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  • Writer's pictureSteve

She-Hulk: Attorney At Law (Disney+)

As soon as I heard about it, I immediately hated the idea. What with Marvel throwing culturally appropriate diversity at us in spades already, the fact that they were running out of ideas was already at the forefront of my mind, so changing every superhero they had the rights to by adding Miss or Ms in front of the name was altogether predictable. Not that this would work, of course, but when you've nothing left to offer and you're about to be found out as maybe not quite as original as you were fooling everyone into believing in the first place, well why not just do something so crass and obvious. They already have your money, after all. As James Hetfield once famously uttered, sad but true.

As the aging, opinionated misogynist I am sometimes accused of being, you might find that even in the unlikely event that I would actually bother watching this in the first place (I didn't bother with Ms Marvel at all, for example), that my first reaction would be one of now carefully and silently gagged incredulity. Heaven forbid that I would actually tell you what I really think, right? Not that too many people would see it anyway, but still, do I really want to potentially piss off half of the population of the planet by telling them they can't do something? Well, yes, obviously. If you don't like it, then I'm sure you know the way out by now.

She-Hulk was on a knife edge before it even aired its first episode, and even then, it was in my opinion already toppling towards oblivion. And that was before anyone had even seen it.

Tatiana Maslani takes on the role of the She-Hulk, who is also an attorney, by the name of Jennifer Walters. She just happens to be Bruce Banner's cousin. Despite the assertion that he has been holed up on an island for a decade and never sees his family, it is kind of odd that they would find themselves together in a car for no apparent reason. Weirder still that a space-ship descends on top of them causing them to crash and from the resulting wreckage, Jennifer emerges and tries to help Bruce (yes, help the Hulk) free himself from the seatbelt holding him in place. He bleeds on her and that blood gets into her system, causing a rather convenient transformation into She-Hulk. Now she just has to learn to control this new side of her in double-quick time. It took Bruce fifteen years, but due to time constraints and, let's face it, thinly disguised digs at feminine superiority, this was always going to be quicker.

Placed on the timeline after Shang-Chi and his rings, we're also happening after Endgame, which is convenient enough to assume that this was truly an afterthought borne possibly out of desperation. As mentioned, there is a message that continues to run through most of the MCU lately, pertaining to female empowerment. When asked by Bruce what makes her angry, in order to try and teach her (how very dare he try to teach her anything, mind you) how to control this new power/affliction (delete as appropriate), she rattles off all of the things you would expect a woke MCU writer to come out with, largely focusing her anger on practically any interaction she has/had with men in general, the root of all evil. Pandering maybe? She learns quicker than Bruce, her only real counterpart (even if he is only a man), throws further than Bruce, is more driven than Bruce. In fact, well, she's just better than Bruce in every way. Exactly the message MCU wants you know, that you should know and that they know already. Yawn...

Maslani is very good in the role and is highly likeable. The script isn't too shabby either, though the plot after Episode One may be purposefully vague, so the jury is still out on that. Despite the man-bashing littered almost all the way through and the predictability that this would be the case not- withstanding, this was engaging and fun to watch. It's throwaway in the fact that it's like patting a female stranger on the bottom. It may mean alot more to her than it does to you, but either way, at least half of the planet will see it as nothing more than harmless and lack any real longevity, while the other half spit seething venom at anything with bollocks in their near vicinity. Will it turn a generation of nerdy Marvel dorks into free-thinking feminists? Probably not. And if not, why bother?


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