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She-Hulk: Attorney at Law gives us a peek into an MCU that actually talks about other events in the MCU

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law references the rest of the MCU more than any other MCU installment

Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk facing Jennifer Walters in a glass case
Image credit: Disney+

One of the primary characteristics of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that, well, it's a universe. The core concept of the whole thing is that plot points can cross over from film to film and that subsequently, one story can affect another story. However, over the course of the first three and a half phases of the MCU, there seems to have been an unspoken rule that if the rest of the MCU isn't directly applicable to the plot of the story currently being told, it is pretty much ignored (unless it's used for a joke). This has been the overall trend to the point that any reference to the MCU has been kind of weird and clunky because it stands out on its own-- remember when Ant-Man said, "I think our first move should be calling the Avengers"?

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Disney+'s new self-referential comedy seems to be diving into the potential of recognizing that the rest of the MCU exists, even when it's not directly affecting the plot, and it does it in a way that seems pretty realistic.

Bruce Banner plays a major role in the first episode, and since he's friends with a bunch of in-universe celebrities, it makes sense that his cousin Jennifer Walters (AKA She-Hulk) would want to gossip about them. While some of that conversation is played for a joke, there are other mentions of Bruce's history with the Avengers and what it means to who he is now which stands out a little compared to what has come before.

In a way, it kind of feels like this sort of crossover is how the MCU always should have been, but its also easy to see how they could have easily gone overboard with the obvious route. As new episodes get released, we'll see how the show continues to handle this sort of in-universe reference, and as Phase Four wraps up, we'll also see if this is a marker of a new trend for the MCU being a little more integrated.

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law debuts August 18 on Disney+'s, with weekly episodes airing Thursdays through October 13.

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law - Everything you need (and want) to know before the Disney+ show.

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