Attorney at Law

She-Hulk Episode 2 may have just subtly set up Thunderbolts

Who exactly are your “seven soulmates,” Emil?

The series may be Marvel’s silliest to date, but that doesn’t mean She-Hulk: Attorney at Law isn’t an important new entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

As a matter of fact, not only is the new Disney+ series currently introducing MCU viewers to Tatiana Maslany’s Jennifer Walters, but several rumors suggest that She-Hulk’s Sakaaran mystery may end up directly leading into Marvel’s long-rumored World War Hulk adaptation.

In its second episode, She-Hulk brings back one of the MCU’s earliest forgotten villains in the form of Tim Roth’s Emil Blonsky/The Abomination. Roth’s Emil only has one scene in She-Hulk Episode 2, but throughout his first meeting with Maslany’s Jen, the former MCU antagonist makes a strong case for why he should be released from prison.

Unfortunately, there’s reason to believe that The Abomination may not actually be the reformed villain that he so fervently claims to be.

Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky/The Abomination in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Episode 2.Marvel Studios

Emil’s Pen Pal Program — During his sole scene in She-Hulk Episode 2, Emil Blonsky offers a brief but necessary rundown of his actions in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, which landed him the prison sentence that he is still serving in the MCU. Both before and after doing so, Emil also claims that he has given up his old, villainous ways and says that he simply wants to live the peaceful life outside of prison that he believes he deserves.

In specific, Emil mentions that he wants to “start a new life” with the “seven soulmates” that he’s met through his prion’s “pen pal program.” Roth’s Incredible Hulk villain, notably, references his so-called seven soulmates not just once but twice in She-Hulk Episode 2. However, he never actually reveals the identities of his seven pen pals.

If one theory is to be believed, that’s because they may be the other members of the MCU’s Thunderbolts.

The Thunderbolts are coming to the MCU in 2024.Marvel Studios

Assembling The Thunderbolts — During its San Diego Comic-Con panel in July, Marvel Studios confirmed that Thunderbolts will be the final installment of Phase 5 of the MCU. The highly anticipated film is expected to debut the MCU’s first ever version of The Thunderbolts. In the comics, the Thunderbolts is a team comprised of various Marvel villains and anti-heroes who are brought together by none other than Baron Zemo.

As of this writing, Marvel has not yet announced which MCU characters will appear in Thunderbolts. However, it has been heavily rumored that the team will be formed and led by Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Valentina Allegra de Fontaine.

Additionally, early rumors and leaks have suggested that the established MCU characters being considered for the film include John Walker (Wyatt Russell), Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko), Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl), Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), Titania (Jameela Jamil), and Tim Roth’s Emil Blonsky.

In other words, previous Thunderbolts rumors have listed Roth’s Emil, as well as seven other MCU villains/anti-heroes, as being in consideration for the Phase 5 film’s core lineup. Consequently, while it’s unclear right now which characters will actually appear in Thunderbolts, the possibility that Emil’s “seven soulmates” are, indeed, the other members of the MCU’s forthcoming anti-hero team doesn’t seem outlandish.

The Abomination briefly appeared in last year’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.Marvel Studios

The Inverse Analysis — Considering just how tongue-in-cheek and irreverent She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has been up to this point, it is entirely possible that Emil Blonsky’s “seven soulmates” really will end up being nothing more than a bunch of admirers he’s met through his pen pal correspondence. A reveal like that would, at least, be in keeping with She-Hulk’s established tone.

However, it’s also becoming increasingly clear that She-Hulk: Attorney at Law isn’t going to be as inconsequential of an MCU title as fans had previously expected it to be. As a result, it wouldn’t be surprising if it turns out that She-Hulk Episode 2 really did just subtly set up The Abomination’s rumored role in Thunderbolts.

New episodes of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law premiere Thursdays on Disney+.

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