Everyone needs a hobby. For Augustus “Pug” Pugliese, played by Josh Segarra in She-Hulk: Attorney At Law, collecting sneakers is how he spends his GLK&H paychecks. But in the episode’s credits, Pug’s collection hints at more heroes lurking in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Minor spoilers for She-Hulk: Attorney At Law ahead.
In the fifth episode of She-Hulk, Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) goes from attorney to client when she’s sued by superpowered influencer Titania (Jameela Jamil) for infringement on her “She-Hulk” brand.
The B-plot for the episode has Jennifer consult with an ultra-exclusive costume designer, Luke Jacobson (Griffin Matthews), who, despite his cynicism, agrees to make her a suit that adapts to She-Hulk’s physique. But Jennifer only meets Luke after her best friend, Nikki (Ginger Gonzaga), seeks out Pug’s “drip broker,” who has hooked Pug up on some “pretty rare limited editions.”
Sadly, She-Hulk doesn’t show Pug’s collection in the flesh. But the art in the credits provides viewers a glimpse at Pug’s shoe closet, and some of the pieces seem to confirm a wider cast of heroes in the MCU than what’s been officially announced.
While fans may have been disappointed at the lack of X-Men and Deadpool announcements at the recent D23 convention, She-Hulk is here to pick up the slack and assure fans that these characters do, in fact, have a place in the MCU. It’s just not with the Avengers yet, but in a lawyer’s sneaker closet.
New Marvel heroes confirmed (by Pug’s sneakers)
At the 25:31 mark, the credits of She-Hulk show a proud Pug showing off his “Iron Man Threes” to a flabbergasted Nikki, who isn’t quite wrapping her head around sneaker culture.
Some of the sneakers sport either generic designs or looks based on obvious MCU icons, like Spider-Man, Hawkeye, Black Panther, and Captain America. But there are a few pieces in Pug’s collection that are more revealing. First, here’s a look at what Pug keeps in stock.
And here are all the ones we can identify, from the obvious to the more ambiguous.
Obviously, sneakers modeled after the likenesses of Deadpool, Cyclops, Nova, and Ghost Rider are the most intriguing.
The film rights to Deadpool and the X-Men are under Marvel’s control again thanks to Disney’s historic purchase of 20th Century Fox, which produced the X-Men and Deadpool franchises. Disney is taking its time with a new X-Men film, however, leaving fans with only hints at the future arrival of mutants.
Deadpool is a similar story, although Ryan Reynolds has made it clear a third Deadpool is on the way from Marvel Studios. A script was originally commissioned from Bob’s Burgers writers Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin, but in March 2022, it was reported that original Deadpool scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have a new draft that will be directed by Shawn Levy, of Free Guy and the Netflix sci-fi flick The Adam Project.
The other two characters, Nova and Ghost Rider, are arguably already part of the MCU, just not in any major way. While Nova as an individual superhero hasn’t debuted, the Nova Corps was a major fixture in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. In March 2022, Deadline reported that Marvel Studios is proceeding with a Nova project, though it’s unclear whether it’ll be a feature film or a Disney+ release.
Ghost Rider has appeared in the MCU, in the fourth season of the ABC television series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The character was originally going to have a Hulu series, but that project was canceled amid the reshuffling of Marvel Television into Marvel Studios. Agents’ canonical status is now in question, however, and this will just add fuel to the skull fire.
These She-Hulk drawings are little more than fun Easter eggs, not outright confirmation that Deadpool and the X-Men “exist” in the MCU. Still, every little reference stokes the fires, and Secret Wars is on the horizon. Who knows what the MCU will look like then?
She-Hulk: Attorney At Law streams new episodes Thursdays on Disney+.