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What If…? Art Imagines Bucky & Steve as Sakar Gladiators

Steve Rogers’ Captain America and James “Bucky” Barnes become Sakar gladiators in a new piece of What If…? fan art inspired by Thor: Ragnarok.

Steve Rogers and James “Bucky” Barnes become Sakar gladiators in a new piece of What If…? fan art inspired by Thor: Ragnarok. 2017’s third installment in the Thor franchise has become a fan favorite among MCU aficionados thanks to its fresh take on Chris Hemsworth’s God of Thunder. Ragnarok’s predecessor, Thor: The Dark World is considered by many to be one of the weakest films in the MCU. Director Taika Waititi—who also helmed the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder— helped to revitalize the franchise with an irreverent sense of humor that didn’t negate any of its heart or beloved comic book lore.

One of the most exciting aspects of Ragnarok is how it loosely adapts the events of the Planet Hulk comic book saga. In the film, Thor is sent to Sakaar, a trash planet ruled by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), who organizes the Contest of Champions to entertain the citizens. Thor is imprisoned by the Grandmaster and, to quote the latter, “any contender who defeats [his] champion, their freedom they shall win.” Therefore, Thor does engage in the gladiator-style competition and battles said champion, which turns out to be his “friend from work,” Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) stuck in Hulk mode. Ultimately, Thor, Hulk, Korg (Waititi), and the other contenders spark a revolution and escape Sakaar, leaving the fate of the Grandmaster and his Contest of Champions up in the air.

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