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After the Avengers, Tony Stark drives off with the Hulk, hinting at them working together. There were references in between the movie where Stark offers Bruce Banner a chance to work with him. Also the post credit scene in Iron Man 3 shows them talking to each other.

The question is: where was the Hulk during the events of Iron Man 3?

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The post credits scene just suggests that Tony is telling the whole story to Bruce. And Bruce is not present in the story and it's a stand-alone Iron man film, so showing other Avengers in it kills off its stand-alone feel. As for Tony's offer to work with Bruce, it seems rejected as he is not with Tony in the whole story.

Here are Kevin Feige's words on the question “Why wouldn’t Tony Stark just call The Avengers if he’s having a problem in Iron Man 3?”

Journalist: After cell phones came out horror directors had to come up with elaborate ways to explain why people wouldn’t call someone on a cell phone for help, now that all The Avengers know each other do you have to come up with excuses for why Tony Stark wouldn’t reach out when he needs a hand?

Feige: It’s a good question, and it’s sort of half and half. I am betting that like the comics you don’t have to keep – if you are reading a standalone “Iron Man” comic, they don’t spend every page explaining where every other Marvel hero is. The audience kind of accepts that there are times when they’re on their own and there are times when they are together. I’m betting that movie audiences will feel the same way. That being said, there is a little bit of lip service here and there to that. There is also just the very nature of Tony wants to, once he barely survives that house attack you saw today, and even you saw it in the message he left for Pepper, he’s basically saying “I’m going off the grid to try to figure something out.”

(Source: SlashFilm.)

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