She-Hulk Smashes Through Glass Ceiling



Promotional poster for the new Marvel series “She-Hulk: Attorney At Law”

Allie Medina, Staff Writer

Going into She-Hulk I fully expected to join the masses of Marvel fans bashing the new feminist driven addition to the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe.)

However, She-Hulk’s director, Anu Valia proved me wrong with her use of dry humor, witty fourth wall breaks, and humorous plot lines focusing on women in the workplace, sexual harassment, and sexism as a whole.

The show focuses on feminism and the idea of a female superhero, which makes sense considering Jenna Walters (A.K.A. She-Hulk) is only the fourth female superhero to have her name in a MCU production title (keep in mind Wanda and The Wasp shared their titles with their male counterparts.)

I was a bit wary of the “girl boss” focus it seemed to be taking, worried that it would seem forced and corny, like the infamous “Girl Power” scene in Infinity War. However, the show actually handled real-life issues in a way that made me think about the problems it presented – harassment in the workplace, fetishization, misogyny, and more – while still keeping things light enough to feel like just another funny MCU production and maintain the lightheartedness and comedy of the She-Hulk comics.

One thing that set the show apart, and not in a good way, was the CGI. Jen’s She-Hulk form definitely had me cringing at moments, namely during the first few episodes before I gradually got used to seeing a seemingly floating body interacting with regular people. Considering the CGI of recent Marvel movies like Spiderman: No Way Home and Eternals, She-Hulk appears almost cartoonish in retrospect. I would have really loved to see a more comic-accurate, buff She-Hulk, but seeing as the CGI was already struggling, it seems like an unrealistic request. Hopefully, if we see She-Hulk in future projects the CGI will have improved, especially if we see her alongside characters like Rocket Racoon and Groot, both of which are made almost completely from CGI and have still found a way to look much more realistic.

The most compelling part of the show had to be the amount of cameos and acknowledgement towards the past MCU phases. With so many new characters, it’s easy to be focused on building up a new world instead of building on the preexisting one. However, She-Hulk did a great job including references to characters like Iron Man and Black Widow, while also acknowledging to New Asgard and the events of Eternals.

The returning characters of Wong, Hulk/Bruce Banner, and the Abomination proved to be interesting additions, and although I would have loved to see more of Bruce Banner past the first episode, it would have taken away from Jen Walters herself and placed her in his very large shadow.

Of all the Phase 4 movies and shows, She-Hulk definitely takes the prize for most references to the past phases, which as a long-time fan, was much appreciated and had me looking for the little Easter eggs throughout each episode.

One scene that really stuck out to me was when Jen was looking over all of her hate comments and was seeing how people thought she was too girly to be a superhero and how they were trying to “turn Hulk into a girl.” This was such a direct parallel to so many people’s actual reactions to the show that I momentarily forgot I was watching a work of fiction.

The show proved to be a welcome addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s not the most monumental show produced and there were a few misses but overall it presented a funny, comic accurate portrayal of Jen Walters, which was what I wanted most from the show.