Hulk Has a Son? 8 Brushed-Over MCU Details That We Demand an Explanation For

in Marvel

The Avengers gathered together on the promotional poster of 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'

Credit: Marvel Studios

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a film franchise that has no competition and no precedent. Thirty-three movies and a pocketful of Disney+ series deep, there is no arguing that the MCU is a colossally successful experiment in overlapping storytelling that no other series is even close to.

The Charge in the final battle of Avengers: Endgame
Credit: Marvel Studios

One could argue that Star Wars gets close, but nine movies of lore just don’t stack up, even when you get into the semi-canonical and ever-changing nature of the former Extended Universe. Ditto for Star Trek, which has existed for decades, but has primarily been a TV phenomenon that is heavily engaged in rewriting its own past for shows like Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

The storyline of the MCU is as complex and tangled as a bunch of timelines wrapped around Loki’s hands, but for the most part, Kevin Feige and his legion of lore keepers have managed to keep things pretty straight. Even when Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019) capped off the Infinity Saga by mashing everything together and adding time travel to the mix, most events have managed to stay coherent on a narrative level.

Thanos (Josh Brolin) looking dismayed at the climax of Avengers: Endgame
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel Boss Is Happy That the MCU Is Failing, Apparently “Much More Comfortable”

The operative phrase is “most things.” Since Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) first burst onto the scene in Iron Man (2008), quite a few bizarre and abandoned subplots have developed in the MCU, and we’re here to complain about them. In truth, the answers behind most of the questions would involve narrative contradictions that Marvel Studios would rather just abandon and move on.

After nearly two decades of adapting Marvel Comics plots, it’s only natural that the MCU hit a few dead ends, but still…we want to know what was up with:

Is the Hulk a Deadbeat Dad or What?

Hulk in a blue shirt stands next to a similarly large, bald character in an orange vest, both looking serious in a lush garden setting.
Credit: Marvel Studios

In the final moments of the Disney+ series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, which featured Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) as a cousin of superhero scientist/embodiment of rage Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), we get introduced to another member of the family, Skaar (Wil Deusner).

Like almost all aspects of the MCU, Skaar is based on a Marvel Comics character. In his case, the son of the Hulk is a half-alien, half-human native of the planet Sakaar, which was introduced to the MCU in Thor: Ragnarok (2017), whose relationship with his father is…complicated, to say the least.

But our question here is, did the incredible Hulk not know that he had conceived a child during his apparently extended time as a garbage world gladiatorial champion? Or, if he did, did he callously abandon his child (and the child’s mother, presumably) to help out Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in his own family battle?

If the MCU is ever going to make a World War Hulk movie, we might get some answers, but either way, She-Hulk inadvertently established that Bruce Banner is an absentee father. Not a great look for one of Earth’s mightiest heroes.

Baron Mordo Just Kinda Gave Up

Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo
Credit: Marvel Studios

Doctor Strange (2016) introduced the eponymous medical professional (Benedict Cumberbatch) and traced his journey from irritable, condescending surgeon to grouchy, patronizing sorcerer. In the years since, Strange has become one of the central characters of the MCU, opening up the bag of worms that is the Multiverse in an attempt to help Spider-Man (Tom Holland) with his college admissions problems.

One of the primary supporting characters in Doctor Strange is Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a fellow acolyte of the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), who is initially presented as something of a mentor figure. However, at the end of the film, we see Mordo stealing mystical energy from other magic users and declaring that there are “too many sorcerers” in the world. It was a clear setup for a confrontation between Strange and Mordo and, then…nothing.

Instead, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) focused on the doctor’s conflict with the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), which tangentially involved some conflict with a Variant of Mordo in another universe. But, it seems that in the regular Earth-616, Mordo has made no progress on his mission to get rid of sorcerers.

In fact, the mystical stronghold of Kamar-Taj seemed to be doing better than ever before Wanda Maximoff showed up, with a large contingent of trained students. If She-Hulk is any indication, Wong (Benedict Wong) seems to have no worries about an attack from Mordo and is just chilling with his friend Madisynn (Patty Guggenheim). Did Mordo just decide to give things up, or what?

While Thanos Was Balancing the Universe, His Brother Was Hanging with a Troll

Pip the Troll in Eternals post-credits scene
Credit: Marvel Studios

Thanos (Josh Brolin) is one of the most iconic and nuanced characters of the entire MCU, willing to destroy half the cosmos at the expense of “everything.” From his first appearance in The Avengers (2012), it was clear that the Mad Titan was a figure to be reckoned with, and his subsequent role in the Infinity Saga only further demonstrated his indomitable will and unceasing commitment to his self-imposed mission to balance the universe.

In contrast, his brother Eros (Harry Styles) gets drunk with a troll in space.

Of all the mid- and post-credits scenes that the MCU has offered up over the years, the introduction of Eros, AKA Starfox, and Pip the Troll in Eternals (2021) is one of the weakest and weirdest. It raises the question of why exactly the giant purple Thanos has a brother who looks like a British pop star, why he is accompanied by a drunken space leprechaun (let’s be honest here), and confuses the whole issue of “Eternals” with “Titans.”

There may be an explanation for it in Marvel Comics, but given the relatively poor box office of Eternals and Bob Iger putting the brakes on upcoming Disney projects, we’re probably never going to get one in the MCU.

Related: Disney Reportedly Scraps Harry Styles’ ‘Eternals’ Sequel

Who Else Is on the Raft?

The Raft superhuman prison the MCU, rising out of the ocean
Credit: Marvel Studios

The Raft is a fixture of Marvel Comics, in which it is basically a maximum security prison for the innumerable super-powered villains that abound in that continuity. Unsurprisingly, it eventually showed up in the MCU in Captain America: Civil War (2016), where Tony Stark used it to lock up anyone who disagreed with him about how to be a hero.

It also was referenced in the pre-MCU Netflix series Jessica Jones and Luke Cage and later showed up in The Falcon & the Winter Soldier, but we’ll get right to the point. Why is there such a massive submersible high-tech prison for superhumans when there appears to be a maximum of five or six people at a time in it?

If one is uncharitable, one could even speculate that the entire point of the Raft is not to imprison super-powered criminals but basically anyone who has superpowers. While it is unclear who built the Raft and when, the fact that it is introduced via Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt), notorious hater of the incredible Hulk, suggests that it holds a lot more people. The question is, who could they be?

All MCU Gods Are Real and Everyone Is Pretty Cool About It

Two Egyptian gods fighting in the MCU series Moon Knight.
Credit: Marvel Studios

Moon Knight is one of the weirder MCU projects out there, centered on a goofy depiction of dissociative identity disorder, the idea that Egyptian gods have specific avatars to do their bidding, and the acting chops of Oscar Isaac. However, what it really did was confirm a pretty frightening notion: in the MCU, all gods and religions are actually true.

A few months later, Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) went even further with this idea and introduced infinite alien pantheons, along with Zeus (Russell Crowe) and Hercules (Brett Goldstein), as a tease for a future Thor installment. It is truly a bizarre part of the MCU that it has repeatedly confirmed that religions centered on ancient Norse, Greek, and Egyptian deities are all, in fact, quite real and then not engaged further with the idea.

In Captain America: Civil War, the Avengers broke up basically because Marvel Studios wanted to engage with the concept of morality and responsibility when it comes to superheroes. But, at the same time, the MCU has no interest in engaging in the notion that all religions are equally true beyond some jokes about Chris Hemsworth being naked in front of a crowd.

We won’t even bring up how all of this might relate to the ancestral afterlife of Black Panther (2018) and what that means for religion.

A Shape-Shifting Alien War Is Still Secretly Happening in the MCU

A scene from the MCU series Secret Invasion.
Credit: Marvel Studios

Samuel L. Jackson finally got his own starring series in Secret Invasion, the worst-received of all of the Disney+ MCU shows. It is a pretty unfortunate event for Nick Fury, one of the most iconic figures in the franchise, even if it is intentionally meant to be grim.

Secret Invasion was a follow-up series to Captain Marvel (2019), in which it was revealed that an alien race of shapeshifters secretly settled on Earth under the protection of Nick Fury and are now pretty mad at him. Eventually, G’iah (Emilia Clarke) gets injected with the DNA of every superhero you can think of, which gives her their powers because super-science works that way. Fury leaves the planet with his Skrull wife and pops up again in The Marvels (2023), where it turns out he’s now running a space station.

But here’s the thing. When Nick Fury left the planet, the Skrulls were arguably in a worse situation than they had been before. The President of the United States declared all aliens (technically, people born off-world) to be enemy combatants and essentially put a bullseye on the forehead of every Skrull on the planet. Sure, they have G’iah, but she’s just one overpowered individual who can’t be everywhere at once.

If the MCU ever returns to the Skrull subplot, it’s really going to have to answer why Nick Fury’s response to failing to protect the Skrull people was…to stop protecting them entirely.

Which ignored subplots of the MCU bother you the most? Tell us in the comments below!

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