeks Jen’s big green cousin has been far from the action.
Many audiences assumed that Bruce would re-emerge before the first season came to a close, and they were proven correct in the show’s final episode. His appearance was largely a side-note—and a plug for future Hulk action—however, leaving fans to wonder after the time he spent off-planet. Before his lengthy departure from the plot, it appeared that Bruce was up to something big, but what exactly was the Strongest Avenger doing in the background?
Where did Bruce go in She-Hulk?
After several Hulk-heavy episodes early on, Bruce Banner largely disappeared from the She-Hulk plot. This was done for several reasons, according to the show’s head writer and producer, Jessica Gao. She noted that one Hulk is expensive to bring to the screen, so two was simply untenable for a season-long run. There was also the issue of Bruce’s popularity. Everyone was thrilled to see him in the show, but if he’d stuck around too long it might’ve felt like his show, rather than Jen’s.
Regardless, the show runners needed an excuse to get Bruce off screen, and they found one in a side storyline on a different planet. The last time audiences saw Bruce—up until the finale, of course—he was cruising away on a familiar Sakaaran ship.
This led audiences to believe that Bruce was headed back to Sakaar, where fans of Thor: Ragnarok will recall the character spent at least a few years following the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. But why did he make the trip back to the trash planet?
Why was he on Sakaar?
We still don’t understand all of the details surrounding Bruce’s trip back to Sakaar, but the final episode of She-Hulk teased just enough details to get fans talking. Upon returning to Earth, Bruce reunited with his family just in time to introduce them to a very unexpected addition to the family.
That’s right, the Hulk has a child. He introduced his family, and viewers, to his son at the conclusion of the She-Hulk finale, finally bringing Skaar Banner into the MCU fold. Beyond the potentially thrilling opportunity to delve into a World War Hulk storyline, this development is huge for the rapidly-changing MCU. We’ve already seen a number of the OG heroes—like Captain America and Black Widow—pass the torch to fresh faces, and audiences largely assumed that She-Hulk would do the same. Except most people assumed the mantle would be shifted to Jen, not a surprise Hulk child.
Skaar’s entry into the MCU is definitely a big development, but its not yet clear what the franchise has planned for the character. He could certainly replace Hulkling in a potential Young Avengers storyline—though Teddy would be sorely missed—but there are a number of other potential directions to take with the character.
We’ll likely get more details as Marvel slowly unfurls its plan for phase five of the MCU and beyond, but for now audiences are largely in the dark. It’s clear that Hulk went to Sakaar to pick up his unexpected child, and likely tie up some loose ends with Caiera, but further information on his long-distance roadtrip—and the implications for the future of the MCU—are yet to be revealed.