Why was Hulk just written out of ‘She-Hulk: Attorney at Law?’

Smart Hulk in She-Hulk Attorney at Law
Image via Disney Plus

Warning: This article contains spoilers for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law episode two.

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law‘s second episode might have been five minutes long (or, at least, it felt like it), but it still managed to squeeze a lot into its tiny runtime. Abomination returned, for one, explaining his Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings cameo and potentially setting up the Thunderbolts to boot. But the biggest and most shocking development has to be the revelation of Bruce’s whereabouts.

Fans have been curious about the Sakaaran spaceship from the first episode. After the ship triggered the fateful car crash that led to Jennifer Walters becoming She-Hulk, Bruce explained that the Sakaarans must have been trying to deliver him a message. Episode two didn’t focus much on this fascinating plot thread, instead mostly serving as a “fun lawyer show,” but it did drop one major twist that has left us with a lot of questions.

Bruce is on his way into outer space…again

Image via Disney Plus

Bruce Banner is back in space, baby.

When Jen calls her cousin to talk about her complicated feelings over being assigned to Emil Blonsky’s parole case, she ends the phone call by asking if they can catch up again soon. “Probably not for a minute,” Professor Hulk says, before adding, “I got some things I gotta take care of.” It’s then that we discover Bruce is speaking from inside a Sakaaran spaceship that’s jetting off into the galaxy at lightspeed.

Showrunner Jessica Gao has explained that this was partially just an extreme way of taking Bruce off the table so that Jennifer could stand on her own two, Tarantino-pleasing feet for the remainder of the series, without fans spending every episode wondering, “Hey, where’s Bruce?” Essentially, and almost literally, Hulk has been given the Poochie treatment. Hopefully Hulk won’t die on his way back to Earth.

So what’s next for the character?

Image via Marvel Studios

While sending Hulk into space might’ve been necessitated by a need to write him out, there’s no doubt that Bruce’s galactic vacay is sowing the seeds for a huge development to come for the character. In short, it’s looking likely that we’re finally getting some kind of MCU adaptation of the Planet Hulk and World War Hulk comic book storylines.

In the original plot-line, the Illuminati banish Hulk into space. The Jade Giant is forced to fight as a gladiator, which leads to him becoming the new king and greatest champion of Sakaar. He then marries the shadow warrior, Caiera. However, tragedy strikes when the pregnant Caiera is killed when the same shuttle that sent him to Sakaar explodes. A furious, heartbroken Hulk and his followers then return to Earth to get revenge on the Avengers, whom he blames for the loss of his wife and (apparently) unborn child.

There’s no way we’re getting something this dark on screen, but there are definitely elements the MCU could borrow. Specifically, the introduction of Skaar, Hulk and Caiera’s child, who survives his mother’s death. It’s easy to theorize that the message the Sakaaran ship was trying to deliver to Bruce was that he had a child during his time on Sakaar, as seen in Thor: Ragnarok, and now he’s returning to the planet to meet him. Skaar ages rapidly to adolescence and adulthood in the comics, so there’s a very good chance we’re about to meet the Son of Hulk very soon.

Gao has also teased that Bruce’s star trek is a setup for a future MCU project. It’s possible that we have just witnessed the lead-in to a World War Hulk spinoff, something that’s been rumored for a long time now. While we’re being told not to expect much more of Bruce in the remainder of the season, who’s betting that the season finale ends with a post-credits scene featuring Skaar?

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law continues Thursdays on Disney Plus.