With less than 11 months left until Avengers 4 hits theaters, and brings Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to a close, fans have been chomping at the bit for any new details, and it seems one intriguing piece of information has surfaced today in the form of leaked concept art. While this has yet to be confirmed as authentic, the fact that the story it originated from was taken down swiftly seems to lend some credence to its authenticity. The artwork in question seems to indicate that fans may be seeing Professor Hulk in Avengers 4, although that has yet to be confirmed.
The concept art seems to reveal the new roster of Avengers, featuring Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd). This artwork reveals that Cap is in fact wearing the Captain America uniform again, while Captain Marvel is seen wearing her traditional costume instead of hte green outfit seen on the Captain Marvel set. Perhaps the most intriguing detail, though, is a much different Hulk, smaller than his previous incarnations, leading many to speculate that Professor Hulk will surface.
Professor Hulk first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #377, which debuted in January 1991. Professor Hulk was first said to be a combination of Banner and two different versions of The Incredible Hulk, Savage Hulk and Grey Hulk. It was later revealed that Professor Hulk was actually a fourth different "personality," which represented the "ideal" version of Hulk. Not only did he possess Banner's intelligence along with the other Hulk's size and strength, Professor Hulk was also distinguished by his ponytail in the comics.
As for this concept art, the fact that this version of the Hulk is slightly smaller than his typical version could very well indicate that the Professor Hulk will be featured in Avengers 4. He also seems to be wearing a super suit of some kind, which we've never seen the Hulk wear in previous movies, so even if this Hulk isn't the actual Professor Hulk, he'll have a much different look, if this concept art is authentic. If this is Professor Hulk, it would also fit in quite nicely with the Hulk's arc thus far.
Ever since 2008's The Incredible Hulk, and Mark Ruffalo's first appearance as Bruce Banner in 2012's The Avengers, both Banner and Hulk have been battling each other for control, as it were. We saw in last year's Thor: Ragnarok that Hulk had remained as the Green Goliath for over two years, fighting as a massive gladiator on the planet of Sakaar, where Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finds him, and brings back the Bruce Banner he knew. The possible emergence of Professor Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe could represent a "best of both worlds" type of scenario, using both Banner's intelligence and the Hulk's strength simultaneously. You can take a look at the concept art below and head over to ComicBook.com for their report.