When I saw the rumour of a She-Hulk television adaptation, I was equal parts concerned and excited. Marvel Entertainment have taken us on a few roller coasters of emotions with some of their efforts. The first ad came across as yet another dark and gritty story about a lawyer trying to balance work and being a superhero. We already did that with Daredevil, and done pretty darn well IMHO, but that wasn’t what She-Hulk should be about.
The later trailers showed something lighter, and currently I’m two episodes so far and I’m getting pretty much what I was hoping for. It manages to keep things mostly light even as the narrative wrestles with Jenn’s struggles as a female lawyer and a hero.
I’ve got a few thoughts about what I’ve seen so far, mostly comparing the comic source material against what Marvel Cinematic is giving us, mostly spoiler free.
It’s a bit of a departure from the comics (emergency blood transfusion to save her life for reasons) but at least they did give a nod to there being a gamma burst and genetic reasons why it worked as it did. A bit ‘hand waving’ but I’ll deal with it.
In the comic, it was handled that because of the difference in origins (blood transfusion vs gamma bomb) Jenn was much better at being Jen as the She Hulk. The TV version goes one step further (and even echoes a classic line in some ways about states of anger) and I’d say it works (though my head cannon still brings in the origin difference as a factor).
BREAKING THE 4th WALL
Deadpool is far from the only mainstream superhero in comics that talks directly to the reader. For She-Hulk, this is totally part of comic cannon with the John Byrne run and it works for the show. One of the running themes I expect is inner Jen and outer Jen and the 4th wall conversation comes off better than thought balloons or inner monologue. As an audience, we are savvy enough to get it.
EARLY (PRE) REVIEWS
Much like when Captain Marvel was announced, the internet movie review sites were awash with negative reviews – weeks before the movie ever released. The segment of the population raging over the very concept of a female super hero show was never going to appreciate it. With She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, we are seeing this again. Accusations of her being a Mary-Sue, pushing an agenda, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera ad nauseum. At the time of this post, Captain Marvel is coming in at 79% Critics / 45% Audience, She-Hulk : Attorney at Law doing much better at 87% Critics / 74% Audience. There are plenty blog posts out there already about this, so I’m not going to dwell on it.
Jennifer Walters is a multi dimensional character and Tatiana Maslany has some great acting chops. I look forward to watching more. Will we get a Wyatt Wingfoot appearance, signalling another support character for the Fantastic Four? Will we get those oddball second tier characters like Xemnu, Dr. Bong (previously an archfoe of Howard the Duck), or the Blonde Phantom? What about the Sakaar storyline we got teased with? There is some serious world building that could take place in this series, and I would be surprised if we don’t get some Secret Wars tie ins by the end of this season or one to follow.