Looking at the upcoming Disney+ show She-Hulk, casual fans may expect nothing but a genderswapped Hulk. However, despite sharing aesthetic similarities, the two characters could hardly be more different. While Ryan Reynolds’ fourth-wall-breaking Deadpool joined the MCU, Jennifer Walters, AKA She-Hulk, shattered the fourth wall years before Deadpool even entered the comics.
Jennifer Walters, strong enough to break the fourth wall
Deadpool’s antics of abusing the comic and film medium to help him through situations are widely known. Lesser-known is that he was not the first Marvel character to do so.
Jennifer Walters entered the Marvel comics as Bruce Banner’s cousin. After a blood transfusion, she transformed into the savage She-Hulk. However, the ‘savage’ part did not remain for long.
Shifting names to become the ‘sensational’ She-Hulk, a new angle came in the form of the titular character breaking the fourth wall.
Bruce Banner grappled to control his rage and the Hulk as something of an entirely separate consciousness. Jennifer Walters and She-Hulk, however, have remained level-headed for much of their existence.
As level-headed as a fourth-wall-breaking character can be.
From tearing through the pages to cracking jokes about oweing a costume change to censorship from the Comics Code Authority, the She-Hulk comics tended to be written as a humor title.
Over the years, She-Hulk backed off the self-awareness, but never lost it, saying she left that stuff to Deadpool nowadays. Whether or not She-Hulk will similarly leave the fourth-wall breaks to Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is still to be seen.
Jennifer Walters in the courtroom
A popular trope of addressing the audience in political and legal shows appeared over the past few years. Frank Underwood’s character in House of Cards constantly cued the audience in on his plans, intentions, and thoughts.
What does this have to do with She-Hulk? Well, Jennifer Walters works as a lawyer.
The Direct confirmed that She-Hulk will break the fourth wall in the Disney+ series. With the hero regularly dealing with legal drama (often opposite of Matt Murdock’s Daredevil), a technique similar to House of Cards is, well, in the cards.
With Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany set to play the titular character, audiences can expect her to chat with them multiple times through the series.
A totally different Hulk
Jennifer Walters is far more than a female Hulk. Longtime fans of the character are excited to see how she is adapted for Disney+.
With the Hulk’s character arc largely wrapped after the events of Avengers: Endgame, now seems like the perfect time for She-Hulk to step in as the Avenger’s brawn.
More than just an intelligent character, her legal expertise and irritable arguments with her creators and narrators promise a fun new addition to the MCU.
Cast as the villain Titania, The Good Place’s Jameela Jamil stars opposite Maslany’s She-Hulk. Hopefully, She-Hulk exploits the fourth wall for entirely unique and borderline surreal fights before possibly passing the buck to Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool.