The story of Ragnarok—AKA, the Twilight of the Gods in Scandinavian/German mythology—has been retold many times in various mediums throughout the centuries, including comic books. The most well-known and popular of the comic interpretations of the Ragnarok story came during Walter Simonson’s run on Marvel’s Thor comic, running from issue 337-353.
The enduring popularity of this excellent story which has come to be known as the Surtur Saga, is no doubt a big part of the reason that the next Thor film is called Thor: Ragnarok, starring Chris Hemsworth as the eponymous God of Thunder. It’s probable that the acclaimed comic storyline will influence the plot of the third Thor movie. However, now that it seems to be the case that Mark Ruffalo will be added to the mix as the Incredible Hulk, it’s interesting to speculate on how they will add the popular green-skinned super hero into this myth-heavy story. As a fan who was reading Thor back in the 1980s when the Simonson run originally came out in stores, it’s time to have some fun speculating about the seven likeliest ways that the Hulk may fit into the Ragnarok story.
#1. Hulk Used As a Pawn Against Thor
In the Simonson comic run, Loreli—sister of the Enchantress—used the dragon Fafnir as a hit-monster to eliminate Thor. We don’t have any information right now that Loreli will be in the film, especially since the Enchantress herself hasn’t even debuted yet, but suppose that something similar plays out in the 3rd Thor film, only with the Hulk being used as the lethal weapon, not a dragon. Maybe the Enchantress (who I’d rather see than her sister) could be in collusion with the film’s Big Bad (who may or may not be Surtur) and use her feminine wiles in order to manipulate Banner/Hulk, the way so many men have fallen under the spell of the Enchantress’s beauty over the years. But it doesn’t even need to be one of the seductive sisters who gets the Hulk riled up. Perhaps it could be the mischievous Loki who messes with the Hulk’s mind, similar to the plot of the Thor Verses animated film, although hopefully much less one-sided. Loki has had first-hand experience with how strong the Hulk is. (“Puny God!”) so he’d obviously think of Hulk as a powerful pawn. Wasn’t getting Hulk to go nuts and fight the Avengers a big part of Loki’s plan in first Avengers film? In fact, the very first issue of the Avengers comic book featured a plot by Loki to get the Hulk and Thor to fight each other. The most recent Avengers film, Avengers: Age of Ultron, had the Hulk going berserk and fighting a fellow Avenger, so it’s entirely possible that the Hulk could be used as a pawn by one of the baddies during the Ragnarok storyline. After all, doesn’t everyone love a good Hulk vs. Thor slugfest?
#2: Hulk Will Defend the Earth during Surtur’s Demonic Invasion
In the climax of the Surtur/Ragnarok comic story, Surtur planned to use his Twilight Sword to set fire to the Nine Realms, including the Earth. In Issue # 350 of Thor, Surtur’s army of demons came through a portal to Earth and were opposed by several super heroes. Well, as far as we know, none of the other Avenger cast members are set to appear in this movie, so who will be there to defend the hapless humans against the demons? Perhaps…a green skinned powerhouse with a lot of rage? This would be a great way to recreate the scene in the Avengers where the Hulk leaped around battling the invading aliens, which was one of the highlights of the film. “Hulk…Smash!”
#3: Hulk Has Been Transported To Asgard Via the World Tree
In the MCU, Yggrasil the world Tree is a portal to the Nine realms. When we last saw the Hulk, his plane had vanished somewhere over the ocean and neither the Avengers nor Nick Fury could figure out where he’d disappeared to. It’s possible that his flight somehow ended in his being transported by one of the ‘limbs’ of the World Tree to another of the Nine Realms, where he will coincidently meet Thor, who is on the hunt for the Infinity Gems. If Thor runs into the Hulk on Vanaheim or some other mythological setting, he would likely take advantage of the fact that he just happened upon a very powerful ally and would ask the Hulk to join him. The Hulk, being stranded wherever he might be at the time, would be more than willing to accompany Thor, hoping to return to his Avenger love-interest Natasha, AKA the Black Widow. This would cause the two to journey together on the “cosmic road trip” that’s been rumored for this film.
#4: Thor Recruits the Hulk for Help
Let’s face it; Thor is going to have his hands full in this movie. He has to deal with an imposter Odin (Loki), find the Infinity Stones, prevent the coming day of Ragnarok and deal with whomever the Big Bad main villain will be (Probably Surtur). Thor is a macho hero but the guy is going to need some help with this one. He doesn’t have Odin to watch his back, since Loki has replaced him. Sure he’s got Sif and the Warriors Three, but they’re just sidekicks. Thor needs a good partner-in-heroics now. So it would make sense that he would try to assemble the Avengers to help him out. After all, one of the questions people have been asking in the MCU is “Why don’t these heroes call in the other Avengers in their solo films?” Maybe that’s exactly what Thor will do. Right now, we don’t know what the status of the new Avengers will be after Captain America: Civil War, and for some reason, they may not be available when Thor goes looking for them. The same goes for Iron-Man, and he’s semi-retired as a super hero anyway. But Hulk is not involved in the Civil War. We don’t know where he is after Avengers: Age of Ultron, but if Thor can find him, maybe he can get the Hulk to help out. After all, the Earth hasn’t been a very welcoming place for the green skinned goliath. Maybe he’d welcome the chance to go somewhere far, far away from humans. Possibly, Thor could lure him in with the promise of using Asgardian technology or magic to help cure Banner’s condition. Banner agrees and it’s “cosmic road trip” time.
#5: The Sif Love Triangle
In the original Simonson story arc, there is a subplot where Thor and his paramour Sif have a falling out, and afterward Sif—still on the rebound—finds herself attracted to Thor’s new friend and ally Beta Ray Bill. Bill is an odd-looking alien with identical powers to Thor, and even a hammer of his own called Storm Breaker. Sif leaves Asgard to join Bill in his quest to protect his hibernating race. The pair later return to help Thor protect the Nine Realms against Surtur. In the MCU films, we have a version of Sif (played by Jamie Alexander) who has been ignored by Prince Thor (Hemsworth) in favor of pretty mortal Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). Suppose in the film, it’s Sif who goes to Earth to look for some heavy-hitting help against the film’s Big Bad because Thor is in trouble. After all, she’s familiar with the Earth from her Agents of SHIELD appearances, so it’s not surprising she’d go there to find reinforcements. Now Banner/Hulk can step into the story; a warrior as powerful (or even more) as Thor himself. She and the Hulk would have to spend some time together. If the super sexy Black Widow could fall red head-over-heels in love with Banner and his green alter ego, why couldn’t Sir? Or maybe she could just use Hulk as a way of making Thor jealous? If nothing else, it’d give Sif something to do in the movie.
#6: Hulk Saves Thor From the Midgard Serpent
Those who know the old myths know that Thor is ultimately killed by the massive Midgard Serpent. Even at the end of the Simonson run in the Thor comics, Thor is destroyed by the Midgard Serpent, only to later induce the Death Goddess Hela to return him to life. It’s Thor’s fate to be slain by the giant snake. But the old Norse prophecies woven by the Three Fates do not include the Hulk. The film could build up the suspense of Thor’s impending death, and at the end Thor could seem to be doomed, until the Hulk steps in and shatters the prophecy by rescuing Thor from his fate. The two could team up in an epic battle against this Godzilla sized-serpent. It would make for a great scene.
#7: Hulk Gets the Power Gem
When last we saw our hero Thor, he was going on a hunt for the Infinity Gems. If Hulk is involved in this film, he may be helping in that search. So who’s going to guard these valuable stones when they find them? In the Marvel comics, after the Infinity war, the Infinity Gems were guarded by the Infinity Watch, and the power gem was held by the mighty Drax the Destroyer—a green, dim-witted Hulk-like powerhouse. Drax actually swallowed the gem for safe-keeping. Couldn’t you see the Hulk doing the same thing? This would also increase the Hulk’s strength, allowing him to fight the immensely powerful Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War.
So there you have it…seven possible ways that the Hulk could fit into Thor: Ragnarok. What do you guys think will be the outcome? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!