She-Hulk creates safe space for fighting the patriarchy

By Lily Angel

Marvel’s “She-Hulk Attorney at Law” might be its most hated television series. Fans of “Inhumans” and “Iron Fist” are cheering that they are no longer Marvel’s worst television shows. But this hatred is unfounded. The writers of “She-Hulk” successfully told a story about a woman (albeit big, green, and super) on her terms, something that has not been a priority for Marvel up until this point.

In “She-Hulk Attorney at Law,” Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany), cousin of the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), accidentally comes into contact with the Hulk’s blood giving her super powers. The television show follows her in the “slice-of-life” style showing her as a superpowered lawyer. 

Not only does the television show touch base on the issues of super powered people but also the real life problems women face when it comes to dating and managing a career. Jennifer Walters has to grapple with her newfound powers, her new job, and finding the guy of her dreams. We hear male Marvel fans groaning. Just give us this one.

“She-Hulk Attorney at Law” made its Disney+ debut on August 18 with nine episodes in the season. Even prior to the release of the show, skeptics and M-She-U haters had been bombarding social media with negative reviews, expressing hatred for the show. Although some of the criticisms are valid they were cleverly addressed by the end of the story.

The show was overly criticized for low quality computer generated imagery (CGI). Some of the issues with the GCI of She Hulk was the lack of detail in her hair and face. She-Hulk’s CGI looked really cheesy in the first initial trailers but as the show progressed the CGI was better than previously depicted in the trailer. Although it is true that the CGI was not the best, viewers need to understand Marvel is on a budget and it costs a lot of money to produce an entirely CGI character. If the graphics are not what we are used to seeing in a Marvel production, it is because they are on a tighter budget for television than film. 

On a similar note, the humor was excessively criticized. Although it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it is still enjoyable to watch. From She-Hulk’s dance with guest star Megan Thee Stallion to original character Madisynn’s (Patty Guggenheim) “Wongers,” the show is filled with fun tidbits of comedy that highlight sexist double standards. Let’s be real, if Deadpool was the one twerking with Megan Thee Stallion, social media would explode with happiness.

Additionally the show was bashed for its accuracy with the comic book. The show was pretty on target with the breaking of the fourth wall. In the comics, She-Hulk often breaks character to talk to the reader and the show was able to portray this beautifully. Although other characters in the MCU (or about to enter the MCU) have broken the fourth wall like Deadpool, She-Hulk was fully committed to it, to the point she changes the ending of the show and uses it as an opportunity to resolve and address major issues. In the comic, this occurs frequently where She-Hulk is upset with how her story is going, so she steps out of the comic frame and talks to the writers about it and changes the ending. 

In the show, She-Hulk manages to reconcile an ill-conceived plotline that simply does not match her character’s story; in essence, she is able to fully own her story. 

On another disheartening note the show was accused of toxic feminism. “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” displays the real life dangers and day-to-day complexities women face. There was a point in the show where She-Hulk is dating, trying to find a suitable relationship and her suitors were either creepy, misogynistic, faux-feminist, or casually objectefied her. Though this doesn’t represent the characteristics of all men, this represents the dangers women experience in modern dating. Another instance where the dangers of being a woman is shown is when she walks home at night alone, and she is attacked but then transforms into She-Hulk. This is a real issue women face. Oftentimes, women cannot walk home alone after dark because of the dangers of being attacked. The show’s intent was not to be a man-hating, evil feminist show. Rather, the creators wanted to show audiences what women really face. 

Although the show had a few kinks, the acting was on point. Each and every actor gave a brilliant performance that really showed the character they were portraying. Maslany was able to bring the She-Hulk comedy and create an investment in She-Hulk’s love life with another Marvel character. We are all shipping the pair and I hope that Wongers and I are invited to the wedding!