On Air With Ryan Seacrest

On Air With Ryan Seacrest

On Air With Ryan Seacrest

The biggest news from Marvel’s panel at the San Diego Comic-Con was, as everyone knows by now, the release of the trailer to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. But the panel also had several other highlights. One of those was the trailer for the upcoming Disney+ series, She-Hulk: Attorney At Law. It stars Tatiana Maslany, who many fans know from her incredible performances in Orphan Black. She plays Jennifer Walters, the cousin of Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk. It looks to be one of Marvel’s more humor-based projects. As we briefly see in the trailer, She-Hulk breaks the fourth wall to speak to the audience, as she did in the mid-’80s run of her comic book, The Sensational She-Hulk. By the way, she was doing this long before Marvel’s Deadpool did the same thing in the ’90s.

Like other Disney+ shows Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel, the series will introduce a character that we haven’t seen before. Unlike those shows, her history is more directly tied to what we’ve seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far, and she also has co-stars that we’ve seen before. So, while we’re sure you can probably start She-Hulk: Attorney At Law without too much prior knowledge, here are some shows and films that we recommend checking out first, if you’re in the mood for a solid MCU binge.

  • The Incredible Hulk (2008)

    We’re not including 2003’s Hulk because that film pre-dated the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Also, 2008’s The Incredible Hulk seemed to distance itself from its predecessor. So our Hulk story starts here: Edward Norton plays Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk, and his main enemy is Emil Blonsky, aka the Abomination… who we also see in the She-Hulk trailer. Liv Tyler played Betty Ross, Bruce’s love interest, and the late William Hurt played her father, U.S. Army General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross. We’ve since seen “Thunderbolt” Ross in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, and 2021’s Black Widow. And it’s fair to speculate that Marvel might have planned for his character to have some involvement in the Thunderbolts film, due in 2024, that Marvel also announced at the panel. Tragically, Hurt died in March of this year at the age of 71.

  • The Avengers (2012)

    At the end of The Incredible Hulk, Banner is on the run. At the beginning of The Avengers, he’s trying to live under the radar in Kolkata, India (and he’s now played by Mark Ruffalo). Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) has been dispatched by S.H.I.E.L.D. to retrieve him, and to his surprise, they want Banner, not the Hulk. But, much to Banner’s chagrin, the two can’t be separated. Eventually Banner/Hulk become part of Earth’s mightiest team, which also includes Romanoff, Steve (Captain America) Rodgers, played by Chris Evans, Tony (Iron Man) Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, and Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, played by Jeremy Renner.

  • Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015)

    Age of Ultron moves the Hulk’s story forward quite a bit. We learn at the beginning of the film that Hulk is a functioning member of the Avengers, and that Romanoff is usually able to calm him down enough to get him to revert back to Banner. But on a mission to Johannesburg, the Avengers run into Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) — at the time, she was an ally of Ultron and an enemy of the team. She used her powers to make Banner turn into the Hulk, with more rage than ever. Hulk’s savage rampage was captured on film, and the world saw the destruction caused by the out-of-control Hulk, who was ultimately subdued by Stark in his custom “anti-Hulk” armor. We later learn that Banner and Romanoff are romantically involved, but Banner sees no future in their relationship. He doesn’t see any future for himself at all, if he can’t control the Hulk. After the final battle with Ultron, Hulk commandeers the Avengers’ Quinjet and takes off for parts unknown. Hulk doesn’t appear in the next Avengers adventure — 2016’s Captain America: Civil War — but the Sokovia Accords, which would establish U.N. control of the Avengers, was inspired by Hulk’s rampage in Johannesburg.

  • Doctor Strange (2016)

    Meet Wong (played by Benedict Wong)! He’s a support character here, but he’s looking to become one of the MCU’s MVPs. He appears in the She-Hulk trailer, so you might want to catch up with his story. Wong is a Master of the Mystic Arts, and here, he works for The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and he protects Kamar-Taj’s valuable relics and books.

  • Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

    So, where did Hulk go to, when he left earth? Sakaar, a garbage planet, where he now competes in the Contest of Champions for the Grandmaster (played delightfully by Jeff Goldblum). Guess who else ends up there? Thor! And Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who Hulk smashed back in the first Avengers film. But Hulk hasn’t reverted back to Banner since arriving at the planet years earlier. Thor and Hulk find the trashed Quinjet in a junkyard and luckily, there’s a video of Natasha, which helps him to revert back to Banner. Anyway: Banner, Thor, Loki and Valkyrie (played amazingly by Tessa Thompson) escape Sakaar and get back to Asgard, just in time to save the population from destruction (Banner turns back into the Hulk to help out, obviously). But it was a bit of a frying pan/fire situation. Because at the end of the film, their ship is approached by a much bigger ship…

  • Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

    … which turned out to be Thanos’s ship. Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his minions decimate the Asgardians, killing Loki. With the help of Heimdall (Idris Elba), Hulk is transported to earth, where he lands in Dr. Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum in New York City, where he is eventually reunited with Tony Stark. Soon, Thanos and his team arrive… but in the battle, Banner is unable to revert back to the Hulk. Later on in the film, during the Battle of Wakanda, Banner fights alongside his teammates in Stark’s “Hulkbuster” armor. Marvel threw a bit of a curveball with the above trailer, making it look like Hulk himself fought alongside the Avengers. But at this point, Banner was struggling with a bit of “performance anxiety.” The Hulk refused to come out, no matter how dire the situation.

  • Avengers: Endgame (2019)

    Endgame picks up 23 days after Infinity War‘s Battle of Wakanda. Banner is still unable to turn into the Hulk, and is still using the Hulkbuster armor, when the Avengers travel to find Thanos. After that, the film jumps five years ahead. When we next meet him, Banner and Hulk have merged into a smart, superstrong Hulk.
    “Best of both worlds!” as he points out. But when Hulk/Banner dons the Infinity Gauntlet in the film’s final act, the snap damages his right arm. Later in the film, his right arm is in a sling. A crucial moment in Endgame comes when Dr. Strange’s former mentor The Endless One (Tilda Swinton) explains the concept of the mutliverse to Banner; this is a point which is going to affect the MCU moving forward, and we’ve already seen this in Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. (See also the Disney+ series Loki and What If…? for more on the multiverse).

  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

    Wong makes a guest appearance in the film, as does the Abomination. The two are battling, fight-club style, in a cage, at a club in Macau that Xu Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) and Katy (Awkwafina) traveled to. After the fight, Wong appears to take the Abomination to a prison: maybe it’s The Raft, where the Avengers were imprisoned during Captain America: Civil War. But it also matches the cell that we see him in in the She-Hulk trailer.

    Then, during the post credits scene, Wong interrupts Shang-Chi and Katy’s dinner, transporting them to the Sanctum Sanctorum, where he’s communicating with Carol (Captain Marvel) Danvers (Brie Larson) and Banner, who is in human form, with his right arm in a sling. When in the MCU timeline does this film take place? There’s been some debate and Marvel hasn’t quite said. But due to Banner’s arm being in a sling, we’re going to say that it’s post-Endgame, and given that Danvers’ hair is considerably longer than it was in Endgame, it could be a few years after.

  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2022)

    There are two important cameos here: Wong and Matt Murdock, played by Charlie Cox. Wong is only seen briefly in Dr. Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum, before transporting somewhere else – some fans think he was going to Macau, where we saw him fighting the Abomination in Shang-Chi.

    The bigger cameo was Murdock. Murdock, as Marvel fans know, is Daredevil, and Cox played that role in the Netflix Daredevil series, which lasted three seasons (and also in the Defenders one-off series). Fans had debated for a long time whether or not the Netflix shows were part of the MCU’s “canon.” The week before Spider-Man: Far From Home was released, we saw Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin from the Netflix series, in the Disney+ show Hawkeye, delighting fans. Cox’s brief cameo, as Murdock, was the second Netflix sighting in the MCU. And we saw Cox’s Daredevil (in a slightly different costume) in the She-Hulk trailer. Are Murdock and Fisk the same ones that we saw in the Netflix series, or are they variants? Time will tell.

  • Dr. Strange In The Multiverse of Madness (2022)

    The Defenders https://youtu.be/aWzlQ2N6qqg

    Wong, as always, battled alongside Doctor Strange, in a complicated multiverse adventure.

  • Bonus: Daredevil's Netflix series

    As we mentioned, we don’t know if the Matt Murdock/Daredevil that we saw in Spider-Man: No Way Home and who appeared in the She-Hulk trailer is the exact same one from the Netflix series, but if you want to dive deeper, that was a pretty great show. We know we’re going to see more of Murdock: he’s also going to appear in the upcoming Disney+ series Echo and he has his own series coming as well. And here’s hoping that he’ll bring some more of the Netflix characters with him: Krysten Ritter’s Jessica Jones, Mike Colter’s Luke Cage and Jon Bernthal’s Frank (The Punisher) Castle, as well as Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple, Elodie Yung’s Elektra and a few others. The Netflix series often dealt with much darker topics than what we normally see in the MCU (including alcholism, sexual abuse and PTSD), so it remains to be seen how comfortable Disney will be with some of those characters and storylines. By the way, you can watch all of the former Netflix series on Disney+. If you want to go in order, start with DD’s first season from 2015, followed by 2016’s season 2. From there, go to 2017’s The Defenders, which saw Murdock teaming up with Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist (played by Finn Jones). That leads into 2018’s DD season three, the last time we saw Murdock… until Spider-Man: No Way Home..

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