Is She-Hulk not your usual Marvel? She-Hulk: Attorney at Law stands out from other Marvel Cinematic Universe projects, and it is this difference that will likely see the show subvert a traditional MCU finale trope. Following the life of Bruce Banner’s lawyer cousin, Jennifer Walters, She-Hulk is a character-focused comedy through and through, demonstrating the Marvel universe’s push for more unique spins on the superhero genre in Phase 4. It is this humorous tone and focus on character that will likely see the show avoid the usual Marvel finale trope.
Marvel’s newest TV series, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, subverts expectations by focusing less on action and more on character. Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) is not interested in following in her cousin, the Incredible Hulk’s footsteps as an Avenger, instead proclaiming her series to be a “lawyer show”. She-Hulk has only seen a handful of fights, most notably She-Hulk’s battle against Titania (Jameela Jamil) and a family disagreement with Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk in episode 1. While the over-arching story of a group of internet trolls with immense resources led by someone known as HulkKing suggests that a big battle is coming, the series has honed in on Jen as a character and put laughs above fights.
Is She-Hulk not your usual Marvel?
In the first episode of “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law,” audiences not only learn how Jennifer Walters gains her superpowers — they also discover that she’s a tad obsessed with Steve Rogers’ sex life. It’s something she keeps pestering her cousin Bruce Banner about until he reveals whether Rogers ever lost his virginity.
One of the things about the Disney+ series that struck Mark Ruffalo, quoting head writer Jessica Gao, is “how horny-forward [the story] is” compared to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he shares with a laugh. Ruffalo, who has been playing Banner and his alter-ego Hulk since 2012’s “The Avengers,” also enjoys how “She-Hulk,” which launched Thursday, “just takes the piss out of a lot of the superhero macho stuff and kind of the toxic, male Reddit culture” that at times permeates certain fandoms.
It also helps that the show is genuinely funny.
“My favorite type of comedy is taking these big, high-concept things such as a Hulk — who can save the world and is one of the strongest beings on Earth — but then really grounding that in our reality,” says Gao, who also serves as an executive producer. “What I love about our show is that we’re taking the time to really just turn the camera a little bit to the left and see what’s going on in [their] everyday life.”
Created for television by Gao, “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” follows Jennifer Walters, played by Tatiana Maslany, after an accident leads to her exposure to Banner’s gamma-irradiated blood. Despite gaining the ability to transform into a powerful, giant, green version of herself, though, Walters insists she will keep living the same life she did before the accident.
Jennifer Walters, Not She-Hulk, Can Stop HulkKing Without A Huge Fight
The power of a normal person like Jennifer Walters is clearly being built up as one of She-Hulk’s key elements, further hinting that the series will be resolved without a traditional Marvel-style fight like those seen in Captain America and Iron Man’s solo movies. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law episode 7 showed the value of Jen, not She-Hulk, so it seems only logical that the series will end with Jen using her lawyer skills to take down HulkKing.
Everything shown so far hints towards Jennifer Walters, not the gamma-powered She-Hulk, resolving the situation using her law degree, not her Hulk strength. After all, it was her legal brains that got Emil Blonsky – a.k.a. Abomination – out of prison, and aided Wong in stopping Donny Blaze from practicing magic.
Of course, She-Hulk is still a Marvel Cinematic Universe show, so a fight of some sort will almost certainly take place in the final episode. Additionally, Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock still has yet to appear despite appearing in his new Daredevil costume in the trailer.
With this in mind, it seems likely that She-Hulk and Daredevil will team up to take down a villain before the show concludes, but whether that is the nefarious Josh, Titania, or HulkKing remains to be seen. What seems likely is that the She-Hulk: Attorney at Law finale will mix up the typical Marvel finale formula, just as it has put its own quirky spin on what a Marvel project can be.
New episodes of She-Hulk release on Thursdays on Disney+.
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She-Hulk and Hulk Have Far Different Origins
Many know the origins of She-Hulk cousin Bruce Banner, a.k.a. the Hulk. Irradiated by gamma waves during an explosion, he thereafter transformed into his green (initially gray) alter ego. With She-Hulk, her life changed forever when her county sheriff father’s enemies attacked her. Requiring a blood transfusion and with Bruce as the only viable candidate, he gave her his gamma-infused blood.
This turned her into a massive female Hulk, though she was notably different from the more monstrous form her cousin took. The Marvel Cinematic Universe remixed this concept by having her become exposed to Bruce’s blood when they’re attacked, triggering her transformation. While it might not be a genetic connection, becoming a Hulk is definitely in the blood!
She-Hulk Isn’t Nearly as Savage as Her Cousin
Though definitely far from the average lady in her Hulk form, She-Hulk is still physically distinct from the Hulk. Instead of looking like a monster, she merely turns green and has a taller, more Amazonian appearance. The degree of her defined musculature ranges, but she’s generally depicted as subconsciously taking the physique of the “ideal woman.”
When she was first shown as the Savage She-Hulk, she did affect an angry and somewhat impulsive demeanor. This was still removed from the Frankenstein’s monster aesthetic that the Hulk bore, however. Even in the beginning, She-Hulk was a lot more intelligent than Hulk.
She-Hulk Controls Her Transformations
At first, Jennifer Hulked out due to anger, just like her cousin. This was done away with, however, and Jen learned to control her transformations. In fact, it’s a rarity that she ever reverts to her normal form, with even her court cases handled while she’s transformed.
On the other hand, Bruce Banner has largely been at the mercy of the Hulk. For most of his history, he’s only transformed when under stress. Both of them have had periods where this hasn’t been the case, but for the most part, She-Hulk is the only one who can usually use her Hulk form as a “tool.”
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