This post contains spoilers for She-Hulk: Attorney At Law. If you haven’t watched just yet, dig into our spoiler-free She-Hulk: Attorney At Law premiere review!
From the debut of Tatiana Maslany’s Jennifer Walters to the return of Tim Roth’s Abomination and Charlie Cox’s Daredevil, there’s a lot for MCU lovers to be excited about in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. But for the continuity-obsessed fans among us, the series is quickly becoming a treasure trove of answers to long-running MCU mysteries.
From the origin of Bruce Banner’s Smart Hulk persona to a big Captain America conundrum, here’s a breakdown of everything we’ve learned so far. We’ll continue to update this piece as new episodes shed even further light on the post-Endgame MCU.
She-Hulk SDCC Trailer
How Smart Hulk Was Born
Avengers: Endgame skips over a large chunk of time as it leaps from the death of 2018-era Thanos to the aftermath of the Snap in 2023. There’s a lot of character development we miss out on as a result, particularly when it comes to Bruce Banner and his alter ego. When last we see Hulk in Infinity War, he’s still a savage monster with a limited vocabulary. But when Hulk reappears in Endgame, suddenly he speaks with the voice and intelligence of Banner himself.
The first episode of She-Hulk gives us much more context as to what actually transpired with Hulk during those missing five years. Even as Tony Stark tinkered away in his underground lab, Banner had his own remote facility in Mexico he used to study his condition. Over the course of those five years, Banner used a mixture of scientific experimentation and psychological self-help to merge his two warring personalities into one. The series even uses the name “Smart Hulk,” originally coined to describe one of Hulk’s many manifestations in the comics.
At this point, there’s no real distinction between Banner and Hulk. We can understand why he may be a little miffed that his cousin achieved the same result so effortlessly.
Why Is Banner Still Human Sometimes?
The first episode also addresses another lingering question regarding Hulk in the post-Endgame MCU. Endgame never gives us any reason to believe the newly unified Hulk reverts to human form. He stays in Hulk mode all through the 2023 portion of the film, even during quieter moments like the diner scene and Tony Stark’s funeral. But for whatever reason, we see the human Bruce Banner during the post-credits scene in Shang-Chi.
She-Hulk reveals there is a reason. Hulk has been slowly recovering from the near-fatal effects of wielding the Infinity Gauntlet, and switching to human form has allowed him to heal much more quickly. We definitely prefer that explanation to “It’s cheaper to not always have to turn Mark Ruffalo into a CGI Hulk.”
The Steve Rogers Virginity Debate
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is definitely the most meta Marvel project since Deadpool 2, hence all the scenes where Jen Walters breaks the fourth wall and speaks directly to the audience. So it’s only fitting that this series be the one to finally address one of the biggest ongoing MCU mysteries – is Steve Rogers still a virgin?
As Jen herself points out in the premiere, the movies create the impression Steve has always been too busy fighting the good fight to focus much on his personal life. Nothing in the Avengers or Captain America movies suggests he ever got around to dating in the 21st Century. And despite some helpful prodding from Sam Wilson, we can’t imagine a guy like Cap ever swiping right on Tinder. So does that mean Steve was still a virgin when he took the Infinity Stones back in time and vanished?
Assuming you stuck around after the credits, you got an answer to that burning question. No, Steve isn’t a virgin. He hooked up with a nice young woman in 1943, and for all we know he’s had a healthy sex life ever since.
Interestingly, this is a plot point Marvel could theoretically build on in a future Captain America project. The comic book series Ultimate Comics Avengers revealed that Steve’s girlfriend Gail was secretly pregnant when he was frozen in ice at the end of WWII. After the war, the US government began grooming Gail’s son to become their next great super-soldier. That is, until the boy turned out to be a sociopath who slaughtered his handlers and carved his own face off. Thus, the Ultimate Universe’s Red Skull was born.
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.
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