So, after watching Infinity War, many questions remain in our minds. But one stands out:
Did Thor’s brother, Loki survive the Infinity War after all because he was hiding in plain sight? Like maybe, disguised as Bruce Banner?
Kevin Feige had teased that all the deaths in the movie might be permanent, and the film’s opening sequence had gone a step ahead with Thanos assuring his viewers,
“No resurrections this time.”
The purple Titan may have given a nod to all the viewers when he said it and has promised that Marvel will break their tradition of ‘fake’ deaths. Thanos’s snap had wiped out half the in the universe, and the most notable victims were the characters whose sequels have been confirmed.
If this is the case, almost any death in Infinity War is open to question. Including the death of Loki. This death was unexpected, and he was known to have the Tesseract, and this meant he would be standing in Thanos’s firing line. Killing Loki in the very first scene was shocking and was a way of making the movie seem evocative and powerful.
But now we can ask if Loki was tricking Thanos and the viewers themselves.
Former entertainment journalist, Josh Dickey has a theory that Loki was fooling around and was alive and posing as Banner.
BRUCE BANNER IS OUT OF CHARACTER
There was something not right about Bruce Banner. He was out of character and was rushing from one situation to the next with desperation. When Banner is reunited with Black Widow, they trade a very awkward smile and avoid talking. The Russos suggested that this is because two years have passed and they have moved on, but this does not work for Banner who spent the last two years as the Hulk. For Banner, Avengers: Age of Ultron were just a few days ago.
The movie shows Banner really struggling to transform into the Hulk, and it was a very unexpected plot twist. The problem was that the audiences could not understand why the Hulk would not come out. The view is that the Hulk was scared and shocked after being defeated by Thanos.
The Russos seemed surprised by the interpretation and proposed that the Hulk was tired of being brought out to fight. He hates Banner and hates being the weapon.
So, is it possible, though, that in reality the “performance issues” were just acting and illusions by Loki?
The point is that Bruce Banner knows way too much about the Infinity Stones and he remembers almost everything that the Hulk had experienced on the Asgardian vessel, and this is odd- the previous movies established that Banner could not remember anything from his time being the Hulk.
LOKI IS AWARE OF THE FACT THAT DOCTOR STRANGE IS THE KEY
The opening scenes of the movie are odd, not because of Heimdall’s decision to send the Hulk to the Sanctum Sanctorum. This plot is from Jim Starlin’s Infinity Gauntlet miniseries, which had seen the Silver Surfer crashland in the Sanctum Sanctorum. How did Heimdall know where to send Bruce Banner?
One solution is that the chain of events is masterminded by Loki. He and Thor know about the Sanctum Sanctorum. While his brother might be able to sit opposite an Infinity Stone without even recognizing it, Loki has more experience with the ancient relics. It is hardly inconceivable that he had recognized the Time Stone when he encountered the sorcerer in Thor: Ragnarok.
But Loki knows that Strange has no reason to actually trust him. He had trouble dealing with Strange in Thor: Ragnarok. If he does enter the Sanctum Sanctorum as Loki, he would be met with distrust and hostility.
It is wiser to go in disguise and to pretend to be someone else. Ife he does go as one of the Avengers on Earth, he has a chance of getting found out.
BANNER SEEMS NEUTRAL AFTER CIVIL WAR
It is not clear if Loki has a way to be aware of the details of Civil War and so we are not too sure if this theory is right. When Loki arrives, Iron Man is very reluctant to call Steve Rogers. Loki knows that he needs to rally Earth’s protectors and fight against Thanos and the Black Order. The Avengers are not going to assemble, and the end of the universe is approaching.
One of the ways to get the superheroes unite is for Loki to actually take on a form of an Avenger who could not have been involved in the civil war. There is an element of humor to the idea of Loki trying to reassemble the Avengers.
Surprisingly it is not without comic book precedent; in Dan Slott’s Mighty Avengers run, Loki had disguised himself as Scarlet Witch to persuade Hank Pym to get a team together.
HULK’S ARC WAS CHANGED… IS THIS WHY?
This might explain why Marvel had changed the Hulk’s plot in Infinity War. Tie-in merchandises had teased that Marvel planned to have the Hulk explode from the Hulkbuster armor during the Battle of Wakanda. The Russo brothers have since suggested that the merchandise had been linked to an earlier draft of the script, and the poor CGI in a few of the Banner / Hulk scenes suggested the change was made late. The final arc does not seem to have communicated well, and the Russos seem to have surprised the audiences.
But if this is a misdirection and a smart trick played upon the Avengers, and upon the viewers, it makes sense. This theory argues that the Russos decided that the Bruce Banner on Earth was Loki, God of Mischief. Loki cannot transform into the Hulk, and it explains why the Hulkbuster scene did not happen in the end.
SO, WHERE IS THE HULK?
If the theory is correct, then Hulk does not appear in the movie after the opening sequence. Everything else is Loki’s tricks, and an illusion played out upon the ones around him.
Banner is not the only character who is missing from the movie. Valkyrie, Korg, and Miek are also missing. The Russos confirmed that Valkyrie had made it off the ship before it even exploded, but have not commented about Korg and Miek.
Tessa Thompson had been seen filming scenes for Infinity War or Avengers 4 in Edinburgh. Considering the Russos have confirmed there have been a few deleted scenes in the Infinity War movie, it seems like Valkyrie, and the Asgardian survivors would appear in Avengers 4. Thor had been taking the refugees to Earth, and they might continue their journey, with Valkyrie arriving to bolster all the heroes’ numbers.