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Ways Hulk Can Kill Thanos

There's no doubt that Avengers: Endgame is going to pack a punch when it hits theaters. Whatever storyline unfolds after the opening credits fade, it's a pretty safe bet that the film will be a smashing success, if only because it's going to finally provide some answers. While wide open endings and post-credit teasers are the norm in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, these movies have never left fans with such a devastating cliffhanger ending as they did with Avengers: Infinity War.

The questions that followed were legion. How was Iron Man going to get home from Titan? How would Captain Marvel fit in? Where on Earth (or off of it) was Thanos? And, of course, the big trio: if, how, and when the snap could be undone. One thing that was quickly noted was the fact that the original Avengers line-up had all avoided being dusted, opening up the possibility for them to unite to take Thanos down in the second act. One of the key players in the group, who was conspicuously absent throughout all of the mayhem, was Hulk. Here are a few of the ways that Hulk could be instrumental in finishing off the Mad Titan when round two kicks off.

Pure strength

One of the most defining elements of Hulk is the fact that the brute is composed of strength on top of strength on top of strength. When it comes to the Green Machine, there are so many layers of pure, unadulterated muscle that it's always been a primary trait over the decades, whether it be via the printed page, television set, or cinematic universe.

At this point, everyone and their mother knows that if you hit Hulk hard, you're only going to be hit harder. Of course, this natural ability to "muscle up" makes Hulk a prime choice for writers to use in any kind of one-on-one showdown. If Hulk starts smashing, you can bet there's a fair chance that Thanos' demise can be found under those two giant green fists. But, of course, the question that naturally arises from that very statement is whether he'll start smashing in the first place.

Coming out to play

The biggest mystery about the Hulk when it comes to Infinity War is just where he was during the whole ordeal. When push came to shove, with the universe at stake, Hulk was a non-starter. He had a peek around, took a few lumps from Thanos, and called it quits quicker than you could say Bob's-your-uncle. Of course, that doesn't mean Hulk was really done. Anyone who watches that opening clip from Infinity War can pretty quickly see that the Jade Giant wasn't quite in character. He looked dazed, confused, and half-committed.

It turns out, according to the Russos themselves, Hulk wasn't so much scared by the confrontation as genuinely pissed off about it. Joe Russo stated plainly, "I think ultimately it's that he's tired of playing hero to Bruce Banner." And after two years spent in control on Sakaar, can you blame him? After that, he showed up at the end of Thor: Ragnarok immediately needing to play the hero. Then he was whipped out yet again, only this time, rather than a fiery Surtur-Fenris combo, he needed to take on the biggest threat in the universe. The dude was sick and tired of being used for his body. Whatever the case, if Hulk's going to stop Thanos, he's going to need to get over his hurt feelings and take the reins once again.

The unpredictable

Of course, Hulk's absence actually plays nicely into his chances of dealing the final blow to the Titan from Titan. As of the end of Infinity War, Thanos sees the Big Green Dude as nothing more than a passing annoyance, and the guy is used to seeing everyone as a passing annoyance. His attention in Endgame will probably be more focused on characters like Thor, who already stabbed him in the chest, and Captain Marvel, who looks more and more over-powered by the day.

This could play into the Avengers' hands nicely, as everyone else knows that Hulk really is one of their best chances at beating the living daylights out of the purple baddie. Perhaps, rather than a straight-up brawl, it'll be the element of surprise (definitely not one of Hulk's strong points in the past) that could help the Green Guy rise to the occasion and be the one to take down Thanos.


Once Hulk gets over his hurt feelings, he might feel a twinge of embarrassment — dare we even say regret? — at having left everyone to fend for themselves during what was clearly the largest existential crisis that the Avengers ever faced. If he really did sit out because he was being a baby about the whole losing control issue, once he has a chance to process things with Banner, he might feel a little remorse at how everything went down.

And beyond the frustration of letting down his teammates, he may well feel some personal embarrassment about the whole episode. The fact that he was made to look like a fool, on top of the fact that he let down everyone who was counting on him, could give Mr. Green a healthy dose of inspiration, not to mention a vendetta against the guy who made him look like an idiot while he was sitting out.

Exponential anger

Before we move on to more specific ways that Hulk could take down Thanos, let's talk about one more "big picture" element that could factor in here. Hulk is strong, sure. But, honestly, he's not the only member on the team that can go toe-to-toe with Thanos and have a fighting chance. Heck, even Iron Man got him to shed a drop of blood, right?

But one thing the Hulk has that the others don't is the exponential scaling of his rage. The guy is strong, sure, but more importantly, much of the rest of the crew tend to suffer from discouragement and fear. Hulk, on the other hand, literally thrives in adversity. If he feels outmatched, he gets angry and his strength scales along with it. He's virtually untouched by fear, too. If the Green Machine can get angry early enough in a fight with Thanos, there's a good chance the purple side of that equation is going to have a rough go of it.

Wielding the Gauntlet

While the thought of a furious Hulk giving Thanos a run for his money is as good as gold without any additional fanfare, there's one weapon that Hulk might end up using that could make the entire affair that much better. For a while now it's been heavily rumored that Tony Stark's part in the endgame of Endgame could revolve around reassembling the Avengers and building his own Infinity Gauntlet.

While this is a great piece of info on Mr. Stark, though, the impact it has here is the fact that another rumor indicated that it might be none other than the Jade Giant who wields the the second gauntlet when the rubber hits the road. The speculation even comes with the added fact that Hulk may end up losing an arm in the process. Whether he loses an arm or not, though, the simple fact that Hulk could end up wielding the Infinity Stones should give him all the power he needs to kill Thanos and restore things to the way they were in the past.

Professor Hulk

While it's fun to think up "Hulk smash" scenarios that could lead to Thanos' demise, the truth is that after Infinity War, there seems to be something of a Hulk special being cooked up at Marvel Studios. A while back, Mark Ruffalo explained that the Hulk had a story arc taking place over three separate movies: Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. That would make Endgame the culmination of Hulk's own story arc.

This climactic fact has led to a boatload of rumors (and even a possible confirmation via a promotional image showing a well-composed Hulk in a sleek new uniform). The rumors point to the idea that the Green Goliath's story may actually end in reconciliation between himself and his Dr. Jekyll counterpart, Bruce Banner. A burying of the hatchet between the two could finally pave the way for the arrival of Professor Hulk, a character who has the brains of Banner and the brawn of "the other guy." Needless to say, a character with the mental capacity of Bruce Banner coupled with the limitless strength of the Hulk could be just the Thanos-ending prescription that the doctor ordered.

Time traveling therapy

Speaking of Professor Hulk, even if we're fairly certain about the arrival of the fella in Endgame, Marvel Studios has certainly been tight-lipped about how the transformation could come about. And, of course, whenever Marvel is reticent about something, the fans are ready to step up to the plate. One particularly interesting theory about the transformation actually involves the Sorcerer Supreme... but probably not the one you're thinking of.

While Stephen Strange may be an MCU staple these days, the theory actually harkens back to none other than Tilda Swinton's character, the Ancient One. It suggests that perhaps Banner will head back in time along with everyone else via the Quantum Realm. Once there, he'll cross paths with the Sorcerer Supreme, who will help teach him how to control his anger and bring about the healing that the two so desperately need. Comicbook.com's breakdown of the theory recalls the fact that Mark Ruffalo did refer to working with Swinton in an unnamed project back in 2017. The Ancient One has also been reported to be amongst the action figures being made for Endgame. Hey, if the shoe fits...


Another fascinating theory that could add fuel to the Professor Hulk bonfire was put forward by Redditor MightyMary007, who postulated that since time appears to work very differently on Sakaar, perhaps the Hulk was actually there not for couple years... but for centuries. It's a fascinating possibility to factor into Hulk's story arc. A period that long spent as the Hulk may have given him the time to slowly round out his personality a bit, opening up the doors for a Professor Hulk scenario to take place.

After all, during those scenes on Sakaar, we saw a much more developed, nuanced version of the beast than the typical brute that he'd been up until then. If Hulk's time on Sakaar was actually centuries long, it may mean there's quite a bit more going on under the surface than we thought. We haven't seen much of Hulk since those days on Sakaar. Maybe the personality that eventually comes out will actually be a bit more refined than we're expecting.

The biggest distraction ever

While there's no doubt that Hulk is a top contender to take Thanos down, he's certainly not the only option on the table. In fact, there are quite a few other people who are actively standing in line in front of him. The overly guilt-laden Tony Stark has a laundry list of reasons to be the guy who takes the kill shot. Nebula's list might be even longer at this point, and besides, she was critical in toppling Thanos in the Infinity Gauntet comics. Thor is just plain angry about everything at this point and wants some revenge somewhere.

But even if someone else actually kills Thanos, Hulk could be an instrumental piece of that scenario simply by being a distraction. How often do the Avengers get the important stuff done while Hulk is busy doing the dirty work? In the Battle of New York, Cap led the team and Iron Man saved everyone's hides by dealing with the nuke, but Hulk was the point man, taking down Chitauri hordes right and left in a spectacle that drew a ton of attention. He's done the same in numerous other engagements. If his ultimate role is to play the distractor, he'd know the part backward and forward by now.

Stepping aside

Setting the Professor Hulk option aside, another way that Hulk could ultimately kill Thanos might be by simply stepping aside and letting Bruce Banner do the work for him. While he may have been dodging his responsibilities in Infinity War, that doesn't mean getting the Hulk to come out and play is necessarily the key to everything going well. In fact, Bruce Banner may have a much more important part to play than we think going forward.

One heavily rumored element that could be critical in Endgame is time travel via the Quantum Realm. The problem is, who's going to be able help everyone move back and forth through time? Scott Lang has the experience, but he sure as heck doesn't have the know-how. As of the end credit scene in Ant-Man and the Wasp, we know that Hank Pym and his family have been dusted. Shuri is a candidate, but as of the Endgame trailer, she's missing as well. Perhaps they could find Dr. Bill Foster, or maybe even Erik Selvig or Jane Foster could help out. But there's a good chance at least some of them were victims of the snap, anyway. At the end of the day, having someone like Bruce Banner on hand when Scott Lang shows up at the Avengers facility could be just the time-traveling ticket needed for the team to get their ducks in a row and take Thanos down.

Sitting out

While stepping aside to let Banner do his thing could be one way Hulk helps kill Thanos, another option could simply boil down to the fact that he's sitting this one out. It wouldn't be due to a temper tantrum this time, though — it would be because of Doctor Strange.

What if, as some have suggested, once Strange saw the fourteen million-plus scenarios while on Titan, he also made a quick trip back in time to visit Hulk on Sakaar. While there, he would have used his influence to convince (or scare) the childish Hulk's mind into understanding that in order for everything to turn out alright, he had to stay out of the fight. The thought of Hulk purposefully sitting back and watching events disastrously unfold on purpose is hard to fully comprehend. But if it were true, it would certainly make Hulk an instrumental player in Thanos' demise purely because of the fact that he didn't do anything. Go figure.

World Breaker Hulk

We've spent a good amount of time breaking down Hulk's furious rage and how it could be a factor, but one popular comic call out that's been making the rounds is that maybe, just maybe, we'll get to see World Breaker Hulk. Who is World Breaker Hulk? It's in the name.

The guy can destroy worlds with a single punch. In essence, it's the strongest manifestation of Hulk, and certainly one that could give Thanos a run for his money, Infinity Gauntlet or not. One popular fan theory pointed out that the timing would be on point. Thor has pretty much finished his evolution into a nearly all-powerful being, while Hulk is lagging behind and due for a story arc finale. Perhaps the stars are aligning for World Breaker Hulk to take on Thanos and reverse the results of their first meeting. One thing is for sure — if that's the case, we're in for another broken space rock being integrated into a fight sequence yet again.

Take an interest, Bro

Whether it's due to his strength, his fury, a second Infinity Gauntlet, or anything else, Hulk needs to have one more critical factor going in his favor if he's going to topple the Mad Titan: he needs to have an interest. Hulk's lackadaisical attitude towards all things Thanos thus far has crippled his ability to have any positive impact on the storyline. On the contrary, his actions seem to have simply allowed the universe to go to hell in a handbasket.

Unless this holding back really is happening on purpose due to a timely interaction with Strange, Hulk is going to need to get his act together in Endgame. He has to get over any petty attitudes or squabbles with Banner and allow the duo to focus on the true danger at hand. Both characters have serious upsides, especially if they're working together. But they've got a long road ahead.