Over the last five episodes, She-Hulk has taken delight in introducing some of the Marvel Universe’s most deep-cut characters. In episode six, we joined Jen as she attended a close friend’s wedding. It was all fun and games until the final moments of the episode. It’s there we get a hint that a darker plan in place. While Jen is having fun at the wedding, Nikki and Mallory discovered a nightmarish online cesspool called the Intelligencia, which likely rang a bell for Marvel Comics fans. And the Intelligencia, led by the mysterious figure Hulkking, plagued She-Hulk throughout the show. But who are these new villains to the MCU fold? Let’s see review the Intelligencia’s Marvel Comics history and see where the organization stands, and what they were after, after the She-Hulk finale!
Who Is the Intelligencia in Marvel Comics?
First introduced in 2009’s Fall of the Hulks: Alpha #1, Marvel’s Intelligencia began as an organization for supervillains to share their nefarious information. We see that core of the Intelligencia reimagined in a very contemporary way in this episode of She-Hulk. Jeff Parker and Paul Pelletier created the to, essentially, give the Hulk his own supervillain antagonist team. And what a team it was. There have been many notable members of Marvel’s comic book Intelligencia. Doctor Doom, M.O.D.O.K.—who we know will appear in Quantumania—Chameleon, and even deeper cut villains like Awesome Android, Egghead, Wizard, Trapster, and the Red Ghost all appeared as part of the villainous group. Soon the Intelligencia evolved from an information-sharing network to actual evil plotting and scheming.
The Intelligencia’s most dastardly plan—one that feels very relevant to their appearance in She-Hulk—was revealed in 2010’s Hulk #23. There readers learned the Intelligencia were behind the creation of Red Hulk. So it’s very likely that whatever we’re seeing here could lead to that eventuality. Interestingly, in She-Hulk‘s eighth episode, Jennifer Walters mentions a Red Hulk in an aside to the audience. She discusses the possibility of a finale twist and offers that it could be, “There’s another Hulk, but this one is red.” We will have to wait and see if that’s some She-Hulk foreshadowing to do with the Intelligencia.
How Did She-Hulk Change the Intelligencia?
The MCU version of the Intelligencia in She-Hulk is a clickbait-style website with a dark secret. As members know, it’s actually a hateful anti-She-Hulk site. Multiple death threats, posts about the best ways to kill the hero, and other horrific posts fill its pages. While Mallory believes it’s just trolls, Nikki is far more worried. And it turns out she should be.
Is She-Hulk‘s Josh Part of the Intelligencia?
Nikki calls Jen to reveal all to her bestie. But she gets Jen’s voicemail as her friend is busy drunk eating fries with her handsome fellow wedding guest, Josh. And the biggest question after Jen’s wedding escapades is whether Josh is a part of the MCU’s Intelligencia on She-Hulk. Josh seems to know exactly what Jen wants to hear after her legal tussle with Titania last week. He’s kind, thoughtful, and most importantly, he’s a Jen fan, not a She-Hulk one. Though it does feel pretty coincidental that Josh just happens to be there with Jen in the exact right position for the pair to be watched.
Well, too coincidental turns out to be exactly right, in episode seven, we learn that Josh is, in fact, a member of the MCU’s Intelligencia on She-Hulk, and he’s up to no good. Unfortunately for Jen and She-Hulk, after slithering his way into Jen’s good graces, Josh copies her entire phone, and worse, he seems to be out for her blood. We see him directly texting the evil Intelligencia’s leader at the end of the episode. Josh seems to imply he managed to get a sample of She-Hulk’s blood for the organization. And that spells trouble. It was this plan that ended up making She-Hulk smash the courtroom and led to her imprisonment in the finale.
Who Is the Evil Leader of the MCU’s Intelligencia
The final moments of She-Hulk episode six introduce us to a high-tech lab where it seems a team of scientists is very interested in Jen’s blood. Not only are they cyber-stalking her via security camera, but they are also monitoring her vitals.
We immediately discover this is connected to the She-Hulk Intelligencia site we saw as that site had a logo that featured a Hulk face—redrawn to look like Pepe the Frog—with a crown. And as we join the lab, we see that same avatar pop up under the name HulkKing. And he wants a status update from the lab. Other clues we get about the people behind the lab are the bent needle from episode three, hinting that the Wrecking Crew were employees of HulkKing and his crew. Plus, She-Hulk‘s Intelligencia has learned its lesson as they are preparing a new super needle to steal Jen’s blood. The left us with the question, just who is She-Hulk‘s villain, Hulkking?
We long wondered if Tim Blake Nelson’s Leader could be behind the mission to gain She-Hulk’s blood. That still seemed likely leading into She-Hulk‘s final episode, as he may want it to cure his own Hulk-tendencies. Plus, he was an Intelligencia member in Marvel’s comics. It could also have been the original Thunderball, Dr. Elliot Franklin, perhaps sick of being a henchman. But the nature of the MCU Intelligencia’s misogynistic website also opened new options for the leader of She-Hulk‘s Intelligencia. And, in the end, the answer was the most nefarious option. So, we ask again, just who is She-Hulk‘s Hulkking? Well, it turns out, Hulkking is gross Todd, who She-Hulk rejected on a date. And in true entitled man fashion, not only did he waste Jen’s time throughout She-Hulk, he also wanted to take what was rightfully hers. Todd has been after Jen’s Hulk powers all along.
What Is the Intelligencia’s Plan for She-Hulk and Her Blood?
We had originally theorized that there were two big options for what She-Hulk‘s Intelligencia was up to. One that we already touched on was that it would connect to the Leader and his need for Jen’s blood. The Leader could have wanted She-Hulk’s blood for selfish reasons, but as he’s about to feature in Captain America: New World Order, there was another option too. As Jen got her powers from Bruce, it means her blood includes an adapted version of the Super Soldier Serum. It seems likely that the notion of Super Soldiers will play into Captain America: New World Order, so we could see it being planted in She-Hulk. Although this theory proved not to be fully true, She-Hulk did liken the narrative with her blood to that of the super-serum in her finale meeting with Kevin Feige analog, K.E.V.I.N.
The second theory focused on creating another She-Hulk or Hulk… with a crimson hue. If the Intelligencia had been trying to create Red She-Hulk that could have been a great way to reintroduce Liv Tyler as Betty Ross into the MCU. As we mentioned above, She-Hulk does refer to a red Hulk in episode seven, but ultimately, Red She-Hulk will have to wait another day.
Our theories sort of merged together into the truth of the She-Hulk finale: Todd, a.k.a HulkKing, wanted Jen’s blood so he could create a new Hulk, but that new Hulk was himself. He felt that Jen had just lucked her way into superpowers but didn’t deserve them, but that he had “earned” them. Though luckily, Jen thwarted his plan, there is still Hulk blood out there that his scientific team synthesized. So we’ll be interested to see where that comes back into play in the future of the MCU. All our theories might still be proven true.
Originally published on September 22, 2022.