“Puny god,” growled Hulk to Loki in Marvel Studios’ first all-star team-up, The Avengers, back in 2012. Flash-forward five years, and Asgard’s resident trickster (Tom Hiddleston) still kind of fits that description, but the green giant’s vocabulary less puny than before. In the new trailer for Thor: Ragnarok that just debuted at the San Diego Comic-Con as part of Marvel’s star-packed panel, the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) more than holds his own in a debate with the dethroned and defeated thunder god (Chris Hemsworth). Reacting to Thor’s suggestion that they’re both the same hotheads at heart, Hulk remarks, “Hulk like fire, Thor like water.” And when his friend from work counters by insisting they both have a fiery side, Hulk throws down this bit of wisdom, “Hulk like raging fire, Thor like smoldering fire.” Sorry, Thor: Hulk just defeated you in one-on-one verbal combat.
As Ruffalo noted to the SDCC crowd, the Hulk we meet in Ragnarok, which opens in theaters on Nov. 3, has gone through some big changes since we last saw him rocketing away from Earth in Avengers: Age of Ultron. “It’s a little different Hulk than we’ve seen,” he remarked, specifically mentioning that he hasn’t reverted to his human form as Bruce Banner in two years. “He’s a little perma-Hulked. Because he has been the Hulk for two years now, he has the vocabulary of a 2-year-old. We may have a speaking hulk in a movie where everyone might die!”
He may talk like a toddler, but the Hulk still packs an adult-sized punch, which will come in handy for Thor’s primary mission in Ragnarok: reclaiming Asgard from its new conquerer Hela, the Goddess of Death (Cate Blanchett). Doing that will require Odin’s son to assemble an Asgardian version of The Avengers that includes himself and Hulk, as well as Loki and newcomer Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), who begins the movie as a business partner of Jeff Goldblum‘s Grandmaster, the ruler of the planet Sakaar and a big fan of gladiatorial combat. Not for nothing, but he’s also the sibling of Benicio Del Toro‘s Collector, previously introduced in the first Guardians of the Galaxy. “We’re the oldest living creatures in the universe,” Goldblum explained at the Marvel panel. But as the Hulk himself demonstrates, puny Grandmaster, being older doesn’t necessarily make you wiser. Or more articulate.
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