WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War, in theaters now.
At the beginning of the month, a piece of promo artwork from the untitled Avengers 4 surfaced online. While no one could prove its legitimacy at the time, there seemed to be enough plausibility to what was depicted on the image to have it gain traction. The drawing featured all six original Avengers in a group shot, along with a few new recruits added to their ranks in the form of War Machine, Rocket Raccoon, Nebula and Brie Larson's Captain Marvel. Many characters appeared to be in new versions of their costumes, like Hawkeye, War Machine and Captain America. And perhaps even more curious was the fact that Bruce Banner's Hulk was now wearing a battle suit/superhero costume.
Since all the characters on the artwork were those left standing at the end of Infinity War, this seemed like our first big hint of the direction of next big Avengers film. Finally, a few days ago, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige appeared at CineEurope 2018 in Barcelona, giving a few lucky fans an early look at the first footage of Avengers 4. While the footage wasn't made public, word spread out of the event, and it's since been confirmed that the Hulk will, indeed, be sporting an armor when we next see him.
The Hulk is no stranger to battle armor, seeing as how we already saw him don gladiatorial garb in Thor: Ragnarok. However, the armor that will feature in Avengers 4 is different, considering that it will be the first the Green Goliath wears as part of the Avengers team. This makes us believe that an entirely new direction could be in store for the Hulk in the film, one that could be inspired by a time in the comic books when Bruce Banner was an agent of an organization known as the Pantheon.
Who Are the Pantheon?
The Pantheon was a group led by an Asgardian demi-god named Agamemnon. The organization made its first appearance in 1990's The Incredible Hulk #368 by Peter David and Sam Kieth before becoming a central part of the book's cast for nearly four years. During that time, Bruce Banner became a member of the Pantheon, which counted many other super-powered characters in its ranks like Achilles, Ajax, Perseus, Prometheus and many other characters based on mythological figures. Together, these heroes operated on the worldwide stage, performing heroic feats wherever trouble brewed. They saved countless people, in no small part thanks to the presence of Bruce Banner's Hulk.
But during that time, the Hulk was no narrow-minded beast fueled by rage. In fact, both Banner and the Hulk personas had merged peacefully, which meant that the Hulk now had the mind and control of Bruce Banner. This made for the perfect superhero, who had the brains and compassion of Banner, and the gamma-powered brawn of the Jade Giant. What is also equally important to mention is that, during his time with the Pantheon, the Hulk was wearing a superhero costume, a dark body suit complete with a belt.
There are definite similarities between the Hulk's Pantheon outfit and the one seen on the Avengers 4 promo art. Therefore, perhaps the film will really take a bit of inspiration from that storyline. However, bringing in the Pantheon might prove too elaborate, complicated and obscure for the film.
Perhaps, then, could a simpler route be taken?