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She-Hulk: Lawyer has settled into a comfortable rhythm for the second half of the first season: each episode brings a different terrifyingly obscure Marvel Comics character to the live-action screen to riff on. The show started its run with Titania — relatively known for being the closest thing She-Hulk has to a nemesis — and has continued with the likes of Mister Immortal, Luke Jacobson, and more.
This week is no different, with a cameo that is way ahead of the rest.
[Ed. note: This piece contains spoilers for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law episode 8.]
This week’s legal plot involves Eugene Patilio, an aspiring superhero turned villain almost immediately, using his father’s money and power to fund his ambitious costumed life as Leap-Frog. Patilio’s powers seem to include the right to have a lot of money and use it to pay for a suit of rocket boots – but what he really does in the episode is build a door for She-HulkDaredevil’s long-awaited cameo.
Is Leap-Frog a real Marvel Comics superhero?
From Class He is! He’s a lot nicer. Marvel Comics’ Eugene Patilio is the son of Vincent Patilio, who had an ignominious career as supervillain Leap-Frog. Vincent served his time, but never recovered emotionally or financially, and after his wife’s death, he really began to struggle. Eugene, a very good boy, took it upon himself to redeem his father’s past by associating frog-based adventurers with good and not evil.
He donned his father’s old suit—complete with the spring-loaded boots Vincent invented—and began to stop crime as Frogman. Frog-Man was never a big player in Marvel Comics (don’t be surprised), but he’s the kind of character who will reliably pop up when a writer needs to let you know that some absolute folly is about to happen. He teams up with the mutated Toad, is hunted by Kraven in a menagerie of animal-themed cartoon characters, and he was replaced by a Skrull during the secret invasion.
He is the kind of man who would be picked to go on a cosmic adventure with Iron Man and would suggest that the team name be ‘the Space Friends’. And while his niche right now is “absolute nobodies you still can’t hate,” that just means he’s a really good story away from superstardom. After all, it happened to Squirrel Girl.
She-Hulk: Lawyer might have needed a little-known superhero to play the jerk in this episode, and I respect that. The needs of adaptation sometimes have to outweigh the needs of a few. But I choose to remember Eugene as Frog-Man, not Leap-Frog.
Because he’s a good frog, Brent. 13/10.