Marvel is all set for a mighty year. Not only will they be turning out a number of new TV shows, but their cinematic output will see them release an unprecedented three films in one year. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will be capitalizing on the surprise success of the first film, while Spider-Man: Homecoming will benefit from the title character’s popularity and the presence of Iron Man. Likewise, Thor: Ragnarok is looking to one-up the previous entries in the trilogy by packing the movie full of star power. Along with Thor, we’ll see the return of Loki and a team-up with Doctor Strange. Most exciting of all, Hulk will be joining the God of Thunder in the cosmos, mirroring the events of the Planet Hulk comic fans have been hoping to see adapted for years.
Thanks to the idiosyncratic direction of Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows), we’ll be treated to our funniest Thor yet—something the director has received criticism for. Considering the two living nuclear weapons that will star in the movie, however, it’s good to know there will be some humor and pathos to ground the story. After all, many fan’s favorite Thor and Hulk moments are the humorous ones, making the complaints seem rather toothless. We also know the movie will take us to new alien worlds, and may even end with Thor deemed unworthy. Before all that unfolds, though, Marvel is rolling out a prelude comic to set up the events of the film.
Though the book won’t be out in paperback form until October, Amazon has the description for the comic. Like many of the Marvel’s movie prelude comics, the book will catch readers up on what Thor and Hulk have done so far in the MCU:
“The stage is set for 2017’s far-out fantasy epic, Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok! Catch up on the incredible events of Thor: The Dark World and learn where major players including Odin, Loki and Thor himself stand ahead of the next blockbuster chapter in Asgardian lore! And revisit the origin of Ragnarok’s other headline star, the Incredible Hulk! Plus: Classic comic-book tales featuring the two mightiest Avengers of all! Thor enters the underworld to face Hela – and the Hulk does savage battle on an alien world! It’s cinematic action in the Mighty Marvel Manner!”
The most intriguing bit is the tease of revisiting Hulk’s origin. Aside from General Ross showing up in Civil War, there’s been no real mention of the black sheep of the MCU, 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. Even Ross’ appearance didn’t allude to his past, as he doesn’t show any familiarity with Hulk when he mentions Banner’s name along with Thor’s. The comic could simply be a retelling of the movie featuring the Green Goliath, or it may tweak some events to bring them more in line with the current MCU. Either way, Ross is one character we hop pops back up in the MCU, preferably to help the Earth deal with Thanos in Infinity War.
As for the two classic stories teased above, those would be Thor #361 and Incredible Hulk #95. Respectively, they take Thor to Hel and feature the Planet Hulk story. Though most of this sounds like catch-up, Marvel will occasionally use these prelude comics to flesh out bits of the MCU. In the past, stories involving Doctor Strange and Black Widow have expanded upon their film roles, acting as the only MCU-canon comics that Marvel makes. Though far less impactful or lauded than their Star Wars counterparts, they do technically take place in the MCU and flesh out its mythology. We’re also likely to see the Thor: Ragnarok prelude comic release digitally before October, so we should know exactly how revealing it is soon enough.
Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok Prelude paperback will be available on Amazon October 17th.