The Infinity War started out with a bang as the Great Titan Thanos killed Loki and Heimdall, kicked the crud out of Thor, and wiped the floor with none other than the Incredible Hulk, so what is going to go down in Avengers 4?
Fans hoping to see the Hulk get his revenge on Thanos later on in the movie may have been disappointed as the Green Goliath refused to come out.
While it initially appeared as if the IH was too scared of Thanos, directors Anthony and Joe Russo have since revealed that the Hulk was not afraid, but that he was teaching Banner a lesson.
“These two characters are constantly in conflict with each other over control," Joe Russo said in a previous interview. "And I think that if the Hulk were to say why, it’d be Banner only wants Hulk for fighting. I think he’s had enough of saving Banner’s ass.”
Fans were also expecting a big moment from the Green Goliath in the Wakanda scene, as Infinity War trailers featured the character alongside Captain America and the other heroes; however, the Russo's have said they intentionally misled fans to avoid spoilers.
“We have seen so much content that every average moviegoer has a level of sophistication in their ability to predict what is going to happen in a movie, which is why Anthony and I spent a lot of time trying to hide the secrets of [Avengers: Infinity War], misdirect the way the trailers were cut, misdirect with information. It’s too easy for them to intuit what is going to happen," Joe Russo said.
So with Hulk's role toned down in The Avengers: Infinity War, now fans are really hoping for big things in the upcoming Avengers 4. Let's check out some theories!
1. That wasn't Hulk, it's really Loki
More than one fan has pointed out that the Green Goliath and even Banner seemed out of character during Infinity War. The IH loses really bad against Thanos, he won't come out during the rest of the movie, and Banner sort of comes off as goofy inside the Hulkbuster Armor.
Surprise! Could it be possible that Loki, the god of mischief, was actually the Hulk all along? Could it be possible that it wasn't the Incredible One at all that appeared in the movie?
Banner may have went with Valkyrie and Korg as they escaped Thanos' attack. The Russo brothers have that offered some of the Asgardians survived through use of escape pods, so this would explain why "Banner" wasn't able to get the IH to come out--because he was really Loki and not the Hulk!
This also means Avengers 4 could feature a big moment introducing Hulk, Korg and Valkryie! And also that Loki is really alive!
Update: Similar to the Loki theory, some fans put it forth that the Banner in Infinity War was none other than replaced by a Skrull some time during Thor: Ragnarok!
2. Hulk gets the Infinity Gauntlet
Recent rumored spoilers for the movie have it that the Green Goliath gets the Infinity Stones and the Infinity Gauntlet.
We know from Guardians of the Galaxy 2 that a "normal" person can't wield the Infinity Stones, so perhaps Banner's other green half steps up to the plate to right things that once went wrong?
3. Hulk gets a metal / mechanical arm
A rumor has it that when the IH attempts to use the Infinity Gauntlet that it blows up and blows off his arm. So later on in The Avengers 4, he gets some sort of metal / mechanical arm.
Perhaps Shuri makes the IH an arm constructed of vibranium? Maybe the "mechanical" aspect of it is that it can change size to accomodate both Banner and the IH.
Or maybe it's not a mechanical arm, but some sort of new suit, which the leaked Avengers 4 art hints at. A storyline from the comics saw the character use a suit for the Agent of T.I.M.E comic.
4. The Infinity War trailer scene is from Avengers 4
Maybe that footage in Wakanda really takes place in Avengers 4 and not Infinity War?
It's rumored that the Avengers go back in time to fix things, so quite possibly the final Wakanda scene from Infinity War could get a "do over" in Avengers 4, but this time the Hulk is a part of it as they fight Thanos' army and attempt to stop the Great Titan from using the Infinity Gauntlet.
5. Professor Hulk
It's speculated Professor Hulk from the comics might be appearing in Avengers 4, which means Banner and the IH would merge.
In the comics, the Green and Grey versions merge with the puny Banner persona to become the Professor Hulk (I call him the "superhero" version). This was the version featured in the Starlin Infinity Gauntlet trilogy, so why not in the movies? Mark Ruffalo actually offered a big clue way back in 2015 of the possibility.
"It's very subtle, but the Banner/Hulk consciousness is beginning to meld a little bit. Who decided to leave? Was it Banner or Hulk? It's not really in the [cinematic] mythology of Hulk up until that moment to be that conscious and pro-active. It's interesting, right?” Ruffalo said about Hulk leaving at the end of The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
6. Tony and Shuri mess with Banner's mind
Continuing from the Professor theory above, with recent speculation offering that Tony Stark might be headed to Wakanda to team with Shuri and the surviving Avengers, there is a theory they use Wakanda tech to get the Green Goliath out of Banner, as they will need him to stop Thanos in Avengers 4. So possibly Stark and Shuri merge the two personas? Just throwing this out there: Does this lead to World War Hulk down the road??
7. Banner and Hulk separate
How about Banner and the IH actually don't merge, but separate?
With the Hulk seemingly licking his wounds, maybe the reason he lost to Thanos is because of puny Banner inside him, so the Avengers decide to let the IH really go loose by separating him from Banner? In essence, they send a "Hulk bomb" at Thanos? This could be done via the above method involving Tony and Shuri, or how about through use of the Mind Stone? It's rumored the Avengers go back in time to aquire the Infinity Stones, so maybe they have a Mind Stone and use it on Banner? Banner already was effected by the Mind Stone in The Avengers through Loki's scepter. This could also lead to a World War Hulk scenario.
8. There's no IH in Avengers 4
Probably the least liked, but similar to Infinity War, just maybe IH isn't in much of Avengers 4 as well?
Since the Green Goliath "stiffed" Banner in Infinity War, maybe Banner decides he doesn't need the Hulk and retains an improved Hulkbuster Iron Man armor?
Nah, no way that will happen.
9. Banner and Hulk come to terms
Since the Green Goliath is trying to teach a lesson about Banner needing him, possibly something happens during Avengers 4 which causes the two to reconcile.
Maybe Banner suffers a fatal wound, which leads to the Hulk having to come out, which leads to Banner realizing he needs his big Green Guy. They could do some sort of cool scene from the comics where Banner and the Hulk have a conversation in Banner's head, even between doors, where the the Green Guy then busts through the door in Banner's mind, and at the same time, busts out of Banner on screen. This could also be a way of leading to the merged Professor persona from above as well.
10. Hulk dies
Last but certaintly not least is that Banner and the Hulk could die.
It's known the original Avengers contracts are up with Avengers 4, so that might mean the end of Mark Ruffalo as well, which could mean the end of Banner. This could be another way of introducing World War Hulk, as Banner wouldn't be needed. Then at the end of WWH, they could always introduce a new actor or even bring back Mark Ruffalo.
Have any theories for Avengers 4 of your own? What do you think is going to happen? Let us know in the comments below!
The Avengers 4 has a May 3, 2019 release also starring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and Iron Man, Chris Evans as Steve Rogers and Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Don Cheadle as War Machine, ;Danai Gurira as Okoye, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, with Brie Larson as Captain Marvel and Josh Brolin as Thanos.