The second movie on the road to Avengers: Infinity War is 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. In reality, this movie is not necessary at all as a prerequisite for Infinity War, however I’ll give a very quick overview in this post, which will help to flesh out a few details for Hulk in the MCU.
Bruce Banner / Hulk
- Bruce is a brilliant scientist who was working towards recreating the “super soldier serum” that gave Steven Rogers aka Captain America his abilities. Banner’s experiments involved using amounts of gamma rays instead of the “vita-rays” used in the original formula.
- However, when one of the experiments goes wrong, Banner is exposed to dangerously high levels of gamma radiation.
- Whenever Banner is angered or stressed, he turns into a mindless, green, rage monster that destroys anything in sight.
- His time is spent either evading government authorities or looking for ways to control the Hulk.
- Bruce is played by actor Edward Norton for this movie only, and then was recast by Mark Ruffalo for all movies in the MCU since.
General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross
- Ross is a Lieutenant General for the US Army, who was put in charge of the project Bruce Banner was working on to recreate the “super soldier serum.”
- He spends the movie trying to correct his “mistake” by taking down the Hulk.
- Ross most recently makes an appearance in Captain America: Civil War, where he is now the Secretary of State.
- Betty is a fellow scientist and the daughter of General Ross. She’s also the love interest of Bruce in the movie. However, so far she has not been mentioned again in the MCU.
- Blonksi leads the task force Ross brings in to capture the Hulk.
- Unable to capture him, Blonski volunteers to inject himself with an imperfect reproduction of the super soldier serum. With increased speed and strength, Blonski goes after the Hulk again, and not only loses again, but has almost all of his bones crushed in the fight. However, his body heals itself with the serum running through his veins.
- Frustrated and desperate for revenge, Blonski ends up taking another, larger dose of the serum and exposes himself with gamma radiation.
- The result of mixing the imperfect serum with the gamma rays, turns him into an “abomination.”
- The Hulk and Abomination fight in Harlem, and the Hulk ends up the victor yet again, knocking Blonski out, and then runing away, not to be seen again until the events of Avengers in 2012.
After Credits Scene
- After General Ross fails to take down the Hulk, he goes to a bar to drown his sorrows with drinks and cigars.
- Tony Stark walks in and starts a conversation. “I tried to tell you that super soldier program was put on ice for a reason. I’ve always found that hardware was more reliable.”
- Ross shoots back with “Stark, you always wear such nice…suits.”
- After a few more insults, Stark informs Ross that he hears Ross has a “problem” and that SHIELD is “putting together a team.” The scene ends.
After Credits Scene Expanded in The Consultant One Shot
- On the surface, The Incredible Hulk scene with Stark and Ross seems to imply that Stark is interested in the Hulk or maybe even Ross himself (in the comics he becomes a red version of the Hulk).
- However, Marvel started making short films called “Marvel One Shots” and the first one was released in the special features section of the Thor DVD in 2011, titled The Consultant.
- In it, Agent Coulson and another SHIELD agent named Jasper Sitwell meet in a diner to talk about a problem. Apparently the World Security Council wants Emil Blonski aka the Abomination to join the Avengers Initiative. The council blames the Hulk for the battle in Harlem and sees Blonski as a war hero. They want someone from SHIELD to talk General Ross into releasing Abomination from his prison.
- Of course, the agents see this as a terrible idea, so they decide to send a patsy that will sabotage the meeting and make Ross refuse to release the monster.
- They decide that the person most capable of driving anyone to irrational anger is “The Consultant,” Tony Stark (This is a nickname he earns in Iron-Man 2).
- The scene from the bar is played and then cuts back to the two agents meeting at the same diner, the following day.
- Coulson tells Sitwell “mission accomplished” as Stark made Ross so mad he tried to have him thrown out of the bar. In response, Stark decides to buy the bar, and then proceeds to schedule the bar for demolition. Blonski will remain locked up.
And there you have it! That’s actually much more than you need to know about this movie to get by with the rest of the MCU. Avengers does make a couple passing references to this movie, but that is about it.
Up next is Iron-Man 2, released in 2010.