She-Hulk Just Set Up A Hulk Solo Movie (Maybe)

Spoilers for episode 2 of "She-Hulk: Attorney At Law" incoming!

Throughout the first two episodes of "She-Hulk," there's been a certain Hulk-sized elephant in the room that needed to be addressed. As much as the new Disney+ series is meant to introduce Tatiana Maslany's Jennifer Walters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (along with a few other familiar faces), it's proven somewhat difficult to escape the large shadow cast by Mark Ruffalo's definitive take on the big guy since his first appearance in 2012's "The Avengers." That Bruce Banner was featured so prominently in the premiere episode could've felt like a mistake, but thankfully his dynamic with Jen quickly won over hearts and minds. Nevertheless, it's clear Banner would have to retreat to the sidelines if She-Hulk is ever going to stand on her own.

The solution episode 2 offers not only accomplishes that goal, but may have set up Ruffalo's Hulk for an exciting reappearance down the road. In an interview with TVLine, series head writer Jessica Gao addressed the decision to send Smart Hulk on some sort of mysterious journey into space on board the same Sakaaran spaceship that caused Jen's car accident in the premiere:

"A big part of it is [Mark] did what he came to do on the show, and we wanted to make sure that people knew, 'Don't expect him to be in every episode from here on out.' But also, I think it kind of opens up the possibility, if Marvel chooses to, to do something with that, to pick up that story. If they wanted."

Hulk solo film, anyone?

Those who've been following along since the MCU first came into being in 2008 are probably aware of the complicated rights issues with Universal Studios that have prevented Marvel from releasing another Hulk-centric film since the same year's "The Incredible Hulk." The superhero studio has found a loophole by merely featuring the rage-monster as a supporting character in various other movies: "The Avengers" films and, perhaps most notably, "Thor: Ragnarok." Stranded on the planet Sakaar in his Hulk form for years, his buddy comedy antics with Chris Hemsworth's Thor reinvigorated audience interest in seeing Ruffalo potentially lead a "Hulk" film of his own for the very first time.

The TVLine article speculates that the development in "She-Hulk" could signal that Marvel has or is about to resolve its distribution woes with Universal in the coming years, potentially leading to a "World War Hulk" film — a famous storyline from the comics that has always felt ripe for adaptation on the big screen — that has been rumored for years and recently picked up steam again. Given how hands-on Kevin Feige has always been (and particularly with "She-Hulk"), it's hard to imagine that the idea of sending Hulk on some cosmic mission wasn't thoroughly vetted beforehand. While Marvel has avoided following up on plot threads before that simply didn't work (remember when Abomination was going to be recruited to the Avengers?), it's only natural to assume this Hulk tease stands a higher chance of paying off sometime down the line.

Until then, new episodes of "She-Hulk: Attorney At Law" are available to stream on Disney+ every Thursday.