Mark Ruffalo’s journey as Bruce Banner has spanned every phase of the MCU so far, with 7 movies and 1 Disney+ appearance. Fans wondering in what order they should be watching all of Hulk’s MCU appearances have come to the right place!
Now, with all nine episodes of She-Hulk out the way and speculation running rife as to when Ruffalo will next return to the MCU, it’s time to take a look back at the Hulk’s journey through the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Every MCU Hulk Appearance In Order
Bruce Banner and/or the Hulk have appeared in some form or another in thirteen of the MCU’s 39 live-action projects to date. Mark Ruffalo has played the role in all of them except for the MCU’s only solo movie for the character, which includes serving an important supporting role in all four of the Avengers’ team-ups.
Listed below are the eight movies and series where Bruce Banner and his green alter-ego play a major role, from The Incredible Hulk to She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, along with his various cameo roles in the MCU.
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Laying out the Hulk’s origin story only in the opening credits, Edward Norton’s Bruce Banner spends most of this movie running from General Ross, the United States Army, and SHIELD. Concluding in an epic final battle in Harlem with Tim Roth’s Emil Blonsky/Abomination, Banner goes off on his own once again as he tries to develop an understanding between his two vastly different personalities.
Find out where The Incredible Hulk falls on the official Disney+ MCU timeline.
The Avengers (2012)
“That’s my secret, Cap… I’m always angry.”
Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff tracks down Bruce Banner in India to bring him into the Avengers Initiative, but his time onboard the helicarrier researching the Tesseract ultimately leads to him Hulking out. He proceeds to join Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in the Battle of New York against Loki and the Chitauri, even giving fans an iconic MCU moment when he smashes the God of Mischief like a ragdoll in Stark Tower.
Ruffalo helped his fellow cast members celebrate The Avengers‘ 10-year release anniversary in May 2022.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
“The world just saw the Hulk… the real Hulk, for the first time.”
In the aptly titled Age of Ultron, Banner joins forces with Tony Stark to create Ultron before the program goes haywire, eventually leading the Hulk to go on a Scarlet Witch-induced rampage in South Africa as they try to stop the AI villain. After that fight with the Hulkbuster armor and teaming up with the Avengers once again to save the people of Sokovia, the Hulk blasts off in the Avengers’ Quinjet to an unknown location as he leaves the world behind.
Find out how a She-Hulk Easter egg was hidden in Avengers: Age of Ultron over seven years before the series premiered here.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
“Hulk like raging fire. Thor like smoldering fire.”
In the two years after leaving Earth, the Hulk built his own empire in Thor: Ragnarok, becoming the Grandmaster’s champion as he fought in gladiator matches on Sakaar, leading to a reunion with Thor in the arena. While the God of Thunder helps Banner resurface for the first time since he left Earth, the Hulk has to come back to help Team Thor defeat Hela before attacking Surtur and escaping the destruction of Asgard.
Find out how Thor: Ragnarok and Taika Waititi’s approach directly influenced She-Hulk here.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
“Hulk, we got a lot to figure out, pal.”
After opening Infinity War with a beatdown at the hands of Thanos, Heimdall sends the Hulk back to Earth before he and Banner struggle with their relationship. Although Banner has accepted that he needs to keep using the Hulk, his alter-ego refuses to join the battle against Thanos, leaving them with plenty of unresolved issues while the Mad Titan snaps away half of all life in the universe.
Take a look at a behind-the-scenes video of Mark Ruffalo performing some of his own stunt work from this epic crossover event.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
“Everybody comes home.”
Playing his biggest role in the MCU to date, Banner and the Hulk come to a compromise with the birth of Smart Hulk, who helps Scott Lang and the Avengers crack the mystery of time travel. After getting the Infinity Stones in the Time Heist, even losing Natasha Romanoff in the process, the big green hero dons the completed gauntlet and snaps his fingers to bring everybody back to life, all before defeating Thanos and saving the universe once again.
See why directors Joe and Anthony Russo made the decision to nerf the Hulk’s powers in this movie.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
“Guys, stay safe. Welcome to the circus.”
Bruce took his place amongst the new Avengers roster in a meeting with Captain Marvel, Wong, Shang-Chi and Katy in this movie’s post-credits scene, although he was back in human form once again. After welcoming Shang-Chi and Katy to the team and analyzing the Ten Rings, fans wonder what his future holds, especially since he can seemingly change from Bruce to the Hulk once again.
Dive into a breakdown of how Hulk’s Shang-Chi post-credits scene may have set the stage for Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022)
“Being a superhero is all trial by fire.”
She-Hulk offered Mark Ruffalo his closest thing to a starring MCU role yet as he proved to be the cause of Jennifer Walters’ gamma origin before mentoring her through her early days as a Hulk. But that was all before he took a quick trip off into the galaxy, only to return with his Sakaarian son Skaar – a brand new addition to the MCU storyline and perhaps the latest Young Avenger introduction.
Find out how Edward Norton almost reprised his Hulk role in She-Hulk for the first time since 2008’s The Incredible Hulk here.
Outside of the movies where the Hulk is featured prominently, the character pops up in various places throughout the rest of the MCU via cameos and archival footage. Some of these recap previous adventures and battles he’s fought with the Avengers, while others give Banner a couple of unique interactions with his fellow heroes.
Iron Man 3 (2013)
Banner showed up in Iron Man 3‘s post-credits scene, filling a role as a therapist for the first time as he listened to Tony Stark recap the events of the movie. Although he fell asleep while listening to the story, he sat there and endured the tell-all while trying to be there for his friend.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Following the devastating events in Lagos, General Ross gathered the Avengers for a meeting regarding the Sokovia Accords in which he showed archive footage of the team’s MCU battles. Included in this was the Battle of New York, where the Hulk rampaged through Manhattan and left the city in ruins.
Captain Marvel (2019)
Banner made another post-credits appearance in Captain Marvel, flashing back to right after Thanos snapped his fingers. Ruffalo’s hero spent the next few weeks analyzing Nick Fury’s pager that he dropped in New York before Carol Danvers showed up to greet Banner, Natasha Romanoff, and James Rhodes on her own search for Fury.
Slightly different from Captain America: Civil War, Loki includes archival footage from The Avengers with the God of Mischief looking back on his life before stealing the Tesseract. This includes a look at Bruce teaming up with the Avengers to finally pin Loki down in Stark Tower before he surrenders.
This Disney+ show brought Bruce Banner’s smallest appearance to date, as he was only seen during a quick flashback moment from the opening scene in Episode 1. As the young Kate Bishop watches the Battle of New York, she can see the Hulk flying through the air to take out some of the Chitauri’s individual battle vehicles, although he’s incredibly tiny in the footage.
When Will Hulk Next Appear In The MCU?
For a franchise that hasn’t even owned the full rights to use the Hulk, he’s made his mark continually over the past 14 years within the MCU on the big and small screen alike – even if that is in the absence of more than one solo outing.
After his cliffhanger return to Earth with Skaar in the She-Hulk finale, his next MCU appearance currently remains unknown. There were rumors both Hulk and She-Hulk could appear in Captain America: New World Order – which seems logical given The Incredible Hulk‘s The Leader will officially be the main villain – although those unfortunately appear to have been debunked.
Few outings on the currently announced Phase 5 slate seem to leave much room for Hulk to get involved, but then again, nobody saw his surprise appearance in Shang-Chi coming so anything might be on the table. Of course, there’s still time for plans to change and result in Ruffalo showing up in Captain America 4, but otherwise fans may be waiting a while to see the gamma green Avenger again.
The actor behind the Hulk has already shared his belief that “there’s not going to be another Avengers without [She-Hulk],” and one can only imagine to two wall-smashers come as something of a package deal later. So, Hulk will almost certainly be seen in both The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars, unless he tragically doesn’t make it out of the former.
After all, just as this list has demonstrated, Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner has already had an extensive MCU stay of a full decade. That time may soon be nearing its end as the hero has already become one of few to span two sagas, will he really be sticking around for a third?
Every MCU outing featuring Hulk is streaming now on Disney+ – except for The Incredible Hulk which is only available in select regions.