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This is going to be a busy year for Marvel Studios. And the comic-movie giant is going to be exploring and expanding numerous corners of its cinematic universe, between May's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, July's Spider-Man: Homecoming, and November's Thor: Ragnarok. Between those three movies, several major Marvel heroes are going to be getting screen time, and we're now getting a great look at how Hulk and Thor will look in the third Thor movie. As part of a featurette on the digital release of Doctor Strange (available today), Marvel teased art from their Phase Three movies, and gave us this incredible look at Hulk and Thor, locked in gladiator combat:
The scans of this Thor: Ragnarok concept art show off a Planet Hulk version of the character played by Mark Ruffalo. And it goes a long way toward filling in some of the narrative gaps that we have had going into Ragnarok. When last we saw Bruce Banner (Ruffalo) and his angry alter ego at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Hulk was taking himself out of the equation by borrowing an Avengers quinjet and disappearing. We have been hearing, in the months leading up to this year's Thor: Ragnarok, that the mighty Asgardian would encounter the Hulk on a distant planet, where the beast was contending with his emotional issues by engaging in gladiator wars. Thor (Chris Hemsworth), for reasons we don't yet know, will need to engage Hulk in a battle... and figure out how to stop that deadly ax.
The preview gave another look at Hulk's historic Planet Hulk armor, in this quick VFX still. Look at the size of the weapons he will yield!
This isn't the first tease for the Planet Hulk armor to show up in Thor: Ragnarok. All the way back at San Diego Comic-Con in July, Marvel Studios placed the Planet Hulk armor on display at its booth, signifying that they would use it in Thor: Ragnarok. While we know that the Asgardian son will be dealing with problems back home in his world, this adventure is due to take him on a "road trip" through (and beyond) the Nine Realms, where he'll team with Hulk to take down both Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Hela (played by Cate Blanchett).
To that end, the Marvel Phase Three sneak peek also gave us a better look at Hela as she lord over Thor and Loki. Click on to see that!
In the feature, Hela is described as "an impending evil" that Thor has to contend with. Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi says that he wants to bring audiences on an adventure that will keep people laughing along the way, solidifying that the humor that's present in his previous films will bleed into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Which is good, because the previous two Thor movies, for better or for worse, found it difficult to balance any sort of humor with the Shakespearean tone of the ongoing mythology.
A trailer for Thor: Ragnarok is expected to drop in April, probably as the studio prepares to roll out James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. For now, what do you think of the look of a gladiator Hulk, and of Thor's next nemesis, Hela? Weigh in below.