The MCU Is Now Missing Just 1 Character From The Incredible Hulk

Tim Blake Nelson’s The Leader will appear in Captain America: New World Order, meaning that there’s now just one character from The Incredible Hulk who has not returned to the MCU yet. Taking many by surprise, it was announced that Tim Blake Nelson will reprise his role in the fourth Captain America movie and the first featuring Sam Wilson as Captain America. The Leader is the most recent example of the MCU revisiting The Incredible Hulk, a movie that had for years been ignored by the franchise.


While it has not been confirmed whether The Leader will be the main Captain America: New World Order villain, it is surprising that Tim Blake’s The Incredible Hulk character is returning to the franchise after 14 years. The Incredible Hulk’s Samuel Sterns never actually became The Leader during the film, although the movie ended with a tease that Doctor Sterns would suffer some sort of mutation thanks to his lab accident after creating the Abomination. The Incredible Hulk never got a sequel, and thus The Leader never properly appeared in the MCU.

Related: Marvel Is Finally Fixing The Incredible Hulk (It Only Took 14 Years!)

The Leader now joins Thunderbolt Ross and the Abomination as The Incredible Hulk’s characters who made surprising returns in the MCU. General Ross returned to the franchise for the first time in Captain America: Civil War to present the Avengers with the Sokovia Accords, followed by the Abomination’s return in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. However, there is still one character from The Incredible Hulk Marvel has not brought back yet – Liv Tyler’s Betty Ross. Marvel’s What If…? briefly featured Betty Ross, but the character was not voiced by Liv Tyler and the episode was nothing but an alternate version of the events of The Incredible Hulk.

Why It's Difficult To Bring Back Betty Ross

Liv Tyler as Betty Ross from The Incredible Hulk

The relationship between Betty Ross and Bruce Banner is one of the most important elements in the stories of both of those characters, and therefore Liv Tyler’s version of Betty Ross is heavily tied to Edward Norton’s Bruce Banner. Most of The Incredible Hulk centered around the relationship between Betty and Bruce and how the Hulk made it impossible for them to be together. Therefore, trying to recapture that connection between Betty and Bruce but now with a completely different actor playing Bruce Banner might not have worked. The Leader and the Abomination, on the other hand, are more tied to the Hulk than to Bruce Banner, which is why it might be easier for them to be brought back to a world where Mark Ruffalo plays the Hulk,

Where Betty Ross Could Possibly Appear In MCU Phases 5 & 6

Smart Hulk in She-Hulk and World War Hulk in Marvel Comics

While Betty Ross’ history with the Hulk is a significant part of the character, Betty Ross can and has worked without necessarily being tied to Banner. That is why the MCU could still bring Betty Ross back for Phases 5 and 6. One obvious movie that can bring Betty Ross back is Captain America: New World Order considering that she already knows Samuel Sterns, although it would most likely be a secret appearance as Liv Tyler was not announced to be part of the cast. Another possibility is Fantastic Four, with Betty Ross working with the superhero team through the government – perhaps even as part of SWORD.

There is also the possibility Betty Ross is brought back for the reported World War Hulk movie. Even if the MCU does not revisit the love story between Betty Ross and Bruce Banner, it would be interesting to have such an important part of Banner’s life return in a story like World War Hulk. With The Incredible Hulk suddenly becoming crucial for Marvel again, a Betty Ross return cannot be ruled out.

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