The following contains spoilers for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Season 1, Episode 2, “Superhuman Law,” now streaming on Disney+.
A highly anticipated component of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law was how the show would incorporate a repentant Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth). Many were surprised to see his upgraded, comics-faithful Abomination in the Shang-Chi solo movie, especially because it didn’t seem like he was a villain anymore. In fact, the way he was hustling at the Macau fight club with Wong, Emil seemed slightly more trustworthy now.
Still, there was a sliver of hope he’d hate Bruce Banner and the Hulk, possibly wanting a shot at revenge after getting beat down in The Incredible Hulk. Well, closure has finally been provided on their rift, confirming if they’ve still got beef. And sadly, it’s not something fans of the rivalry in the books would like, not to mention it’s wasting potential for another massive brawl.
Emil’s role on the show was tied to Jen’s new job at GLK&H where she became employed in the Superhuman Law Division. Her first task was to get Emil freed after he claimed the super-soldier serum messed with his mind, and the government was guilty of weaponizing him under the auspices of being the new Captain America. As such, Jen took up the case, thinking the more Zen, haiku-writing Emil was worth redeeming.
Bruce later confirmed he got letters from Emil from prison, and that they did, in fact, bury the hatchet. It was a bombshell moment, as many suspected Emil was putting on a show, pretending to be good and faking how all he wanted was to meet his pen pal lovers on the estate they bought for him. Well, it turns out it’s all true; he and Hulk are over their feud.
It’s a shame because The Incredible Hulk‘s brawl was one of the most badass sequences in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The action spectacle was off the charts, not just because it was a long scrap, but due to how destructive this rampaging clash of the titans was. Sure, the likes of the Chitauri, Thor, the Ultron bots, Surtur and even Thanos himself gave Hulk a good fight, but the Abomination one was more special as it was such a personal vendetta.
Fans would have really liked to see the new Abomination tussle with this Smart Hulk, given both have embraced their human sides more. It could have added more character and personality to their rivalry, plus they may have exhibited new moves due to their evolving hatred of each other. The advancement in CGI and VFX also would have really improved what was done before, possibly recreating their iconic battles from the lore.
Instead, the MCU chose the pacifist route, and the thing is, even if Emil gets out of hand soon, Hulk’s pretty busy off-world. It looks like Bruce will indeed be exploring his relationship with Sakaar, with Emil out of his mind. Ultimately, it’s bittersweet this dynamic has been removed from Hulk’s future for now, but if Abomination does act up, at least Jen would be equipped to substitute in as the more superior Hulk to take Abomination down, making her cousin even prouder.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law streams Thursdays on Disney+.