Ever since it was first announced back in 2019 that streamer Disney+ would be fielding miniseries set in the mighty Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans have been treated to one startlingly awesome piece of good news after another.
While the initial slate seemed promising enough — including a The Falcon and Winter Soldier team-up, the time-hopping adventures of Loki, and a series centered on Vision and Scarlet Witch which we now know to be an absolute delight — the hits, as they say, just kept coming.
It has become clear that Marvel will be using its Disney+ outings to introduce a ton of new faces to the MCU, with one of those faces being the fourth-wall-breaking, wise-cracking, green visage of Jennifer Walters, also known as the sensational She-Hulk, who will be portrayed by Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany.
She-Hulk is certainly due for her MCU introduction, but with Ruffalo having so successfully endeared himself to audiences — and with the Hulk only ever having gotten one solo film — it’s worth asking why the big guy himself isn’t getting the Disney+ series treatment. Marvel Studios hasn’t issued any kind of official statement on the subject, but we can think of a few pretty good reasons.
The Hulk’s tenure in the MCU is likely coming to a close
The Hulk‘s film rights are famously complicated. Universal Studios has long owned a distribution stake in the character’s solo flicks, which is one reason why 2008’s The Incredible Hulk (in which Banner was portrayed by Edward Norton) never got a sequel.
Mysterious “inside sources” have recently reported (via BGR) that this issue has been resolved, with the Hulk‘s rights finally having reverted back to Marvel — but this is unconfirmed, and even if true, it likely has little to do with the choice not to have the character headline his own series.
She-Hulk is a fan-favorite character in her own right
She-Hulk was introduced in 1980, and throughout that decade, her profile was slowly elevated as she enjoyed her own moderately successful solo series, as well as appearances in issues of The Avengers and Fantastic Four. She really came into her own, however, when the legendary John Byrne, returning to the Marvel fold after a brief stint with DC, took on her relaunched solo book in 1989 (via CBR).
In Byrne‘s hands, She-Hulk’s series became an ongoing satire of comic books themselves — and Jennifer picked up awareness of her own status as a comic book character, regularly breaking the fourth wall to address the reader.
Over the years, the character’s writers have continued to add endearing quirks to her personality, traits with which she’s now strongly associated: a fun-loving attitude, a quality of mercy toward her oft-overmatched opponents, an extremely sharp legal mind, and a tendency to be stymied by real-world types of troubles, to name a few.
Indeed, the Disney+ series has been described as a half-hour legal sitcom (via Screen Rant) — again, starring a whip-smart, justice-obsessed, super-strong, seven-foot-tall green woman, which we can totally get behind.
Marvel’s Disney+ serials are moving toward launching new characters
It’s also worth mentioning that while the first batch of the Disney+ series is focused on legacy MCU characters, a goodly number of the projects announced for the future will not be. Even Hawkeye, which will feature Jeremy Renner‘s Clint Barton, will probably see the most underrated Avenger passing the torch to a young protégé, Hailee Steinfeld‘s Kate Bishop — and the bulk of the serials will center on new characters intended to eventually appear in future films.
So far, aside from She-Hulk, those include Moon Knight, which will star Oscar Isaac as the unhinged antihero, as well as Ms. Marvel, in which newcomer Iman Vellani will star as shape-shifting teenage hero Kamala Khan, and Ironheart, which will see Judas and the Black Messiah’s Dominique Thorne take on the role of teen genius Riri Williams, who looks to carry on Tony Stark‘s legacy.
Other announced series will see established MCU characters anchoring small-screen takes on classic comics storylines which will doubtless add even more new faces to the fold, such as Secret Invasion (which will star Samuel L. Jackson‘s Nick Fury) and Armor Wars (which will see Don Cheadle reprise his role as James “War Machine” Rhodes).