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She-Hulk finally answered our biggest question about the Hulk

Published Aug 18th, 2022 9:04PM EDT
Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany) having a drink.
Image: Marvel Studios

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Marvel’s newest MCU show is now streaming on Disney Plus, and She-Hulk has finally joined the rich superhero universe. Episode 1 is enough to make you realize how amazing Tatiana Maslany is both when it comes to playing the hilarious and somewhat dorky Jennifer Walters and the brand new Hulk in town.

But as much as the show is about Jennifer becoming another MCU superhero and embracing this unusual development in her life, She-Hulk episode 1 does deliver an amazing revelation about Bruce Banner/Hulk. Before we explain, you should know that big spoilers follow below.

The mystery of Hulk’s arm

Before the She-Hulk premiere, we could not explain one major Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) mystery that has been lingering since Endgame.

We know Hulk was the only superhero capable of using the Infinity Stones to bring back everyone who died at the end of Infinity War without killing himself in the process. But the exposure to gamma radiation took its toll on Hulk’s nearly indestructible body. Hulk’s right arm was hurt, and he started wearing a sling right after the Avengers Compound battle in Endgame.

Fast forward to Shang-Chi a few months later, and Bruce Banner was still wearing a sling.

A year later, Banner is still in a sling in She-Hulk. The action happens in mid-2025, apparently, so it’s been almost two years since Endgame. But other promos show Smart Hulk looking completely healthy. He’s training She-Hulk while making full use of a seemingly healed arm.

So does She-Hulk take place before Endgame, or is Bruce’s arm healed?

(L-R): Mark Ruffalo as Smart Hulk / Bruce Banner and Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer “Jen” Walters/She-Hulk in Marvel Studios’ She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, exclusively on Disney Plus. Image source: Marvel Studios

She-Hulk’s blood is the answer

She-Hulk episode 1 finally clears the waters. And it all makes sense. It turns out that Banner has developed a new gadget that he wears on his left arm. That’s how he can switch between human form and Smart Hulk. But his right arm is still injured.

However, Hulk’s blood transforms Jennifer into She-Hulk after the accident in episode 1. Banner then studies her blood and discovers that his cousin also has genetic factors allowing her to metabolize gamma radiation. But she does it in a different (better?) way.

Not only is Jen still Jen after transforming into She-Hulk, but she can also control the transformations. Also unique are the properties of her blood. It’s her blood that allowed Banner to synthesize a miraculous drug to fix his arm. And it all happened overnight.

The fact that Hulk destroys Jen’s blood is a tell-tale sign that her blood could be very important down the road. As we’ve learned from previous MCU Phase 4 titles, the world knows a lot about the Avengers. Ms. Marvel made that very clear. And they will soon see that he healed his arm.

That’s to say, Jen’s secret might not remain a secret for too long. The unique properties of her blood, at least when it comes to gamma radiation, might matter to other characters in the future. And the list might include nefarious individuals. Why else insist on Jen’s blood that way in episode 1?

While this is just speculation for She-Hulk’s future, we at least know how Hulk fixed his injury after episode 1. He should be ready for some “smash” down the road.

More Marvel coverage: For more MCU news, visit our Marvel guide.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.