She-Hulk: Attorney at Law review: A lean, green, weird Valley machine

She-Hulk herself isn’t telepathic, but Disney Plus’ She-Hulk: Lawyer knows exactly what you were thinking when you first saw his statuesque heroine in all her eerie VFX glory, and he appreciates any feedback. Whereas She-HulkMarvel’s frequent forays into the Strange Valley seem like a sure sign of the less than ideal conditions in which its visual effects were produced, the show as a whole is a surprisingly refreshing twist on Marvel’s small-screen character studies – one that looks like the precursor to something new again very familiar.

After several phases full of origin series of heroes like daredevil and moon knight which gradually unveiled how their titular vigilantes became super, She-Hulk: Lawyer changes things up by immediately immersing you in the depths of the life of Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) with little warning. Much like his counterpart in the comics, She-HulkJen is an extremely talented but pathologically sheepish lawyer whose entire world is turned upside down by a freak accident that leaves her with a set of superpowers very similar to those of her cousin Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo).

Smart Hulk and She-Hulk meditate together on an island.
Picture: Marvel Studios

The exact the circumstances of how the MCU’s Jen – normally a smirking, easily frazzled woman whom Maslany plays very middle – wake up super strong, over a foot taller, and a striking shade of green are somewhat different from how which it takes place in the comics. But enough beats from the source material are present to make it clear that She-Hulkis well aware of its own absurdity, and the show wants you to join in on its jokes about itself. Almost from the moment Jennifer is introduced, she is already breaking the fourth wall to insist that She-Hulk isn’t exactly a superhero show and nothing in her life has to change, even with her new Hulk powers, because she’s still in complete control.

This, of course, couldn’t be further from the truth, and She-HulkThe early episodes of are largely a comedic study in what happens to an ordinary person who suddenly becomes an “enhanced individual” in the MCU. But instead of just framing Jennifer as another brooding hero who has to self-realize before picking up a code name and donning a costume, She-Hulk presents her reluctance to become a known super quantity as something crucial to understanding who she is. Hulk powers or not, Jennifer prefers to fight in the courtroom alongside her paralegal Nikki Ramos (Ginger Gonzaga), where she knows they can use their legal prowess to change lives in ways no one can. of the Avengers could ever. More importantly, though, Jen really isn’t interested in being a superhero, even though that’s what the world and her own TV show expect of her.

More than any of the famous heroes or villains Jen comes across in a professional capacity, it’s managing people’s ideas of who and what she is that causes her the most trouble throughout. She-Hulkthe first season. It doesn’t matter if she’s dealing with her sexist co-workers or her well-meaning cousin, hardly anyone in Jennifer’s life really trusts his ability to make intelligent decisions. But that’s not quite the case when she’s in her She-Hulk form, and while that double standard naturally pisses Jen off, it’s once she starts using it to her advantage that She-Hulk really starting to take.

Tim Roth seated in a plexiglass enclosure, seated in a chair and dressed in an elegant prison uniform.

Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky, the Abomination.
Picture: Marvel Studios

However She-Hulk’it’s definitely Jen’s Ally McBeal-inspired “Lawyer Show” is also one of Marvel’s sharpest attempts to tie together disparate parts of its multiverse to remind you that many of these characters from different movies and shows kinda know each other, sort of. As the Sorcerer Supreme sitting on Earth, it only makes sense that Wong (Benedict Wong) would call upon She-Hulk for delicate matters requiring an understanding of mortal laws and her presence in Lawyer adds a strong sense of topicality to the series.

Like Wong, Tim Roth’s Abomination returns here both to remind viewers of the last big Marvel movie he was in and to help She-Hulk delve into the details of the universe it is set in like only an aggressively corny and rather exciting legal comedy could. Although the star power of She-HulkThe guest stars vary from week to week, with each of their subplots the show finds different ways to make the MCU feel like a more lived-in place, where countless people don’t have been only recently reinstated. As stupid as many of her cases and clients are, Jen does what she does to act as a force for justice in the world, and She-Hulk leads with the idea that people like her are exactly what the public needs in times of crisis.

When She-Hulk: Lawyeris firmly in comedy mode and plays the comic book influence of John Byrne and Dan Slott or hammering home an important idea about the importance of rehabilitation versus incarceration, the series feels like it’s in a very good place. But in times when She-Hulk tries to shift gears, the series sometimes freezes a bit, almost like it remembers everything it’s trying to do and freaks out.

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law review: A lean, green, weird Valley machine

Picture: Marvel Studios

This same harassed feeling of panic arises in the same way in a certain number of She-Hulk: LawyerThe more technically complex scenes of Jen in her massive, oddly proportioned Hulk form look a lot more like Maslany than Ruffalo’s Smart Hulk. There’s no denying the incredible amount of work that went into creating a She-Hulk model that’s more compelling than not. But it is also impossible to ignore how stopped shots of the character on the move tend to be, especially when the show draws attention to her luscious but often distracting mane of hair reminiscent of how Inhumans manipulated Medusa.

Given how much more regularly She-Hulkis able to pull off the visuals of characters like Smart Hulk and Abomination that aren’t as new to the MCU, it stands to reason that Marvel intends to refine their take on She-Hulk as she continues to appear. in other projects. Even if that’s the case, it’s still weird to see She-Hulk repeatedly fall face first in the strange valley of her own TV show as Marvel had to know the risks of building a series. around a CGI character whose voice should be dubbed during post-production. Surprisingly, the audio mix of She-Hulk and Smart Hulk skips even more than the characters’ tendency to read (visually speaking) in a more cartoonish way than Marvel probably wants.

Individually, none of She-HulkThe downsides of her keep her from being watchable, and when they all work in concert, the show is able to rely on her irreverent sense of humor and ability to laugh at herself. While Jen might need a new game plan if and when she makes the jump to Marvel movies, She-Hulk: LawyerThe murderer’s approach works reasonably well for the small screen, and it’s almost certain to go down as one of Phase 4’s most inspired entries.

She-Hulk: Lawyer also stars Jameela Jamil and premieres August 18.


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