In theater, the term “fourth wall” refers to an imaginary wall that is present between the actors on stage and the people sitting in the audience seat. This imaginary wall creates the division that allows the actors to act, and the audience to follow the plot without the actors and the audience communicating with each other. The first three walls are the actual walls of a traditional stage; one on the left, the right, and the one at the back. The same goes for cinema. When a character breaks the fourth wall and communicates with the audience, the phenomenon is called metalepsis.
In Marvel comics, many characters have broken the fourth wall, including She-Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Deadpool, Loki, Squirrel Girl, Rick Jones, and even Spider-Man, among others. However, MCU, too, has its own share of characters that have spoken to the audience at times. While some have done it once or twice, others have loved having a conversation with us. Here are the MCU superheroes who have broken the fourth wall.
Jennifer Walters In ‘She-Hulk: Attorney At Law’
The latest of the lot, Jennifer Walters, AKA She-Hulk, is the first Marvel superhero to break the fourth wall in the comics. As for the MCU, she is the second-sole headlining character to break the fourth wall. In the comics, she once threatened the readers to destroy their X-Men comics if they didn’t read her new series. She is a regular there. However, “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” doesn’t give Jennifer that much character freedom as she has in the comics. At least not yet, although according to reports, she will address Marvel president Kevin Feige himself in the upcoming episodes.
Deadpool In ‘Deadpool’ And ‘Deadpool 2’
Deadpool’s first appearance in the comics was in “NEW MUTANTS” #98 (1983) as a villain. It wasn’t until 1997’s highly acclaimed “Deadpool” run that Wade Wilson broke the fourth wall, slowly making it one of his primary characteristics. The movies, however, showed just how entertaining breaking the fourth wall can be by Deadpool—not just talking to the audience but also to other characters about their timelines (Professor Xavier in “Deadpool”) and comic appearances (Juggernaut in “Deadpool 2”). He also jumped films (to “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”) and even landed in reality (killing Ryan Reynolds before he could read the “Green Lantern” script). FYI, Deadpool 3 is happening.
The Watcher In ‘What If…?’
Keeping in mind that the Watcher is a cosmic guardian who maneuvers us across the MCU multiverse, it is natural for him to break the fourth wall and talk to the audience. It is his cosmic strength to be able to reach out to us. But unlike Jennifer Walters or Deadpool, the Watcher doesn’t address us as an audience of a TV show. He becomes the narrator, and we are the listener of his story. This is what gives his fourth-wall break a whole different POV. “What if…?” Season 2 arrives next year, and surely, the Watcher will be back with new stories to tell.
Multiple Characters In ‘WandaVision’
WandaVision was MCU’s first step into the supernatural. So breaking the fourth wall was a part of the deal, frankly speaking. In Episode 7, aptly titled “Breaking the Fourth Wall,” Vision has sit-down interviews and even stares at the camera, conveying what is on his mind without saying a single word. Darcy, too, had her own time with the camera when she was under Wanda’s spell and became an escape artist. Wanda’s sons, Billy and Tommy Maximoff, also break the fourth wall in Episodes 6 and 7. In the former, they talk about Halloween and how things changed after their uncle Pietro returned home. In the latter, their mother tries to make them understand what’s going on. And finally, we have Agatha Harkness, who had her own interview with the show’s characters, where she spilled the beans and told us that she was the one pulling strings from the director’s chair. Agatha will have her own show titled “Agatha: Coven of Chaos” in winter 2023.
Captain America In ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Post Credits Scene
Post-credits are a common thing in the MCU. However, sometimes they don’t turn out as expected. A funny thing happened at the end of “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” where Steve Rogers turns up and tells the audience the importance of patience, taking a dig at all those who waited for the post-credits scene. While it does match the intent, the whole monologue is actually one of the many PSA advertisements shown in Peter’s class.
While Spider-Man has not yet broken the fourth wall in the MCU, in the comics, he has been found to correct readers regarding the pronunciation of his name as they often miss the hyphen in between “Spider” and “Man.” Other than this, he has also made himself known to the readers. Furthermore, Spidey’s stylish sense of humor, more often than not, tends toward proving his ability to break the fourth wall if he so wants. It is as if he knows that we are watching him, but he is maintaining his character. Well, it does suit him. We can only hope that MCU’s Spider-Man, too, gets to break his fourth wall real soon. Imagine a conversation between Deadpool and Spider-Man! It has happened in the comics numerous times… So why not in the MCU?
See More: ‘She-Hulk: Attorney At Law’ Episode 3: Recap & Ending, Explained – Does Jennifer Defend Emil Blonsky?