This article contains spoilers for the first episode of “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.”
These are the types of questions Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) obsesses over while asking the one person who has the answer to such classified American intelligence: her cousin Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), the Incredible Hulk, who fought alongside Captain America as a member of the Avengers.
Moments before the beginning of her superhero/origin story during a car crash with her cousin that causes an unplanned Hulk blood transfusion, Walters uses her lawyer skills to build a case beyond a reasonable doubt that Captain America was both saving the world and saving himself for a special someone who never arrived.
The evidence is out there to support the MCU’s least sexy rumor ever. Before a super serum gave him a superhero stature and the muscles to carry the world on his shoulders, Steve Rogers was a scrawny kid from Brooklyn who was far from a Casanova. By the time he transformed into Captain America, he fell in love with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), which led to a kiss before he had to save the world during World War II, crashing a plane into a mountain in the process, and then became a super-popsicle. After being unfrozen years later, Captain America dealt with Loki, Ultron, a civil war, Thanos and instant old age after time travel. That doesn’t leave much time for love.
In “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” when the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Captain America must kiss to hide from agents hunting them down, Black Widow later asks if she was the first woman he’s kissed since 1945. The Captain responds, “That bad, huh?”
By the time “She-Hulk” arrives at its first post-credits scene after Episode 1, we finally get an answer.
Walters, using lawyer-enhanced crocodile tears and drowning her sorrows in a drink with Banner/Hulk, mourns what she is convinced is a super lack of sexual activity from Captain America.
That’s when Banner lets her in on a little secret: Captain America lost his virginity in 1943, with a woman he met on a U.S.O. tour.
Walters immediately shuts off the fake faucets in her eyes, revealing she’s not really drunk like her cousin thought, and screams for joy.
Is this the sexual revolution of the MCU? It’s not that kind of party yet, but the moment is a huge step forward for a universe that is way more super than sensual.
There was nothing particularly spicy about the all-time MCU great Iron Man’s (Robert Downey Jr.) love life with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) — you could find more chemistry in the (mostly) platonic relationship between Captain America and Black Widow. Speaking of platonic relationships, don’t forget about the Black Widow and her best friend, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). And why didn’t Hawkeye take his wife with him during his Christmas vacation with the kids in last year’s “Hawkeye” series? What’s that all about? Remember that time Bucky (Sebastian Stan) flirted with Sam’s (Anthony Mackie) sister in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier?” No? Well, it happened. “WandaVision’s” Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) started off in the 1950s sleeping in separate beds like an “I Love Lucy” episode. That’s all to say that if you’re wearing your glasses to an MCU event, you probably haven’t had to wipe off any steam. And that includes the first-ever MCU sex scene, in “Eternals.”
The MCU hasn’t been that sexy in part because it doesn’t have to be. But that doesn’t mean it can’t try. It’s not like it lacks hot source material from the pages of the comics. Google Sub-Mariner and the Invisible Woman (yes, the married Invisible Woman) and get a load of the fan fic that stuff could inspire. Michelle Pfeiffer and Michael Keaton in “Batman Returns,” Robert Pattinson and Zoë Kravitz in “The Batman,” Adam West and his multiple Catwomen in the 1960s, and Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder in “Superman” prove there’s plenty of romantic appeal in superhero movies. Wait? Is DC the champion of superhero sexiness on-screen? Hey, at least they’re doing something right over there.
“She-Hulk” feels like something new and different for the MCU. Even without the Captain America revelations, this series is just as provocative as it is hilarious. Its protagonist heroine isn’t interested in being a superhero just yet, and she believes those that do save the day deserve a tender moment every now and then. As the series continues, hulking out won’t stop her from hooking up.
“She-Hulk” may be just the start of a sexier MCU. But, hey, you never forget the first time, right?