Superhero fatigue is beginning to set in for some after Marvel Studios’ busiest few years to date, Phase Four, which saw the production of more hours of material than the previous three phases combined. A large part of that has to do with the Marvel Studios television projects on Disney Plus, which appear to be in a situation akin to where the films were in Phase One more than ten years ago.
Initially, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was scheduled to launch Disney Plus, but owing to the pandemic, we received WandaVision. With WandaVision, Marvel Studios created a novel, unique story that combined elements of sitcoms and superheroes.
Marvel Studios continues to strive to advance the superhero genre, even though the response to Phase Four has been the most contentious for Kevin Feige and the company so far. Another example of this new trend is She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, which excels at what it sets out to be—a legal comedy.
She-Hulk delivers moviegoers the familiar MCU aspects they would expect while bringing something fresh to the table. Marvel Studios marking their superhero productions with an outsider genre is nothing new.
Another Disney Plus series, She-Hulk, features Tatiana Maslany as Los Angeles-based attorney Jennifer Walters, who also happens to be Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner/cousin. Hulk’s This new character joins the constantly expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Another fantastic addition to the MCU is Maslany’s Walters, who blends in well.
Maslany embodies a quality that many MCU characters share in the role: she is endearing and relatable. Even if a Marvel Studios story is subpar, they consistently deliver on character, and She-Hulk from the MCU is no exception. Although Ginger Gonzaga, who plays Nikki Ramos, Jennifer’s best friend, is one of several entertaining supporting characters that Maslany gets to work with, she still carries the show on her big, green shoulders.
She-Hulk introduces an element right away—Walters breaking the fourth wall, which many people typically connect with Deadpool—that we’ve only seen for one episode of WandaVision. The series, however, draws significantly from John Byrne’s She-Hulk run and makes excellent use of the wall-breaking.
Actually, the show’s awareness of itself is part of what makes it so entertaining. With the weird comic book notions introduced, it’s not unusual for a Marvel Studios film to make fun of itself. While some may think She-funny Hulk’s moments to be a rehash of previous examples, the show takes things a step further in a way that only ardent MCU fans will enjoy.
Maslany and Gonzaga are two more familiar characters that the series brings back, with Ruffalo’s Hulk being the first. After seeing Banner back in his human form in the Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings mid-credits scene, the character’s last appearance created some issues. With Ruffalo’s Hulk, one of the few original Avengers still alive in the MCU, we are given fresh questions and some solutions, which will please MCU aficionados.
Since Universal still owns the rights to the character, there hasn’t been a standalone Hulk production since 2008, but it’s nice to learn more about Ruffalo’s daily life through She-Hulk. But Walters is primarily used to investigate what a superhero’s daily existence is like. One of the standout features of the recently released MCU show is that it accomplishes something that movies are unable to do. But unlike the other MCU programs, She-Hulk doesn’t spend too much time on the beginning and jumps right into Walters’ quest to redefine herself in light of her superhuman abilities.
Fans will also be thrilled to see Tim Roth’s Abomination, who made a fleeting appearance in Shang-Chi. Roth’s unrelenting Emil Blonsky was always a standout all the way back in Phase One, even though Marvel Studios is infamous for having a villain problem for years before finally nailing that down in Phase Three.
Fans will observe that Blonsky has changed during his incarceration and become funnier, much like the Hulk did in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Blonsky’s inclusion fits the lighter tone She-Hulk is going for, so there may be more to him than the show is letting on. Fans should certainly brace themselves for this whenever Chalie Cox’s yellow-suited Daredevil starts flipping into the screen as well.
Benedict Wong, who plays Wong, the current Sorcerer Supreme from the Doctor Strange side of the franchise, provides another link to the larger MCU. We get to witness Wong in a position that is totally different from what we are used to, which makes for some amusing humorous moments. Wong is as charming as ever.
The MCU has always drawn criticism for how similar its works may be, both aesthetically and tonally. With the Phase Four projects they have released so far, Marvel Studios is obviously attempting to allay those concerns, but there will always be parts that stand out.
Fans had a lot of reservations about She-Hulk’s CGI before the start of the series, but the VFX is flawless in the final product. A little grace could be called for because it’s unusual for a series to feature a character who is entirely computer generated.
She-Hulk, on the other hand, lacks the cinematic quality of its Disney Plus predecessors and physically resembles a television program to the point where some sets don’t match the MCU’s big screen visual language. WandaVision certainly embraced TV images as well, but that show and the others also had a cinematic scale.
She-Hulk‘s style and organizational layout resemble that of a Marvel film more so than Moon Knight, such as ABC’s Agents of SHIELD. She-Hulk actually seems like Marvel Studios’ first TV program, which works in its favor and is a great change of pace, as opposed to telling an extended movie through a different medium.
But it all comes back to the audience’s responsibility to go into She-Hulk prepared to enjoy themselves and embrace the film for what it is. There are a few reasons why She-Hulk might be the most fascinating Marvel Studios series to date and one that will keep you interested. The engaging MCU links and Maslany’s performance make Marvel Studios’ productions essential viewing. Another bold move from Marvel Studios in The Multiverse Saga is She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, yet it succeeds as another superhero film that adopts a different genre in order to maintain the momentum of the most lucrative series in history.