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Why She-Hulk Should Bring Back Incredible Hulk's Betty Ross & Samuel Sterns

With Abomination (Tom Roth) coming back to the MCU, She-Hulk may be the perfect time for Samuel Sterns (Tim Blake Nelson) and Betty Ross (Liv Nelson) to return as well. Similar to the Abomination, Sterns and Betty have been absent from the MCU since 2008’s The Incredible Hulk.

At least one of these three characters is confirmed to be around in Phase 4 of the MCU. Abomination, who was presumably incarcerated after being defeated by the Hulk, is slated to appear in Marvel’s She-Hulk show. Not only that, but the second trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has revealed that the classic Hulk villain will be a participant in an underground fighting tournament. Footage in the trailer showed off the character battling Doctor Strange’s Wong (Benedict Wong), with the implication being that he’ll have to contend with Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi in the next match.

Related: Avengers: Endgame's Hulk Arc Can Explain Why She-Hulk Exists

Looking at the enthusiasm Abomination’s return is generating, it does seem like it’s long past time that Marvel started remembering its Incredible Hulk characters. Others that deserve revisiting are Betty Ross and Samuel Sterns. Betty (who has been rumored but not confirmed) feels like a good fit for She-Hulk, especially with Mark Ruffalo being among the cast as Bruce Banner. The changes that have taken place in Banner’s life since The Incredible Hulk could make for some interesting storytelling potential with Betty, who is his original and most iconic love interest. It’s been over a decade since they interacted on screen. She-Hulk could address the time they’ve spent apart, and explore what comes next. She could tie into She-Hulk’s story too, given her experience in gamma radiation, which would allow her to help Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) when she becomes She-Hulk.

As for Samuel Sterns, the MCU hasn’t had many (if any) opportunities to tie up its loose ends regarding his character. The Incredible Hulk set up his transformation into his evil comic book counterpart – the Leader – by having him get infected with gamma radiation, but Marvel never did go anywhere with that. She-Hulk, though, will avail the MCU with a chance to show what happened to him and what he’s doing now. With all the years that have passed since the events of the movie, Sterns could have fully evolved into the Leader by this point. If so, he could emerge as an incredibly intelligent, criminal mastermind and the main antagonist for the show’s first season. Being a sinister villain is something he’s known for in Marvel Comics, but not a reputation that the MCU character holds – yet.

Since rights issues with Universal prevented the Hulk from getting more solo movies, it’s understandable that neither character has made a dent in the MCU since 2008, but all that can change now, thanks to She-Hulk. Depending on where its story goes, it can incorporate more heroes and villains associated with the Hulk, and feature them in other projects tied to the Green Goliath.

More: MCU Phase 4 Is Continuing Banner's Hulk Battle (Despite Endgame)

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