14 years is a long time. 14 years ago Game of Thrones there wasn’t even a TV show. 14 years ago, Barack Obama had not even been elected president. 14 years ago, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was literally in its infancy.
That’s how long ago we last saw the character Emil Blonsky, aka The Abomination, in a significant role in the MCU. The character was played by Tim Roth in his first appearance in Kevin Feige’s expansive superhero landscape in 2008. The incredible Hulk, and while he was a formidable opponent for Bruce Banner/Hulk (then played by Edward Norton), it would be hard to blame you if you didn’t remember exactly what his deal was. And now that Roth is back as Blonsky for She-Hulk Attorney at Law, appearing alongside Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer Walters, it seems like a good time to remind everyone how he ended up in this high security prison cell.
In the second episode, Jennifer gets her first big deal. She-Hulk episode: Parole of Emil Blonsky. And if those names sound familiar, that means you’re a big fan of the MCU – he’s the guy we were talking about. The guy who turned into a Hulk-like creature fought the Hulk and destroyed most of Harlem in the process. And now he’s on parole, and Jennifer’s job is to get him out. If she gets down to business, that is. In the comics, the Abomination can never return to his human form. But in the version we’re seeing now, he’s a completely different guy with a “namaste” attitude. Are we buying it?
While it’s all interesting, Roth’s new, softened take on the former villain is one of the film’s highlights. She-HulkYou’re probably wondering again: Who the hell is this guy? And luckily for you, we remember.
Who is Emil Blonsky, aka The Abomination?
Here’s a brief history of our friend Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth), who eventually became the villain known as the Abomination. Basically, to put it in terms of more familiar/recent Marvel lore, he’s very similar to Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo) – except Blonsky is less actively evil and more unpredictably violent and determined, no matter the cost.
Blonsky is a British-raised Russian-born who quickly rose through the ranks as a Royal Marine in the British Armed Forces. AT The incredible Hulk, we meet him when he is loaned out to US Special Operations Command on behalf of Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt), who plans for him to lead a strike team to take down the Hulk. When Blonsky’s first attempt to fight the Hulk fails, Ross injects him with a version of the super soldier serum that gives the already unpredictable and determined Blonsky increased speed and strength.
He keeps up with the Hulk for most of the film, but things spiral out of control when, after later injuries at the Hulk’s hands from which normal people never recover, he is overdosed with the serum and then breaks into the lab. Dr. Samuel Stearns (Tim Blake Nelson) and demands a dose of Bruce Banner’s blood. At this point, we see Blonsky begin to change and a dinosaur-style spike appears on his back. At the film’s climax, he transforms into a Hulk-like creature we call the Abomination.
Of course, the Hulk defeats him, but a battle between the two destroys much of Harlem in the process; Blonsky goes to jail and Banner goes on the run.
Blonsky was almost offered the Avengers candidacy to replace Bruce Banner
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Blonsky was being held at the Vault, a cryogenic prison in Alaska, on official orders from Ross. Only the most senior SHIELD agents, like Phil Coulson, knew he was there. But while he was there, the Marvel One-Shot movie was called Consultant revealed that the World Security Council favored his release in order to join the Avengers initiative.
The argument was made that Blonsky would be a worthy member of the team, as he was already a trained soldier and war hero. Yes, he acted violently, they argued, but it was all in self-defense against the Hulk, who he was told was a major threat to national security (this eventually becomes Blonsky’s main parole case in She-Hulk; we’ll see if he really changed his crazy behavior).
However, knowing his true nature, Coulson, Tony Stark, and, ironically, HYDRA traitor Jasper Sitwell, campaigned on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D. to keep Blonsky from being chosen, and Ross agreed. This led to Bruce Banner’s candidacy for the Avengers.
Yes, the Abomination was in 2021 Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Before She-Hulkonly been once since then The incredible Hulk what we saw Blonsky in the MCU: fighting Wong in a cage match at a club owned by Shang-Chi’s sister, Xialing, in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
We don’t get any explanation as to how Blonsky and Wong found each other, although there is obviously a connection to it as Wong refers to him as “Emil”, but their fight ends with Wong winning. She-Hulk fully explains this appearance in future episodes – be patient, friends.
Evan is a culture editor for Men’s Health and a contributor to The New York Times, MTV News, Brooklyn Magazine, and VICE. He likes weird movies, watches too much TV, and listens to music more than listening.
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