She-Hulk’s KEVIN Is A Bizarre Kevin Feige Marvel Meme That Comes To Life

With more than 100 hours Spread across movies, Disney Plus series, and dubiously canonical Netflix shows, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is full of GIF-enabled moments that fuel a collective internet zeitgeist. Memes and Moments range from direct jumpers (“I got this reference”) and slightly modified scenes (“I see this as an absolute victory”) to full remixes that sample from the MCU to create something utterly unique, yet still very connected.

For my money, there is one MCU reaction GIF that stands out above the rest. In a few seconds loop, it manages to incorporate more than three dozen Marvel moments while placing one of the most influential figures in the MCU at its center, even though this one has never appeared on screen. Because of this, its spread is largely limited to Marvel-centric discussions among those in the know – an extremely powerful joke, yes, but a joke nonetheless.

This week She-Hulk finale, “Whose Show Is This?”, paid homage, if not directly to the GIF, at least to the philosophy that inspired it. And he did it with a much larger production budget.

[Ed. note: The rest of this post contains spoilers for the She-Hulk finale.]

The GIF is a work of art. We open with the scowling head of Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, superimposed on the body of the all-powerful architect, central character of the 2003s The matrix revolutions. On either side of him are 36 monitors, each playing a different scene from a Marvel movie – and not just the MCU but also X-Men, Deadpool and even Fantastic Four. It’s the best and worst of its cinematic history, with Spider-Man’s debut in Civil war two feet away from Vinnie Jones shouting “I’m the Juggernaut, bitch.” Throughout it all, Feige casually wears the Infinity Gauntlet, Marvel’s Mega-MacGuffin for his first 23 interconnected films, while slowly cracking a smile among the Top 10 Super Villains.

The message, for those who don’t remember Matrix sequels, is that Kevin Feige’s position as the architect of the MCU is more than just a job title; rather, he is a divine figure who controls the fate of every hero, villain, and supporting character in his universe. In this version, he’s a being whose power goes beyond the bounds of humanity and requires him to be highly advanced intelligence to pull all those strings.

On our side of reality, there is a grain of truth. Kevin Feige has long been the final say in virtually every decision for the MCU – the buck-stops producer here who (almost) always wears a baseball cap and runs a record-breaking money-printing mega-franchise with a cohesive canonical. Then there’s the other side of reality, the one where Jennifer Walters is pissed off.

We need to talk about KEVIN

back to She-Hulk final. (You didn’t think I forgot, did you?) As the episode spirals into inconsistency, our heroine pushes her ever-expanding, fourth-wall-breaking superpowers to their full potential to find out who, indeed, ultimately controls his destiny.

After browsing the Disney Plus menu and entering the studio, Walters pleads his case to the She-Hulk writers room only to be told in no uncertain terms that “This is the story Kevin wants.” Kevin is apparently so important that a writer in the room confesses to wanting to kill to protect him. For more casual fans, it’s just a nonsensical little joke – what omnipotent being would be revered for their TV prowess, and why would they use a rote mononym like “Kevin”? But it’s Kevin, so Walters signs an NDA and makes his way to an unspeakable door that houses whoever makes the last calls.

Picture: Marvel Studios

The room Jennifer walks into is exactly as fans joke – a row of over three dozen Monitors playing out different moments in Marvel history, and advanced intelligence in the middle of it all. Only this one doesn’t have Kevin’s human face and this mononym is actually an acronym. Turns out KEVIN stands for Knowledge Enhanced Visual Interconnectivity Nexus. “Were you expecting a man? asks the robotic executive.

And so Walters sits down with whoever can help him. This isn’t the first time She-Hulk has broken the fourth wall to change her story, nor the first time a Hulk has cried out to a god. But this scene tears at the heart of Marvel storytelling.

Rumors of an appearance of Kevin Feige in She-Hulk have been circulating since at least December 2021 in roundup post from the Marvel Studios Spoilers subreddit, a sizable community with an active moderation team trying to balance scoop truthfulness with lulz. As the show aired, those whispers intensified. She-Hulk showrunner Jessica Gao has recognized seeing the chatter online, “but I can’t imagine that’s how they thought the cameo would happen.”

The Kevin-as-the-Architect GIF was first uploaded on December 13, 2017 ahead of Disney’s acquisition of Fox, which would be officially announced a few days later and would return the X-Men movie’s IP at Marvel. The GIF was created by GIPHY Video Editor Leroy Patterson – a character in his own right, who owns more than 4,000 copies from the classic Xbox 360 Sneak King — who emailed me the origin story of the meme:

The moment that leaked the day before Disney bought Fox and all the mutants had “gone home” to Marvel I was super excited and as the lead video editor for Giphy I wanted to do something to commemorate this moment !

As a huge Marvel and Matrix Nerd, pairing the two made perfect sense. It gave me a visual that was quick and easy to use, and thanks to all the monitors, allow me to highlight many moments in Marvel Film history that I thoroughly enjoyed.

This was the first thing that came to mind and probably took two hours, most of which was searching for all the clips. I wanted to make sure that every franchise at the time was represented. If I did now I would have to extend the background for many more monitors!

Patterson continues to produce wonder memes for GIPHY, including one collaboration with Bosslogic.

This may be a case of parallel thinking – an all-powerful AI controlling fate is a well-worn trope – but the core idea of ​​Patterson’s meme and the She-Hulk The reveal is derived from amused exaggeration for creatives and Marvel fans alike. “It was so funny to have these writers revere Kevin the way everyone at Marvel Studios reveres Kevin,” Gao notes in the post-finale. writing. “That’s kind of how we talk about Kevin in the studio. I mean, I really pulled so much from real life to put into this section of the finale.

While Feige still hasn’t appeared in the MCU in his flesh-and-blood form, he did make an appearance in the X-Men comics, attending Krakoa’s inaugural Hellfire gala in a June 2021 issue. The oddly sketched face wasn’t clear enough, so Feige made sure to wear his own signature tracksuit to the event: a blazer, no tie, and a baseball cap. In his single line of dialogue, Feige can be seen asking Cyclops for his story. We never know how he reacts, but it doesn’t really matter. After all, this won’t be Cyclops’ show, it’s KEVIN’s.

Kimberly B. Nguyen