The new nine-part MCU series ‘She-Hulk: Attorney at Law,’ will premiere on Disney+ beginning August 18th. The series revolves around lawyer Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany), who also happens to be Bruce Banner’s (Mark Ruffalo) cousin, and the hero known as She-Hulk.
The show was created by writer Jessica Gao, and executive produced by director Kat Coiro (‘Marry Me’), and in addition to Maslany and Ruffalo, also features Ginger Gonzaga, Jameela Jamil, and Renee Elise Goldsberry. Reprising their characters in the series from other Marvel projects are Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky/Abomination, Benedict Wong as Wong, and Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/Daredevil.
The result is a fun and hilarious new series that perfectly adapts the original source material from the comics with fourth wall breaking comedic moments like ‘Deadpool,’ a commanding performance from Tatiana Maslany, and enough MCU cameos to make every Marvel fan happy!
The series begins by introducing us to Jennifer Walters (Maslany), a talented young lawyer about to argue a big case. However, she then turns directly to the camera and explains how she became She-Hulk.
The show then flashes back to months earlier when Jennifer is visiting with her cousin, Bruce Banner (Ruffalo) after the events of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ and the ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ end credit scene. When a car accident mixes Bruce’s blood with Jennifer’s, she becomes a Hulk-like creature just like her cousin.
Bruce then takes her to a remote island laboratory created by Tony Stark between ‘Infinity War’ and ‘Endgame,’ which Bruce used to become Smart Hulk. On the island, Bruce teaches Jennifer to use her new powers, and discovers that she is stronger and can control her powers better than Bruce ever could.
We then we flash-forward to the opening moments of the series and watch Jennifer as she is about to argue her case, when the supervillain Titania (Jamil) attacks the courtroom. Jennifer then announces to the world she is She-Hulk by transforming in the courtroom and stopping Titania.
However, she is soon fired from her firm only to be hired by a competing law firm to head up their superhuman defense department. The catch is that they want her to be She-Hulk full-time, forcing Jennifer to come to terms with her new superhero persona.
When I heard Marvel was planning a Disney+ series based on She-Hulk, I was concerned about what type of show it would be. If you are familiar with comic book legend John Byrne’s run on “The Sensational She-Hulk” in the late 80s, you know that the comic was very funny, and featured the lead character being aware that she is in a comic book, similar to other Marvel characters like Howard the Duck or Deadpool.
Since the ‘Deadpool’ movies introduced the character as being able to “break the fourth wall,” I was worried that ‘She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’ might decide not to include this aspect of the character, but I’m very happy to announce that instead they truly embraced it.
Most episodes of the series run about 30 minutes, and is very much a workplace comedy, not unlike ‘The Office’ or even legal comedies like ‘Ally McBeal.’ This fits perfectly with the source material and is a fantastic way of adapting the character to screen.
The comedic tone of the series allows us to see some favorite MCU character in a new light, like Bruce Banner, Emil Blonsky and Wong. The series is even able to poke fun at itself and the overall MCU, with running commentary from Walters like teasing the audience for loving Wong.
And for Hulk fans that had a lot of questions about Banner, Blonsky and Wong’s involvement in last year’s ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,’ rest assured that the series will finally answer them.
But the series not only welcomes back some fan-favorite characters, but creates some great new ones including Patty Guggenheim as Madisynn, a party girl that hilariously befriends Wong. Ginger Gonzaga is also a great addition to the MCU as Nikki, Jennifer’s confidant and best friend. And while she does not appear much in the first few episodes, Jameela Jamil definitely lights up the screen as Titania, and I’m looking forward to when the character inevitably battles She-Hulk.
But the highlight of the series is Tatiana Maslany’s complex performance as both Jennifer Walters and She-Hulk. The series wisely establishes Jennifer as her own character in the opening moments of the series, so the audience is able to fully go with her on her journey. Because of the tone of the series, Maslany is allowed a fresh take on being a superhero and the challenges of juggling a career and personal life with her responsibilities as a hero.
If I had one criticism, it would be that the visual effects that transform Maslany into She-Hulk could have used a bit of more work. In the movies, Hulk is used sparingly (with the exception of ‘Endgame’), which allows more time to focus on the effects. Not to mention that the VFX budget on a film is much greater than what they have to work with on television. The fact that the character is She-Hulk in most of her scenes, may have also added to the rough spots in some parts.
But ultimately, ‘She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’ is a fresh take on the character, the genre and the MCU in general. With terrific dialogue from writer Jessica Gao, and great visuals and tone from director and executive producer Kat Coiro, the series is a home run for Marvel and sitcom fans alike.
‘She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’ receives 4.5 out of 5 stars.