We all know that She-Hulk is a powerful character with enough strength that allows her to easily break through any kind of wall. But the first episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law allowed us to see She-Hulk breaking through a wall that not even the strongest MCU characters have ever been able to break. Yes, we are talking about the fourth wall, which is essentially the wall between us and the characters in the series. So, how can She-Hulk break the fourth wall?
She-Hulk could break the fourth wall because she often did so in the comics, as this was a quirk that she did before some other MCU characters, including Deadpool. In that regard, this legal comedy needed this fourth-wall-breaking element to be not only funny but also accurate to the source material.
While we did see Deadpool breaking the fourth wall in his movies, She-Hulk breaking the fourth wall is a new concept in the MCU, considering that Jen Walters did it before anyone else. As such, this legal comedy series will only get more entertaining and interesting, with She-Hulk herself doing a lot of talking to the audience. Now, let’s look at how She-Hulk could break the fourth wall.
How Can She-Hulk Break The Fourth Wall In Attorney At Law?
One of the things that aren’t often explored when it comes to movies and shows is the fourth wall, which is essentially the wall between the events happening in the film and the audience watching what is transpiring. This concept, of course, is rooted in the fact that theater actors needed to think that there was a wall between them and the audience so that they could perform without thinking about how the people in front of them were reacting.
Now, in the MCU, we know for a fact that the fourth wall is firmly in place because none of the Marvel Studios characters in the MCU have ever talked to the audience or acted in a way that makes it seem like they are simply actors telling a story. But things changed in the recently-released She-Hulk: Attorney at Law series, which explores the origins and career of Jennifer Walters.
We know for a fact that Jen Walters is She-Hulk, as she acquired this power after some of her cousin Bruce Banner’s blood entered her own bloodstream. As such, she acquired her own Hulk transformation without the side-effect of having to constantly battle against a separate alter ego because she is firmly in control of her transformation.
As She-Hulk, Jen is so strong and is just as strong as her cousin. This means that she could break down any kind of wall with ease. But the thing that makes her extremely special compared to the other MCU characters is the fact that she has the strength to break down the fourth wall. And she did this without even transforming into She-Hulk.
Jen didn’t take too long to break the fourth wall when, in the opening scene, she began talking to the audience to introduce herself and tell her origin story as She-Hulk. Upon breaking the fourth wall, she immediately narrated her story and talked about she turned into a Hulk herself during a road trip accident involving her cousin, Bruce Banner.
During her time on the Mexico beach bar that Bruce built, Jen also spoke to the camera as She-Hulk, to the surprise of her own cousin, who didn’t know what was happening. In that regard, it is clear that only She-Hulk is capable of breaking the fourth wall, as she even surprised Bruce, who has long been one of the mainstays of the MCU. So, how can She-Hulk break the fourth wall?
It was never fully explained how She-Hulk is able to break the fourth wall in Attorney at Law, but the thing is that this has always been one of the recurring themes in her comic book series. While she was created during the early 80s, She-Hulk began breaking the fourth wall in 1989 in John Byrne’s The Sensational She-Hulk. She often spoke to the readers in that comic book series, as her fourth-wall-breaking skills were quite evident in the comics.
Of course, Jessica Gao, the creator of the She-Hulk: Attorney at Law series, wanted to stay true to the comics by giving Jen Walters the same ability to break the fourth wall. And this fits the entire legal comedy theme of the series, as it was clear from the very start that She-Hulk was going to be a comedy show rather than the usual action-adventure theme that MCU projects tend to have.
“It went through a lot of evolutionary steps. A long journey of, like, how much should She-Hulk talk to the camera? Is she talking directly to the audience? Is there another meta element? Is she talking to somebody else, like, that’s more behind the scenes?” Gao explained. “At one point, there was an iteration in the scripts where, instead of really talking directly to the camera, there were, kind of text boxes that were editor’s notes, like the comic books, how there were editor’s notes in comics.”
There was even a point where Jen was supposed to interact with the editor’s notes, but Gao and her team decided to do away with that idea because it was probably already too blatant. Nevertheless, it was still great that She-Hulk: Attorney at Law decided to use the fourth wall theme to make sure that the series would be able to deliver a comedic touch that none of the previous MCU projects have ever had.
Did She-Hulk Break The Fourth Wall Before Deadpool?
When we look at the fourth wall and the ability to break it, we often associate this quirk with Deadpool, who has always been one of the most unapologetic and comedic Marvel Comics characters. Of course, the Deadpool movies, which are yet to be part of the MCU, showcased Deadpool’s ability to break the fourth wall as he often talked to the audience and even made references to real-life movies like the Avengers.
But the thing is that She-Hulk actually broke the fourth wall before Deadpool ever did. That’s because, in the comics, Jen Walters started breaking the fourth wall as early as 1989 in John Byrne’s The Sensational She-Hulk. On the other hand, Deadpool didn’t even make his debut in the comics until 1991.
That means that She-Hulk started breaking the fourth wall before Deadpool was even created. And after Deadpool made his debut in the comics, it took a while before he began breaking the fourth wall and became a comic relief in the Marvel Comics universe.
In that regard, it is clear as day that She-Hulk was one of the very first Marvel Comics characters to ever break the fourth wall, even though this is often associated with Deadpool. This is probably the reason why She-Hulk became so popular that she was able to stand on her own even without relying on the popularity of the Hulk.