With the universal popularity of Avengers: Endgame, fan theories about unsaid and implied aspects of the story have been abundant, and now a new one suggests that Hulk previously ended up on Sakaar in Thor: Ragnarok due to the interference of Doctor Strange, and afterwards the sorcerer did all he could to neutralize the Hulk, including kill him. You can read the very detailed reasoning over on Reddit, but here’s a condensed rundown of the main beats.
Strange’s motivation apparently comes from Hulk being too dangerous to let run loose, along with the Sorcerer Supreme willfully ignoring rules and having nobody he’s accountable to, and the precedent of Strange meddling in the course of history.
Because of his willingness to liberally use the Time Stone, he apparently travelled back to the aftermath of Avengers: Age of Ultron and sent Banner and his Quinjet through a sling ring to Sakaar where he could live a happy life going “Hulk Smash!” on all comers. He also intended to have Banner as an ‘alarm clock,’ knowing that if he ever came crashing into the Sanctum Santorum, it would mean that Thanos has the Power and Space Stones and the events leading to the Mad Titan’s victory were underway. When Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian come for the Time Stone, Strange portals Banner away despite the Black Order members having no reason to target him, and it’s said that the half of a taxi that came with him was intended as an ‘accident’ to kill him and end the lingering threat of the Hulk, which fails.
Furthermore, the Redditor believes that part of the reason that possible future #14,000,605 was selected to be brought about wasn’t just because of it being the one where Warrior Thanos is defeated, but also it being where Professor Hulk came into existence, caging the destructive brute permanently. However, when Stark develops time travel over a weekend, it creates a new danger due to Banner being unlikely to use the power wisely on account of his track record of poor decision making. The future brought about ensured that Natasha died on Vormir though, leading to Smart Hulk using the Electronic Gauntlet to try to bring her back along with everyone dusted in the Snap, and the failure of which leaves him both physically and emotionally crippled and no longer a danger to himself or anyone else.
It’s also worth noting (and pointed out in the theory) that the Sakaar sequence of Thor: Ragnarok is heavily inspired by the Planet Hulk story arc, where he’s deemed too dangerous to remain on Earth and is fired into space by the Illuminati, of whom Strange was a member along with Iron Man, Namor, Mr. Fantastic and Black Bolt.
What do you think, though? Were Doctor Strange’s actions in Avengers: Endgame partially a reaction to trying to get rid of the Hulk? There’s a whole section below where you can sound off with your thoughts.