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'She-Hulk' head writer on the 'possibility' set up by that Bruce Banner reveal
What's Bruce Banner up to out there?
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is, as the title suggests, mostly focused on the story of its lead, Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) and how she adjusts to life as the second Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But that doesn't mean the show can't have a little extra fun with the original Hulk along the way.
**SPOILER WARNING! Spoilers for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Episode 2, "Superhuman Law" below!**
We've known for a very long time that Mark Ruffalo would return as Bruce Banner/The Hulk in the Disney+ series, and in Episode 1 we saw him acting as Jen's mentor in the wake of her transformation, doing his best to teach her the art of balance even as Jen herself just wanted to get back to her life and career in Los Angeles. In Episode 2, Jen does exactly that, while Bruce heads off in the background of the episode to investigate that Sakaaran spacecraft that caused the car accident which set off the whole She-Hulk situation in the first place.
During a phone call with Jen, we learn that Bruce has not just investigated the Sakaaran ship's intentions, but boarded a Sakaaran vessel to head out into the cosmos. Though he didn't tell Jen where he was going, Bruce did note, "I've got some things I've gotta take care of," as the ship zipped away into space.
So, what's Bruce taking care of out there? Sakaar, remember, is the planet where he spent years as a prized fighting champion before the events of Thor: Ragnarok, in a nod to the Planet Hulk storyline of the comics. That would suggest some kind of follow-up to that story similar to World War Hulk, the comic book event in which an angry Hulk returned to Earth and forced members of the Illuminati to fight in his own string of gladiatorial matches in Madison Square Garden as revenge for their mistreatment of him. Obviously, the Smart Hulk of the current MCU is leading a rather different life than the comic book Hulk who emerged in the World War Hulk era, but there is a sense of unfinished business on Sakaar, and She-Hulk showrunner Jessica Gao explained that mining that served a dual purpose for the show.
“A big part of it is [Mark] did what he came to do on the show, and we wanted to make sure that people knew, ‘Don’t expect him to be in every episode from here on out,'" Gao told TV Line. “But also, I think it kind of opens up the possibility, if Marvel chooses to, to do something with that, to pick up that story. If they wanted.”
There are plenty of possibilities lurking out in the stars for the Hulk, and it's possible that Gao is simply playing coy about some late-stage reveal in the series that will set up something new for Bruce Banner in the coming years. Remember, Smart Hulk was also present at the end of Shang-Chi to discuss that mysterious signal going out into space, so it's not like there aren't other loose ends to pick up here. Still, it's also possible that whatever's going on with Hulk at this point is beyond Gao's story with She-Hulk, and that we won't know what's next until Kevin Feige steps out onto a stage somewhere and tell us. Either way, it's worth keeping an eye on.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law airs Thursdays on Disney+.