‘She-Hulk’ | The first episode introduces the character and explains the situation of Bruce Banner in the MCU




If you haven’t watched the first episode of She-Hulk: Defender of Heroes, avoid this article as it contains spoilers.

It took a while, but it happened. Filled with public distrust due to the terrifying CGI of the trailers, She-Hulk: Defender of Heroes released its first episode this Thursday, on Disney+, and I bet everyone who had a foot behind the production must have changed already. of opinion .. this height. With a wonderful comic book feel, the first episode did an introduction that greatly enhanced the character’s origins and helped talk more about his cousin, Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), who made a few cameos in the MCU, but was somehow excluded. Well, let’s talk more about that and the other Easter Eggs in this first episode. So, reinforcing the warning from above, from here below is an area where spoilers are released. In other words, if you haven’t watched the episode, watch it and come back here, okay?

savage hulk

Early in the episode, while rehearsing her defense speech in court, Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) learns from her best friend that she has “Jennifer Walters’ Wild Stare”.

As subtle as it is, it’s a very interesting comic book reference. Just as Hulk is known as The Incredible Hulk, She-Hulk was designed as The Wild She-Hulk.

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However, with time and the advancement of the character, who had more control over his powers than his cousin, She-Hulk ended up losing the “Savage”.

And since the show is built entirely on the character having control of their powers, the production ended up paying this simple homage to the original She-Hulk title in that opening dialogue.

The origin

In the comics, She-Hulk’s origin takes place when she is in the car with Bruce and ends up getting shot by thugs who wanted to kill her due to a court case. In the series, however, the origin acquired a spatial imprint with a connection to Thor: Ragnarok (2017). While on the road with her cousin Bruce Banner, Jen was startled by a spacecraft that intercepted her car, causing her to lose control and roll into the ravine. So instead of improvising a blood transfusion from Bruce to save her cousin, the series showed Jen attempting to save her cousin, who was unconscious and ended up with his blood flowing through his wounds, “contaminating” the avocado with the genes. .

Why the boat?

Although it seems a bit gratuitous, the appearance of this ship, which is described by Bruce Banner himself as a Sakaar Mail Ship, brings to mind a relatively old fan theory: Hulk had a son.

Weird, huh? But it does exist in the comics. In the cinematic universe, it is very likely that they justify the birth/arrival of young Sakaar, following a relationship between Hulk and a warrior or a concubine in the battle arenas of Sakaar, where Hulk is become the greatest gladiator on the planet, as seen in Thor: Ragnarok.

And since it’s been two years since Hulk crashed who-knows-who-and-what in Sakaar, there’s a good chance Hulk’s pup will show up for future episodes, even more so after Jen’s talk about Bruce acquiring his powers and becoming a solitary person. and who does not live with his family for fear of losing them.

human form

Still on Hulk, one of the big questions Bruce Banner’s appearance in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) was why he was in his human form. After all, the last time he was seen was in Avengers: Endgame (2019), when he snapped his fingers with the Stark Gauntlet and had his arm atrophied by the energy of the Infinity Stones. . In the series, Bruce explains that he developed a device to help him maintain his human form while recovering from the effects of the gems. But the little thing breaks and he regains his green and strong form to observe and try to train his cousin.


One of the coolest things about this episode is the relationship between Jen and Bruce. As Bruce tries to train his cousin to be a hero, teaching her his methods of control and relaxation – including the breathing trick he learned at the Gracie’s in Rio de Janeiro in 2008 – Jen just manages to control her “monster inside” without much effort. This actually happens in the comics, but the rationale given in the show fits too well with the production’s intended Girl Power imprint.

Jen says she can control her anger more easily than her cousin due to her daily struggles as a woman. Situations such as harassment, undervaluation and prejudice trained her to stay in control or else she would be branded hysterical and out of control which would end her career. The very way Bruce reacts to the fact that she gets along better with the powers that be more easily exemplifies the daily machismo that women everywhere experience.


Much of this first episode takes place on a property on the beaches of Mexico that Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) has built for and with Bruce in the past. This is where Banner trained and was able to bring peace between Bruce and the Hulk, resulting in Endgame’s Professor Hulk.

As he tells his cousin the history of the place, Bruce clarifies that he misses his friend and the other Avengers very much. He also reveals that he and Tony were tired of getting drunk at the house bar and that Stark spoke badly of Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) when they were alone. Along with this we see an inscription of the initials of Bruce Banner and Tony Stark, reinforcing the Bromance of the two from The Avengers (2012).

Return of Ultron?

While exploring the house, Jen eventually finds the head of the android that was Ultron’s first “host” in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). But why is this attracting attention, besides being just an Easter egg?

Well, in the comics, the basic formula for defeating Ultron once and for all was head-butting. As long as she was in one piece, he could transfer her artificial intelligence to another robot or electronic device. And since this isn’t the first time an Ultron head has been shown in the post-Avengers 2 MCU, it remains to be seen if Marvel isn’t plotting a return of the genocidal robot.

In Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Peter finds Ultron’s head in items stolen from the Avengers.

cavirjão america

One of the best jokes in this episode is Jennifer’s fascination with whether or not Captain America died a virgin. In addition to further demonstrating the protagonist’s casualness, who is even too interested in the heroes’ sex lives, this joke is one of the few sexual connotations in the MCU to date, reaffirming that superheroes have relationships too. sexual.

More than that, the episode ends with Hulk revealing that Steve lost his virginity in 1943 while on one of the Army tours, when he was around 23 years old. Crossing this information, fans arrived at Steve’s possible “first time”.

A curious point of this smiling young woman, who had an intense exchange of glances with Steve in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), is that she is interpreted by Laura Haddock, who will play a few years later Meredith Quill , the Star-Lord mother (Chris Pratt) in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. However, they can stop at the theories. It’s been a few years since director James Gunn confirmed that there was no kind of relationship between the two characters.

Fourth Wall

Last but not least, the episode features Jennifer Walters breaking the fourth wall a few times. This should be frequent throughout the series, as it’s one of the character’s most famous traits in the comics. In the final moments, after Jen recounts her origins, the protagonist is seen acting as a lawyer until she witnesses the court being attacked by Titania, who will be the main antagonist of the series from the next episode, causing Jennifer to reveal her She-Hulk version to the world. .

New episodes of She-Hulk: Defender of Heroes debut every Thursday on Disney+.

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