Near the end of She-Hulk episode three, we get a big moment. As Jen walks home alone at night, a group of goons with enchanted weapons attacks her. While she quickly realizes she can hulk out and beat them, there’s a moment of fear. It’s something many of us have felt walking home alone at night. And in that instant, Jen feels it too. It’s a powerful and ultimately fun scene as Jen demolishes the villains in mere minutes. Speaking of those villains, they’re members of Marvel Comics’ premiere street level rogues team, the Wrecking Crew. So when we chatted with director Kat Coiro and head writer Jessica Gao, we asked them about introducing the villains, what the moment means to Jen, and what it says about the MCU right now.
“That scene is one of the foundational scenes for me because what woman hasn’t walked home in the dark and feared for their life,” Coiro shared. “And Jen has this wish fulfillment element of like, ‘Oh, if someone bothers me, I can kick their butts.'”
It was that aspect that gave the sequence so much power, according to the director. And it also connected deeply to the relatability of She-Hulk. “I love that moment where she’s scared. And then she’s like, ‘Oh, wait a second…’ Every woman can look at that and be like, ‘Oh my gosh, I wish I could do that.’ So the Wrecking Crew is a part of that, but what I love is that’s not what’s driving it. It’s not plot-driven, it’s not here are our villains!! It’s more about her internal moment.”
Head writer Jessica Gao agreed. “With everything in the show, we really want to make sure that it really comes from a Jen-centric place. Everything is about staying with Jen and her reaction.”
So what made the Wrecking Crew the perfect villains? For Gao it was just a logical extension of where we are in the MCU right now. “Of course, in this world there would be these bumbling idiots who robbed an Asgardian construction worker and got their hands on these magical weapons. Then they see this powerful woman and decide that, ‘Hey, we can take her down.'”
That particular moment and the Wrecking Crew’s introduction was inspired by an infamous YouGov poll regarding another immensely powerful woman. “We talked a lot in the room about how they interviewed a bunch of guys on the street and asked men who may have never even played tennis before if they could win a point off Serena Williams. And so many of them said, ‘Yeah, I think I could probably beat the greatest tennis player of all time.'”
You can learn more about the Wrecking Crew and their comic book history here!