Hulk Movies In Order: Every MCU Appearance to Watch Before She-Hulk

She-Hulk, Incredible Hulk movies
By Richard Nebens Posted:

Almost no character has had a longer MCU tenure than Bruce Banner, who first joined the world in the franchise's second movie, 2008's The Incredible Hulk. Having been played by Mark Ruffalo since 2012's The Avengers, the angry green Avenger is now set for his seventh starring appearance in the MCU with She-Hulk: Attorney at Law on Disney+.

While fans still wait for the potential of another Hulk solo movie within the next few years, the hero remains one of the only characters in the MCU to play an integral role in all four Phases of storytelling thus far. This continues into Phase 4 after a cameo in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' mid-credits scene, which leads right into his supporting role behind Tatiana Maslany's Jennifer Walters.

Now, as that series inches closer to its debut on Disney+, it's time to take a look back at the Hulk's journey through the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The Incredible Hulk's Long MCU Journey

Before his next role in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Bruce Banner and/or the Hulk have appeared in some form or another in a dozen of the MCU's 35 live-action projects to date. Mark Ruffalo has played the role in all of them except for the MCU's only solo movie for the character, which includes serving in an important supporting role in all four Avengers movies from Marvel Studios.

Listed below are the seven movies where Bruce Banner and his green alter-ego play a major role, from The Incredible Hulk to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, along with his various cameo roles in the MCU.

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

The Incredible Hulk
Universal Studios

"Hulk...smash!"

Laying out the Hulk's origin story only in the opening credits, Edward Norton's Bruce Banner spends most of this movie running from General Ross, the United States Army, and SHIELD. Concluding in an epic final battle in Harlem with Tim Roth's Emil Blonsky/Abomination, Banner goes off on his own once again as he tries to develop an understanding between his two vastly different personalities.

Find out where The Incredible Hulk falls on the official Disney+ MCU timeline.

The Avengers (2012)

The Avengers
Marvel Studios

"That's my secret, Cap... I'm always angry."

Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff tracks down Bruce Banner in India to bring him into the Avengers Initiative, but his time onboard the helicarrier researching the Tesseract ultimately leads to him Hulking out. He proceeds to join Earth's Mightiest Heroes in the Battle of New York against Loki and the Chitauri, even giving fans an iconic MCU moment when he smashes the God of Mischief like a ragdoll in Stark Tower.

Ruffalo helped his fellow cast members celebrate The Avengers' 10-year release anniversary in May 2022.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Avengers: Age of Ultron
Marvel Studios

"The world just saw the Hulk... the real Hulk, for the first time."

Banner joins forces with Tony Stark to create Ultron before the program goes haywire, eventually leading the Hulk to go on a Scarlet Witch-induced rampage in South Africa as they try to stop the AI villain. After that fight with the Hulkbuster armor and teaming up with the Avengers once again to save the people of Sokovia, the Hulk blasts off in the Avengers' Quinjet to an unknown location as he leaves the world behind.

Find out how She-Hulk: Attorney at Law could potentially connect to Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Thor: Ragnarok
Marvel Studios

"Hulk like raging fire. Thor like smoldering fire."

In the two years after leaving Earth, the Hulk built his own empire in Thor: Ragnarok, becoming the Grandmaster's champion as he fought in gladiator matches on Sakaar and leading to a reunion with Thor. While the God of Thunder helps Banner resurface for the first time since he left Earth, the Hulk has to come back to help Team Thor defeat Hela before attacking Surtur and escaping the destruction of Asgard.

For the spoiler-inclined, the first officially-released clip from She-Hulk teases a tie back to the third Thor movie.

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Hulk, Thanos
Marvel Studios

"Hulk, we got a lot to figure out, pal."

Opening this story with a beatdown at the hands of Thanos, Heimdall sends the Hulk back to Earth before he and Banner struggle with their relationship. Although Banner has accepted that he needs to keep using the Hulk, his alter-ego refuses to join the battle against Thanos, leaving them with plenty of unresolved issues while the Mad Titan snaps away half of all life in the universe.

Take a look at a behind-the-scenes video of Mark Ruffalo performing some of his own stunt work from this epic crossover event. 

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Smart Hulk
Marvel Studios

"Everybody comes home."

Playing his biggest role in the MCU to date, Banner and the Hulk come to a compromise with the birth of Smart Hulk, who helps Scott Lang and the Avengers crack the mystery of time travel. After getting the Infinity Stones in the Time Heist, even losing Natasha Romanoff in the process, the big green hero dons the completed gauntlet and snaps his fingers to bring everybody back to life, all before defeating Thanos and saving the universe once again.

See why directors Joe and Anthony Russo made the decision to nerf the Hulk's powers in this movie.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

Captain Marvel, Bruce Banner
Marvel Studios

"Guys, stay safe. Welcome to the circus."

Bruce took his place amongst the new Avengers roster in a meeting with Captain Marvel, Wong, Shang-Chi and Katy in this movie's post-credits scene, although he was back in human form once again. After welcoming Shang-Chi and Katy to the team and analyzing the Ten Rings, fans wonder what his future holds, especially since he can seemingly change from Bruce to the Hulk once again.

Before She-Hulk, dive into a clip that shows a connection between the Disney+ show and Shang-Chi's first solo movie.

Hulk Cameos and MCU Archive Footage

Outside of the movies where the Hulk is featured prominently, the character pops up in various places throughout the rest of the MCU via cameos and archival footage. Some of these recap previous adventures and battles he's fought with the Avengers, while others give Banner a couple of unique interactions with his fellow heroes.

Iron Man 3 (2013)

Iron Man 3
Marvel Studios

Banner showed up in Iron Man 3's post-credits scene, filling a role as a therapist for the first time as he listened to Tony Stark recap the events of the movie. Although he fell asleep while listening to the story, he sat there and endured the tell-all while trying to be there for his friend.

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Captain America: Civil War
Marvel Studios

Following the devastating events in Lagos, General Ross gathered the Avengers for a meeting regarding the Sokovia Accords, in which he showed archive footage of the team's MCU battles. Included in this was the Battle of New York, where the Hulk rampaged through Manhattan and left the city in ruins.

Captain Marvel (2019)

Captain Marvel
Marvel Studios

Banner made another post-credits appearance in Captain Marvel, flashing back to right after Thanos snapped his fingers. Ruffalo's hero spent the next few weeks analyzing Nick Fury's pager that he dropped in New York before Carol Danvers showed up to greet Banner, Natasha Romanoff, and James Rhodes on her own search for Fury.

Loki (2021)

Loki
Marvel Studios

Slightly different from Captain America: Civil War, Loki includes archival footage from The Avengers with the God of Mischief looking back on his life before stealing the Tesseract. This includes a look at Bruce teaming up with the Avengers to finally pin Loki down in Stark Tower before he surrenders.

Hawkeye (2021)

Hawkeye
Marvel Studios

This Disney+ show brought Bruce Banner's smallest appearance to date, as he was only seen during a quick flashback moment from the opening scene in Episode 1. As the young Kate Bishop watches the Battle of New York, she can see the Hulk flying through the air to take out some of the Chitauri's individual battle vehicles, although he's incredibly tiny in the footage.

What to Watch From Hulk Before She-Hulk...

For a franchise that hasn't even owned the full rights to use the Hulk, he's made his mark continually over the past 14 years within the MCU on the big and small screen alike.

Through these movies and Disney+ shows, fans have seen an incredible evolution from Mark Ruffalo's hero, going back and forth from unhinged rage monster to brilliant scientist. His supporting roles in the Avengers quadrilogy have helped give him a great deal of character development, as did his time alongside Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Ragnarok, and he's now set for arguably his biggest appearance since 2008.

It's currently unknown how many episodes of She-Hulk will utilize Ruffalo, although he's played a major role in the promotional material for the series over the past few months.

Playing a kind of mentor role to his cousin Jennifer Walters, Bruce Banner will have the unique opportunity to usher in a hero who will likely be one of the Avengers' key members for years to come. Where his future lies after this series is a mystery, although Ruffalo still brings his A-game to every MCU appearance he's had through the Infinity Saga and the Multiverse Saga.

The Hulk will return in Marvel Studios' She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, which begins streaming on Disney+ on Thursday, August 18