WARNING: Ragnarok spoilers ahead!
For as long as Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a formidable part of the entertainment, fans of Bruce Banner and the Incredible Hulk have been clamoring for a movie featuring the Planet Hulk storyline from the comics that feature the gamma-infested giant.
Thanks to a wonky rights deal between two different movie studios, it makes it more difficult for there to be a standalone Hulk flick set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But thanks to said rights agreement, Marvel Studios is able to use the character in a supporting role as they please. Enter Thor: Ragnarok.
While we aren’t able to get a proper Planet Hulk movie set in the MCU, Ragnarok did it’s best to serve as a pseudo-Planet Hulk flick. Read on to see which elements from Greg Pak and Carlo Pagulayan’s fan-favorite comic arc made it in the final cut of the movie.
After Banner hulks out and causes the Hulk to lose control in Las Vegas, the Illuminati gather and decide he’s too dangerous to be kept on Earth. They convince him get into a space ship under the guise of entering the Earth’s orbit to destroy a rogue satellite. Once in orbit, the Illuminati reveal their own plans and send the spaceship into space, hoping to get the Gamma monster to his own peaceful planet.
While we have the majority of the Illuminati in the MCU, Fox still owns the rights to Professor Xavier and Reed Richards. Either way, the group had nothing to do with the Hulk’s exile in the cinematic universe. If you recall at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) occupied a quinjet and flew it straight into space, against the advice of Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson).
In the comic book counterpart, the Hulk was being forced to his own planet — which was meant to be peaceful — except on his way there, he was sucked through a wormhole and landed on Sakaar, a post-apocalyptical wasteland of sorts that was engulfed in war.
Although Jeff Goldblum’s The Grandmaster didn’t play a role in the comic arc, the planet is awfully similar both on print and on the silver screen. While The Grandmaster holds the Contest of Champions in the MCU, a character named the Red King is the one to host gladiatorial battles between those he deems fit as the planet’s primary source of entertainment.
Those gladiator said battles between the king’s champions lead us to arguably one of the coolest merchandising opportunities the Marvel Cinematic Universe has seen to date — sorry, Baby Groot.
In both the comics and in Thor: Ragnarok, the Hulk becomes a formidable opponent in the gladiator arena and soon rises to the top of the charts. If the fights could be seen on ESPN, the Hulk would be up there with Tom Brady and Lebron James.
Also of note — during his time on Sakaar, the Hulk refuses to turn back into Bruce Banner, another plot point shared between comics and cinema. In Thor: Ragnarok, we find that the Hulk hasn’t reverted back to Bruce Banner for over two years.
Couple the fact that the Hulk is such a formidable opponent in the ring with the fact that Sakaar is being oppressed by the Red King and we end up with a group called the Warbound, which leads us to…
One of the hidden gems of Thor: Ragnarok was the introduction of Korg and his buddy Miek to live-action. The characters joined Hulk — and others — as a part of the Warbound to lead a revolution against the Red King in the comics.
While Korg — who was voiced by the film’s director Taiki Waititi — didn’t lead a revolution against The Grandmaster in the movie, he did get a group together and travel to Asgard to help Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) try and help rid Asgard of Hela (Cate Blanchett).
It should be noted that one of the first characters Thor meet on Sakaar was Miek, a character with no speaking lines in Ragnarok. While the character is more of a bipedal roach in the comics, he’s been transformed into
According to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, there are future plans for this dynamic duo as the MCU continues to evolve.