Episode 6 of She-Hulk: Attorney At Law pulled back the curtain on the series’ one ongoing mystery just enough to send theory-loving fans scurrying on a search for answers as to just who is orchestrating the attacks on Jen. The episode name-dropped a pretty impressive group of villains from the Marvel Comics and linked them directly to the quest to get Jen’s blood. Was it just an Easter egg mean to set fans on a wild goose chase, or did Marvel Studios just give fans their first hint at the plot of 2024’s Captain America: New World Order?
That name which was so casually dropped is Intelligencia. In the MCU, it’s a website run by “manbabies”, but in the pages of Marvel Comics, it’s a loose-knit group of some of the most brilliant and terrible minds to ever oppose Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Geniuses such as Egghead, M.O.D.O.K., the Mad Thinker and, most relevant to this line of thought, The Leader were among the masterminds who chose to team up to share knowledge, build some cool stuff and, interestingly enough, engineer a way to turn General Thunderbolt Ross into the Red Hulk as a means to combat Hulk when he returned to Earth in the pages of World War Hulk.
With rumors of a World War Hulk movie in development at Marvel Studios and the return of Tim Blake Nelson as The Leader in Captain America: New World Order, the episode’s reveal of the Intelligencia’s HulkKing working with the still mysterious people behind the Wrecking Crew’s attempt to get Jen’s blood seems fairly significant. Is The Leader the HulkKing? Or is the HulkKing someone more familiar to the series? One potential candidate is clearly slimeball Todd Phelps, who is incredibly interested in Jen’s abilities. Todd certainly is not The Leader, but could he be another member of the Intelligencia that was known to have an alias or two in his time? It would make for an interesting twist if Todd turned out to be The Mad Thinker, a Fantastic Four villain who came up against She-Hulk many times and whose creation, the Awesome Android, eventually became a staple of She-Hulk comics.
Whoever these people behind the curtain turn out to be, it seems that as the final third of the season of She-Hulk gets underway next week, fans will need to pay much closer attention. Will The Leader make an appearance in She-Hulk? Maybe a name drop? What state of mind will Bruce be in when he returns from his trip to Sakaar and what will he have learned while he’s there? And, most importantly, with the series wrapping up in nine episodes, where will these stories be picked up? Right now, it certainly seems like the connection to the Intelligencia makes Captain America: New World Order the prime candidate to continue the story. Perhaps it’s a World War Hulk movie in disguise. Of course, given She-Hulk’s irreverent tone and disregard for sticking to the comics when it comes to bringing characters to the MCU (the Wrecking Crew, Mr. Immortal and Titania are all far cries from their comic book counterparts), it remains possible that the MCU’s Intelligencia are truly just a bunch of manbabies of little significance.