'She-Hulk' Finale: How Jen's Fourth Wall Smash Paves The Way For Deadpool's MCU Debut
WARNING: SPOILERS for She-Hulk: Attorney-At-Law 1x09, 'Whose Show Is This?'
Since it's premiere, She-Hulk: Attorney-At-Law has set itself apart as a unique entry in the MCU, giving us a glimpse at everyday life in the MCU through the eyes of a character who just happens to have gained superpowers. However, the show's first season finale, 'Whose Show is This?', throws out the regular MCU formula entirely. When Jen decides she dislikes the path her finale is taking, she smashes the fourth wall, exiting the show entirely and venturing into Marvel Studios in the hope of fixing her issues with the plot.
The move has divided fans. While some have lauded She-Hulk's finale as unique and exciting, others feel the fourth wall smash came right when the 'action' was getting started, and clearly would have preferred a more traditional final battle. However, the finale may have a pay off beyond Jen's story, easing the transition of a fan favourite character from the wider Marvel universe into the MCU: Deadpool, the Merc with a Mouth.
She-Hulk is a regular fourth wall breaker in the comics
Some newer fans, particularly those who have come to the world of Marvel through movies alone, dismissed She-Hulk as copying Deadpool. This is not the case at all. While it is true that breaking the fourth wall has been a major Deadpool trait since his debut in a New Mutants issue from 1991, She-Hulk's penchant for breaking the fourth wall dates back two years earlier, beginning in John Byrne's run on The Sensational She-Hulk in 1989. Also, while Deadpool breaks the fourth wall mostly to speak to the reader, She-Hulk often took things further.
Throughout Byrne's run, She-Hulk breaks the fourth wall in various ways, sometimes talking to the reader, or taking shortcuts to villainous hideouts by crossing over pages of advertisements or smashing the dividing wall between comic panels. If she was particularly upset with a plot development, Jen would tear right through the page to complain to Byrne. In Byrne's final issue on Sensational She-Hulk, Jen exits the book entirely, touring the Marvel Comics Offices with real-life comic editor Renee Witterstaetter in search of a new writer.
How does She-Hulk breaking the MCU's Fourth Wall Help Deadpool?
The cinematic version of Deadpool, played by Ryan Reynolds, currently exists in the Fox-verse, the universe of Fox's X-Men films. As in the comics, Deadpool regularly breaks the fourth wall in his films, making various comments to the audience. In the second film, Deadpool 2, the character makes quite a few jokes referencing MCU characters. When Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, Reynolds was the first Fox-verse actor to sign a new contract with Marvel Studios, with Deadpool slated to make his MCU debut in a new film currently scheduled for release in November, 2024. But how will Deadpool make the transition from the Fox-verse to the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
The answer may lie in She-Hulk's smashing of the fourth wall in her series finale.. more specifically, her description of how she did it.
"We Smash things. Bruce Smashes buildings, I smash fourth walls and bad endings."
Rather than a simple character quirk, Jen describes breaking the fourth wall as being part of the power set she gained when she became a Hulk. Establishing the ability to break the fourth wall as a superpower in the MCU could be very helpful where Deadpool, a fellow fourth wall breaker, is concerned. As things now stand, there is little reason why Deadpool could not simply break out of the Fox-verse, and into the MCU. Such an act would fit with the humour of Deadpool's existing films, and the She-Hulk: Attorney-At-Law finale takes it from a simple joke to a plausible theory.
We can't wait to see how everything pans out in the lead up to Deadpool 3's release in theatres.