The third episode of What If…? is a continuation of the story that began in the first two episodes. Betty Ross, played by Jennifer Connelly in the film, returns to fight crime as She-Hulk.
What If…? is a Marvel comic book series that follows the story of alternate realities. In this episode, What if Betty Ross returned for She-Hulk?
Marvel’s What If…? is currently in its inaugural season, offering an animated and reality-bending perspective on the Marvel Cinematic Universe that fans know and love. While some of the instances of what it would involve have been hinted at in the Disney+ series’ marketing materials, the first three episodes have nevertheless been jam-packed with shocks, particularly from previous installments in the franchise. The series’ third episode, “What If… The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?” featured the return of characters from Phase One, including Betty Ross from The Incredible Hulk (Stephanie Panisello). There are complete spoilers for episode 3 of What If…? below!
While the version of Betty in What If…? had a different voice actor, it was nonetheless the character’s first canon appearance in the MCU since the 2008 film. And, in the time since the episode aired, some have speculated that it might be setting the stage for Betty’s comeback, perhaps in the MCU’s forthcoming She-Hulk Disney+ series.
Betty was welcomed into the fold in Episode 3 of What If…? due to Natasha Romanoff (Lake Bell), who required an off-the-books scientist to investigate the accidentally lethal injection she administered to Tony Stark (Mick Wingert). Betty and Natasha met and learned a little more, and Natasha also found Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) was hiding with Betty. When Thunderbolt Ross (Mike McGill) comes with the military to track down Natasha, things take a terrible turn, as Banner perishes in the following fight in a horrific explosion.
Betty’s participation in the What If…? episode achieves a few things: it gives the concept of Bruce dying as The Hulk an emotional core, and it gives Natasha a creative method to locate a scientific friend outside of who was previously established in SHIELD at the moment. However, the inclusion of Betty in the episode, after more than a decade away from the MCU, has some fans wondering whether there’s a broader aim of reintroducing her character to a wider audience. While elements of The Incredible Hulk have been mostly disregarded throughout the MCU — with the exception of Ross’s appearance in previous films — that is beginning to change. We know that Abomination (Tim Roth) from The Incredible Hulk will make a cameo in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings before appearing on the She-Hulk TV program. The show’s premise seems to revolve on the broader “Hulk” family, with Bruce’s cousin, Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany), acquiring abilities after receiving a life-saving blood transfusion from him.
Betty would definitely make sense to be a part of the She-Hulk TV program if it manages to recognize some of the history established in The Incredible Hulk, considering her connection to what occurred with Hulk and Abomination all those years ago. Plus, if the moments between Betty and Natasha in What If…? are any indicator, there’s something intriguing about seeing Liv Tyler’s Betty share the screen with some of the MCU’s other female characters while simultaneously developing her own character. Thankfully, reports going back to 2019 suggested that Tyler’s version of Betty could make a comeback in She-Hulk — but we’ll have to wait and see whether that’s the case.
On Wednesdays, new episodes of What If…? premiere exclusively on Disney+. She-Hulk is set to premiere in 2023 on Disney+.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will Betty Ross be in She-Hulk?
Betty Ross is not in She-Hulk.
How did Betty Ross become Red She-Hulk?
Betty Ross was exposed to an experimental gamma radiation treatment that grants her superhuman strength and durability.
Can She-Hulk turn back to normal?
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