Here's What You Need To Remember About The Abomination's History In The MCU

Warning: Major spoilers ahead for episode 2 of "She-Hulk: Attorney at Law."

Fans of the "She-Hulk" comics will be delighted to finally see the superpowered lawyer on the small screen, as Marvel's "She-Hulk: Attorney at Law"  premiered last week on Disney+. Apart from following Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany), the series also features special appearances from The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Wong (Benedict Wong), among other superheroes. Apart from this, the show also marks the return of a certain gamma-charged green anti-hero. Yes, Marvel's Abomination (Tim Roth), who first appeared in 2008's "The Incredible Hulk" and made a cameo appearance in "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," is back and seems to have changed quite a deal.

Roth reprising his role as Emil Blonsky/Abomination is a pleasant surprise for MCU fans, and it turns out that his "Shang-Chi" cameo came about due to his "She-Hulk" role, not the other way around. As the MCU approaches Phase 4, the franchise is taking steps toward tightening its narrative continuities and loose ends. When it comes to Roth's Abomination, it's been a while since "The Incredible Hulk" came out, so here's a handy refresher that traces the character's arc in the MCU, his comics origins, and how "She-Hulk" integrates his storyline into its core narrative.

How Abomination came into being in the MCU

In Louis Leterrier's "The Incredible Hulk," Croatian spy Emil Blonsky is sent by Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) to infiltrate Bruce Banner's (Edward Norton) research base in Rio de Janeiro. As Blonsky was a veteran soldier with an incredible record, Ross chose him to lead a combat team that would attempt to ambush Banner successfully. After Banner transforms into The Hulk, Blonsky's men are promptly defeated and Blonsky flees from the scene in horror.

Later, on Ross' insistence, Blonsky volunteers as an experimental test subject for the Super Soldier serum, which is expected to grant him enhanced abilities. The experiment succeeds, and Blonsky gains super strength and agility as a result of the serum, which leads him to attack and capture Banner at Culver University. By this point, Blonsky had become obsessed with Hulk's god-like powers, which prompted him to seek out Banner's gamma-irradiated in synthesized form with the Super Soldier serum still running through his veins, Blonsky injects himself with Banner's blood, and this deadly combination paves way for a mutation in the genes. Thus, Abomination is born.

Soon after, Abomination and Hulk engage in an intense battle in Harlem, and the former's unchecked ferocity leads to countless deaths in the area. After a lengthy confrontation, The Hulk defeats Abomination and the latter is taken into custody. That is until he returns in "Shang-Chi," where we see him fight Wong in a battle arena, while Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) and Katy (Awkwafina) look on. How did Abomination end up in the arena? We don't know for sure. It is possible that the MCU's decision to bring back Abomination after years was a way to ease the character back into the franchise. This paves the path for Blonsky's return in "She-Hulk" seamlessly.

Abomination was a menace in the Marvel comics

In Marvel comics history, Abomination was created by Stan Lee and Gil Kane and first appeared in 1967's "Tales to Astonish" #90. Blonsky/Abomination's comics origins are pretty similar to the one explained above, except Lee and Kane characterized him as a KGB spy at the peak of the Cold War. Moreover, the Super Soldier serum aspect of his story is absent in the comics, and Blonsky is transformed into Abomination after being exposed to Gamma radiation.

In terms of appearance, the comics' version of Abomination is scalier and more reptilian, sporting huge ears that stick out rather awkwardly. The huge green monster reappears soon after his first battle with Hulk: this time, he intends to destroy Hulk with one of the latter's foes, the Rhino. Abomination, with Rhino's help, activates a Gamma bomb to destroy the Hulkbuster base, but the plan fails after Hulk beats the duo into a pulp. Then on, after several attempts to rile things up for the sake of it, Abomination appears in the "Atlantis Attacks" storyline, in which he is driven insane and manages to knock out She-Hulk and Spider-Man at the same time.  

Abomination also teams up with Titania in the comics at some point. This is intriguing, as Tatiana makes an appearance in the first episode of "She-Hulk" (played by Jameela Jamil), and she could very well return later to settle a score with Jennifer. While episode 2 presents Blonsky as a reformed man, he might end up teaming up with Tatiana as the series progresses. Circling back to the comics, Abomination spent many years doing all sorts of things: at one point, he battled Namor, fought Mutant Nate Grey, and was defeated by Hulk for the 100th time. 

How She-Hulk integrates Abomination's storyline

Episode 2 of "She-Hulk" opens with Jennifer being tasked with taking Blonsky's case, and she is hesitant to do so due to Abomination's history with Bruce. As "The Incredible Hulk" is mostly forgotten in MCU history to the point that fans were hesitant to consider it canon until Abomination's cameo in "Shang-Chi," it is interesting that "She-Hulk" directly alludes to the events in Leterrier's film. Blonsky telling Jennifer about the battle at Harlem establishes a direct link between the character in the 2008 film and where he stands now. Surprisingly, there's no retconning done here, and Blonsky/Abomination is given the chance to redeem himself. Plus, he genuinely does seem repentant. 

Given the comedic/sitcom-y tone of the show, Abomination's arc from obsessive supervillain to semi-serious, repentant anti-hero makes sense, and Bruce also reveals in the episode that he received a heartfelt apology letter and a haiku from Blonsky. Moreover, as seen in the trailers for "She-Hulk," Wong's involvement in "She-Hulk's" events makes Abomination's presence more interesting. As the two are already acquainted with one another, (courtesy of the fight in "Shang-Chi") the characters might cross paths again in the upcoming episodes. As we are unaware of the kind of relationship they share, it will be intriguing if the show chooses to explore their dynamic further. 

By the end of episode 2, we see Jennifer accepting Blonsky's case, but she is greeted with the grim news of the green monster escaping prison shortly after. Is Abomination's repentance genuine, or is it a ploy to get back at The Hulk, his long-time nemesis? Abomination's arc is still in progress, and it remains to be seen whether he is a friend or a foe to Jennifer Walters.

Episode 2 of "She-Hulk" dropped on August 18, 2022 on Disney+.