Two episodes in, Marvel’s latest Disney Plus series, She-Hulk: Lawyer, is already proving to be a confluence of all things Marvel Cinematic Universe, albeit in the most brutal of ways. As a superhero advocate, Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) encounters the turbulent lives of both heroes and villains, even when she – and the public – least expects it. Even doom scrolling out of boredom can reveal something new about the ever-evolving MCU. Say, a final appearance of one of the most famous mutants ever created.
[Ed. note: The rest of this piece contains mild spoilers for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law episode 2.]
And that’s exactly how Jennifer and Marvel ended up with a dash of X-Men in She-Hulk Episode 2. At the top of the episode, we see the hopeful lawyer scrolling through a bleak list of alternative career paths. But on the side of the story, eagle-eyed viewers can spot a few other news updates from the MCU. “Why there’s a giant statue of a man sticking out of the ocean” is an obvious nod to the end of Eternals, when Sersi’s matter-altering abilities turned Earth’s incubated sky into a gigantic statue of a man sticking out of the ocean. “Man fight with metal claws in bar fight” can only be one thing.
Those familiar with Logan’s incarnations in the comics, animated series, and various Hugh Jackman-led X-Men movies will know (1) Wolverine has adamantium claws, (2) the man loves a bar, and (3) he can never say no to a fight. In fact, the 2000 X-Men The film, which counts MCU mastermind Kevin Feige as an associate producer from when he was Avi Arad’s mentee, introduces Wolverine to a rowdy cage match that eventually escalates into a bar fight.
But is this a clever nod to a now pivotal movie in the comic book movie timeline or an actual admission that some kind of mutant activity is going on in the Marvel movie universe? Consider She-Hulk creator Jessica Gao is yet another Rick and Morty alum has given access to the reference-friendly wealth of knowledge that is the MCU, there’s reason to think it’s just a joke for the #fans. But this isn’t the first time a Marvel series has teased the inclusion of X-Men in the lineup; Mrs. MarvelThe final post-credits scene revealed that Kamala Khan has mutant DNA in addition to magical technology. And then they played the X-Men: The Animated Series theme music.
Well damn it! This is bullying.
There are currently no announced plans for a standalone Wolverine or X-Men movie or TV show in the already packed Marvel Cinematic Universe schedule that runs through 2025. But with D23 on the horizon in September, where rumors suggest that Marvel will release another set of announcements anything seems possible. Feige and his crew are planning a Secret Wars film in three years – and can you do? Secret Wars without ol’ Wolverine?
Anyway, there’s good news for X fans: X Men ’97a continuation of the 1990s animated series headed by Marvel Studios, it is slated to premiere at Disney Plus in the fall of 2023.