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She-Hulk will help MCU Phase 4’s Iron Man Crimes

‘She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’ has taken on the task of rehabilitating Tony Stark and creating a new identity.

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Spoilers for the pilot episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law follow.

Numerous aspects of Marvel’s She-Hulk: Attorney at Law will affect the MCU as a whole, but the most significant will be the way in which the crime committed by Iron Man in Phase 4 is rectified. She-pilot Hulk’s features Bruce Banner prominently, making it possible to reference Tony Stark’s heritage in a way that the rest of the MCU’s Phase 4 hasn’t. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is the first show in Phase 4 to accurately portray Tony Stark’s impact on his friends and family.

In the Marvel Comics series She-Hulk, lawyer Jennifer Walters transforms into the eponymous green heroine after unknowingly ingesting her cousin Bruce Banner’s (the Incredible Hulk) blood. In spite of the fact that Jennifer appears to have more command over her Hulk persona than her cousin, Bruce believes that Jen needs to spend some time to train, and therefore the first episode of She-Hulk, “A Normal Amount of Rage,” focuses mostly on the dynamics between Jennifer and Bruce. Several voids in the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon are filled in during these sessions, including Hulk’s pre-Thor: Ragnarok activities, Smart Hulk’s origin story, and Bruce Banner’s return to human form. But Bruce’s bond with Tony Stark is the central subject of She-Hulk.

Several films in Phase 4 pay tribute to Tony Stark, with The Falcon and The Winter Soldier noting that Stark funded the Avengers and provided technical assistance to Sam Wilson, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings using Trevor Slattery from Iron Man 3 to make a reference to the first film. The majority of Iron Man’s mentions in Phase 4 have been made as comedic relief or as oversimplified interpretations of MCU backstory. Relationships Iron Man had with many of these characters have been left unexplored until She-Hulk. To rectify this problem with Iron Man, She-Hulk has Bruce recollect about his time with Tony, specifically the time they spent in Mexico constructing Bruce’s lab. It’s touching, but it keeps true to Tony Stark’s nature by highlighting his contributions to the story (building the bar while Tony just drank the alcohol). She-Hulk makes up for Phase 4’s major Iron Man flaw by focusing on Tony as a person, investigating his relationships with others and the effect he had on his teammates.

The Meaning of Tony Stark’s Death in Hulk’s Life

Although it wasn’t explored extensively in the films, Bruce was Tony’s closest buddy on the squad, making his death especially hard on Bruce. Bruce and Tony are more likely to click as friends because they are both brilliant scientists than a Norse god or a man from the 1940s would be. She-Hulk reveals that after Captain America: Civil War, Tony told Bruce he was Hulk’s rival for Steve Rogers’ affections, demonstrating the trust that existed between the two men. The two shared a special connection due to Iron Man’s realization that Bruce wasn’t a monster and belief that he might change, which led to Tony constructing the lab for Bruce to learn to manage Hulk. Because of Tony’s assistance, Bruce was able to develop his intelligence and become the Smart Hulk; thus, Bruce was profoundly affected by Tony’s death.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s She-Hulk follows in the emotional footsteps of Spider-Man: Far From Home to explore the impact of Iron Man’s death on the Avengers who knew and cared about him in a way that Phase 4 has not yet done. This show does more than any other MCU production to celebrate Iron Man’s legacy by exploring Bruce’s special emotional bond with Tony. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is rightfully correcting Phase 4’s terrible oversight in not include Tony Stark up until this point.

New episodes of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law air. Every Thursday night only on Disney+

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