She-Hulk episode 1 is streaming on Disney Plus right now, and it’s quite possibly the strongest opening for an MCU TV show to date. It’s even better than Ms. Marvel episode 1, which set a high bar a few months ago.
From start to finish, She-Hulk episode 1 feels like the MCU TV shows we want to see from Marvel. That means not being afraid to include Avengers Easter eggs. Unfortunately, Marvel has a habit of avoiding Avengers references as much as possible in its TV shows. That’s not a spoiler, by the way. We know from the trailers and TV ads that we’ll see a couple of Avengers in the show.
But if you want to avoid spoilers, you should check our spoiler-free She-Hulk review instead. That’s because we’ll explain 6 mind-blowing reveals from episode 1 below.
What’s the deal with the spaceship?
We were right on the money a few days ago when analyzing a She-Hulk TV clip. Bruce Banner’s (Mark Ruffalo) conversation with Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) in a car happens early in episode 1. That’s how Jen becomes She-Hulk.
The two crash their car when a “Sakaaran Class-Eight courier craft” appears out of nowhere. Hulk knows that’s what the ship is, and he suspects it came for him. We’ve already noted the spaceship is somewhat of a plot hole for She-Hulk. Because of the ease with which it could locate Bruce Banner and thwart Earth’s defenses. But there’s time to explain that one away.
How does Bruce Banner turn into Smart Hulk and back?
Avengers: Endgame introduced Smart Hulk in the most boring way possible. We heard from him how Bruce Banner spent a lot of time in the lab to perfect the integration between his two alter-egos.
But then we saw Banner with a sling in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. And he had the sling on again in She-Hulk episode 1.
We now know that Banner developed a device he wears on his left hand to switch back and forth between human form and Smart Hulk. That’s another detail that Marvel hinted at in that spoiler-laden TV clip.
Banner tells Jen that he can’t just make a similar device for her. But it’s not like Walters needs one, as she can transform into She-Hulk whenever she wants. She’s Smart She-Hulk, if you will, from the get-go.
She-Hulk’s blood has miraculous powers
The banter between Jen and Bruce is excellent, as the two debate who the better Hulk is early in episode 1. While introducing the Hulk concept to Jen, Bruce reveals she has a different way of handling the gamma rays. After coming in contact with his blood during the accident, she morphed into She-Hulk.
But it turns out that her blood is special. Hulk could heal his right arm entirely and change back into Smart Hulk. That’s quite a formidable resource to have. And Jen’s blood will certainly come into focus in the future.
After all, Ms. Marvel proved the world knows everything about the Avengers. And fans will notice that Smart Hulk is healed.
The hilarious She-Hulk post-credits scene
“Captain America f****!” Jen exclaims in a hilarious post-credits scene after episode 1. That’s after she learned that Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is not a virgin. That’s a conversation that started in the car before the accident that led to her transformation. Maslany, by the way, is a great addition to the MCU cast, and her Jen/Hulk has been incredible so far.
The post-credits scene itself has a great Endgame Easter egg, a reference to Captain America’s ass.
Also, the post-credits scene gives us Hulk talking about Rogers in the present tense. “Steve Rogers is not a virgin,” he says. That means he is not dead. We got the same hints from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. But this time, it’s all stated much more clearly.
Iron Man and the rest of the Avengers
Rogers’ virginity status and ass aren’t the only great Avengers Easter eggs in She-Hulk episode 1.
At one point, Hulk explains to Jen how he used to return to his human form. One way to do it is via Black Widow’s (Scarlett Johansson) lullaby, which is a great nod to a now-dead Avenger.
But episode 1 has even more Avengers references focusing on Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). Hulk’s secret home in Mexico is something that Tony Stark had built for him, including a very expensive lab. This is where Banner transitioned into Smart Hulk.
And it looks like Stark spent quite a lot of time with Banner in Mexico. That included drinking and sulking about Steve Rogers while “helping” Bruce build his bar.
This proves you don’t need expensive cameos to add these Avengers details in Marvel’s shows and strengthen the connections between the various MCU properties. Because we’re not in the days when the Avengers were an unusual novelty in the MCU. They’re now a well-established institution on Earth that has lots of fans, as Ms. Marvel has shown.
She-Hulk episode 1 timeline reveal
We’ve already addressed the place of She-Hulk on the MCU timeline. And we know from the show’s producer that the TV show takes place after Shang-Chi.
But now that it’s streaming on Disney Plus, we understand the timeline even better. Marvel placed She-Hulk between Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel. Marvel went out of its way to avoid mentioning the MCU, so we don’t know when the action in Moon Knight happens. But Ms. Marvel takes place mostly in late 2025.
Hawkeye, which precedes Moon Knight, happens around Christmas 2024, several months after Shang-Chi. Therefore, we expect plenty of action in She-Hulk to take place over the summer of 2025.
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