I just finished watching the first episode of the new Marvel Comics show She-Hulk: Attorney At Law, and color me impressed. I was honestly shaking my head at all the people, nee trolls, online who were complaining about every little thing they saw in the trailers, without even watching the show itself, which is now streaming on Disney+. I’ll have a few things to say about them later.
First, let’s talk about the show, shall we? For the benefit of those who don’t read the comics or follow the MCU that closely, the show centers around Jennifer Walters, the cousin of Bruce Banner (aka The Hulk). Jennifer is an attorney by day, and also has the ability to turn into a female version of The Hulk. This is explained in this series when, as the two of them are driving, they get into a bad car accident, severe enough for both of them to get injured and bleeding, when something from Bruce’s past comes swooping in (MCU fans will recognize it when they see it). The crash scene is an absolute mess, and both are still in their (very vulnerable) human forms, so they both get injured. In the process of escaping the car, some of Bruce’s blood gets mixed into an open wound on Jennifer, which prompts her to be able to make the afore-mentioned transformations.
Without trying to get too spoiler-y, the first episode details Bruce/Hulk trying to help his cousin, who is now understandably anxious about being able to transform and trying to come to grips with this new reality of hers. Jennifer just wants to get back to her life, and explains, quite correctly to Bruce, that the stress, fear, anxiety, and panic that can set off a transformation are the default most women face on a daily basis. Between the stress of constant catcalls, having to look perfect every single day, working 1000 times harder just to get 2/3 the pay of a guy two office doors down, having to juggle family, dating, and a million other things at once, all of that is stressful enough for a 30-something working woman. Now add to the equation, the fact that Jennifer can transform into a Hulk, and would be able to kill people literally with a flick of a finger, only adds to the anxiety. Plus, she just wants to get back to her regular life, which as Bruce points out to her is an impossibility, as the transformations make for a personal Rubicon for Jennifer in her life, one forever transformed (no pun intended) and thrust into a bigger world.
However, in true Marvel Comics style, this whole first episode manages to pull this off with the right mix of irreverent comedy, action, dialogue, and even several instances of Jennifer, who is wonderfully played by Tatiana Maslany, breaking the fourth wall. At one point, Bruce even looks at her, and wonders who she’s talking to, which only adds to the humor. They also manage to add references to Iron Man, Captain America, an oblique reference to the events of Thor: Ragnorok (you’ll know it when you see it), Age of Ultron, Endgame, and several other MCU titles. Plus, the conversations Jennifer and Bruce have about the question of Captain America’s virginity while downing margaritas are absolutely priceless. Oh, and you’ll love the mid-credits scene in the first episode!
For all the Criticisms…
And OK, they could have done a bit better with the CGI surrounding She-Hulk’s look, but that is in NO way the dealbreaker that a lot of people online are making it out to be. Nor is the fact that having a female lead is downplaying the other characters in the MCU. If anything, it’s adding to them. It’s the same sad argument when people criticized Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, and basically said that she was only in the Marvel Comics movies for the T&A, which is a sad, misogynistic statement to make, as she was there to be as much of a badass as Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo, not to mention the fact that she could clearly kick ass and take names with the best of them, and I think a lot of those keyboard warriors hiding in their mom’s basements were more than a little afraid of that. These are probably the same fanboys that go to the conventions, ogle the cosplayers, drooling and pawing at them, and completely creeping them out in the process before going back to their mom’s basement for the rest of the year. It’s almost like they’re afraid that because there’s Marvel title being led by a woman, they’ll catch the cooties or something. Well, if any of them are reading this, allow me to be the first to welcome them to the 21st Century.
In Conclusion (to all the misogynistic Marvel Comics “fans”)…
All in all, I really like the new She-Hulk show, and if the first episode is any indication, there’s a lot more good episodes to come. And for all those people review-bombing the show on IMDB and elsewhere, leaving 1-Star reviews without even watching the show, may I suggest you leave the MCU fanbase, and go back down to your mom’s basement where you belong. You know where the door is, don’t let it hit your ass on the way back there! Stan Lee himself said that Marvel Comics and the Marvel Universe as a whole was all about teaching inclusion, diversity and tolerance, and misogyny had no place in it.