The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has seen its fair share of highs and lows, and one character who has faced his share of ups and downs is none other than the green behemoth, the Incredible Hulk. Following the events of "Avengers: Endgame," fans have been eagerly awaiting the return of the formidable Hulk, portrayed by Mark Ruffalo. The anticipation for a more traditional, smashing Hulk has grown, especially with the intriguing setup in "She-Hulk." But will the Hulk truly make a comeback and regain his iconic persona in Phase Five of the MCU?
A Glimpse into the Hulk's Past
The character of the Hulk has undergone significant evolution within the MCU. From the early days when Edward Norton donned the mantle to Mark Ruffalo's Professor Hulk in "Avengers: Endgame," the character has seen a transformation in personality and appearance. However, fans have longed for a return to the ferocious and unbridled Hulk, the one who smashed his way into our hearts.
The Cry for Redemption
The trajectory of the Hulk's character has been a rollercoaster ride. He's gone from a rampaging force of nature in the earlier films to a more subdued, intellectual 'Professor Hulk.' While the intellectual aspect is an interesting direction, fans are yearning for redemption for the Hulk. He has battled personal losses, endured immense pain, and even faced defeat at the hands of Thanos in "Avengers: Infinity War." The elusive redemption seems to be on the horizon, especially with the return of the Hulk's solo movie rights to Marvel in 2023.
The Hope of World War Hulk
Speculation runs rife with the possibility of a "World War Hulk" storyline making its way to the MCU. This theory gains traction with the recent introduction of Adam Warlock in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," as the comics depict an epic battle between Hulk and Adam Warlock. This clash of titans could be a spectacular event in the MCU, and it's a storyline that fans have been eagerly anticipating.
A Potential Catalyst for the Hulk's Fury
The question that looms large is what could reignite the Hulk's fiery anger? The MCU needs a catalyst, an event or loss that triggers the Hulk's return to his primal, formidable self. The death of a loved one, a surprise turn of events, or an unexpected tragedy could set the stage for this transformation. Perhaps, She-Hulk or his son might play a pivotal role in this, making the storyline emotionally charged and engaging.
The Fear of a Hulk Movie
Despite the eagerness for the Hulk's return, there seems to be some hesitation from Marvel regarding another Hulk standalone movie. The past Hulk movies, especially the one in 2003 and the Edward Norton starrer, were met with mixed reactions. Marvel may fear a similar fate, impacting the broader narrative of the MCU. However, with the right storyline, direction, and dedication, a Hulk movie could be a smashing success.
Addressing the Villain Problem
In the wake of the incredible villain Thanos, the MCU faces a challenge to create adversaries who match that level of gravitas. Kang the Conqueror was introduced but was somewhat underwhelming, raising concerns about the MCU's handling of formidable villains. Addressing this issue and portraying the Hulk in a way that reflects his immense strength and complexity is essential to reviving the MCU's boldness and creative risk-taking.
Revisiting Hulk's Past and Unexplored Avenues
The MCU has left several storylines from the earlier Hulk movies untouched, like the unresolved plot surrounding the character who gained some of Hulk's power. Revisiting these storylines and giving them closure or using them to fuel a new narrative could be a great way to acknowledge the past and move forward.
Fan Expectations and MCU's Future
The fans' expectations are high, and rightly so. The Hulk is an iconic character in Marvel's roster, and there's immense potential to create a compelling, emotionally charged storyline that rekindles the spirit of the character. As Marvel steps into Phase Five, incorporating a rejuvenated Hulk can infuse new life into the franchise and provide the MCU with the 'smash' it needs.
In conclusion, the Hulk's return to his powerful, smashing roots is a possibility that has Marvel fans buzzing with excitement. With the recent reacquisition of the Hulk's solo movie rights and the introduction of key characters like Adam Warlock, the stage is set for a potentially epic storyline. Marvel must seize this opportunity to give the Hulk the redemption he deserves and reignite the awe and excitement he once inspired. Only time will tell if Phase Five of the MCU will see the incredible Hulk smash his way back into the hearts of fans.