The MCU Just Officially Canonized 7 Marvel Comics

By Sam Hargrave Updated:
Marvel Studios Avengers, Marvel Comics

Without Marvel Comics, there would be no MCU, that's for certain. As such, Marvel Studios has long sought to pay homage to its origins through Easter eggs, story adaptations, comic accuracy, and Stan Lee's infamous cameos.

While elements of the MCU seek to forge their own path, others opt to bring the source material to life, and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is one of those cases. The Disney+ legal comedy has brought the comics to life through its self-awareness, fourth-wall-breaking comedy, and its accurate adaptation of its titular star.

Among the most important elements of She-Hulk's story is her legal career as she represents super-powered people in court. Now, that avenue of Jennifer Walters' story has led to what may be Marvel Studios' biggest comic connection yet. 

She-Hulk Brings Marvel Comics to the MCU

She-Hulk Law Office

During She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, as Jennifer Walters explores the GLK&H office in her Hulk form for the first time, she walks past an office that has a wall covered in famous Marvel Comics issues.

She-Hulk, MCU, Comics
Marvel Studios

All of these covers come from across Marvel Comics history, with 7 recognizable covers including what appears to be a homage to Captain America #274, What If...? #28, Avengers #4, Thor #494 and #611, Incredible Hulk #287, and Iron Man #3.

She-Hulk MCU Comics
The Direct

Avengers #4 was famously the issue that saw Captain America make his big return in the modern day, at the time, to join the Avengers alongside Iron Man, Ant-Man, Wasp, Thor, and Namor.

Avengers Issue 4, Captain America Lives Again

Captain America #274 saw Steve Rogers take on a Life Model Decoy (LMD) of Baron Strucker with the help of Nick Fury and the Howling Commandos.

Captain America #274

The reference marks the second time a real-world Marvel Comics issue has shown up in the MCU, with the first coming in Captain America: The First Avenger.

Captain America Issue 1, The First Avenger
Marvel Studios

As part of the montage celebrating the early days of Captain America, people can be seen collecting copies of Captain America #1, which has the same cover as the comic that was published in 1941.

So, Marvel Exists in the MCU?

Eternals already confirmed Superman exists as a fictional character in the MCU, indicating DC Comics may be operating in the universe. Now, She-Hulk has made it clear Marvel Comics does too as it either adapts the adventures of real-world heroes or tells fictional stories using their likeness.

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's Fantastic Four comics established that the heroes of the Marvel world have permitted licensed adaptations of their adventures and likenesses in comic form. During Dan Slott's She-Hulk run, Jennifer Walters used these issues as evidence in court for her superhuman law cases.

Perhaps Marvel Studios may be paying homage to Slott's storytelling with these issues present in the Disney+ series, or maybe they will eventually come into play. There's every chance Walters may eventually bring comics to court by the end of the nine-episode legal comedy in her defense of a super-powered character.

Marvel Studios recently created a canon conflict with the comics as it confirmed the MCU to occupy Earth-616, the same number used by the comic world. Meanwhile, on the page, the cinematic universe has always been labeled Earth-199999. This appears to indicate the two mediums don't share a Multiverse.

With the comics now confirmed to exist in the MCU, that could offer one explanation for the conflict. Perhaps the comics that are read by fans around the world are simply what exists in-universe as fictional tales based on these heroes for the inhabitants of Earth-616 to enjoy.

She-Hulk has already proven to be the most meta entry in the MCU yet with its fourth-wall-breaking bringing a whole new type of storytelling to the franchise. That only ought to increase going forward, with Walters reportedly set to address Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige directly during the season.

The first two episodes of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law are streaming now, exclusively on Disney+.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.