[Ed. note: This post contains light spoilers for episode 2 of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.]
In episode 2 of She-Hulk: Lawyer, Jen Walters (Tatiana Maslany) makes a phone call with her cousin. Great, who hasn’t? Unbeknownst to him, the cause is more complicated: while he was talking about his last step in his career as a lawyer, we pull out to see that Hulk is actually aboard a directed spaceship…something go.
This obviously isn’t the first time spaceships have interfered with Bruce Banner’s life. In the show, She-Hulk’s powers come from an accident caused by a Sakaaran spacecraft that fell in front of her and Bruce’s car. It is a “Class A Sakaaran courier ship”, Bruce explains later. “They’re probably trying to get a message across; I have to get to the bottom of this. And if you remember your Thor: Ragnarok details, Sakaar is the planet of gladiators on which Hulk was stranded for three years.
While it looks like Bruce has seemingly gotten “down to the bottom of it,” here Marvel is playing coy with exactly where he’s going, what he’s doing, or what happens next. And with the MCU, it’s all about whether this is just a quick way to explain why Mark Ruffalo isn’t featured more on the show or a hint at the future of the MCU. But if we take a look at the franchise, there are plenty of subplots to come to incorporate Hulk. Here are some places in the MCU where he could land.
Marvel’s Secret Invasion
If Bruce flies into a future movie or show, it will almost certainly be Secret Invasion, scheduled for early 2023 on Disney Plus. The TV series will be loosely based on the Marvel Comics event of the same name, in which many of planet Earth’s heroes and humans are revealed to have been replaced by shapeshifting skrull sleeper agents, as the skrulls play to take over the planet. .
Samuel L. Jackson will star in the series, alongside Ben Mendelsohn as Skrull Talos (from Captain Marvel), Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross (from Black Panther) and Don Cheadle as War Machine. What is the relationship with Sakaar and Hulk? Not much, honestly. But Secret Invasion is chronologically the next time the MCU will turn its eyes to an alien threat (unless you count Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special, which we don’t).
And if the Hulk is already in space, maybe the Skrulls become a threat to Sakaar?
loki season 2
What happens in Loki season 2? Probably some weird science bullshit that it would be great to have Dr. Bruce “Smart Hulk” Banner on himself. Perhaps Loki overcame his dislike of the big green man and called in the big brain guns to help him stand against Kang the Conqueror.
Enjoying a space vacation
Listen, who hasn’t enjoyed a nice moment of rest in space once in a while? Nick Fury certainly did. What if all his off-planet time equals Secret Invasion seeding or not, he certainly looked rather relaxed as he strolled around a shoeless Skrull ship. Although the Hulk has been absent from a lot of the MCU lately, it’s not like he’s had a good break (but who knows, maybe Gladiator Battle was a good reprieve). Maybe it’s a new episode What if…? or maybe it’s just a well-deserved vacation; either way, give Bruce Banner a PTO!
world war hulk
In the MCU, Hulk’s outing from Sakaar was relatively lighthearted and adventurous. In Marvel Comics, it was a whole thing. Hulk had fought his way to Sakaar dominance and brought an armada back to Earth to exact revenge on the superheroes who stranded him in space in the first place. He also had a big green son, Skaar, who found himself dealing with a fair amount of daddy issues. Perhaps all of this sets the stage for a future announcement of a World War Hulk event in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Or maybe She-Hulk will end in an interstellar custody battle?
The She-Hulk Season Finale
Look, CGI is expensive, and it’s not like the Hulk does a ton of it (other than building an off-screen Mexican getaway with Tony Stark, apparently). Maybe at the end of the season he will come back to Earth and She-Hulk – either because he solved the problem of the Sakaarans, or because they are playing in a big legal case that Jen is working on. Hell, maybe Jen goes to space and helps Hulk out of an intergalactic legal jam. The last time we saw Grandmaster he was being deposed (knocked down); maybe Jeff Goldblum will return to be deposed (testifying) by She-Hulk in a lawsuit against him.