There’s a vast majority of characters in the Marvel Universe that would very well work in a comedy or sitcom format. She-Hulk has a history of being able to tackle the funniest aspects of Marvel, which is what the MCU is trying to emulate here in her first live-action series She-Hulk: Attorney At Law. With this being Marvel’s first foray into doing a sitcom, audiences are introduced to Jennifer Walters, the cousin of Bruce Banner who gets turned into a superhero after her blood gets mixed with his. The show acts more like a comedy than previous entries in the MCU but it also dives deep into the inner workings of Jennifer as she balances work, relationships, and becoming a superhero. With this sort of style to tell her story, we get to see a whole new side of Marvel that has never been done before as we navigate the life of Walters and she alter ego She-Hulk.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law follows the origins of Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) as she grasps her newfound powers that are similar to her cousin Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo). While on vacation, the two of them end up in a car accident that causes Banner’s blood to contaminate Walters as it causes her to turn into a 6-foot, 7-inch tall green giant just like her cousin. Much of the first episode speed runs through Walters training with Banner to control her transformations, which seem to come at ease for her. We see the kind of dynamic these two share once Jennifer’s life changes with her new abilities. In a sense, we get an introduction to her as a lawyer who tries to suppress her powers, but once we find Titania (Jameela Jamil) entering the courtroom unannounced, Jennifer’s powers start to kick in to save the day and now her double-life is out in the open for the world to see. As the rest of the series unfolds, viewers will get to see Jennifer try to balance both of these lives while also living a normal life, which is going to be tough when you’re a superhero.
With what we’ve seen so far, this is pretty much Jennifer’s story all the way through. Even though we get to see Banner become a mentor to his cousin for almost the entirety of the episode, Jennifer is really front and center. We also see that a fourth wall break is being used, which has never been done on an MCU property. It isn’t used a lot of the time, which works in the show’s favor. Having this format being utilized this way gives some hilarious results. We also see how much advanced Jennifer is during her training with Banner, making him jealous of how easy these newfound powers come to her. Just having Banner have to compete with the likes of his cousin is a great way to show the comedic side of Banner in his Smart Hulk form. This show gives a perfect opportunity to put some humor into Banner’s personality that we’ve only seen a little bit of in his other MCU appearances.
Despite what the initial trailers showed, it seems like the VFX has very much improved for the better. It is a little jarring to see Tatiana’s appearance as She-Hulk since it’s mostly CGI and is somewhat photo-realistic, but it does grow on the viewer once they see her in action. When it comes to seeing the Hulk on screen, anyone can see how natural he looks with the facial hair and the amount of detail on his face. Maybe a little bit more time would’ve been needed to give that makeup glow with She-Hulk, but with what we’ve seen so far, it doesn’t appear to be much of a problem and fits into the scenes pretty well. The fight scene we get between these two also showcases just how powerful they can be on the field, which demonstrates just how powerful Hulk can be at his angriest of emotions.
What She-Hulk: Attorney at Law truly gets is being able to put the female perspective into focus, which is more than other Marvel films with female leads. We’ve had some pretty powerful women taking on world threats, but this show feels a lot like real life on a spectrum for a female. There’s plenty to enjoy for everyone, but seeing Jennifer trying to survive in a workspace can make any woman relate to the troubles she faces.
If anyone is worried if a sitcom format can pack a lot for an MCU character, it surprisingly does and to good measure. We do get a lot of background into Bruce’s life before and after Avengers: Endgame, as we learn how he has been recovering and the state of his new status quo as Smart Hulk. Tatiana gives a great balance of humor and wit to her performance, balancing the gravitas of Ruffalo’s performance. Seeing as the actress’ experience tackling different characters in Orphan Black, playing a lawyer who has a double-sided personality is a no-brainer for her as we’ve seen in the first episode. We do get a lot of callbacks from different corners of the MCU as we see how normal it is for a superhero and find that balance at work.
From what we’ve seen, She-Hulk: Attorney At Law does hit all the checkmarks by being a relatable sitcom while also fitting into the MCU. The first episode is treated as an origin story, so it puts out all the stops so viewers can get to know Jennifer as a person before taking on the mantle of a superhero. There is certainly going to be a lot of criticism when it comes to how the show goes into more of the feminist perspective than being an MCU property, but so far it doesn’t seem to be hitting that wall as we grow with Tatiana as the character. Once we see how well the courtroom drama balances with the quirky superhero side, this might be a real winner for the MCU when it comes to putting out a really compelling female lead.
She-Hulk: Attorney At Law is currently streaming on Disney Plus.