She-Hulk: The Abomination in the MCU, explained

Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky, aka the Abomination, in She-HulkDisney+

Who is the Abomination in the MCU? Marvel has brought back one of its oldest villains for She-Hulk, how did he become the Abomination, and is he still one of the bad guys?

Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe began charting its course towards Thanos, it had a small, humble rogues gallery. The MCU’s villains kicked off with Iron Man’s Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges), also known as Iron Monger.

Thereafter, Edward Norton made his debut in The Incredible Hulk, only for the role to be recast with Mark Ruffalo by the time The Avengers rolled around.

The film also introduced Emil Blonsky, aka the Abomination, the baby-poop-colored, spikey-spined adversary of the Hulk.

The Abomination in the MCU: Emil Blonksy’s backstory

Blonksy is played by Tim Roth, who earlier starred in Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. He first appeared in The Incredible Hulk and wasn’t seen again until 2021’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, brawling with Wong (Benedict Wong) at a secret fight club in Macau, before returning in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law on Disney+.

Prior to his monstrous transformation, the Russian-born, British-raised soldier served as a special-ops commander in the Royal Marines. While Emil could have been promoted to Colonel, he refused – a bit like Tom Sizemore in Heat, the fighting “is the juice” for Blonsky, so he wished to remain a Captain.

Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky in The Incredible HulkMarvel Studios
Emil Blonsky fought the Hulk before becoming the Abomination.

Blonsky was later hired by General Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) to hunt down Bruce Banner, pursuing him through Rio de Janeiro and witnessing him wreaking havoc as the Hulk, laying waste to his team of mercenaries.

“He didn’t lose us, and he was not alone, sir. We had him, and then something hit us. Something big hit us! It threw a forklift truck like it was a softball! It was the most powerful thing I’ve ever seen,” Blonsky told Ross in the wake of the mission, before he was told that Banner was the Hulk.

How Emil Blonsky became the Abomination

After further meetings with Ross – where he learned about Banner’s work on radiation resistance as part of the Bio-Tech Force Enhancement, which resulted in him becoming the Hulk – Blonsky agreed to take part in an experiment with the Pentagon’s new Super Soldier Serum.

It went well – at first. Blonsky was able to confront the Hulk in a one-on-one fight and live to tell the tale, recovering from grave injuries in less than a day. He soon became addicted to the power, taking larger doses of the serum and later demanding a transfusion of Gamma-irradiated blood, transforming him into the Abomination.

The Abomination then faced off with the Hulk in Harlem. Initially, he had the upper hand, seemingly possessing greater strength, but the Hulk improvised with weapons (he used cars as boxing gloves and a massive chain) and emerged victorious.

The Abomination’s powers in the MCU

As a result of the modified Super Soldier Serum, Blonsky initially had powers similar to Captain America, such as superhuman strength, speed, durability, and agility, despite being older than his prime.

When he becomes the Abomination, he’s essentially the same as the Hulk; with his immense strength, he’s capable of feats that haven’t fully been explored, although we’ve seen him hurl cars across a city and kick through Wong’s magic shields.

Abomination fighting Wong in Shang-ChiMarvel Studios
The Abomination’s fight against Wong takes place during She-Hulk.

He can also leap huge distances, heal at the same rate as the Hulk, and use his spiky protrusions as weapons; for example, one of the spikes on his elbow inflicted a wound on the Hulk.

Why is the Abomination in She-Hulk?

In She-Hulk Episode 2, Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) heads up a new superhuman division at a law firm, and her first client is Blonsky. SPOILERS FOR EPISODE 2 AHEAD…

She immediately refuses, citing the conflict of interest from him trying to kill her cousin Bruce, but hesitantly agrees to meet him at his cell in the Damage Control Supermax Prison.

He reveals to her that he’s changed his ways; not only is he capable of turning into the Abomination at will, but he wants a life for himself after the events of The Incredible Hulk.

Blonsky also blames the government for the Abomination and believes he was doing the right thing by serving his country and trying to protect people against a “threat” like the Hulk, without being properly informed of the risks.

The episode ends with him escaping prison (presumably with Wong to the fight club in Shang-Chi), so it remains to be seen whether Blonsky has truly reformed or if we’ll see another bout between the Abomination and a member of the Hulk family.

She-Hulk Episode 3 hits Disney+ on Thursday, September 1.

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