'Avengers 2' Spoilers: Hulk vs. Iron Man Hulkbuster Fight Explained

Iron Man Hulkbuster Robert Downey Jr Avengers Age of Ultron

In The Avengers, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) attacked Earth and part of his ill-thought-out invasion plan involved turning Hulk against his allies. From that sequence viewers witnessed Thor (Chris Hemsworth) step up to battle Hulk, but what Marvel Comics fans really wanted to see was Iron Man suit up in the largest of his armors, the Hulkbuster suit, to take on his big green ally.

Marvel Studios made sure early on to let fans know that Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark - in his fifth lead appearance - would finally suit up in the fan-favorite super suit in Avengers: Age of Ultron and provided a tease of the Hulkbuster design in the very first officially released concept art.

Since then, the Iron Man vs. Hulk battle has been a key point in marketing the film and tie-in merchandise.

The Avengers 2 - Official Hulk vs Iron Man Hulkbuster Concept Art
The first Hulkbuster Concept
The Avengers 2 Age of Ultron - Hulk vs Hulkbuster Poster

What causes this fight (and what it leads to) has been a popular topic of discussion for fans, but now we know exactly how it happens. During their investors meeting yesterday, Disney made a series of announcements and showcased some assets for upcoming projects. In addition to confirming Frozen 2 and unveiling release dates, art and other info on Star Wars: Episode VIII and Star Wars: Rogue One, they also played footage from Avengers: Age of Ultron, specifically the main section of the Iron Man vs. Hulk fight.

We've summarized and listed the order of scenes from Stitch Kingdom's description of the footage.

  • Hulk has lost control and wreaking havoc in an urban area, destroying everything on the street.
  • Heavily armed police units and armored vehicles attempt to stop him by shooting at Hulk. No effect.
  • Iron Man flies in and orders the police to stop.
  • Stark is prepared for this and there are curious objects flying alongside him.
  • Metal plates come from the sky and smash into the ground in front and around Hulk, surrounding him and encasing him in a cell of sorts to contain him.
  • Hulk breaks free.
  • Iron Man in wearing his main Mark 43 suit and then pieces began assembling much like the armor from Iron Man 3 forming the Hulkbuster around him. The end of this bit was shown in the first Avengers 2 trailer.
  • Stark attempts to talk down Hulk: "The witch is messing with your brain. You’re smarter than her, you’re Bruce Banner."
  • Then it turns into hardcore action as they fight and smash through the streets and up and down buildings.
  • Hulkbuster has the edge until Hulk gets behind him and stabs a traffic light through the armor.
  • Like we said above, Stark is prepared for this, and as the Hulkbuster outer armor takes damage, pieces fall off and new pieces come in to replace. It's a modular design.
  • At one point, Iron Man gets on top of Hulk and repeatedly punches at his face, while saying "Sleep, go to sleep."
  • No effect.
  • Stark's plan is seemingly to get Hulk out of the area so he commands one of the fallen off, broken arm pieces to attach to Hulk and help him fly out of the area.
The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron Fathead Decal - Hulk vs Iron Man (Hulkbuster) Art

The sequence ends there but the description puts to rest any early theories that Ultron may have hacked and taken control of the Iron Man armor in an attempt to make Hulk look evil in the eyes of the public. Instead, it's Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) working on behalf of Ultron to turn The Avengers against each other by "messing with their heads." That's one of her powers and one she uses on every character throughout the film before she switches teams and joins Earth's Mightiest against Ultron.

Warning: More Potential Spoilers Ahead

What drives Scarlet Witch to switch sides remains a mystery and it could have to do with Ultron taking things too far or... something may happen to Quicksilver since he's not seen in the major battle in the latest Age of Ultron trailer.

As for the Hulk, when we spoke with Mark Ruffalo at Comic-Con last summer and on the set of Age of Ultron shortly before, he continued to talk about the inner battle Bruce Banner faces. Both Banner and Hulk want to be in control and for Banner, Ruffalo doesn't think he can forgive himself for all the destruction and death Hulk has caused. That may play into the old rumors that Avengers 2 could end with Banner flying the team's new Quinjet into space.

And such a story would be honoring the comics where Earth's super-powered leaders (The Illuminati) trick Banner to get the Hulk off-Earth just before Marvel Civil War happened. It's not a coincidence this would happen now before Captain America: Civil War next year, and although there's no standalone Hulk movie planned, this allows for Hulk to make an epic return a few years into Phase 3 (and 4?) of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Or maybe he'll meet the Guardians of the Galaxy in 2017. Or, none of this happens at all.

Share your thoughts in the comments!


More: The Future of Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk After 'Avengers 2'


Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk. Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine, Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill and Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, and Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron releases in theaters on May 1 2015, followed by Ant-Man on July 17 2015, Captain America: Civil War on May 6 2016, Doctor Strange on November 4 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5 2017, Spider-Man on July 28, 2017, Thor: Ragnarok on November 3 2017, Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1 on May 4 2018, Black Panther on July 6 2018, Captain Marvel on November 2 2018, Avengers: Infinity War - Part 2 on May 3 2019 and Inhumans on July 12, 2019.

Source: Stitch Kingdom

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