FEATURE: What Might Happen To The Hulk After ‘Age Of Ultron’

Planet-Hulk-movie

SPOILER ALERT: In order to write this article I must discuss the final minutes of Avengers: Age Of Ultron. If you don’t want anything ruined, please click off this page and return after you have seen the film. Don’t worry, this post will still be here.

As Age Of Ultron builds towards its thrilling conclusion, viewers watch as the Avengers take down all remaining Ultron duplicates one or two at time. The battle is taking place everywhere, including in the air, and it’s up to Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk to make sure a machine spotted piloting an interstellar ship is unable to leave the planet. Without a moment’s hesitation, Hulk hurls himself through the air, climbs in through back door to the ship, and quickly tosses out the robot inside. Their battle is brief, but instead of landing the ship, or at least jumping out of it, Hulk settles into the pilot’s seat and soars further and further into the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere.

Before the credits roll, Hulk is seen still piloting the ship. He then cuts all communication with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and continues to float off into the distance, with seemingly no destination in mind.

There is a moment not long after when Nick Fury explains to Black Widow that they believe the jet may have crashed in the ocean. It’s a quick sequence intended to more or less tie up loose ends, but nothing they say is in any way definite. He could be swimming across the ocean to find Natasha, or he could still be in the sky. We just don’t know.

Looking around the theater in that moment, I knew there were a number of nerds in my screening who could identify the famous comic book storyline that Marvel appeared to be teasing, but it was also clear the majority of the audience had no clue whatsoever. They recognized the reason Hulk had to leave, which was made abundantly clear from the multiple moments in the film where we see Banner struggle to control the monster inside, but nothing from their expressions, or the conversations I heard after the film let out, told me they could guess what might happen next.

I (might) have the answer.

Planet_hulk_120909_cover

In 2006, iconic writer Greg Pak penned a series of comics for The Incredible Hulk series to tell a story known as Planet Hulk. The idea behind the story differs slightly from the events found in Age Of Ultron, but the main idea is basically the same. After realizing The Hulk may be too dangerous for even them to control, The Avengers send Hulk to space by asking him to destroy a rogue satellite. Once there, the team uses a shuttle to jettisen The Hulk far from the solar system. They intend for him to land on a safe planet, but the shuttle passes by an unforeseen wormhole and the vessel is thrown off its trajectory.

Age Of Ultron finds Bruce Banner forcing himself into space, but the motivations for his decision remain the same. Add a wormhole to the mix and we could very well be seeing Marvel prepare to give Mark Ruffalo his own solo film.

So, what exactly happens on Planet Hulk?

After traveling through deep space, Hulk’s ship eventually crashes on a planet known as Sakaar. The impact is so great that it weakens Hulk, and before he is able to regain his strength he is forced into slavery through the use of an obedience disk to fight gladiator battles for the planet’s emperor, the Red King. There Hulk befriends several other gladiators, and together they form the group known to comic fans as Warbound.

The Red King

The Red King

As his time in the arena carries on, Hulk is eventually forced to fight one-time ally The Silver Surfer. In the midst of the battle Hulk shatters The Silver Surfer’s obedience disk, freeing him, and in turn The Silver Surfer frees everyone else who is still under the control of the disks. The ensuing chaos creates the perfect opportunity for Hulk and his comrades to escape, which sets them on a path toward revolution.

It’s at this point in the story Hulk begins to encounter the creatures who inhabit Sakaar, and as he passes from village to village he finds followers who believe he is the planet’s foretold savior, Sakaarson. Hulk denies the claim. Soon after one of the emperor’s deadliest warriors, Caiera, arrives on scene. She initially plans on killing The Hulk, but after witnessing what lengths the emperor will go to in order to ensure his word is law she decides to instead join forces with Hulk and free the people of the Sakaar. A raid on the capital ensues, and following an epic one-on-one battle The Hulk defeats The Red King.

You may think the story ends here, but you would be mistaken.

Having conquered his enemy, Hulk takes Caiera to be his wife, and together the two manage to negotiate peace on Sakaar. They also begin to prepare for the arrival of their first child.

While all this is happening, the ship that brought Hulk to Sakaar is turned into a monument in the center of the capital. When the ship’s self-destruct sequence is initiated, the antimatter warp core engine detonates in a massive explosion. The city is destroyed and a countless number of Sakaar’s inhabitants die almost instantly, leaving Hulk standing, unharmed, among the smoldering ruins of his kingdom and holding the ashes of his wife and their unborn child.

769599-endofplanethulk

As rage races through his body, Hulk and the rest of Warbound take a ship back to Earth with vengeance on their mind. This leads to another series called World War Hulk, but that’s a story for another time.

Marvel has remained silent when asked whether or not they have plans to create a Planet Hulk movie, but there seems to be a blockbuster worthy story ready to be told if they choose to pursue it. A film version of the above story would play like Gladiator, only with gigantic space monsters battling instead of fictional humans who died hundreds of years ago. There is romance, action, and enough ‘universe building’ components to explain what happens to Hulk between Ultron and the start of Infinity War in 2018. Even Ruffalo has shown interest in leading a solo Hulk film, but he’s also quick to say the Planet Hulk may be too difficult to pull off. As he recently explained to Comic Book Resources:

I don’t know if you could economically pull it off. I just think it would be too expensive, really, to be honest with you. It would cost a fortune to have to do, I mean there’s, God, 20 characters in there, at least. Plus, I think in “Planet Hulk,” Banner only shows up once maybe in both comics, maybe twice. I think you want to see the Hulk and Banner together. I just think going from one to the other is interesting. What would be interesting is to see it cycling very quickly. Hulk, Banner, Hulk, Banner, Hulk, Banner, and this battle between the two of them. I see that as almost an interesting climax of something along the way.

I can understand the cost concerns, but Vin Diesel was able to make Riddick‘s universe come to life on a shoestring budget and it’s not like Marvel is hurting for cash at the moment. Could the cost talk be a tool to trick us into thinking it’s so out of the question that Marvel can then surprise us when it’s actually put into production? Perhaps. It’s really too early to tell, but if the studio does choose to bring Planet Hulk to life I know myself, as well as millions of comic fans around the globe, wouldn’t complain.

Written by: James Shotwell

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

Latest posts by James Shotwell (see all)

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • Tim Higginbotham Jr.

    There wasn’t a shot of Hulk in the quinjet in space though.

  • Andrew Bromley

    That’s what I thought, it showed him flying in the sky, then Fury says “Looks like he ditched the ship over the ocean, he’s probably half way to Fiji” as he speaks to Black Widow

  • HaulixJames

    To be clear, he’s further and further above the surface of the Earth. When we see him chat with Natasha he’s high enough to see the horizon.

  • HaulixJames

    Fury said he could have ended up in the ocean, but that is not a guarantee.

  • Stan Wiggins

    I wasn’t aware the jet could fly in space. Where are u getting this from?