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There are many mysteries that continue to linger in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but easily one of the most significant is exactly what happened to The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) after the events of The Avengers: Age of Ultron. After the titular team managed to save Sokovia, the green goliath took off in a Quinjet to head off to parts unknown, and while we know he winds up on the planet Sakaar in Thor: Ragnarok, it's still not clear exactly how he got there. That in mind, it seems that tonight we got one step closer to the truth, as the footage shown during the Marvel Studios panel at San Diego Comic-Con tonight established that Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie is mixed up in The Hulk's disappearance.
Marvel showcased three continuous scenes from Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok during their annual Hall H panel at the San Diego Convention center -- and while there was plenty to highlight from the footage, one particular line stuck out to us. After Valkyrie manages to capture Thor and presents him to her boss/owner, The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), the leader of Planet Sakaar acknowledges that the God of Thunder isn't the first great contender that she has brought to him. In fact, it was she that was responsible for getting him his prized gladiator champion, and while he wasn't specifically mentioned by name, the marketing for the blockbuster has revealed that the champion is none other than The Hulk.
So how does this puzzle piece fit into the grand mystery? Obviously the picture isn't entirely clear, but we are starting to get a solid idea of what happens. Sakaar is a planet surrounded by cosmic gateways, and when people/things fall through those gateways, it seems they wind up getting picked up by "Scrappers" (Valkyrie is identified as Scrapper 142 by The Grandmaster). Based on this information, we can assume that the Hulk managed to somehow fall through one of these intergalactic passages, fell on Planet Sakaar, and was captured by Valkyrie. Obviously we still don't know how Hulk discovered one of these wormholes, and it's also unclear exactly how Valkyrie was able to actually keep the monster restrained, but those are questions that we certainly expect to be answered during the runtime of Thor: Ragnarok.
The new Asgardian superhero film will only be our third time seeing Mark Ruffalo's Hulk/Bruce Banner in action, and we couldn't be more excited. The character was a breakout star in Joss Whedon's The Avengers back in 2012, but conflicts with the rights have prevented us from getting another solo film about the unstoppable emerald beast. As a result, we've been forced to wait longer than normal for real answers about what he's been up to -- but it looks like our patience is about to pay off. Thor: Ragnarok will be in theaters on November 3rd, and we'll be keeping a very close eye on it as we get closer and closer to that release date!