The Incredible Hulk has become the most detached film from the MCU canon, and its timeline is one of the most confusing. This is part 2 of a 20 part video series dedicated to determine where each Marvel film takes place. Let’s try and explain where this film occurs.
“You don’t have to do this; please, this is insane!” “Betty, I’ve gotta try!”
The film begins with a montage of dates and articles wherein the Hulk has been seen over a 5 year period and the latest date noted was January 22nd, 2007, but this can be disregarded as the film later contradicts it. Banner has been on the run for 5 years according to General Ross, and was last seen fleeing on October 21st 2006. Since then, it’s been five months, so it’s now around March. Bruce goes 158 days without hulking out, which fits with March 2007.
Later we see that Blomsky’s rules of engagement are dated to the 24th of March, 2007. Bruce loses his streak and Hulks out in Brazil. 17 days later, he heads to Culver University, and eventually meets back up with Betty. The rest of the film occurs during Fury’s Big Week, with the battle of Harlem supposedly 4 days later, making it April 14th, 2007.
But that’s too easy! It can’t be 2007, as that’s before the first Iron Man, and we see that it’s concurrent with the events of Iron Man 2 and Thor in those films, though slightly later chronologically. So when do these films occur? Iron Man 2 would have you believe they occurred in 2010, while Avengers again retconned it to occur in 2011. So forget about any in-film dates for this movie. This film has been totally retconned to occur in May and early June of 2011, as we’ll explain further in Parts 4, 6, and 8 of this series.
More info collected from The Incredible Hulk (with the proposed dates from within the film):
– 2002(?)-2007: Opening Montage: Several dates are given. According to a Culver University ID card, Bruce was born “1969 • 12 • 18” (00:02:01). Initial Hulk testing done on March, 07, though the year is unclear (00:02:02). Picture of destroyed truck dated to 2006 (00:00:07). The montage also dates up to January 22 2007 (00:02:09), though this is contradicted less than a minute later as he wasn’t supposed to have any incidents in that time frame. Banner attempted contact with Elizabeth Ross on February 7th 2006 (00:02:39). Dates leading back to April 18 2004 are seen (00:02:50), but later the film claims Banner’s been on the run for 5 years. “Last seen fleeing Oct, 21 2006” and “no sightings for 5 months” (00:02:52) meaning the film must occur during Mar 2007.
– 2007: Days without incident – 158. Coincides with the 5 months of no sightings. Rules of engagement given to Blonsky were published 24MAR07 (00:14:33). Based on the fact that this information would be time sensitive to General Ross, Banner’s Hulking out in Brazil was likely the same day.
- April: 17 days without incident (00:34:26), making this April 10th, roughly. Betty claims to have not spoken to the General in Years. General Ross claims that he was turned into the Hulk 5 years ago (01:08:52), likely March 7th, 2002.