Jennifer Walters is breaking through the glass ceiling and the fourth wall. In the season finale of her show, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, she’s unafraid to speak her mind when her story doesn’t go the way she thinks is best. In Episode 9, when a bunch of characters suddenly fall from the sky and a random villain gets Hulk powers, she decides enough is enough.
Her next move is something we’ve never seen in the MCU, but it’s not something completely new — it’s actually a reference to the comics.
She-Hulk’s fourth-wall breaking has been a thing for decades in the comics where she’s often addressed the reader. The Disney+ show did the same thing at least once per episode, but the finale went much further.
Occasionally in the comics, She-Hulk would get so fed up with her story that she’d break down the very format of the comic book. Take, for example, Sensational She-Hulk #5, published in September 1989. In that issue, She-Hulk faces off against a villain named Bong, a bell-headed guy whose evil plan is to... create realistic versions of children’s television. Looking to get away from him, she declares that it’s time to play by her rules, and then bursts through the page to a full-page spread of “BIG BUCKS COMICS” ads — a parody of Marvel ads.
Setting aside the hilarious jokes built into the ads (they’re right, New Mutants really is like X-Men after the ice is melted!) this is almost exactly what happens in the She-Hulk finale. When Jennifer Walters becomes fed up with her story, she decides to leave the entire show.
Walters climbs out of the She-Hulk icon of the Disney+ Menu. From there, she swings her way into the Marvel: Assembled documentary series — and into our world.
It’s a jarring moment, for sure. A smash cut to a streaming menu is a great way for viewers to be concerned they’ve stopped watching the show at all, but it’s actually more in line with She-Hulk’s comic book character than anything we’ve seen before.
She-Hulk’s finale is something only She-Hulk could pull off. She’s the original Marvel rule-breaker (yes, even before Deadpool), and an homage to breaking not only fourth walls but the very fabric of the comic art form is the perfect cherry on the top.
She-Hulk: Attorney At Law Episode 9 is now streaming on Disney+.