When it comes to the Hulk, the MCU has a tricky relationship with the character. Marvel has stated they will not do a solo Hulk movie since Universal Studios partly own the rights. Yet, sources report Kevin Feige and Mark Ruffalo talked together to plan out the Hulk’s arc in the series of Avenger movies and THOR: RAGNAROK. Thor’s latest film was an adaptation of the comic storylines “Ragnarok” and “Planet Hulk.” They were able to tell an iconic Hulk story, but keep Thor as the main focus. After reading IMMORTAL HULK and with ENDGAME finishing his arc, I’m left thinking: what Hulk stories can Marvel adapt that will both evolve the character and work as another hero’s story?

1. WORLD WAR HULKS

Hulked out heroes
Image Courtesy of Marvel

You read it right, that S isn’t a typo. WORLD WAR HULK is an already established book. Many fans are aware of it, even the ones outside the gamma greens community.  Written in collaboration within two different Hulk series, one with Greg Pak taking lead and Jeph Loeb writing the other series, WORLD WAR HULKS is a wild and weird ride. The short of it is that The Leader kidnaps the world’s smartest minds to enact his plan of turning his army and all the world’s heroes into Hulked-out versions of themselves. With each Hulk under his control. Simple right?

This concept isn’t exactly foreign to the MCU. In the MCU and some comic lore, the Hulk happened because of a project trying to replicate the super soldier program that created Captain America. When it backfired, the Hulk was born. In the film CAPTAIN AMERICA CIVIL WAR, Hydra creates a squad of super soldiers for the same reason. It wouldn’t be far off to use WORLD WAR HULKS  as a base of an exciting footing to continue this premise.

This story can fall under a few characters’ banners, but there is one pair who stands to benefit from this the most: Falcon and Bucky. Marvel announced a series where Falcon and Bucky will be the leads, and with both characters’ ties to Captain America, it wouldn’t be too far off to see the Hulk teaming up with them to stop an army of super soldier Hulks.

2. Amadeus Cho

Ardemous Cho and the Hulk
Image Courtesy of Marvel

The legality of the Hulk property is ambiguous at best. So, this one will be a stretch, but I believe it could work. Amadeus Cho is one of the smartest people on the planet in the comic universe. He has been a staple in the Hulk mythos for years. In the recent comic run, he has even become a Hulk himself.

With Amadeus and Bruce having a close relationship, the MCU could use him to build the Hulk while introducing a new and vibrant character, or take this in a different direction and focus on Bruce as a scientific mentor for Amadeus. Two of the world’s smartest people working together in an adventure where strength isn’t the focus, but their intellect. It can even be an opportunity to follow in the comic footsteps and have Cho take over the Hulk reins.

3. THE DEFENDERS

Hulk with the Defenders
Image Courtesy of Marvel

If any of these ideas were to happen, then I feel it would be this one. The Hulk has been a member of the Defenders since its inception. The Defenders is a team of four of Marvel’s strongest heroes — Doctor Strange, the Silver Surfer, Namor, and of course, the Hulk — banding together to protect the world.

The reason this seems the most possible is because of how thing seems to be lining up for Marvel. Marvel has already established Doctor Strange and the Hulk as characters. Recently the rights for the other two have fallen back into Marvel’s grasp which makes this project possible. The Defenders even had a recent resurgence in the comic world with a mini-series run that just finished up this year.

Netflix already has a series under the same name. This isn’t a replacement for that but more a rebranding. Netflix has canceled all the Marvel shows and the Defenders are no more. This is the time for Marvel to rebrand the team.

This is a big moment for the Hulk as it shows his work with a team outside the Avengers. It can lead to instances of growth with the Hulk and Banner.

4. HULK VS. WOLVERINE

Image Courtesy of Marvel

These two characters go together like Magneto and metal or MCU and breaking a billion dollars with one movie. Wolverine first appearance was in THE INCREDIBLE HULK ISSUE #180. He was created to be the ultimate killing machine, something that can give the Hulk a challenge. Over time, Wolverine has grown to be his own character. Arguably, he is more popular than the Hulk with his numerous series and solo films.

With Marvel back in control of the X-MEN properties, now would be a great time to introduce the murderous mutant. What can be better than having an established character backing that film like the Hulk? The stories these two can do alone are plentiful, like the affirmation Hulk comic or ULTIMATE HULK VS. WOLVERINE — one where the focus is on Logan and his prey to hunt down is the Hulk. This is a story told many times but can still be reimagined with a fresh image.

5. IMMORTAL HULK

IMMORTAL HULK Standing by the green door
Image Courtesy of Marvel

The current comic run of the Hulk is rich with character development and unique ideas. With the Hulk becoming immortal, IMMORTAL HULK establishes a horror aesthetic and a supernatural vibe. The story isn’t afraid to take chances. Marvel is known to blend genres with the superhero story. Like how WINTER SOLDIER blends with the government conspiracy thriller or Guardians works together with the 80’s sci-fi genre. This can be their first foray into horror and superhero.

This can build off the previous idea and use this as an introduction to Wolverine in the MCU. Both characters share the major themes in this story: immortality, anger issues, and a troubled past. Each character can work through their inner demons together as Wolverine balances interacting with the Hulk and Bruce. Another reason he would work well is the inclusion of Alpha Flight — a Canadian team of heroes tasked with protecting the great country in the north. In Wolverine’s first interaction with the Hulk mentioned before, he was a member of said team.

Alpha Flight, renamed Gamma Flight for this IMMORTAL HULK run, are tasked with hunting a recently presumed dead Bruce. Marvel may need to tone down the horror aesthetic in the series to match the MCU’s tone, but to see this run on the big screen would be worth it. The series would provide a lot for Mark Ruffalo to flex his acting muscles with and deliver a wide range of emotions.

Still More Out There

IMMORTAL HULK Fighting a new foe
Image Courtesy of Marvel

The Hulk is a titanic figure in the Marvel universe. A figure standing above others in comics and cartoons, but in the MCU he has been sidelined because of property ownership disputes. If we must see the hero develop on the sidelines of other characters’ stories, then we should at least enjoy it. Who knows how long we will have to wait for a Hulk solo movie again. Hopefully, we get many Marvel Character films utilizing the vast library of fantastic Hulk stories like IMMORTAL HULK and THE DEFENDERS.

Are there more stories? Of course! Do you have a story and character combo that would work? Comment below and let us hear them.

Show ComicsVerse some Love! Leave a Reply!