It turns out, General "Thunderbolt" Ross has been a secret fan of the Hulk all along! That's a keen observation made by a Marvel fan after a recent viewing of The Incredible Hulk.
Of course, this is a Hulk of the intoxicating variety, which a military mind likely needs after a tough day of attempting to trap a monstrous and destructive superhuman that almost ruined a prolific career.
heres a lil mcu easter egg you mighta missed, i know i certainly did until today. at the end of the incredible hulk from 2008, thunderbolt ross is sitting at the bar waiting for tony stark and drinking... INCREDIBLE HULKS! hpnotiq + hennessy!!! that was my jam back in the day. pic.twitter.com/J8ky4wQMxR— Nick Marino (@NickMarino) January 30, 2018
This scene of Ross drinking in the bar comes at the end of the movie, when Robert Downey Jr. shows up as Tony Stark and alludes to putting together the Avengers Initiative. Ross is drinking the choice alcoholic beverage of millennials who listened to too much Lil Wayne during high school. The cocktail made of Hpnotiq and Hennessy turns bright green when mixed, hence its namesake, but has a taste that would make William Hurt flinch.
Now, he could be drinking an Incredible Hulk, or he could be drinking that weird soda that made Stan Lee sick in the beginning of the film. Either way, it's a clever nod to the events of the film and popular culture at the time.
Ross has since reemerged to be a significant player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, becoming the face of the United Nations in Captain America: Civil War, effectively breaking up the Avengers by forcing the Sokovia Accords upon the team.
He showed up once again in Avengers: Infinity War, chastising the War Machine known as James Rhodes for his inability to deal with the threat of Thanos and his Black Order. And then Captain America and the Secret Avengers show up, and—oh boy—he is not happy about that.
With the original members of Earth's Mightiest Heroes among the few survivors of Thanos' snap, it remains to be seen if Ross will still hold a grudge against the Avengers or if he'll even be around at the time of Avengers 4.
If Ross did survive Thanos' existence-wiping snap, we're not expecting him to let bygones be bygones, even in the face of universal genocide. If the character does show up again, expect him to be poking his nose in Earth's Mightiest Business once again. Hopefully he'll lend a helping hand this time.6comments
Avengers 4 premieres in theaters on May 3, 2019.
[h/t Nick Marino, the original discoverer of this Easter egg]