The joke about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in the last episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is a low blow. The ninth episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, “Whose Show Is This?,” breaks the fourth wall in a way that Marvel has never done before.
Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk, literally climbs out of Disney+ to go talk to her writing team at Marvel Studios about the direction of the finale. They tell her that it is all part of Kevin’s plan. Kevin is the president of Marvel Studios.
When Jen finds “Kevin,” he is not the real Kevin Feige. Instead, “Kevin” is an AI robot that figures out “near-perfect” plots for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Before Jen talks about the changes she wants to make for her finale, K.E.V.I.N. asks her to change out of her She-Hulk form because it’s expensive and “the visual effects team has moved on to another project.”
Wakandan drums play in the background at the end of the line, which suggests that the budget for She-visual Hulk’s effects has been cut because the team is now working on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. When the joke was written and filmed, the She-Hulk team probably didn’t know what Marvel projects would be coming out next.
Since Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is the next movie to come out in the MCU, it makes sense that they would pick it for the joke, but it was the wrong choice in the end because of Marvel and Black Panther’s troubled VFX history.
She-Joke Hulk’s About Black Panther 2: Marvel’s VFX Problem
The Marvel Cinematic Universe depends a lot on special effects. The effects in Phase One of the MCU still look good, but they have gotten worse in recent years as Marvel has put more emphasis on making more movies than making good ones.
This problem is shown in the joke in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. It’s nice to see Marvel poke fun at itself, but that doesn’t change the fact that the company has a problem with CGI/VFX that doesn’t look like it will be fixed any time soon.
Several visual effects artists who had worked for Marvel Studios over the years spoke out anonymously this past summer about how much they were overworked and underpaid. One artist said they sometimes worked more than 64 hours a week, and others said they had panic attacks on the job.
She-vfx Hulk’s Joke Was Not Funny at All Because Black Panther Was Used.
During the climax of the first Black Panther movie, there were some effects that weren’t quite right. VFX artist Todd Sheridan Perry told Inverse earlier this year that this was because Marvel Studios made a change to the story at the last minute that made it impossible to finish Black Panther on time.
Even though a second VFX house was brought in to help, the amount of work was still too much. This is almost exactly what K.E.V.I.N. says is going on with the effects in She-Hulk. Blaming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever for what happened in the first movie is at best stupid and at worst cruel.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, which is a lot about how people treat female superheroes badly, should also know better than to make fun of Black Panther, who gets the same kind of hate because he is a Black superhero. She-Hulk didn’t have to decide which Marvel movie came next.
A joke that might have been even more obvious would have been to pick a song from the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack, since there will be a Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special this year and Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 next year.
In the end, the She-Hulk: Attorney at Law joke didn’t work, but hopefully it shows that Marvel is learning something about CGI/VFX and that future movies will be better because of it.
All of the episodes of the first season of She Hulk: Attorney at Law are now available to stream only on Disney+.