Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Avengers: Endgame Toy Leak May Reveal Something Major About The Hulk

Contains potential spoilers for Avengers: Endgame

Though super-smart scientist Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) helped fight the good fight against Thanos (Josh Brolin) in Avengers: Infinity War, his hot-headed alter-ego Hulk was largely missing from the action, leaving everyone to speculate why Banner couldn't Hulk out and whether the not-so-jolly green giant would make an appearance in Avengers: Endgame. Fans have yet to catch a glimpse at Hulk in any Marvel-released footage for the new Avengers movie, but plenty of promotional materials have made their way online and painted the answer as plain as day: Hulk is coming back. 

"But how exactly?" you ask. Well, a leaked photo of an Avengers: Endgame toy essentially spells it out for us, seemingly revealing something major about Hulk's arc in the upcoming film. 

Posted to Reddit by user Coryhero, the picture in question is of the back panel of the packaging for a Hulk action figure that's part of HASBRO's Endgame "Titan Heroes Series" toy line. The illustration on the wrapping shows Hulk suited up in the same silvery-white, red, and black uniform that his fellow Avengers sported in the latest Avengers: Endgame trailer; this is the suit that the actual Hulk action figure wears as well. Text accompanying the drawing seems to detail the circumstances that will lead to Banner becoming the Hulk and slipping into a brand-new suit: "Bruce Banner masters his temper to become the giant, super-strong hero, Hulk." 

The idea that Banner has to master his temper again to be able to go green in Endgame is infinitely intriguing, as it adds the many different theories as to why Banner didn't appear as the Hulk in Infinity War after the opening sequence that saw Thanos kill Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Heimdall (Idris Elba) and give Hulk a brutal beating. This lack of Hulking-out in the third Avengers film could be down to Banner dealing with past trauma that resurfaced after his scuffle with Thanos, Banner feeling too scared to get angry or too humiliated that he couldn't defeat Thanos in a one-on-one battle to transform into the Hulk, or that Hulk still resents the people of Earth for hounding him and doesn't want to emerge to help save the planet. Likewise, there are just as many explanations regarding why Hulk has been left out of the Endgame trailers: he might be the first of the bunch to bite the bullet, Marvel may debut a Hulk of a totally different color in the film, or perhaps the creative team is just building anticipation for some big "I'm always angry!" scene. 

After seeing this toy leak, however, we have a different idea: Endgame could feature Banner getting a grip on his temper in order to become not the Hulk but Professor Hulk, and that's why he hasn't been seen in any Endgame footage yet.


The Hulk in the leaked photograph looks far more human than the Hulk we've seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far, coming across like a mix of Banner and the green-skinned behemoth as opposed to the hefty hero whose facial features only moderately resemble Banner's. His head isn't quite as square, his neck isn't as thickly muscled as it normally is. A previously leaked image of the Hulk Endgame action figure, which shows the front of the box, displays him looking even more like Banner than this newly divulged one. Likewise, a promotional photo that revealed new costumes for Earth's Mightiest Heroes features a Hulk that looks more Banner than beast. In fact, he looks like Banner with a little green face paint on — a far cry from the fearsome Jade Giant we're used to seeing. 

A little background information on Professor Hulk for the uninitiated: Professor Hulk isn't a Hulk that completed a doctorate degree, but rather is a merged form of Bruce Banner; the "Savage" Hulk, which is the green Hulk fans are most familiar with; and the Grey Hulk, the original Hulk from the comics in the time before Hulk's skin color was changed to emerald due to ink issues. (Fittingly, Professor Hulk is also referred to as the Merged Hulk.) Introduced in the 1991 comic issue The Incredible Hulk Vol. 1 #377, Professor Hulk is his own entity and not a cut-and-dry merger of the three personalities, and is said to represent Banner's "ideal self." He possesses Banner's intelligence, Savage Hulk's physical prowess and super-strength, and Grey Hulk's cunning — plus a more human face and an ability to maintain power while in a "calm emotional state." However, if Professor Hulk becomes too angry — if he breaks the peace between himself and Banner — he will "transform back into Bruce Banner, though with the mind and personality of the Savage Hulk." 

That catch is important to be aware of, as it highlights the need for Banner and Hulk to settle their differences for a greater good in Endgame, that being Banner's ability to become Professor Hulk and take down Thanos once and for all. This ties into — you guessed it — the information included in this toy leak. The only way Endgame could feature Professor Hulk (and the chances of that happening seem high considering everything that's already come to light about the film) is if Banner takes the reins on his temper and keeps his emotions in check, since reaching a certain level of anger while in Professor Hulk form will cause him to revert back to his human state but with the mentality of his decidedly not cool, calm, or collected counterpart. 

Banner taking control of his anger to become Professor Hulk in Avengers: Endgame would wrap up the character's three-movie arc wonderfully. As most know, due to complicated screen rights issues, Marvel isn't allowed to give the Hulk his own film trilogy; instead, studio president Kevin Feige and Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo have craft an arc for the character that began with Thor: Ragnarok. As Ruffalo explained ahead of the release of Thor: Ragnarok in 2017, "Kevin pulled me aside before [Thor: Ragnarok], and said, 'If you were gonna do a... if we were going to do a standalone Hulk movie, what would it be?' And I said, 'I think it should be this, this, this, and this and this, and ends up like this.' And he's like, 'I love that. Why don't we do that in the next three movies, starting with Thor 3 and then we go into Avengers 3 and 4.' And I was like, 'That sounds great!' And so we are at the beginning of this arc."

Ruffalo also teased at the time that Hulk speaking in sentences in Thor: Ragnarok is a crucial element of the character's metamorphosis across that film, Infinity War, and Endgame, as it was the first sign that Banner and Hulk were separating from one another. 

"Hulk speaking is the start to separating of these two individuals, these identities in this split-identity person, and where that's going to end up going. So it was really interesting to me," he shared. 

There are plenty of unanswered questions Avengers: Endgame will hopefully address, not the least of which is how, when, and why Banner will Hulk out once again. Whatever ends up happening to the big green dude, one thing seems undeniable: he's probably going to be far more important in Endgame than anyone realizes.