She-Hulk Has Teased Its Final Villain. But Who Is Hulk King?
The following story contains spoilers for Episode 7 of She-Hulk: Attorney At Law, titled “The Retreat.”
Episode 7 of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, titled “The Retreat,” is one of the best episodes of any Marvel Cinematic Universe show in the Disney+ era. No, we still haven’t seen Daredevil, and no, Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner hasn’t made his way back from the orbit out of outer space. No—”The Retreat” works in the way that all the best half-hour television sitcom episodes work: telling a highly relatable, self-contained story that makes us laugh, and also helps us see a character for who they are a little bit more—and see some of ourselves in them too.
But “The Retreat” also has some treats for Marvel fans too. We do get to see more of the radically-evolved Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth), now leading his own wellness retreat, with basically no connection to the outside world through either cell service or WiFi. And that turns out to be just what Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany)—who, after a couple seemingly-great dates with Josh, the guy she met in last week’s wedding episode, has the sneaking suspicion that she’s being ghosted—needs.
By the time she’s gotten to the end of the episode, she’s gotten exactly what she needed out from Blonsky and the surprising group of ragtag D-list supervillains hanging out at his retreat. What she really needed was just a little bit of relaxation and perspective—if this guy didn’t want to talk to her anymore, that’s his problem. Sucks for him.
But there turned out to be a bit more to the episode’s journey than the satisfaction of self-improvement.
The end of the episode revealed that Josh was playing the long game with Jen—but with terrible intentions. He wasn’t just trying to take things slow with her, but rather trying to take things slow enough to eventually get close to her and steal her blood for whatever the Intelligencia/whoever hired the Wrecking Crew are trying to do. And, in the closing moments of the episode, he told someone labeled in his phone as “HulkKing” that the job was done. Surely, we’ll see more in the near future.
There aren’t any characters in the Marvel Comics who use the alias of “Hulk King,” so this is an entirely new invention for the MCU. So, who the hell is it? We’ve got some ideas.
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Who is Hulk King in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law?
Option 1: Todd Phelps
Todd, who has been described by actor Jon Bass as “billionaire playboy philanthropist douchebag who wants more than anything to feel like Tony Stark, but comes off as Jon Bass,” has already shown up a couple times in She-Hulk and has been super sketchy each of those times. Remember on his date with She-Hulk that he was asking about just how impenetrable her skin was, even asking if Vibranium could puncture it. Also remember that he’s a client of GLK&H and just seems generally like someone up to no good.
It wouldn’t be the huge villain reveal that people might be hoping for, but it would be one that has been teased and hinted at, and would make sense within the context of the story. What does he want with She-Hulk’s blood? We’ll see, but maybe to turn himself into some sort of superhero.
Option 2: Titania
With the whole misogynistic Intelligencia website angle, they clearly are wanting us to think that the person behind the plot to steal Jen’s blood is a man. But we’ve heard Titania say time and time again that Jen hasn’t heard the last of her, and stealing her blood as a means to elevate her own powers seems like something she would do.
Option 3: The Leader
We haven’t heard from Dr. Samuel Sterns (Tim Blake Nelson) in 14 years, which is quite literally an eternity in the MCU. But it was recently announced that Nelson would be returning to the MCU, with Sterns now in his The Leader form, as the main villain taking on Anthony Mackie‘s Captain America in Captain America: New World Order. So it would be a smart, He Who Remains-esque tease to bring The Leader back in some capacity before the end of She-Hulk.
With The Leader’s savvy as a scientist, it’s also possible that he could be involved and working with someone else on the list, perhaps not wanting the blood for himself but being the man of science helping to execute someone else’s master plan.
Option 4: M.O.D.O.K.
Last seen as a comic lead in the non-canon Hulu series M.O.D.O.K. voiced by Patton Oswalt, M.O.D.O.K. (standing for Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing) is actually one of Marvel’s more sinister villains, and has been rumored to be a part of next year’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. There haven’t really been any teases toward him just yet, but he’s a key member of Intelligencia in the comics, and it could be another He Who Remains-esque tease.
Option 5: Someone Working for Thunderbolt Ross
This would be a stronger guess if actor William Hurt didn’t unfortunately pass away earlier this year, but the show could still introduce someone acting on his behalf. We’re talking about a show based in Hulk lore, and no one is more intertwined with the creation of the Hulk and super soldiers than General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross. He’s responsible, really, for both Bruce Banner and Blonsky becoming what they’ve become (and in the Marvel Comics he himself becomes the Red Hulk).
Obviously, with Hurt’s passing, the MCU will either have to retire or recast the character. But with Thunderbolts—a team named after his character—coming in 2024, something’s gotta give soon. And it might start in She-Hulk.
Evan is the culture editor for Men’s Health, with bylines in The New York Times, MTV News, Brooklyn Magazine, and VICE. He loves weird movies, watches too much TV, and listens to music more often than he doesn’t.
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