'She-Hulk' may end up being a satiric look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe
The new 'She-Hulk' series may be the perfect opportunity for the MCU to poke a little fun at itself.
One of the many surprise announcements to come out of Marvel’s Phase 4 plans for television series was that of ‘She-Hulk.’ Though she’s been a member of both the Fantastic Four and the Avengers, she’s a lesser-known member of both teams. She’s garnered a popular following of her own, though, as her comic runs have been some of the most unique of the Marvel comics line. With the recent announcement of Jessica Gao as a series writer, it appears that the show is veering away - at least a little - from super-heroics and more into comedic territory. Considering She-Hulk’s own fourth-walk bending adventures in the comics, the show may turn Marvel Studio’s gaze inwards, making ‘She-Hulk’ a satiric look at the MCU as a whole.
There’s been a history of She-Hulk breaking the fourth wall in comics. While she’s not as overt about it as Deadpool, there’s still been a lot of humor drawn from the concept. The most inventive use of it was during a run of She-Hulk written by Dan Slott. The series took advantage of the idea that Marvel sells Marvel comics within the Marvel Comics universe itself, which are more historical records than they are fictional stories. They’re treated as so on the record, in fact, that they count as legal research - She-Hulk will regularly read through Marvel comics looking for legal precedent in the bizarre court cases she takes on.
This will obviously work a little differently for the TV show. Picture a live-action She-Hulk, mean and green, watching ‘Avengers: Endgame’ on Disney+ as she assesses damages for a lawsuit involving getting insurance for alien invasions. In fact, the MCU has gone through enough major events right now for some truly strange legal cases. What happens to people who disappeared during the snap? Do their driver’s licenses still expire? Do they have to change their date of birth on the passports to match their actual age? Who has legal ownership of Stark’s Iron Man suits? The cases in itself give Marvel Studios an opportunity to poke fun at themselves.
Jessica Gao is the perfect writer for such a series. She is most famously known for her work on the ‘Rick and Morty’ series, in particular for her writing on ‘Pickle Rick,’ which won her a Primetime Emmy. Marvel is no stranger to comedy, blending it in with their super-heroics, but this could be Marvel’s first outright comedic show - a welcome break from cosmic punching.
The MCU has been around for over a decade now, and it’s done an impressive amount of world-building. However, there are still a lot of unanswered questions about how exactly the world works - not serious questions, but fun, idle speculation. The MCU is big enough to make fun of itself, now, and ‘She-Hulk’ is the perfect opportunity to get that done.