She-Hulk: Attorney At Law Episode 1 thoughts

First off: THIS IS NOT A REVIEW. I don’t really spoil anything. I just had some thoughts that I wanted to get out of my brain and down on “paper.” Now, let’s move on.

She-Hulk is a character that I care about a lot. Not to, like, Carol Danvers levels. But, still. I like She-Hulk a lot.

“It’s just Hulk but a girl” is the most common misconception about the character. And, certainly, for the first few years of her existence, yeah. That WAS the deal. But over the course of the 1980s, she evolved into a sassy, fourth-wall-breaking, super-confident symbol of female empowerment. And then in the early 2000s, during Dan Slott’s run, she became AWESOME.

I haven’t read EVERY She-Hulk comic ever. In fact, I’m not even sure I could say I’ve read MOST of them. But I own several graphic novels, and currently live with someone who owns even more She-Hulk comics than I do. But, again, the character means a lot to me.

So, much like when the Captain Marvel movie got announced, the announcement of She-Hulk: Attorney At Law simultaneously got me excited and nervous. Would this be the project where Marvel Studios TOTALLY boffed it? The general reaction to the Disney+ shows has seemingly (fortunately?) been pretty mixed, so we don’t have to worry about what happens when something isn’t a billion-dollar blockbuster anymore — Marvel Studios has had enough solid hits that they aren’t going anywhere. And even their lesser-successes are still of a higher quality than most of what’s coming out, personal taste notwithstanding.

And then it was announced Tatiana Maslany would be playing Ms. Walters, and I was put a bit at ease. I haven’t seen Orphan Black, but I’ve heard enough about Maslany’s acting ability, playing multiple versions of the same character in that show, to know that, okay. She-Hulk will be played by someone who can pull off the role. And then we got the posters that were clearly inspired by a couple of the Greg Horn-painted covers from Shulkie’s 2000s run (though not as directly inspired by as the Hawkeye posters).

Left: Poster for the Disney+ Show. Right: Comic cover by Greg Horn.

I watched She-Hulk‘s first episode during my lunch break, and was relieved that it was, actually, incredibly faithful to the spirit of the character! It was fun! She wasn’t just Hulk-but-a-girl! And they went INCREDIBLY (no pun intended) out of their way to establish that fact throughout the episode.

The first episode is firmly cemented in the after-Avengers: Endgame part of the MCU, though currently doesn’t require knowledge of any of the other shows or movies that have come out since 2019. And it’s an origin story. It’s streamlined for time, but still pretty much She-Hulk’s actual origin. In fact, it MOSTLY feels like it could be the first act of a standard MCU origin film.

I say “mostly,” because, yeah, if you’ve seen the trailer, you know that there’s something a bit off about the CGI in this show. It’s probably television budget vs big screen budget. She-Hulk herself isn’t QUITE right, and even though Hulk seemingly uses the same model as his big-screen adaptations and, I assume is still motion-captured by Mark Ruffalo, even he seems of a slightly lesser quality. That’s an issue of technology, though, not an issue of writing. And, I dunno, it didn’t really bother me after the first couple of moments.

Speaking of seeming “off,” there have definitely been a lot of comments about how She-Hulk’s CGI model seems too small, too dainty, too feminie. But, go read some older She-Hulk comics. She’s not ACTUALLY that massive of a character, most of the time. Would I prefer it if the character were bulkier? Definitely. But also, it’s fine. Nobody in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is as big as they are in the comics, except for maybe Thor. And that’s only because Chris Hemsworth has ridiculous arms.

Left: Comic cover by Greg Horn. Right: Poster for the Disney+ Show

Look, if you’re on my website and you’ve read this far, chances are you probably have some interest in watching the show. You don’t need me to recap the whole thing, bit-by-bit, and compare it with all the differences between the show and the comics. That’s what the other ten bajillion “reviews” that have come out over the last couple of weeks are for.

I don’t think I’ll be doing a recap for every single episode. I may not even do one for the season finale. But I wanted to get my initial thoughts out. She-Hulk: Attorney At Law is as good an adaptation of this character as any of the MCU films. It’s even more faithful than a lot of the others — And WAY more faithful to the comics than Captain Marvel. It may not be for everyone, but, seriously, what is?

And Tatiana Maslany is amazing in the role. I’m so excited she’s playing Jennifer Walters.

In conclusion: I care a lot about this character. And clearly the creators of the show do, too.

It’s fun. Give it an honest shot.

I’m gonna watch the rest of the show, and enjoy myself.

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