She-Hulk: Attorney at Law appears to be setting up a repeat of the MCU’s most consistent copycat villain problem – but there’s an easy way for the Disney+ series to completely get around this issue. The upcoming She-Hulk series promises to be a raucous affair, playing up the comedic nature of the Jade Giantess in her MCU debut, based on the new She-Hulk trailer. However, while the ability of an MCU property to provide laughs has never been in question, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law looks to be creating a villain as unimaginative as many past MCU bad guys have been.
Titania is a character introduced in the pages of Marvel’s first truly enormous crossover event, 1984’s Secret Wars (not to be confused with the 2015 storyline of the same name). She was a woman transported to Battleworld – a patchwork planet assembled by the cosmic entity known as the Beyonder – along with a portion of her home. This storyline saw Titania fall in with none other than Doctor Doom, who gave her superhuman abilities to use in his service. She retained her abilities following the conclusion of the original Secret Wars before eventually going on to vex She-Hulk as a rival, usually playing the part of the villain but also occasionally filling an antiheroic role.
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Titania is one of She-Hulk’s few consistent enemies due to the parallels between the two characters, yet it’s this exact connection that could spell disaster for the series if not approached intelligently. One of the longest-running problems the MCU has faced is a tendency for the overwhelming majority of its villains to be dark reflections of their respective protagonists. The Titania introduced in the new She-Hulk trailer currently fits this criticism, appearing to be included in the series simply as She-Hulk rival with similar powers to Jennifer Walters. However, the upcoming Disney+ series could still pivot away from this irritating trend if Titania has some kind of backup.
In the first batch of Avengers films, the use of dark reflections made sense as they helped establish the franchise’s characters and the traits that made them heroes. Iron Man had Obadiah Stane, Captain America had the Red Skull, and the Hulk had Abomination. Unfortunately, this trend continued with the final clash in Iron Man 2 featuring a suited-up Whiplash, Ant-Man’s less-than-memorable Yellowjacket, and Doctor Strange’s Kaecilius. While there were undoubtedly better-received examples, such as Black Panther’s Killmonger and WandaVision‘s Agatha Harkness – who’s getting her own show – they were still marred by this tired formula of pitting reflective villains against the MCU heroes.
Titania is a character who could easily have this problem. For one, her powers are virtually identical to She-Hulk’s despite her abilities not being derived from gamma radiation. To make matters worse, she even overlaps with She-Hulk thematically. She was a small, timid, meek woman, just like Jennifer, who was downtrodden until she suddenly found herself with superhuman strength – which resulted in a brash shift in her personality. Where She-Hulk effectively becomes the posterchild of self-love, Titania takes that concept to the extreme of vanity as she becomes a villain.
As a result, Titania is poised to continue this ongoing problem with villains being dark mirrors of their heroic counterparts in the MCU. However, it doesn’t need to be so. One noteworthy detail about Titania is that she’s known to work with others. While not unintelligent, she’s no evil genius, and her debut story saw her working for the ultimate mastermind in Doctor Doom. She’s even been known to work alongside the likes of the Absorbing-Man, usually as his girlfriend. In this way, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has the opportunity to buck the MCU’s dark reflection trend with Titania by making her part of a criminal package deal and hopefully providing the Emerald Attorney with a real challenge in the upcoming series.