Through World War Hulk, Marvel can pay off its unfortunate mistreatment of the Hulk in Avengers: Endgame. The news hasn’t been confirmed as of yet, but it’s been reported that Marvel has plans to produce live-action adaptation of the “World War Hulk” story in the MCU. According to the rumor, World War Hulk will begin shooting sometime in 2022.
Because of what happened in Avengers: Endgame, there was some concern that Marvel was done with the Jade Giant. The creation of the “Smart Hulk” personality was characterized as a compromise that merged the Hulk and Bruce Banner personas, when in actuality, all it did was put Banner’s consciousness in Hulk’s body. The Hulk as a character was removed from the equation, which understandably brought sharp criticism from fans who felt he was mishandled. The direction the movie took with him was also seen as a continuation – rather than a correction – of Avengers: Infinity War’s Hulk story. Instead of letting Hulk find redemption after losing so badly to Thanos, Marvel sidelined him completely.
If it’s true that Marvel really is making World War Hulk, then an opportunity is about to arise for the MCU to not only fix, but directly address the problems with Hulk’s absence from Endgame. Essentially, “World War Hulk” is a story about Marvel heroes betraying Hulk, who then finds new friends and gets revenge. The comics set this in motion by shooting the Hulk into space, but thanks to Avengers: Endgame, the MCU doesn’t need the same setup for Hulk’s crusade to begin. The Avengers’ acceptance of the Smart Hulk twist should be enough for World War Hulk to work. If and when Hulk re-emerges, he’s unlikely to be happy with his teammates about what happened between Infinity War and Endgame.
The characters in Avengers: Endgame didn’t question what Banner did, as if it wasn’t wrong for Banner to keep Hulk at bay for several years and control his body at the same time. Also, no one on the team seemed to miss the Hulk, despite the fact that he was supposed to be a valued ally, and a friend to some. It makes sense that the Hulk will have an entirely different view of the situation to Banner’s if and when he reemerges. The movie gave him the impression that their merging was mutual, but that doesn’t necessarily confirm that the Hulk was fine with being locked away in Banner’s subconsciousness for years, or with the Avengers not being bothered by his absence.
World War Hulk can properly tackle the underlying issues with Avengers: Endgame’s Smart Hulk story by finally revealing Hulk’s perspective on what happened. How upset Hulk will be was already hinted at in Thor: Ragnarok, which illustrated the character’s insecurities about how people thought of him, and how Banner was valued more than him. Since Endgame rather sadly reinforced Hulk’s concerns, he’ll come off as a sympathetic figure with justified frustrations in World War Hulk.