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At the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War,

Hulk loses a fight against Thanos on the Asgard refugee ship. He is then sent to Earth by Heimdall, where he lands in the New York Sanctum and turns back into Bruce Banner.

Bruce Banner's first words after this are "Thanos is coming". This is surprising in itself as he was the Hulk until then, and in Thor: Ragnarok he described his latest transformation as being "locked in the trunk", i.e. not being aware of what happens at all (as opposed to his previous experiences).

Now you may recall that at the end of Ragnarok, Banner is still the Hulk. It's easy to assume that he didn't change back in the meantime, since

we could already see Thanos' ship during the mid-credits scene, and we never see Banner between these two scenes.

Yet Banner seems to remember what happened and to know quite a lot about Thanos, as he tells the team about his story and intentions.

Based only on what we saw, this is odd; it is not information he had beforehand and it doesn't seem like there was enough time for someone (e.g. Loki) to brief him about Thanos.

Has Banner been conscious during his transformation, or did he only turn into the Hulk in the first minutes of Infinity War - and learned about Thanos before that?

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    Some possibilities for the latter alternative: we don't know how much time passed between the ending of Ragnarok and its mid-credits scene where Thanos' ship appears (Hulk is only seen in the former), so he may have changed back into Banner in the meantime. There is also hearsay about Valkyrie helping some Asgardians evacuate, so there might have been enough time for someone to brief Banner about Thanos. – Kyrio May 10 '18 at 18:41
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    Well it seems that the Hulk and Banner are communicating, like when Banner calles the Hulk to emerge and Hulk comes out to say no. – Plexus May 10 '18 at 19:00
  • Being threat so big, it may've go into deep down Hulk's mind, which Bruce may able to connect with. – Vishwa May 11 '18 at 7:25
  • That's what he does. He hulks and he knows things. – Todd Wilcox May 11 '18 at 21:21
  • This is purely my opinion, but the impression I got from the movie is that Hulk and Banner have started to open communication more and I would expect the storyline to develop to where they come to some sort of alliance. – sanpaco Aug 30 '18 at 19:54
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This is not surprising at all to me for several reasons:

  1. Like you say yourself in your comment, we have a gap between Thor Ragnarok and the start of Infinity War. It's more than likely that banner was there for most of that gap. My evidence: Loki surprises Thanos by revealing that "we have a Hulk". This means that during Thanos' conquering of the ship the Hulk did not fight Thanos to try and stop it. Also, if the Hulk was there, Thanos would have kicked his ass sooner in the gap instead of on screen when Infinity War started. This means that Banner probably learned about most of the conflict and about Thanos before that.

  2. Banner and the Hulk can communicate with each other and do so often. For example in this movie Banner keeps trying to talk to the Hulk to make him "come out" and the hulk refuses. Also, when Banner is angry enough to let the hulk out, like in the first Avengers movie, the hulk retains the working memory of who to attack (the Chitauri) and who to defend (the rest of the Avengers). Even though last time Hulk met Thor they battled each other, when the Chitauri invade hulk fights alongside Thor because of Banner's decision to do so (except for that one funny blow).

  3. In Thor Ragnarok Banner describes the feeling of "Hulking out" as being him and the Hulk each with one hand on the steering wheel. You can't have that feeling if that means you forget everything after each such episode. In that same scene Banner also says that being "in the trunk" and not being part of Hulk's actions and not remembering what he did or for how long, is the exception, not the rule. Hence the rule is that Banner and Hulk remember much of each other's actions and desires.

Hope that's enough details to convince you that this is consistent with the rest of Hulk/Banner in the movies.

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    I think this is the best answer, based on what we actually see on screen, but I also find it a little troubling. In Thor: Ragnarok, we find out that the Hulk has been in control for 2 years, and only changes back to Banner upon seeing Natasha in the video. Later, Banner says that he's worried that if he hulks out again, the Hulk will never give up control (He of course hulks out anyway, during the battle on Asgard). To have that conflict resolved by having Hulk change to Banner and then back again, off-screen really feels like a cheat. – Elezar Jun 27 '18 at 0:20
  • Problem I have is, how does Banner even know Thanos' background at all? His intentions, his modus operandi, and so forth... How could Banner possible know that Thanos wipes out half the population of every place he goes? I can live with "Thanos is coming" but everything after that is totally missing as to how Banner would know anything about Thanos to warn Stark/Avengers/Earth – enorl76 Sep 16 '18 at 4:22
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In the beginning after revealing tesseract to Thanos Loki said "We have a Hulk" as a surprise attack to Thanos. Thanos and his army seemed surprised by Hulk's sudden appearance. So it is obvious Banner was still in his human form lurking somewhere probably hidden by Loki to witness all the things said before he was given the cue to come out as Hulk. So yeah He remembers and observed everything and fully in control when He turned and attacked Thanos

  • I don't think it's obvious Banner was in human form, he could still have been the Hulk and hiding. – Meat Trademark Aug 30 '18 at 17:30
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    When did you EVER see a HULK hiding or making a SILENT PRESENCE at all. And had He been the Hulk the entire time Thanos crew wouldve NOTICED Theyre not a dumbass army.. they could even detect Vision's exact location behind Wakanda's shield. the fact that Banner receipt so many information is the ultimate prove that He WAS BANNER the entire time Thanos entered Asgardians ship – shabrina z Sep 5 '18 at 20:16
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Who says it was Hulk? My belief is that Loki was using his magic to create an illusionary Hulk, which was why he seemed so week against thanks and why Bruce was so out of character and knew things he shouldn't during the movie. Also don't forget that in Ragnarok Loki got sent to the sanctum which explains how he was sent to the sanctum that time, because he knew where to goes. Loki is alive and masterminding the Avengers to take out Thanos.

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    Welcome to Movies.SE! This seems like a fairly speculative theory, do you have any evidence from the movies to back this up? – F1Krazy Aug 31 '18 at 5:48

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