Forthcoming book The Marvel Cinematic Universe: An Official Timeline features an in-depth look at the Hulk’s MCU history.
Dr. Bruce Banner has had quite the ride in the MCU thus far. Setting aside the fact that he’s been played by two different actors, Bruce has gone from fearing the Hulk to becoming him for over a year straight, and finally, finding a balance between the two sides to become the merged Smart Hulk.
Banner’s next on-screen appearance hasn’t yet been confirmed, but his discovery that he has a son during his introduction on Disney+ opens up much more story possibilities for the character.
Marvel Timeline Book Recounts Key Hulk Events
Marvel Studios’ The Marvel Cinematic Universe: An Official Timeline is an upcoming book published by Dorling Kindersley, who is known for their comprehensive pop culture guides. This MCU timeline book contains breakdowns of important events as they have occurred in the various films and shows.
Although it isn’t due out until October 24, sample pages for the book were recently released, offering a look at the adventures of Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk up through his adventures in Disney+'s She-Hulk.
Bruce’s story begins in the mid-2000s when, after electing to test a scientific discovery involving gamma radiation on himself, he transforms into a giant, raging, green beast.
Banner continues his tenure with Earth's Mightiest Heroes in Avengers: Age of Ultron, where his havoc in Johannesburg is halted by Tony Stark's Hulkbuster.
Following the conflict with Ultron in 2015, Hulk inadvertently flies a Quinjet through a jump point and ends up on the junk planet of Sakaar, where he becomes a champion in the local gladiatorial arena.
The big green meanie takes a back seat after that, showing up briefly in Avengers: Infinity War before hiding behind Bruce Banner for the rest of the movie after an encounter with Thanos.
The timeline then chronicles Banner's time as Smart Hulk, from him acquiring the Nano Gauntlet to restore life to the universe to meeting the titular hero of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
And finally, a look at the entire two-page spread for the Hulk was unveiled. The timeline includes a brief summary of the Hulk's journey in the MCU, which culminated in the hero learning to accept both sides of his tormented psyche:
“To be the Hulk is to embrace change. The mild-mannered Bruce Banner has gone on a journev of self-loathing, transformation, and acceptance since his body first absorbed high amounts of gamma radiation. giving him the abllity (or curse) to transform into the Hulk. Over the years, Bruce uses his exceptional scientific knowledge to bring the Hulk’s brute strength together witn his intelligence knowledge to bring the Hulk’s brute strength together with his intelligence and patience, ultimately reconciling the best aspects of both his personalities to live a shared existence. By accepting the giant green side of himself, Bruce finds the inner peace that eluded him for so long.”
Where Will the Hulk Go Next in the MCU?
Mark Ruffalo has logged appearances in seven MCU projects over the years, and if factoring in The Incredible Hulk, that brings the number of times the Hulk has cropped up in the franchise up to eight.
Of course, one of the more significant questions Hulk fans have had on their minds for some time has been “When will he get another solo movie?” Universal is reportedly owning the distribution rights for Hulk on film, precluding another standalone project under Disney’s control.
However, rumors have continued to swirl for years that Marvel Studios will regain the Hulk’s distribution rights at some point, which would free them up to take a crack at another solo film. Some fans have even speculated that a World War Hulk movie (based on the comic arc of the same name) could be announced at some point soon. This, however, remains to be seen.
Until such a time when Marvel Studios could officially develop a standalone Hulk project with Mark Ruffalo, audiences will need to be content with him showing up in other characters’ series and movies as a supporting character.
Ruffalo seems to genuinely enjoy playing the character, so there’s probably a good chance that he’ll pop up again soon, perhaps with his son Skaar in tow.
Marvel Studios’ The Marvel Cinematic Universe: An Official Timeline hits bookstores and online retailers on October 24.