She-Hulk: Attorney at Law: A Normal Amount of Anger
August 18, 2022 12:47 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Attorney at law Jen Walters adjusts to a new lifestyle after she is in a car accident with her cousin, Bruce Banner.

There are many quotable lines, but this may be my favorite exchange:
Bruce: “The triggers are anger and fear.”
Jen: “Those are, like, the baseline of any woman just existing.”
Note: there is a sequence after the credits. Do not miss it.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit (83 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
there is a sequence after the credits. Do not miss it.

RELATABLE CONTENT.
posted by cendawanita at 2:21 AM on August 18 [10 favorites]


I enjoyed it.

Was afraid my intense Uncanny Valley reaction would make it unwatchable, but it only occurred briefly during some Hulk sequences, perhaps because Ruffalo seems to have a tendency to mumble so mouth animation gets sqwonky?

So far, I like the character of Jennifer.

Mildly confused that Star Wars and Pixar both seem to exist *within* the Marvel Universe, but ::shrug::

Also the spaceship that caused the car crash? I think we need to stick a Pin In That because I have a strong feeling it will become important later ...
posted by Faintdreams at 3:18 AM on August 18 [5 favorites]


I'm not sure about the fourth-wall-breaking, but maybe I'll get used to it., Also I thought the FX seemed a bit janky in some of the scenes, but on the whole I liked it. It was fun.

Mildly confused that Star Wars and Pixar both seem to exist *within* the Marvel Universe

Ever since Disney bought Marvel there's been a requirement for Marvel films & shows to reference other Disney-owned films within them, and this is usually (always? I haven't checked) done outside the Marvel canon. Hence "There are no strings on me," "I'm Mary Poppins, y'all," a great many Marvel films with hands getting severed, etc. I'm not sure if this requirement extends to Star Wars (probably not? Iit'd be hard for them to reference Marvel or Pixar without breaking suspension of disbelief when Star Wars is all set "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away"). In any case, once you're aware of it it's hard not to notice it.
posted by johnofjack at 5:02 AM on August 18 [1 favorite]


Eternals had a Superman reference.

It's worth mentioning that She Hulk is very Fourth-wall breaking, not just in the asides to the camera, but in the She-Hulk comics, Marvel comics exist, they are considered a historical record of all superhero activity, and are considered admissible in court.

It's like the Spaceballs: The Movie VHS tape scene, only with comics.

Anyway, this was a fun first episode. I like the tone of the show and I'm looking forward to more.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:21 AM on August 18 [18 favorites]


Marvel’s thing even since the ink and paper days has been that it is fundamentally our world with just such adjustments are as needed: Superman is in Metropolis, Batman is in Gotham City; Spider-Man is in New York.

The MCU keeps this up as much as possible: we see in Eternals that Superman exists as a fictional character in the MCU, and in Captain America, even the Captain America comics exist in some form.

Anyway, I liked it better than I like several of its Disney+ stablemates. Perfectly cast, as always... Sarah Finn has overseen the casting of essentially every MCU project from Iron Man on down and she is the MCU MVP.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:27 AM on August 18 [10 favorites]


Yeah, riochet biscuit, I think that Marvel Studios will be facing a bigger crisis when Finn eventually moves on than they will when they lose Feige.
posted by Ipsifendus at 6:30 AM on August 18 [5 favorites]


I wasn't aware that Eternals referenced DC; I skipped that one based on the preview I saw and the reviews it got. I'm fine with that, as I'm still annoyed about the time spent watching the two Ant-Man movies at a friend's insistence.

I haven't read most of the She-Hulk comics, just the Charles Soule run (it was fun!) and the first TPB of the Mariko Tamaki run (I like Tamaki's work in general but don't remember that one).

I also don't remember fourth-wall-breaking in either, but goodreads tells me I read Soule's first volume six years ago and Tamaki's three years ago so sure, I could easily have forgotten about it. In any case, I'll probably get used to it. Like I said, this was fun.
posted by johnofjack at 9:53 AM on August 18 [1 favorite]


I heartily recommend chopsticks for powdery snacks; it's a great idea that I'm glad to see more. (I've gotten some looks at work for this.)

Bruuuce, you're raising your voice, cut it out
posted by Pronoiac at 10:07 AM on August 18 [5 favorites]


It was fine episode, a bit uneven and overlong with the origin story, but nothing terrible at all. The animation is a bit janky and not as smooth as a movie, but that's not a deal breaker.

Ohhhh, turns a lot of the origin stuff was supposed to be in episode 8, but in post production they realized that people wanted the origin earlier. Also turns out the Kevin Feige provided the info about when Cap lost his virginity, ha!

Jen's personality, as wonderfully portrayed by Tatiana Maslany, is the real star of the show and that's just fine with me. This is clearly a lighter and more fun tone and creators are playing well to that choice.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:42 AM on August 18 [7 favorites]


The fact that they understand that we DO want a "fun lawyer show" makes it even better.

Also it was some nice lampshading about "trouble finds you when you're a Hulk" it certainly, if somewhat implausibly, found Jen.

I had not realized Hulk blood was THAT infectious, I think that makes me wonder if Hulk is like a zombie or vampire and would turn you if he bit you. If he had a cat who scratched him would it become a Hulk cat?
posted by emjaybee at 11:32 AM on August 18 [7 favorites]


I would have watch that show.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:33 AM on August 18 [10 favorites]


MCU-wise, i'm pretty sure the Norton!Hulk movie is where most of its lore is being derived. So probably no Hulk cat, but if not death (Stan Lee drinking a tainted drink) then outright villainy (the Abomination sure, but also that guy with the swelling brain).
posted by cendawanita at 11:35 AM on August 18


Also the spaceship that caused the car crash? I think we need to stick a Pin In That because I have a strong feeling it will become important later ...
Fans have already figured out that the ship that causes Bruce and Jen’s car crash is from Sakaar, the planet ruled by Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster and where Hulk was indentured during Thor: Ragnarok.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:00 PM on August 18 [4 favorites]


I hit a paywall on that Vulture article, but Bruce also specifically said so, and that he needed to look into that.
posted by cendawanita at 12:02 PM on August 18 [7 favorites]


I had not realized Hulk blood was THAT infectious
That's a change from original lore*, but it's fine, and goes along with the 'you integrate your Hulkism better'.

(*OG comics origin is that Jen needed a blood transfusion after a terrible accident, and the only compatible donor for her rare blood type was her cousin Bruce. Where he absorbed a whole nuke's worth of gamma-radiation, involuntarily turning him into a 9 foot monosyllabic caveman, she only got a few pints of irradiated blood, making her able to voluntarily** transform into a 7 foot indestructible fitness model.)

[** Every superhero has their kryptonite, or melodramatic 'this gift is a curse' thing. She-Hulk's has usually taken the former of either 'I can be a fabulous truck-tossing bulletproof Beyoncé; why would I turn back into mousey little Jen?' hubris - or the opposite 'last time I Hulked out I knocked down a building and a bunch of people died; now I'm so terrified of that happening again that I can't transform anymore' psychosomatic trouble.]
I wonder if they're going to explore that.
posted by bartleby at 12:43 PM on August 18 [3 favorites]


The fourth wall breaking stuff comes from the canonical/seminal John Byrne run on Shulkie. His version got very 'meta', with her talking directly to the readers or the writers, punching through the borders between panels, back issues of Fantastic Four comics being treated as legal precedent in court, etc.

You can treat this as 'both She-Hulk and Deadpool are somehow existentially aware that they are living in a comic book movie'. Or as "OK, they realize that Superhero Lawyer: the Series is kind of absurd to begin with, so they're having fun with it".
posted by bartleby at 12:54 PM on August 18 [8 favorites]


Judging by the trailer the I AM FABULOUS NOW AND I LOVE IT bit does happen, at least temporarily. But I expect that her amazing lawyer brain will prove to be just as valuable and she'll find some kind of balance.

Also...unique genetics that allow her and Bruce to hulk? You mean like...a mutation?? Like with Ms. Marvel?
posted by emjaybee at 1:00 PM on August 18 [4 favorites]


I liked it! My only big beef is She-Hulk’s hair is weird and stiff and unflattering.

Tatiana Maslany is so, so great.
posted by sixswitch at 1:44 PM on August 18 [1 favorite]


I hit a paywall on that Vulture article, but Bruce also specifically said so, and that he needed to look into that.

Yeah, “Fans have already figured out” the thing that we are told explicitly like ninety seconds later onscreen is declaring a pretty low opinion of fans, in my view.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:48 PM on August 18 [8 favorites]


I did notice the show passed the Bechdel test in the very first scene (once the male lawyer left the room).
posted by cheshyre at 2:10 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


The info that I've read confirms that the series (at least this season) is going to draw from the Byrne run (mostly fourth-wall-breaking), the Dan Slott run (her specializing in superhuman law), and Charles Soule (ditto). Without getting into the comics too much, I'm hoping that we get more of Soule's work, which was relatively brief in the character's history but pretty good, Soule actually being a former attorney.

I haven't watched much of Orphan Black (I know, I know, but unless/until I retire or they stop making new stuff, I've got a monstrous Peak TV backlog), but I'm liking Maslany very much. Ditto for Ruffalo doing the Smart Hulk thing. I guess that we're going to get the rest of the law firm next week; Jameela Jamil seems to be doing a very different version of the character she's playing, but we'll see how that actually plays out.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:14 PM on August 18 [5 favorites]


I don't think Hulk blood is that infectious. There's a line in there about because they're related, he and she can both genetically assimilate the gamma factor in the blood, and that's how she got it.

(BTW, the mid-credit bit? Direct from Kevin Feige. It's 100% canon. Hee! A thousand fingers are hitting keyboard over at AO3 ... )

There were clearly some moments in the pilot where Jennifer was just roaring and a bit monstrous. Especially having read the comics I would not be surprised if we see Savage She-Hulk once or twice.

(Just as a Hulk aside, I want to see a David Bruce Banner variant during Phase Five.)
posted by MollyRealized at 3:28 PM on August 18 [1 favorite]


That was fun! Hearing now that they had to do some surgery to insert the origin story into the first episode helps explain the one real failing (IMO)—Tahani from The Good Place busting into the court room and throwing shit with no apparent reason or explanation. That was just overly abrupt and random, though I’m sure we’ll find out what exactly was going with Titania (who wasn’t even named here) next episode.

A thousand fingers are hitting keyboard over at AO3 ...

Not to mention at Tatiana Maslany’s Wikifeet page.
posted by ejs at 4:53 PM on August 18 [4 favorites]


The line quoted above is the best. Also just love Jen and just love Jen + Bruce and how she just does NOT have the issues he does at all. This was such a delight.

I'm seriously wondering if Bruce just made up the virginity thing to make her feel better, though. Like, does Steve sound like the sort to fuck and tell?
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:58 PM on August 18 [1 favorite]


Nope, when Steve lost his virginity is direct from Kevin Feige, see link in mybearlier comment.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:03 PM on August 18


Also, WRT what franchises exist in the MCU, here's a handy list from Endgame:
Hulk: And secondly, time doesn't work that way. Changing the past doesn't change the future.
Scott Lang: We go back, we get the stones before Thanos gets them, Thanos doesn't have the stones! Problem solved!
Clint Barton: Bingo.
Nebula: That's not how it works!
Clint Barton: Well, that's what I heard.
Hulk: Who told you that?
James Rhodes: Star Trek, Terminator, Timecop, Time After Time...
Scott Lang: Quantum Leap?
James Rhodes: A Wrinkle in Time, Somewhere in Time...
Scott Lang: Hot Tub Time Machine?
James Rhodes: Hot Tub Time Machine, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, basically any movie that deals with time travel!
Scott Lang: Die Hard? No, that's not one...
James Rhodes: Look, this is known!
Hulk: I don't know why everyone believes that, but that isn't true. Think about it. If you go into the past, that past becomes your future, and your former present becomes the past, which can't now be changed by your new future!
Nebula: Exactly!
Scott Lang: So, "Back to the Future"'s a bunch of bullshit?
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:34 PM on August 18 [6 favorites]


Tatiana Maslany is adorable and is having so much fun. I really don't care if this show is good or bad, honestly (although I loved this episode) because she's such a delight.

I like her being a smart woman who also eats Hot Cheetos (always pick the Hot Cheetos*) with chopsticks and speculating on the sex lives of the Avengers. She's so much fun. I want to hang out with her!

I loved all the women in the bathroom rallying around her. That's a bit of an exaggeration in my experience, but yes, women in bar bathrooms are 100% here for each other. It had basis in real life.

The CG is kind of ... just OK, but whatever. I don't hate it and I'm used to it. I may dislike it more as the show progresses but here, I was pretty fine with it. Did I mention Maslany is adorable and I love her?

*I was in the chip aisle of the grocery store and this young man with a skateboard saw me and he had regular Cheetos and Hot Cheetos in his hands, and clearly he recognized me as a snack expert. He asked which he should get and I said it was a tough choice and really, both is the right choice. But I said "Hot" and that's what he went with. So always go with Hot Cheetos.)
posted by edencosmic at 7:25 PM on August 18 [6 favorites]


Halloween Jack: Hot Tub Time Machine

Producer Guy: "Hot Tub Time Machine with Sebastian Stan?"
Writer: "Oh, dang it!"

Same deal with Iron Man referencing Big Lebowski, which happens to star Obidaiah Stane ...
posted by MollyRealized at 7:37 PM on August 18 [4 favorites]


This was fun. Also how come my problems never require a Mexican beach vacation retreat to hash out? I would have milked that longer if I were Jen.
posted by the primroses were over at 7:51 PM on August 18 [10 favorites]


So Bruce knows that Steve went back in time and stayed with Peggy—he was the one manning the time machine. Is he sworn to secrecy? Someone remind me—is the CW in the MCU that Steve died fighting Thanos? Trying to remember if that was implied in No Way Home in reference to the refurbished Statue of Liberty…

All of which is to say, why couldn’t Bruce just say “he was married for 60 years, of course he’s not a virgin”?
posted by ejs at 8:18 PM on August 18


I think that the CW is that Steve is on the moon.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:00 PM on August 18 [3 favorites]


> why couldn’t Bruce just say “he was married for 60 years, of course he’s not a virgin”?

I've also lost track of which timeline is which, but for the one where he went back and married Peggy: did he tell anyone about that? He might have told Bucky, I guess.

I was delighted by this and will happily watch more.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:03 PM on August 18 [1 favorite]


Everything in the law office feels like a 90s workplace sitcom, especially when she broke the fourth wall. Thankfully I'm a fan of both 90s sitcoms and flashbacks where two Hulks fight and make jokes.
posted by Gary at 12:16 AM on August 19 [5 favorites]


I'm quite impressed by the way Tatiana Maslani has been made up to look like she was drawn by John Byrne. They do take a lot of care over that sort of thing.

Chopsticks are phenomenally useful for eating greasy corn snacks, also doner kebabs and chips, and retrieving tea bags from mugs. I used to keep a pair next to the kettle specifically for the purpose.

Actually you can retrieve all sorts of things from all sorts of places your fingers can't reach or which are a bit too messy for comfort. I can highly recommend keeping a pack of disposable chopsticks around. They're not just for depositing Chinese food in your lap in a slapstick food incident.
posted by Grangousier at 12:17 AM on August 19 [2 favorites]


I thought I saw a Porg plushie on the shelf during the Law Office opening scenes.

That's how I surmised that Star Wars exists in the Marvel Universe.
posted by Faintdreams at 4:14 AM on August 19 [1 favorite]


🎵Single Female Lawyer🎵

also

Harvey Birdman cameo?
posted by Marticus at 4:21 AM on August 19 [2 favorites]


So Bruce knows that Steve went back in time and stayed with Peggy—he was the one manning the time machine.

Bruce sent Steve to his first destination to return the stones. After that, Steve had to adjust his wrist-mounted control device to the next destination (as we saw Tony and Steve do on the fly in Endgame). Presumably he changed the final destination to be to Peggy at the end of his time tour, not Bruce. Yes, I have thought about this stuff too much.
posted by Servo5678 at 6:11 AM on August 19 [2 favorites]


Yeah, in Endgame, Smart Hulk says "He blew right past his time stamp", as our first clue that Cap was up to something.
posted by Fleebnork at 8:04 AM on August 19


The wig was not great. Almost everything else was great.
posted by bq at 8:11 AM on August 19


Are trailers spoilery? If so I'll just say it's a full day and now knowing Jen's based in LA makes the upcoming NYC characters (esp one of them) appearance truly funny just anticipating it.
posted by cendawanita at 8:38 AM on August 19


I don't think Hulk blood is that infectious. There's a line in there about because they're related, he and she can both genetically assimilate the gamma factor in the blood, and that's how she got it.

He didn't know it was infectious, but he knows (or believes) that it's dangerous, presumably because of the gamma radiation -- he tries to keep her away from his wounds after the car crash.
posted by Etrigan at 10:09 AM on August 19


Oh, when I wrote “So Bruce knows that Steve went back in time and stayed with Peggy—he was the one manning the time machine” I didn’t mean Bruce sent him there, I meant he was right there when Cap didn’t come back and Sam and Bucky walked over to the old guy on the bench who then gave Sam cap’s shield, and I figured he could put two and two together even if Bucky and Sam decided to be cryptic about it
posted by ejs at 11:21 AM on August 19 [3 favorites]


Very fun first episode. Superhero-lawyer is my second-favorite superhero-plus trope, so unless Marvel announces an upcoming Dr. Leonard Samson series She-Hulk has a very real chance of being my favorite Marvel show.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 12:07 PM on August 19


'She-Hulk' Shows the Anger Triggers That Predispose Women to Be Better Hulks
If I had the ability to Hulk out when harassed, men would never know peace again.


Reminds me of the NaNoWriMo novel I wrote where women were equally sized to 6-foot-tall men or so with equivalent strength.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:03 PM on August 19 [5 favorites]


I have been waiting for this since Avengers.
I have been muttering, "We couldn't have worked in a cameo from a SHIELD lawyer named Jennifer Walters?" after at least half the MCU.
I did want a little more supportive-cousins stuff before the gamma hit the blood. (But I've been weirdly needy about 'Jen's house was a safe space for Bruce when his dad was out of control' from the comics. For calibration, I note that I was also disappointed that CA: Civil War didn't have more actual friendship moments between Tony and Steve before everything went to crap.)
The show worked for me. Beloved Spouse (not a comics nerd) also enjoyed it. We both really want to see where this goes for the next eight episodes.

And the CGI didn't seem as wonky as in the trailers. I'm unsure if the trailer just makes it more obvious because the scene cuts mean you have to spend more figuring where to look.
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 1:50 PM on August 19


How old is Jennifer vs how old Bruce? Because if she's supposed to be in her 30's and he's in his...I dunno, 50's...I wonder how much they hung out growing up?

I did wonder how she was able to throw Bruce around since she's still a lot smaller than he is.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:55 PM on August 19


I did wonder how she was able to throw Bruce around since she's still a lot smaller than he is.

When you're Hulk-strong, even a bigger Hulk is light enough for you to toss around like that. It's why they can jump so far.
posted by Etrigan at 3:48 PM on August 19 [1 favorite]


the one real failing (IMO)—Tahani from The Good Place busting into the court room and throwing shit with no apparent reason or explanation

One does not need a reason for Ms. Jamil to arrive, one merely welcomes her. I am sure she would not break things that weren't in fact better broken.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 4:50 PM on August 19 [19 favorites]


Jen's house was a safe space for Bruce when his dad was out of control' from the comics.

I’m not sure I trust them to do a good job with the whole DID patricide Bruce….I hope they don’t go there and half-ass it.
posted by bq at 10:05 PM on August 19


Ever since Disney bought Marvel there's been a requirement for Marvel films & shows to reference other Disney-owned films within them, and this is usually (always? I haven't checked) done outside the Marvel canon. Hence "There are no strings on me," "I'm Mary Poppins, y'all,"

I love this—I'm calling it a conspiracy theory because I simultaneously can't believe it could possibly be true and absolutely believe it could be true. The ridiculous pettiness of it. The convincing examples. Amazing.
posted by straight at 10:13 PM on August 19


in the She-Hulk comics, Marvel comics exist, they are considered a historical record of all superhero activity, and are considered admissible in court.

Okay so now I'm really hoping for a scene where Jen is arguing a case related to the Blip or something and she shows the jury a clip from one of the Avengers movies as evidence.
posted by straight at 10:21 PM on August 19 [3 favorites]


emjaybee: I had not realized Hulk blood was THAT infectious, I think that makes me wonder if H

Me: I don't think Hulk blood is that infectious.

Eftrigan: He didn't know it was infectious, but he knows


Wasn't referring to Hulk's belief, was replying to emjaybee and others' musings re: Hulk blood infecting other creatures.
posted by MollyRealized at 10:32 PM on August 19


I thought this was delightful so far. Maslany is always incredible and she's perfect here, so comfortable and having a great time.

And wow, I couldn't care less how good the CG looks. That seems so completely not the point of why this show is fun. As long as they get good enough facial motion capture of what Maslany's doing, the rest will be fine.

Seriously, we can have more fun shows and make life better for the world's overworked animators if we agree that—at least some of the time—it's fine to have a fantastical show that leans more on the script and acting and ideas and storytelling than having the best special effects that money can buy.
posted by straight at 10:58 PM on August 19 [5 favorites]


One imagines, with Checkov's Secure Biological Sample Destroyer, there is room for some of the usual 'somebody's always trying to make another super-serum' shenanigans.

The inclusion of Blonsky could be part of that. Or he could be part of 'what if Hulk, but monstrous' lessons; paralleled with advice from Matt Murdock on 'what if superhero, but also lawyer' business.
posted by bartleby at 10:59 PM on August 19 [2 favorites]


I'm still annoyed about the time spent watching the two Ant-Man movies at a friend's insistence.

Aw, I'm sorry you felt that way. I feel like the 2nd Ant-Man (and the Wasp) is the most purely fun of all the MCU movies.
posted by straight at 11:14 PM on August 19 [1 favorite]


Hearing now that they had to do some surgery to insert the origin story into the first episode

This is funny, because I've just watched a bunch of youtube Reactions to ep 1.
Every single one of them was saying out loud some version of "Oh, so we're starting with her already as She-Hulk? They'll explain it later?" EXACTLY at the moment they do that first turn to camera and 'And you probably won't be able to focus on this Fun Lawyer Show until I explain how I'm a Hulk, so...'. Cue Reactor's delighted 'Aha! We're doing it now, great.'

I think they did the (attempt at) "I'm a Hulk, this is how that happened, let's move on because that's not what my life is about" (famous last words) Pilot Episode setup very well.
posted by bartleby at 11:15 PM on August 19 [7 favorites]


I had the thought just now that Jen might end up, somehow, defending Joe Fixit. (Huh. Peter David has a Joe Fixit miniseries in the works. Might be fun.)
posted by SPrintF at 8:20 AM on August 20


"Okay so now I'm really hoping for a scene where Jen is arguing a case related to the Blip or something and she shows the jury a clip from one of the Avengers movies as evidence." - straight

Jaw drops. Astounded that it didn't occur to me. That would be great!


"I’m not sure I trust them to do a good job with the whole DID patricide Bruce..." -bq

I don't think we get much more of Ruffalo in the series, so I don't see it as a possibility. (Citation: One of the trailers has Jen fourth-walling, 'This isn't a cameo-of-the-week show... except for Bruce... and Blonsky... and Wong." (frowns) ).
And I winced a little when Jen compared her control to Bruce's - well, her family was supportive and not abusive. But MCU really hasn't leaned into the Bruce-as-abused-child - that's really just from the 2003 Ang Lee film, which isn't MCU.
And in a half-hour series, they're really just gonna focus on Jen, as they should.

And I'll try not to fan-wank about canon, too much. I mostly care about canon from the "what have we established about this character's behavior/reactions/motives" angle. Other details I can live without: I certainly don't need Jen's dad to be the LA Sheriff.
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 3:53 PM on August 20 [2 favorites]


Micro-Canon + jokes about 'I guess her hair Hulks out too'.

Jennifer Walters, Esq. is a member? recipient? of the Order of the Coif [in the top 10% of her class at UCLA law school] in the comics.
Order of the Coif(fure)? Is that something? Is there a joke there? Hair? No?

Anyway, with Jen in LA, and I think Kate Bishop was heading west, and maybe they'really doing that thing where NYC gets too complicated for Daredevil and he moves to SFO for a while, where Ant-Man & The Wasp live...
Who else goes on the roster for the West Coast Avengers (MCU edition)?
posted by bartleby at 5:13 PM on August 20


Eeeeeeee... really hoping this gets better, because I've been excited about this one, but the first episode really didn't work for us over here. Very stilted in writing and performances, very one-note throughout, and having your sole conflict be "Mentor figure refuses to acknowledge that the Protagonist is immediately great at everything" is not only bad storytelling, but it does nothing for the characters and gives the actors nowhere to go with them.

I'm not sure if I like Jennifer because there's literally nothing there yet. Again, hoping this gets better.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:21 PM on August 20


I don't think the point is that Jennifer is great at everything. I think it's that Bruce assumed his problem turning into a monstrous rage toddler when he got angry was just what gamma radiation did to people when it changed them into a hulk. But actually the way gamma affected him was a result of his own personal issues.

So for Jennifer, being a Hulk doesn't mean being the sort of monster that Bruce becomes. She-Hulk isn't just, as Bruce assumed, a female Hulk.
posted by straight at 2:45 AM on August 21 [3 favorites]


She-Hulk is so much more than just ‘sexy Hulk’ [Polygon] - this is a great history of the character and I doubt there is anyone in this thread who thinks she is ‘just sexy Hulk’!
posted by ellieBOA at 3:37 AM on August 21 [4 favorites]


I don't think the point is that Jennifer is great at everything. I think it's that Bruce assumed his problem turning into a monstrous rage toddler when he got angry was just what gamma radiation did to people when it changed them into a hulk. But actually the way gamma affected him was a result of his own personal issues.

So for Jennifer, being a Hulk doesn't mean being the sort of monster that Bruce becomes. She-Hulk isn't just, as Bruce assumed, a female Hulk.


Yeah, we got that, since it was basically written expressly across the bottom of the screen in every scene. That theme wasn't subtle. And I love the concept that she doesn't need any lessons about controller her anger - the little monologue about that was great. Or, it was great in a vacuum, where one could assume the context that the episode itself had done more to earn it. There were little touches I liked, like eating the hot cheetos with chopsticks, but they were (to go all Robert McKee on it) Characterization rather than Character. There's no character to Jen yet because she has no flaws (again, yet.) Even Steve Rogers had his naivite (and the Steve Rogers stuff here was cute, but holy hell was it overplayed.)

But yeah, it's not just that she can control her anger and her issues are different from Bruce's. It's that she can immediately nail all of it and she has no issues at all. And that's basically all the episode gives us for its whole runtime.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:06 AM on August 21 [1 favorite]


Even by the end of the episode we can already see that she's mistaken in her belief that she can just not Hulk. So we'll see. It's fairly common for the young protagonist to feel that they already know more than their mentor, and to get away with it for a while - Luke Skywalker got away with it all the way through Star Wars and halfway through The Empire Strikes Back before he stopped getting away with it.

My guess is that the last episode will have Bruce in it, and will pay off a bunch of things, including the space ship.

Um. Without wishing to get too heavy in response to the Fun Lawyer Show... Bruce says in the first Avengers film, his secret is that he's angry all the time. As one of those people in whom depression manifests as a constant thrum of unfocused anger (and lots of sources tell me this is prevalent in men) that was something that resonated with me, as did the threat that if you didn't keep it under control you'd get The Other Guy (though in my case that guy was someone who was dislikable and obnoxious rather than anything too damaging - presenting as angry rather than sad means that people tend to respond to one less indulgently). As metaphors, I mean.

Well, that was probably not Joss Whedon's intention, it was just a cool line. And it was almost certain that the dismissal here was nothing more than a bit of "guys suck, amirite!", which is fine and appropriate for the Fun Lawyer Show. But it was surprisingly hurtful, at least to me. Well, only to me, it's entirely inside my own head. And this is just me wanting to register that somewhere, rather than call anything out, or start some kind of campaign or, god help me, start proclaiming in capital letters on Twitter.
posted by Grangousier at 8:51 AM on August 21 [2 favorites]


~ I did wonder how she was able to throw Bruce around since she's still a lot smaller than he is.
~ When you're Hulk-strong, even a bigger Hulk is light enough for you to toss around like that. It's why they can jump so far.


I do think it’s kinda odd that SheHulk isn’t nearly as enormous and bulked-up as HeHulk. SheHulk’s physique comes off more as being a woman who lives at the gym. She’s bulked and ripped and, well, hotted-up, but, other than the green skin and being a bit taller, she certainly could pass as “normal” in everyday life, unlike HeHulk. I guess I’ll just chalk it up to the character’s comic book origin, ‘cause, y’know, the patriarchy. *shrugs*

Anyway, all that aside, I really enjoyed this. Fun characters, great actors, and just campy enough to simply have good fun.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:05 AM on August 21 [3 favorites]


It made sense to me that she could throw Hulk around. It made less sense to me that she could drive into him so strong that she could blast him back like she did, though.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:20 PM on August 21


It's that she can immediately nail all of it and she has no issues at all.

Well, now, after 30 minutes of episode, we’re at the point in the comics where the character of Jennifer Walters is after ten years of character development in the comics. So, yeah, it may feel a little unearned, but even still, it’s true to the character.

But also, this show is part of a larger MCU, and this show comes right after a different Marvel project about an overpowered female character who was too emotional and COULDN’T handle her powers. So this feels like a welcome course correction to me.

(And this version of She-Hulk was by John Byrne, who had previously co-created the X-Men Phoenix Saga, and probably recognized the flaws in that story, and was trying to make up for them, too).
posted by 1970s Antihero at 1:59 PM on August 21 [2 favorites]


But also, this show is part of a larger MCU, and this show comes right after a different Marvel project about an overpowered female character who was too emotional and COULDN’T handle her powers. So this feels like a welcome course correction to me.

I'm hoping this is referring to Thor: Love + Thunder (which I haven't gotten to see yet) and not Ms. Marvel, which kicked absolute ass and for which this would be a wild (again, to me) description. But fair enough.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:24 PM on August 21


Dr. Strange.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 2:27 PM on August 21 [3 favorites]


Blergh, right, of course. I had somehow blocked out the character-assassination of Wanda. Grrrrr...
posted by Navelgazer at 2:42 PM on August 21 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't sweat it too much about She Hulk being confident and cocky in her first episode. They were simply establishing that she's Not The Same As Bruce Banner.

Her life will get plenty complicated as things move forward.

I just finished reading the Dan Slott run of the She Hulk comics. She may not have Bruce Banner's sort of problems, but she does have problems of her own.
posted by Fleebnork at 4:59 AM on August 22 [3 favorites]


I do think it’s kinda odd that SheHulk isn’t nearly as enormous and bulked-up as HeHulk. SheHulk’s physique comes off more as being a woman who lives at the gym. She’s bulked and ripped and, well, hotted-up, but, other than the green skin and being a bit taller, she certainly could pass as “normal” in everyday life, unlike HeHulk. I guess I’ll just chalk it up to the character’s comic book origin, ‘cause, y’know, the patriarchy. *shrugs*

Kind of... the first issue was drawn by John Buscema, who was known as Marvel's main Conan the Barbarian artist, and who sure didn't draw the women in that comic anywhere near as muscular as Conan (even Red Sonja). But there was also a theme in Hulk spin-off characters who were also affected by gamma rays not necessarily being that much like the Hulk; starting with the Abomination (who was also in the Edward Norton Hulk movie, as well as Shang-Chi, and set to appear in this series), the Leader (big brain, really smart), the Harpy (like a mythological harpy), Doc Samson (like a handsome muscular human, but with long green hair), and even a couple of Red Hulks and a Red She-Hulk. There's also the idea that the Hulk and some of his gamma-powered brethren occasionally shift into a somewhat different form; the Hulk was originally grey, only becoming green because of a coloring error in an early issue, and the Grey Hulk has become canon.

In terms of the She-Hulk, I think that Byrne was the first to draw her looking more like a professional woman bodybuilder (on the cover of her first graphic novel--that's even a pro bodybuilder competition pose), and during Slott's run, it was established that she becomes proportionately stronger than her human form, meaning that if and when she started pumping iron as a human, she became really jacked.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:23 AM on August 22 [1 favorite]


Cheetos + Chopsticks: "The idea just came to me," says modern day Prometheus.

The cheetos/chopsticks has been spotted in the wild several times since the comic was published, and the lack of credit for the true inventor has been joked about. This time I just feel it was actually ripped off though!
posted by mark k at 2:58 PM on August 22


I do think it’s kinda odd that SheHulk isn’t nearly as enormous and bulked-up as HeHulk.

People complained about Gal Godot being too skinny to play Wonder Woman as if lifting a tank would be more believable if she had slightly larger biceps. The body shape of comic book heroes with super-strength is often entirely metaphorical.

Bruce turns into this huge monster that looks as huge and dangerous as an angry elephant or rhino. But The Hulk is a thousand times stronger than any elephant. His iconic "I'm always angry" moment involves stopping an alien aircraft carrier with a single punch. His monstrous shape is symbolic of his strength, but is really more directly about his uncontrollable rage.

But yeah, it's not just that she can control her anger and her issues are different from Bruce's. It's that she can immediately nail all of it and she has no issues at all.


In the comics, She Hulk's issues aren't that it sucks to a gorgeous unstoppable green giant, but that it's great and everything else seems insignificant in comparison, that Jennifer herself seems insignificant—even to herself—when she's not the She Hulk.

And that's what we start to see here. Jennifer wants her normal, successful life, but Bruce is all, nope, sorry, you're a Hulk now and that's all that matters. She wants to be a lawyer, but all anybody else wants is the She Hulk. Gamma turns Bruce into a rage monster but Jennifer into someone who is glamorous and bigger-than-life.
posted by straight at 4:27 PM on August 22 [4 favorites]


To be fair, do you really want to watch Rage Monster, Lady Version, or do something different with the concept?
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:32 PM on August 22 [6 favorites]


On the Facebook this morning, I saw a small angry man complaining that the show just goes on and on about how much better Jennifer is than Bruce and is clearly anti-man and after the first episode, he went to watch the GoT prequel instead. He will keep watching She-Hulk but not today.

My dude, there has been only one episode of She-Hulk so far, so announcing you are applying the brakes after one episode is not the power move you think it is.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:22 AM on August 23 [4 favorites]


To be fair, do you really want to watch Rage Monster, Lady Version, or do something different with the concept?

porquenolosdos.gif
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:06 AM on August 23


I think that dude should probably get out of watching She-Hulk before he catches any feminist cooties. Bailing after one episode is exactly the time to leave before that happens!
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:02 PM on August 23 [1 favorite]


To re hash all of the blood-transfer hashing, I note that Bruce did not say that Jennifer was exposed to his blood, he said she'd received a lethal dose of GAMMA radiation and survived because of a family genetic quirk. We saw from the Ed Norton Hulk film that a soda contaminated with one drop of his blood was enough to make the Stan Lee cameo very ill. By this point he's had a lot longer to keep metabolizing GAMMA and it's entirely possible that the gizmo forcing him into Banner mode was exacerbating the situation. This, of course opens all sorts of questions about the radiation blocking properties of his skin, but... at this point we're in comic book logic. It makes sense that they could not go with the comic book blood transfusion thing because technology has improved since She Hulk's origin and modern viewers would have a much harder time with "Seriously? There isn't a hospital somewhere with experimental transfusion tech that is safer than 'hey let's just inject some poison blood nothing could possibly go wrong."

I have a feeling that part of the reason She-Hulk was able to tussle successfully with Smart Hulk is that he was deliberately holding back, both to avoid hurting his cousin and to avoid ruining his house.

I'm surprised girl-cooties dude was willing to watch a series with a female lead at all. What does he expect?
posted by Karmakaze at 2:28 PM on August 24 [2 favorites]


She-Hulk can outdo Hulk because that's her problem. Bruce's version self-destruction manifests as his uncontrollable rage; Jennifer's version of self-destruction is her need to be better than everyone else and operate at an impossibly high standard. Her outdoing her cousin at all the things he's worked a decade on and then immediately moving on isn't a sign that she's psychologically healthier.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:15 PM on August 24 [2 favorites]


I mean, also, that was clearly a Hulk Sibling fight, as opposed to a Real Fight. IYKYK.
posted by bq at 9:39 PM on August 24 [5 favorites]


Upon re-watching the fight scene with Jen and Bruce I noticed that the only time she really threw Bruce she used pretty much the exact martial arts throw they teach women to use on larger opponents.
posted by Karmakaze at 10:36 AM on August 25


If you look at the way they can jump, it's seems clear that either of them could lift and throw the other with hardly any effort, never mind needing a particular martial arts move.

(In the comics, The Hulk was traditionally described as weighing a thousand pounds. Stan Lee had dozens of purple prose ways to refer to him as "a half-ton of gamma monster" or whatever in the captions. Hulk was said to be able to lift 100 tons when he's not very angry, and She Hulk could lift 75-100 tons, so a couple hundred times more than the Hulk weighs.)
posted by straight at 1:25 AM on August 26


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