She-Hulk Episode 7 introduces four new characters: Man-Bull, El Águila, Saracen, and Porcupine – but who are they, and how do they compare to the comics?
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has a bit of a penchant for playing with low-level Marvel characters. So far, we’ve seen the return of Emil Blonsky aka the Abomination, as well as the debuts of Donny Blaze, The Wrecking Crew, Mr Immortal, and Intelligencia.
In Episode 7 of the Disney+ MCU show, Jen (Tatiana Maslany) finds herself stuck at Blonsky’s “Abomaste” retreat after a glitch with his inhibitor alerts his parole officer.
While spending some time there without any phone signal or Wi-Fi, she meets a group of Marvel characters we’ve never seen before – so who are Man-Bull, El Águila, Saracen, and Porcupine in She-Hulk? Let’s break it down.
She-Hulk Episode 7: Who is Man-Bull?
Man-Bull is played by Nathan Hurd in She-Hulk. In the show, he’s introduced when he slams El Águila into Jen’s car while they’re “working through their resentments in a safe environment.”
He tells Jen his appearance – horns, a bull’s nose, exceptionally hairy arms – is the result of a weird lab experiment, even adding: “Don’t ask.”
In the comics, his real name is William Taurens, a criminal who kidnapped people on the orders of Mr. Kline – who’s revealed to be MK-9, but that’s another matter – so they could be experimented on by the Professor.
He was stopped by a hero who’s still to make their She-Hulk debut: Daredevil. Due to his failure, the Professor forced him to undergo the experiment himself, receiving injections that turned him into the large, superhuman monster known as Man-Bull. Daredevil stopped him again, but Taurens managed to get his hands on some more Man-Bull serum and made his transformation permanent.
His powers are fairly obvious: superhuman strength, endurance, durability, and he has a big set of horns on his head.
She-Hulk: Episode 7: Who is El Águila?
El Águila is played by Joseph Castillo-Midyett. As noted above, we meet him when he’s fighting with Man-Bull outside Blonsky’s retreat, and he insists to Jen he’s not a matador – he’s a “swashbuckler.” Later in the episode, we briefly see him wield his bio-electric sword.
In the comics, his real name is Alejandro Montoya. He was born in Spain, and in order to keep his identity a secret when he moved to America, he called himself El Águila.
Unlike Man-Bull, El Águila’s powers come from within… because he’s a mutant. His powers emerged when he was a teenager, allowing him to channel bioelectricity through conductive metals.
He’s known for wielding a double-edged steel sword that effectively channels his bioelectric energy, and while the effects of those blasts are temporary, he’s capable of going toe-to-toe with some of the strongest Marvel characters, including Luke Cage. As you’d expect, he’s gifted in swordsmanship, but he also has a grappling hook for traversing New York.
She-Hulk: Episode 7: Who is Saracen?
Saracen is played by Terrence Clowe in She-Hulk. We don’t meet Saracen until Jen accidentally stumbles into Blonsky’s meeting with the other characters, where they’re all trying to unpack their feelings and anxieties.
Blonsky explains Saracen “thinks he’s a vampire”, and while he never tries to suck anybody’s blood, he says Jen looks “tasty”, before stopping himself and asking his friends to bail him out.
With Blade on the horizon of the MCU, vampire characters – who aren’t Morbius – are of major interest. In the comics, there are two Saracens: Muzzafar Lambert, an enemy of The Punisher; and Saracen, one of the first vampires on Earth.
On this occasion, we’re dealing with the latter character. Saracen came to Earth alongside a notorious group of vampires: Nosferatu, Verdelet, Boy, Maracen, and Lamia, with the group of bloodsuckers known as the Ancient.
While he’s hardly a major player in the Marvel universe, this is worth noting: his first appearance was in Blade: Vampire Hunter #1 in 1999.
She-Hulk: Episode 7: Who is Porcupine?
Porcupine is played by Jordan Aaron Ford in She-Hulk. We meet Porcupine at Blonsky’s meeting, and he’s kitted out in a spiky costume resembling a ghillie suit and a gas mask. He eventually takes the mask off, but the smell that emanates from his suit causes everyone in the room to gag and cough.
In the comics, three different people take on the villainous mantle of Porcupine: Alexander Gentry, Roger Gocking, and Billy Bates, all of whom face off against Ant-Man. In the show, it’s never made clear which Porcupine it is.
Gentry was a weapons designer for the US Army who first conceived the Porcupine suit, equipping it with quill-like projections that defend the wearer and allow them to attack people. The suit is also capable of shooting quills and gases at opponents.
Gocking later became Porcupine, using the battle armor in several key comics events, including the Civil War and Doctor Doom’s war with Wakanda.
Billy Bates was a teenage mutant with the ability to spout sharp spikes from all over his body. When he accidentally killed a group of people harassing a waitress he had a crush on, he was assassinated on the order of Alexei Vazhin. While he never officially took on the name, he’d planned to call himself Porcupine.
She-Hulk Episode 8 will be available to stream on October 6. You can sign up to Disney+ here.