This article contains spoilers for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law episode 9.She-Hulk: Attorney at Law‘s “Lady Thor” joke proves the MCU timeline is broken. The first season of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law served a valuable purpose, helping cement Phase 4’s confusing timeline. She-Hulk’s origin story was clearly set shortly after Shang-Chi & the Legend of the Ten Rings, with Bruce Banner able to return to human form but requiring use of an inhibitor device to do so. From there, numerous Easter eggs helped place different Phase 4 films into the MCU timeline. According to She-Hulk‘s head writer Jessica Gao, she worked closely with the person responsible for managing Marvel’s MCU timeline, which explains all the subtle nods. It’s reasonable to assume their advice shapes the official “Marvel Cinematic Universe in Timeline Order” feature on Disney+.
Unfortunately, a throwaway comment in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law episode 9 proves that the Disney+ timeline is broken. She-Hulk’s friends infiltrate a group called Intelligencia, and one of their members launches a misogynistic rant in which he complains about both She-Hulk and “Lady Thor.” The problem, however, is that – according to the Disney+ timeline – Jane Foster has yet to become Thor. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law appears to have been placed according to its ending in the MCU Disney+ timeline, rather than its beginning; but it apparently comes before Ms. Marvel (fall 2025), Thor: Love & Thunder, and Werewolf By Night. Given Jane Foster was only the Mighty Thor in the MCU for just a few weeks (she was still trialing new catchphrases in Thor: Love & Thunder), this really doesn’t work. The MCU’s Disney+ timeline is clearly broken (again).
How She-Hulk Actually Fits Into The MCU Timeline
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is the first Disney+ TV show to really make the most of an episodic format, and there’s no real indication how much time passes over the course of the season. The flashback in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law episode 1 means it must begin after Shang-Chi & the Legend of Ten Rings, which definitely ends in early April 2024 (it can be dated due to references to a Chinese festival). Unfortunately, nods to the timeline became a little more confusing as the show progressed, likely representing Marvel’s increasing uncertainty about how everything fits together as Phase 4 continues. She-Hulk‘s Spider-Man reference in episode 3 made little sense, because it nodded to the memory spell Doctor Strange wouldn’t use until winter of 2024; it could be explained away by suggesting the Masters of the Mystic Arts used the Runes of Kof-Kol a lot more than the film implied, but it was awkward. There’s certainly no way She-Hulk then spans over 12 months, leading up to a late 2025 placement for Thor: Love & Thunder.
Disney+’s placement of Thor: Love & Thunder is hotly contested, however – and that may provide a solution to this problem. There are two conflicting interpretations, based on dialogue involving Jane Foster and Thor as they discuss the length of their breakup; the Disney+ MCU timeline reflects one, which suggests the film is set in late 2025, whereas another option sets it in late 2024 instead. That would mean She-Hulk: Attorney at Law runs through 2024, from shortly after Shang-Chi & the Legend of the Ten Rings to near the end of the year.
Will The MCU’s Timeline Ever Make Sense?
The MCU’s timeline has certainly become something of a mess. That’s largely because Marvel Studios is producing more content than ever before, and even writers and showrunners aren’t sure when things are going to be released, meaning nobody really knows how the timeline is going to fit together. One thing, however, is becoming increasingly clear; whatever the real MCU timeline may be, it looks nothing like the one on Disney+, and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law confirms this.
New episodes of She-Hulk release on Thursdays on Disney+.
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