We have a brand new trailer for Avengers: Endgame to pour over and while it does a great job hiding a lot of information, it’s what is being hidden that has us curious. We know the Avengers have a hail mary play in mind to save half the world, but we have no idea what it is. We got to see glimpse all of the remaining heroes in the new film, except for one. The trailer gives us a single shot of Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner, and nothing of his big green friend, the Incredible Hulk.
At the end of Avengers: Infinity War Bruce Banner was having something of an anger management problem, which is to say he wasn’t able to get his anger to produce the intended result. Hulk was refusing to surface for reasons that even Bruce Banner didn’t understand. For a guy who, in the previous Marvel movie, Thor: Ragnarok, was afraid he might never be able to change back if he ever became Hulk again, this was quite a switch.
Exactly what the issue is, and how Bruce Banner overcomes it, will likely be the character’s primary story arc throughout Avengers: Endgame. We know this. We also know, with near certainty, that he will overcome it. We know, as much as we can know anything, that the Hulk will return. So why are the trailers keeping this fact hidden?
This new trailer gives literally one shot, the image above, of Bruce Banner, and nothing else. He’s not suited up with the team at the end, or if he is, that image wasn’t shown. If he’s not with the rest of the team, where is he?
The trailer only confirmed in those final moments that Tony Stark and Nebula will, in fact, make it back to Earth to rejoin the rest of our heroes. It gave us that, which was another moment that we “knew” would happen, but had previously been kept secret. It’s ok that we know this, because we still don’t know how they’ll make it back, and that’s the part that’s truly interesting. The trailer could have done the same thing with Hulk, letting us know that he will be back, but without telling us how.
When the Avengers: Infinity War trailers never showed us Hawkeye, we wondered if there was a reason. It turned out the reason was, because he wasn’t in the film. We can be fairly sure that’s not the case here. There was a story set up in the last movie that needs to be fulfilled in this one.
There certainly are numerous possible explanations as to why Hulk is being hidden. Perhaps he only appears at a moment in the story that the Russo Brothers want to keep off the screen. Showing Hulk in any shot of a trailer could potentially give away too much. Perhaps any hint as to the method of his return could give away a key aspect of the larger story.
While Marvel has always been good about not giving away too many spoilers, the franchise’s trailers don’t mind giving away big moments if they’re the sort of thing that drum up excitement. How cool would it have been if you’d never seen Hulk in the Thor: Ragnarok trailers and the first moment you did was on the big screen? So why isn’t Hulk getting similar treatment here?
It feels like the reason has to be a big one. They could be teasing us with Hulk’s return, instead, it seems like they want us to forget he exists.