This article discusses episode 6 of She-Hulk. Mild spoilers ahead.
So far, Disney+’s She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has largely been a goofy workplace comedy, showing how superhumans exist alongside regular folks on a day-to-day basis, but with real world situations, including dating, having day jobs, and run-ins with the law. However, the sixth episode of the series might have just introduced a new major antagonist for Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany), and possibly the broader Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
In the episode’s subplot, Nikki Ramos (Ginger Gonzaga) and Mallory Book (Renee Elise Goldsberry) learn about Intelligencia, which Mallory refers to as a website for “hateful man-babies”, which immediately made us think of Reddit. They subsequently discover that the website hosts a secret anti-She-Hulk forum (shown as a thinly-veiled spoof of Reddit), with death threats and other malicious messages made about Jen.
This sets up the Intelligencia, a group that features some of the smartest supervillains in Marvel Comics. First introduced in 2009 in Fall of the Hulks: Alpha #1 by Jeff Parker and Paul Pelletier, the Intelligencia served as a way for sinister supervillains to exchange information and carry out nefarious plans. The group was primarily led by The Leader and M.O.D.O.K., while other members in the group’s first appearance included Mad Thinker, Egghead, Red Ghost and the Super-Apes, and Doctor Doom. Different iterations of the Intelligencia have also added the likes of The Wizard, The Trapster, and even X-Men antagonist Mister Sinister.
The Leader (also known by his alter ego Samuel Sterns) is a villain with genius-level intellect and was last teased in the MCU after Samuel Sterns was exposed to Bruce Banner’s blood through a cut on his forehead, in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk.
Interestingly enough, the character is scheduled to return as the main villain in Captain America: New World Order, with Tim Blake Nelson reprising his role. As one of the Hulk’s greatest foes, it’s possible that he may make his return in She-Hulk, ahead of his Captain America appearance, and be revealed as the brains behind the Intelligencia.
Meanwhile, M.O.D.O.K. — which stands for Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing — is another evil mastermind with superhuman intellect, alongside an array of psychic powers to compensate for his deformed body. M.O.D.O.K. is said to make his MCU debut in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. M.O.D.O.K. has previously starred in his own adult animated series where he was voiced by Patton Oswalt.
With a Fantastic Four film on the horizon, which recently picked up director Matt Shakman and writers Jeff Kaplan and Ian Springer, Doctor Doom is another major player that may soon make his big splash in the MCU. The Fantastic Four arch-nemesis is considered one of the most brilliant minds in Marvel Comics, with intellect that rivals FF leader, Reed Richards, and is also a skilled sorcerer to boot. Doctor Doom was teased in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness when Reed Richards made his appearance in the film. The blue portal that Richards enters through is the Time Platform, a time travel device created by Doctor Doom in the comics. Doctor Doom was also a key player in Marvel Comics’ Secret Wars event, and time will tell if he will play a similar role in the upcoming Avengers: Secret Wars film.
Over the years, members of the Intelligencia have supported each other in cheating death and confusing their respective foes. They have also aided other supervillains outside of the group, such as Sandman and Klaw. However, some of the Intelligencia’s main schemes have involved defeating the Hulk, even leading to the creation of the monstrous Red Hulk.
With so many ties to the Hulk, the Intelligencia’s inclusion in She-Hulk comes as no surprise, and we might be able to look forward to Jennifer Walters having to tussle with a truly formidable force.
But it’s possible that the MCU has bigger plans for this supervillain group. They might even choose to merge the Intelligencia with another supervillain group — the Cabal (imagine a dark version of the Illuminati, which was featured in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness), showing Doctor Doom as a member — and give us an Avengers-level threat.