She-Hulk: Attorney At Law is the eighth MCU series to come out since January of 2020 as Phase 4 seems to be the longest phase so far in the 14-year history of the MCU. And it’s no surprise, it’s going back to when it all began. While Iron Man was the first in the MCU, The Incredible Hulk was the second entry. And while most people probably want to forget that well-made entry, for no other reason than Edward Norton playing the titular character, it is still canon.
For a distribution rights issue with Universal Pictures, there hasn’t been a Hulk stand-alone movie since 2008. That hasn’t stopped the Hulk from appearing in all Avengers movies as well as the third Thor and now he is in She-Hulk. Mark Ruffalo appears once again as Bruce Banner in the Disney-Plus series. But the star of the show is Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer Walters, Bruce’s cousin, who is a Los Angeles-based lawyer.
I’m going to be honest. The show doesn’t really do a good way of showing how Jennifer becomes infused with Bruce’s blood. They’re involved in a car accident where they run off the road as they’re intercepted by a Sakaaran ship. As she is pulling him out of the car, blood seaps into an open wound of hers becoming cross-contaminated and viola. It’s not the most believable but then again, most of the things in the MCU wouldn’t happen in real life.
Bruce, as Smart-Hulk or Professor Hulk, takes Jennifer away to his place in Mexico on the coast so he can teach her how to handle this new change. But he’s surprised to realize that she can manage as both the Hulk and Jennifer, hilariously ripping out pages in a manual he had made for her. This is kind of an in-joke on how origin stories ususally take half or two-thirds of the movie. They able to knock it out of the park in less than half the time of a half-hour episode.
After a few weeks of training with Bruce, she goes back to her job as a prosecutor in L.A. but a court hearing is interrupted by Titania (Jameea Jamil), so Jennifer turns into the Hulk to defeat her. However, the popularity also makes her a liability as a mistrial is declared and Jennifer can’t find any work with other firms after being let go from the District Attorney’s Office. But she is contact by Holden Holliway (Steve Coulter), a partner in a big law firm as well as the lawyer in the trial case that was interrupted, to lead a new superhero-based legal defense. And her first client is none other than Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth), who tracked Bruce/Hulk from Brazil to America in The Icredible Hulk before the Super Soldier serum turned him into the Abomination.
This has been the first two episodes which are airing each Thursday on the streaming services. The series has a much lighter tone as Jennifer often breaks the fourth wall, which was something she also does in the comics. I especially liked the casting of Mark Linn-Baker as her father, Morris. Rumor has it that back in the late 1990s if Warner Brothers had proceeded with a fifth Batman movie after Batman & Robin, Linn-Baker was being considered to play Dr. Kirk Langstrom, aka Man-Bat. I don’t see Cousin Larry from Perfect Strangers as him, but then again I didn’t see Heath Ledger as The Joker.
So far, the series has received some good reviews but been the biggest victim of review-bombing from angry male fans that has been a constant irritation since Captain Marvel. Currently, it has 5.2 rating from users on imdb.com. When you look at Moon Knight, which I didn’t like, that has a 7.3 rating. Hawkeye, which I also didn’t like, has a 7.5 rating. And Loki, by far the worst series so far, has an 8.2 rating. I should add that Hawkeye acted as a passing of the bow and arrow to Kate Bishop, as in the comics. I guess as long as they don’t focus just on a female character, it’s okay.
It’s no surprise that most comic book fans are very racist, sexist, misogynistic and prejudice. This is ironic because comic book are supposed to be for the all-inclusive. They’re supposed to focus on the outcasts. This has also follow Star Wars and Star Trek fans for years. The criticism that She-Hulk can throw a boulder longer than Smart-Hulk isn’t a question of women vs. men, but two competing cousins trying to show off. She-Hulk seems to follow many problems of other MCU entries by introducing new characters who weren’t previously mention yet they have a huge history. That being said, Maslany and Ruffalo do have a good chemistry together.
The sexist criticism is unwarranted. Kat Coiro, who directed Marry Me, has directed the first two episodes and it looks like she she’s going to direct four more with Anu Valia direcing the other three. The series also has women writing episodes. I mean, it makes sense that a show focusing on a woman character would have a creative team of women behind the scenes. I’ve noticed some subtle dialogue and action on how women are treated in the workplace. Holden says he only hires her because she is She-Hulk and allows her to bring on her own paralegal, Niki Ramos (Ginger Gazaga).
It seems to me what MCU fans want is the women to just be eye-candy and stay in the background doing whatever the male macho superheroes want. It was okay when Scarlett Johansson wore tight leather and showed off her cleavage around Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and even Ruffalo. But Black Widow was met with unjust criticism.
A good friend from childhood said when he went to go see Batman Forever, some kids were screaming out the names of the characters the actors played when their names appeared on screen. With Val Kilmer, they screamed “Batman.” With Jim Carrey, they screamed “The Riddler.” But when it came to Nicole Kidman, they just screamed, “The Girl.”
Yet, those days are over. Maybe why Warner Brothers/Discovery canceled Batgirl is because David Zaslav thinks they should return to that era and doesn’t want the review bombing. And while some MCU fans seem to also embrace the mindless ramblings of Andrew Tate, Joe Rogan, Jordan Peterson and Bill Burr as they’re new collection of superheroes, the MCU and Disney is presenting a novel idea that women can be the superheroes too.
The nerve of them to present characters that have been around for decades even before some of the review bombers were born.
What do you think? Please comment.