The Marvel Cinematic Universe is headed into some surprising places in the next few years, with new movies and Disney+ exclusive television shows continuing to bring beloved characters to life. Easily one of the most anticipated on that upcoming roster has been Fantastic Four, Marvel Studios' long-gestating take on Marvel's First Family after several underwhelming incarnations from other studios. While a lot is still unknown about Fantastic Four — especially its principal four cast members, who continue to be debated about endlessly on social media — the film is gradually on its way to becoming a reality, with WandaVision's Matt Shakman lined up to direct, and Jeff Kaplan and Ian Springer on deck to write. As we inch closer to Fantastic Four and whatever MCU connections it ends up having, one theory has already popped up among some Marvel fans — that Jennifer Walters / She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany) should factor into the film in some way.
While She-Hulk was obviously not an original member of the Fantastic Four, she has been associated with the team for decades, properly beginning with 1984's Fantastic Four #265. Jen first joined the team following the events of the first Secret Wars, which led to Ben Grimm / The Thing taking a temporary sabbatical and deciding to stay behind on Battleworld. Jen then served as a reserve member of the team for 35 full issues, fighting the likes of Terminus, Doctor Doom, and Mephisto. Jen's tenure with the Fantastic Four profoundly impacted her along the way — it led to the discovery that she (temporarily) was stuck in her Hulk form due to an accidental radiation exposure, and it gave her some lifelong allies in the form of her fellow teammates. In the decades since, she's popped up on the Fantastic Four roster here and there when the narrative suited it, but has clearly remained part of the team's family, with Reed and Sue's kids even regarding her as an aunt.
It's undeniable that Marvel's Fantastic Four movie has a lot of ground to potentially cover, and (unless they wanted to radically reinvent the roster from the get-go) She-Hulk probably wouldn't be a full-fledged member of the team if she appeared in the first movie. But it feels like an absolute missed opportunity to not include Jen in Fantastic Four in some sort of supporting capacity, or even just as a brief cameo. There are oodles of reasons why Jen could cross paths with the Fantastic Four on the big screen, given her life as both a new superhero and as a lawyer for superheroes. In terms of the first label, it's easy to imagine Jen continuing her superheroics and accidentally bumping elbows with either Sue Storm / Invisible Woman (who she has been a close friend of, even recruiting her to join her Lady Liberators team in the 2000s) or The Thing (who she first accidentally teamed up with during a Marvel Two-In-One issue in the 1970s) along the way. Heck, fans were already speculating that The Thing would appear in She-Hulk as a kind of eleventh-hour cameo, but it's pretty safe to assume that that won't be the case.
In terms of the latter label, it would be a delight to see Jen represent any aspect of the Fantastic Four in a legal battle — just imagine how much proverbial red tape surrounds the doomed space flight that gives the group their powers or... well, any of Reed's various science experiments. Matt Murdock / Daredevil's (Charlie Cox) Internet-breaking cameo in Spider-Man: No Way Home already set a precedent for what that kind of legal cameo could look like.
On a grander scale, including She-Hulk in Fantastic Four would help definitively anchor the new movie in the tapestry of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Depending on the exact circumstances of how the Fantastic Four are established in the MCU, the movie will undoubtedly end up raising and answering questions about why the group has seemingly been absent for the past fifteen-plus years of the franchise, and what franchise veterans might (intentionally or unintentionally) already be in their orbit. While there are countless characters that the group has either fought or befriended, She-Hulk would be a comic-accurate, but relatively low-stakes connection to establish across the first movie, saving plenty of other meet-ups for Avengers: Secret Wars and other future films. Having the Fantastic Four cross paths with the She-Hulk would also subtly play off of the novelty of the First Family now being in the MCU, as that kind of live-action crossover would have been unheard of a decade or two ago when Marvel's movie rights were more spread out.
Plus, a Fantastic Four cameo would capitalize on how beloved Maslany's portrayal of Jen has already become among Marvel fans, many of whom have been eager to see exactly what else is in store for her. Sure, there's the possibility of a second season of She-Hulk, as well as countless World War Hulk rumors, and Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo insinuating that Jen will absolutely be part of the Avengers roster in Secret Wars and Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. But in the meantime, why not let Jen have another wacky and cool adventure with some of her longest-running comic allies.
Do you want to see She-Hulk appear in the Fantastic Four movie? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
New episodes of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law will debut Thursdays exclusively on Disney+. If you haven't checked out Disney+ yet and you want to give it a go, you can do that here. Fantastic Four, meanwhile, will be released on November 8, 2024.
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