The Marvel Cinematic Universe dipped its toes into the world of episodic television with WandaVision. It continued the trend with The Falcon and The Winter Soldier and Loki. Now, Phase 4 of the MCU is going to continue on the small screen with She-Hulk.
The show will introduce Bruce Banner’s cousin Jennifer Walters into the MCU. It’s currently slated to be a legal comedy and will have ten half-hour episodes starring Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany. The series is said to feature multiple villains, but the main villain will be played by The Good Place star Jameela Jamil. She will portray Titania, She-Hulk’s arch-nemesis.
Along with her, Tim Roth’s Abomination has been confirmed to return in the series as well. Recent reports also indicate that Avengers villains The Wrecking Group will be showing up too. Now, nothing more than this has been released about this Disney+ comedy series yet, but we have learned that the series will do something that hasn’t been done strictly in the MCU.
Marvel Studios’ Disney+ series She-Hulk will have multiple instances of its protagonist Jennifer Walters breaking the fourth wall. Now, we know that that the one character who generally breaks fourth walls is Deadpool. But note that She-Hulk isn’t going to copy anything from the aforementioned hero.
In fact, She-Hulk is known for breaking the fourth wall in her own comics. Also, within Marvel Comics, Deadpool didn’t use this comedic technique till the 27th issue of his 1997 comicbook run. Whereas She-Hulk had used the technique about a decade before.
One example of this wall breaking will be the fact that she will acknowledge that she is a character who exists within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But that’s not all. Rumours are that Walters will interact with multiple real-world celebrities on her show. So there could be some surprising cameos. Right now, we don’t know whether there will be an in-universe explanation for her breaking the fourth wall.
But if the show does address the fourth wall breaking, then they will surely find a clever way of doing it. Like how WandaVision’s sitcom eras were explained by Wanda Maximoff’s grief-derived Hex. But it’s also possible that the audience interactions will continue unexplained, just like how it was done in the Deadpool movies released in 2016 and 2018.
However, we should mention that official Marvel and Disney sources haven’t confirmed this.
We know that She-Hulk’s fourth-wall-breaking technique isn’t new. After all, we have seen it with Deadpool before. But it will certainly be new for a show that’s strictly based in the MCU for the first time.
Kevin Feige and Co surely looked towards old She-Hulk comic issues for inspiration. After all, in previous interviews, Feige had mentioned that the 1989 Sensational She-Hulk run by John Byrne will influence the series a lot. This is cause her fourth wall breaking has generally been phased out in the last decade or so.
Note that Bryne’s run was the very first time that She-Hulk broke the fourth wall. Also, these little details help explain how the show will be a legal comedy. However, we still expect the show to have the blockbuster moments that Marvel is famous for, particularly in the climactic episodes.
Also, Marvel embracing the fourth wall breaking tactic should calm the fears of Deadpool fans who thought that Marvel might remove that aspect of the Merc with a mouth. Instead, it’s interesting that Marvel Studios appear to be diversifying their storytelling forms after the Infinity Saga.
Now, real-world people making appearances in the MCU isn’t a new concept. After all, news anchors like Pat Kiernan and Bill O’Reilly have starred in Marvel movies. Also, tech industrialists like Larry Ellison and Elon Musk have both popped up in Iron Man 2.
However, we should mention that billionaire CEO Tony Stark meeting other tech industrialists and celebrities isn’t eyebrow-raising. But lawyer Jennifer Walters meeting A-list celebs might be a little difficult to explain. But it can surely be done if she is a celebrity lawyer and takes on cases of famous people.
Also, in the comics, it has been established that Marvel Comics exists within the real universe and acts as a retelling of the brave acts of its superheroes. In the She-Hulk comics, this has been used in superhuman court cases as evidence. If Marvel Studios uses this idea, then they could use their movies and series to be meta within the medium.
This could also help them explain the celebrity cameos away with appearances from the people behind the comics, series, films, etc.
In past She-Hulk comics, the superheroine was aware of the fact that she is in fact a comicbook character. In fact, she occasionally teared up the pages of her own comics and argued with John Byrne himself. In fact, in the last issue of Bryne’s run, it was written that the comic’s editor, Renée Witterstaetter kidnapped the writer as Jennifer and she went on to find his replacement.
So if Marvel Studios incorporates these comedic meta elements that made Byrne’s run so iconic, then She-Hulk might end up being a great and unique show.
She-Hulk will premiere exclusively on Disney+ in 2022.
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