We all know and love Hulk for his very limited vocabulary but as seen in the Ragnarok trailer Hulk has clear speech.

The debuted Hulk comic [May 1962] courtesy of Stan Lee and Jack didn't speak, but by the time he'd gone green for Incredible Hulk #4, he was talking. Albeit in primitive fashion. And oftentimes referring to his alter-ego "Puny Banner."

In the first Avengers movie Hulk grabs Loki and slams him against the floor only saying 'puny God'.

Can someone explain how Hulk has clear speech in Raganrok? [refrence to comics or interviews would be nice!]

  • 1
    In The Avengers, during the final showdown, the Hulk is unexpectedly cooperative. Banner is clearly learning how to steer the Hulk (or the Hulk himself is learning to be more reasonable, either is possible). A speaking Hulk may be the next step on the road of Hulk's anger management.
    – Flater
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 8:11
  • How is it that Bruce Banner can speak fluently? Or anyone for that matter? This seems like a silly question. The inverse is the more interesting question: Why does Hulk appear to have low intelligence?
    – J Doe
    Commented Nov 20, 2017 at 23:35

3 Answers 3


The director explained here

With the green-skinned alter ego of the Avenger traditionally not known as a man of many words, the choice to give Hulk an increased use of vocabulary has surprised quite a few people. And according to Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, the choice was a deliberate..

"I was always fascinated by the duality of Hulk and Banner, and seeing how their brains could be interconnected." Waititi recently explained to IGN while at San Diego Comic-Con. "Could we sometimes see Hulk and could we have a bit of Banner’s voice in there? Could we see Banner and have Hulk’s personality through there?"

While Banner has warred with his Hulk identity since his first MCU appearance in 2012's The Avengers, Waititi revealed that that conflict will manifest in a new way during Ragnarok.

"I think in this film we’re going to see that for the first time, where the two are fighting — really fighting this time — for control of the body. And Hulk talking, this idea of a more cognitive Hulk who can say sentences — that obviously has existed in the comics, but I think it’s something the fans want to finally see. It’s exactly what fans want to see, and what I wanted to see too."

  • 1
    It's also not without precedent. In the comics Hulk goes through many different "forms". There's the unthinking rage monster, there's the somewhat "pea-brained" Hulk who hates Banner that we see in Ragnarok, at one point Banner's mind gets to rule in Hulk form, and in one of the more famous alternate future stories, the Hulk becomes the superintelligent Maestro who kills the rest of the Marvel heroes. I'm glad we're seeing more of these different manifestations. I always liked this Hulk best.
    – J Doe
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 3:54

With the release of Avengers: Endgame we can see that

The Hulk could talk even in the original Avengers movie

Therefore, I think we can assume the Hulk could always talk, but just wasn't given much opportunity to.

The Hulk usually gets to come out, fight (something which doesn't need talking), then go away. In Ragnarok he's had two years to exist, with more opportunity to talk while not in a fight, and to further elaborate on is speaking skills.


Hulk did not speak "fluently" in Ragnarok. He spoke exactly the same as he had been doing in the prior films. That being said, theres nothing to explain.

Lets look at some of Hulk's dialogue from the movie.

First Arena Scene

Thor: "Banner, I never thought I would say this, but I'm happy to see you."


Hulk's Suite Scene

Thor: Are we cool?

Hulk: [grunts]

Thor: "How long have you been like that?"

Hulk: "Like... what?"

Thor: "Like this. Big, green... stupid."

Hulk: "Hulk always Hulk."


Thor: "Were they wearing one of these when you won? How'd you arrive here?"

Hulk: "Quin...jet." [makes caveman-ish hand gesture of ship crashing]

Thor: "Yes! I'm getting us out of here. This is a terrible, awful place. You're gonna love Asgard. It's big. It's golden. Shiny."

Hulk: "Hulk... stay."

Now if we actually look at the dialogue, Thor is the only one speaking fluently or clearly. Hulk is still using 2-3 word sentences and speaking like a Neanderthal. He continues to do this until he turns back into Banner.

He never speaks "fluently."

Are you sure you're not talking about Avengers: Endgame?

  • 3
    IIRC, Endgame was released in 2019, while the question was posted in 2017. Seems unlikely OP is mentioning or mistaking.
    – OldPadawan
    Commented Sep 1, 2023 at 11:06

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