She-Hulk Producer Clarifies Shang-Chi Post-Credits Confusion

By Russ Milheim Posted:
She-Hulk, Shang-Chi

One of the biggest questions audiences had coming out of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Ring was, what’s up with Bruce Banner’s arm? The character was suddenly human again and sporting a fancy-looking sling. That same look debuted in the opening moments of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law's first episode, just before Jen has her fateful accident.

Warning - the rest of this article contains spoilers for She-Hulk Episode 2

Shortly after the titular character wakes up in a beach house, audiences are shown that not only is Bruce back to being Smart Hulk, but his hand is completely healed. As simple as that seems, things got a little more confusing with Episode 2’s release.

The point of confusion comes with the reveal at the end of Episode 2 that shows a clip of Abomination's underground fight with Wong hitting the internet––making Jennifer's defense of Blonsky a much harder task. But, with Bruce back to Smart Hulk form with a fully healed arm, doesn't that contradict the timeline? Especially in relation to his post-credits scene in Shang-Chi?

Now, some viewers are starting to get confused as to where these projects are in relation to each other on the MCU timeline. So what’s the deal?

She-Hulk Producer Offers Clarification

Shang Chi Post Credits Scene Mark Ruffalo

In an interview with The Hollywood ReporterShe-Hulk head writer and producer Jessica Gao tried to offer up some clarification for where the show takes places in relation to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, seeing as how Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner makes an appearance in that film's post-credits scene.

According to Gao, "he was in human form in the Shang-Chi tag because of [She-Hulk]," and they needed him there so that he could be in a position to bleed after getting into his car accident:

"No, he was in human form in the Shang-Chi tag because of our show, and the reason we had him in human form was because of the nature of the accident. We knew that we wanted him to bleed onto Jen, which is how she got his blood. Hulk would not bleed; you can’t pierce Hulk’s skin, certainly not through a dinky car accident. So we needed to have him be in human form in order to have his Gamma-radiated blood get onto Jen and into her system, and we had to come up with a reason for why he was human."

She-Hulk, Bruce Banner

This indicates that all of She-Hulk still takes place after Shang-Chi.

Despite the confusion, Marvel also wanted to have Bruce Banner in his human form in Simu Liu's movie to tease the inevitable events of She-Hulk:

 “When you first come into Bruce and Jen in the car in the first episode, you kind of hear the tailend of the conversation. And really that conversation is just him talking about how he discovered that his arm could heal better when he was in human form, so he created that little device that you see him wearing to keep him in human form just so that he can heal his arm and then go back to being Smart Hulk. And that's why when the device breaks in the car accident, he turns back into Smart Hulk. And because we were doing all of this, that's actually why we kind of planted Bruce in Banner form in Shang-Chi.”

The Shang-Chi Conundrum

So, at the end of the day, the answer to all the confusion seems to be that Shang-Chi happened before the events of She-Hulk. Seeing as the clip at the end of Episode 2 was leaked to the general public, there may have been a delay in when the fight actually happened and when the video found its way online—it was an underground fight club, after all.

As there are multiple projects in between Shang-Chi and She-Hulk according to the official MCU timeline, it's likely that Abomination's shady brawls were able to be kept under wraps up until this point.

When it comes to Gao talking about how the story needed Banner in human form so that Jen could start her transformation, it’s hard not to think about how clunky that set-up was. Even Bruce Banner’s explanation for his sling and inhibitor chip was a little convoluted and convenient.

While the show could have possibly arranged the pieces of the puzzle a little cleaner, at least the series didn’t completely miss the mark.

But there’s still one big point of fandom contention that the show will have to deal with when it comes to continuity. What in the world is up with Charlie Cox’s Daredevil, and is it going to be the same exact Variant of the character as seen in his previous Netflix series?

She-Hulk airs new episodes on Disney+ every Thursday.

- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.