Thor: Ragnarok is already making a splash at the international box-office, but North American viewers still have a few days to wait before they see the God of Thunder’s next big adventure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although we have had new MCU movies yearly, it’s actually been four years (yes, four!) since Thor’s last solo movie, The Dark World. Considering that so much has happened in the universe since then, like an attack from Ultron, the Sokovia Accords, the arrival of Doctor Strange, and Ego’s attempt to rule the universe, you’d be forgiven for being uncertain of what went down in the Thunder God’s last solo outing, of being unsure who was in the movie, and what they were up to the last time we saw them.
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With so many characters reported to feature in some capacity in Thor: Ragnarok, whether they are old or new, here is a rundown of everything you need to know, or remember, about all of them.
The title character of the movie is one of the MCU’s biggest hitters. And yet, since Thor was off-planet during Captain America: Civil War, we haven’t seen him in action in the universe since 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron (if we don’t count Thor’s hijinks with roommate Daryl in the Team Thor short movies.)
Last we saw Thor in the MCU, he was flanked by both Steve Rogers and Tony Stark after they had defeated the global threat of Ultron. Recognizing the rising concern of more and more Infinity Stones popping up in recent years, Thor stated that he should leave to find out what exactly was going on in the deep reaches of space, and just who was responsible for this intricate game. As we pick up with him in Ragnarok, we just might find out what he has been up to, and what he has discovered regarding those Stones.
Bruce Banner and his monstrous alter ego is another character we haven’t seen since Avengers: Age of Ultron. After deciding to prioritize Natasha Romanoff’s safety in the battle of Sokovia, the Hulk took control and hopped off undetected on a quinjet, leaving his team — and Black Widow — behind. The green monster then led his spaceship into space, and he has been off-world ever since, which explains why the character was absent during the superhero Civil War.
Banner and Romanoff had a complicated blossoming romance, but it seems like the Hulk ultimately decided that the Black Widow was better off without them both in her life. When next we see him, the Hulk will be in an arena, a champion who hasn’t let Banner out in nearly two years.
What has Loki been up to? That question seems to get asked a lot in the MCU. Since his first appearance in Thor, Loki became an important part of the MCU, appearing in The Avengers and The Dark World. We last saw the God of Mischief triumphant at the end of the Thor sequel, masquerading as Odin thanks to his powers of illusion.
While we the audience knows that Loki is alive, he is believed dead by Thor and his Asgardian brethren, after having “sacrificed” himself to defeat the threat of Kurse. While Thor mourns for his brother, he has no idea that his father Odin is missing and that Loki is alive.
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