She-Hulk: Attorney at Law: Mean, Green, and Straight Poured into These Jeans
September 15, 2022 5:32 AM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

She-Hulk discovers Titania owns the name “She-Hulk” and is suing her for trademark infringement.
posted by 1970s Antihero (52 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
An actually plausible legal argument in this episode. But a ton of fun either way.

Seems a bit insane that Titania got away with smashing up a court room and she certainly got her new product line out ludicrously quickly, but it’s just a goofy show.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:49 AM on September 15 [3 favorites]


The tailor is the funniest and i want to see more of him.

Also no end credits stinger this episode?
posted by Faintdreams at 6:12 AM on September 15 [1 favorite]


Nope, no end credits, which just feels weird!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:41 AM on September 15 [1 favorite]


Overall, the show's saving grace for me is that it's low key fun. I understand if someone has issues with plot or characterization or what you, but focusing on those details miss the point of this show, imo.

This is lightweight superhero fun, nothing more and nothing less. The bar is low and that's not a bad thing! Too often with the MCU there's endless theories about how this character or story arc will interact with such and such, what it means on a grand scale, etc etc. This is just Jen trying to adjust being someone with super powers who didn't ask for them but is slowly learning to enjoy them, while continuing to do what she's always wanted to do, be a lawyer.

It's wise to ignore any advertising about this show, since Marvel doesn't seem sure about what it wants to do. Titania was advertised as a super-villain but having more as a court opponent has been way more fun and interesting.

The superhero genre relies too much on everything being solved by enemies punching it out, so the She-Hulk variation on that trope keeps things watchable.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:53 AM on September 15 [9 favorites]


Whose helmet was in the hatbox? (I'm really enjoying this show more and more but I have to listen to Biff! when they cover a show I'm watching because I don't really know much about the MCU.)
posted by kingless at 8:47 AM on September 15


That was Daredevil’s helmet in the box at the end.
posted by wabbittwax at 9:04 AM on September 15 [5 favorites]


The show is fun, I just wish it was more of a lawyer show.
posted by Pendragon at 9:28 AM on September 15


You may have had trouble recognizing the Daredevil helmet because it's yellow, a color he hasn't really worn since the 60's. Before the ninja craze, his martial art was boxing and he wore boxing shorts, a singlet, (regular) gloves, and boots in red over a yellow cowl-to-toe bodysuit (the cowl did have those cute little horns). It was a running joke for a while that he was giving away his secret identity because only a blind man would dress himself to clash that badly. Remember this is back when they called comics "four color" for a reason (cheap printing) so both the red and yellow were pretty bright. Eventually, they went to almost entirely red, the red got darker as printing technology got better and he's been mostly in some combination of dark red and black since. Marvel is going for a homage to the original look, though they've clearly dulled the yellow parts of the outfit to a dusky mustard shade. That's a good idea, because, well...

I've wondered a bit about Jennifer's wardrobe, but I think they have justified her lack of awareness of social media and fashion. There are any number of regular fashion designers who would have been delighted to tailor something flattering for a celebrity like She-Hulk. It wouldn't be tough enough to survive fights, but it would be better than the off the rack nonsense Jennifer was wearing. I was having a little trouble believing Jennifer could not manage it with her new budget, and then I realized that I both know a lot of costumers and have a friend with her own dance company so I may have met more people in the fashion industry than an LA public defender would. Titania clearly knows designers who do extra plus-size fashion design, but she'd hardly help out Jen.
posted by Karmakaze at 10:50 AM on September 15 [3 favorites]


It was hilarious that they had to argue that She Hulk was a big enough superhero to warrant the designer working with her.

Jen’s Own Personal Avongers Assemble In This Week’s She-Hulk
posted by medusa at 1:29 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


There was a lot of very elaborate eyeshadow in this episode.

Is the lawyer who represented her a friend or asshole, I could not tell.

I remain angry that anyone thinks regular Jen is not cute as a button.

Creeper date guy who wanted to test vibranium on her: still creepy.

I posted this on Twitter: if there is knockoff Avenger merch, that means official merch exists. Who is getting that money??
posted by emjaybee at 1:32 PM on September 15 [3 favorites]


I'm loving this show so much. Man, that was a great end credit song choice.
LOTS of easter eggs in the shoe closet illustration from the credits. I noticed X-Men's Cyclops and the Fantastic Four's the Ever Lovin' Thing. I'm sure there are going to be hundreds of breakdown videos listing them all out in no time.
posted by ssmith at 1:53 PM on September 15 [2 favorites]



I posted this on Twitter: if there is knockoff Avenger merch, that means official merch exists. Who is getting that money??


Good question, as the Avengers are unpaid according to the Falcon. And now Tony is dead, they don’t even have a backer. Surely someone at Stark Industries is an IP lawyer though. They would have copyrighted Iron Man. And from there…
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:44 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


Too often with the MCU there's endless theories about how this character or story arc will interact with such and such

For weeks I've been hearing theories about how Matt Murdock would be in this show and why a lawyer from New York might be working a case in L.A. or maybe that he's following Kingpin there or something... and it turns out he's just dropping by to get his new tailor-made suit! Hahaha, brilliant. Take that, theory junkies!

I really loved this episode because this was a reasonable use of trademark law and it told us more about the Jen/She-Hulk dichotomy and how she feels about it. Plus she had to humiliate herself in court by parading around her dates and having her Matcher profile read aloud - can any of you imagine what it would be like for your Tinder profile to be read in a public space? That's great comedy/cringe.

Anyway, I love that Jamila Jamil is playing an influencer who sells beauty products - the complete antithesis to Jamil's personal image. And she does a great impression of a faux-vapid business woman who really knows what she is doing.

Everyone seemed to love Madisynn last week and I just didn't vibe with silly drunk woman. I'm glad we had more character comedy this week - like Pug being a shoe collector and Nikki really vibing with the idea of buying shoes just to look at. Respect!
posted by crossoverman at 3:22 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


If Marvel does not produce their own bootleg Avongers merch, they really don't want my money.

(They did some official merch for the stuff seen at Avengers con in Ms. Marvel so it's possible.)

I thought this was a lot of fun. I always like when someone's weaknesses or such turns out to be what saves them -- like all of Jen's dates being witnesses to her using the She-Hulk name. It's so great. Maslany plays Jen so well -- she's an adorable goofball and I want to hang out with her (both the actress and her character).

I loved Titania trying to give out samples of her products in court. Influencers gotta influence anywhere they can.

I've seen some complaints about how there was no cameo in this episode & how it was a filler episode. But this episode is exactly what this show is. It's a comedy! It's silly and playful and just so much fun. I don't care how this ties into the larger MCU. It doesn't need to.
posted by edencosmic at 3:30 PM on September 15 [5 favorites]


if there is knockoff Avenger merch, that means official merch exists. Who is getting that money??

Maybe the Stark estate? Pepper and Morgan should stay solvent, I’d think, and I can’t imagine Tony didn’t have a bunch of patents.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:22 PM on September 15


Since giving up on (non-netflix series) MCU from, I want to say, Age of Ultron, I gave this one a try because of Tatiana Maslany. Now 5 episodes in, I'm just loving the vibe.
posted by Marticus at 5:03 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


Not necessarily. There’s knockoff Calvin & Hobbes merch but no official Calvin & Hobbes merch, for instance.
posted by gauche at 5:07 PM on September 15 [7 favorites]


Did we learn the designer’s name? In my headcanon it’s Jumbo Carnation.
posted by sixswitch at 5:25 PM on September 15 [2 favorites]


The designer was named Luke. I don’t know if that’s a pre-existing character from the comics, but his characterization seemed like a reheated Edna Mode to me.

Loved this episode! Loved the low but real stakes, loved how unabashedly girly it was, love how Jen as She-Hulk seems uncomfortable to even be taking up (so much) space while Jen as Jen is comfy in an oversized suit that makes her look like a child. Say what you will about the middling CGI but the expressions crossing She-Hulk’s face when her date explained that She-Hulk is his type but Jen isn’t captured that Maslany subtlety so well.

Is there really just one episode left? This is the first time Jameela Jamil said more than one word, and I’m guessing Luke’s extra bonus for Jen is the classic She-Hulk purple-and-white leotard.
posted by ejs at 6:22 PM on September 15


Is there really just one episode left?

Four.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:27 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


The designer was named Luke. I don’t know if that’s a pre-existing character from the comics,

Yes and no: he is Luke Jacobson according to the credits, and there was a Luke Jacobson in three issues of Dakota North in the mid-eighties, so I think we can almost call that coincidence rather than deep cut. First Luke was a fashion guy, though, so it might be a surgery-deep cut.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:34 PM on September 15 [4 favorites]


I don't think trademark works like this. But if it were a normal law show, we wouldn't have Jen parade those doofuses through the courtroom.

The cut to camera with "Oh! My clothes!" was great.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:24 PM on September 15


I kinda wondered if it would actually be something to wear on a date. Like, a LBD kinda thing.
posted by sixswitch at 10:15 PM on September 15


For years I've been grumbling that there is a lack of legal TV about civil litigation in general and intellectual property law in particular, and finally my prayers have been answered – by She-Hulk!

I started to write a post about the differences between US and UK trademark law and cases on this side of the Atlantic concerning rights in names (including stage names) but I quickly realised that it would become very long. Suffice it to say that over here Jennifer Walters' likely tactic would have been to allege bad-faith registration and to make a counterclaim for passing off.

(For a good explanation of the tort of passing off in English Law I refer to HHJ Melissa Clarke's judgment in the case of Prick v Prick, which concerned a tattoo artist and a cactus shop. As well as being informative, it is very amusing and at paragraph 40 has an excellent example of why advocates should always think carefully before asking a question as to what the possible answers might be...)
posted by Major Clanger at 2:10 AM on September 16 [4 favorites]


This show is just good plain fun. Not every MCU show has to be part of the World Building toward whatever the huge epic Kang battle is going to be.

It's a big universe, and some of the superheroes are more "street level", like She-Hulk, Daredevil, etc. Spider-Man is one who crosses boundaries from street level to Big Damn Hero.

I am thoroughly enjoying this more comedic entry showing more daily life stuff. Nerds on the internet need to relax and enjoy the ride.
posted by Fleebnork at 4:50 AM on September 16 [3 favorites]


OH BUT I WANT WEIGHTLESS CGI BATTLES AND A SKY BEAM FOR SOME REASON
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:55 AM on September 16 [1 favorite]


I totally expected we'd get a stinger with her modeling the new suit.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:53 AM on September 16 [1 favorite]


Next episode will be a big day for the Purple.
posted by sixswitch at 7:20 AM on September 16 [1 favorite]


Good question, as the Avengers are unpaid according to the Falcon. And now Tony is dead, they don’t even have a backer. Surely someone at Stark Industries is an IP lawyer though. They would have copyrighted Iron Man. And from there…

That whole question is very much up in the air. The comics had the Maria Stark Foundation (named after Tony's mom) which funded the group. All we really know about the MCU's post-Tony situation, though, besides the plot of Spider-Man: Far From Home, is that the Department of Damage Control raided Stark Industries in Spider-Man: No Way Home (the scene showed them removing entire semi loads from SI) and arresting Happy Hogan. That would be a great case for Jen and GLK&H to take on, actually. We know that eventually James Rhodes will be taking on the problem of the proliferation of Iron Man-type armor in the upcoming Armor Wars series, and that eventually there will be another Avengers movie, but as far as whether there are still officially Avengers, it's a big question mark; if, say, Sam Wilson wanted to do crimefighting full-time, he'd have to join DODC or SWORD, re-enlist in the Air Force, or start a GoFundMe.

I wonder if Nikki's knowing Mandarin would possibly be a clue to something...
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:20 AM on September 16


This is the first Marvel show that I've actually followed along. So far I've enjoyed every episode, including this one. The whole review bombing on IMDB thing is sad but also fascinating. It's just like... "This? This? This is what you find offensive?" It's such a pleasant, low-stakes show. I'm excited to see her new suit!
posted by Alex404 at 10:01 AM on September 16 [3 favorites]


I guess the low-stakeness of it is why it's offensive? The haters are offended by the idea that we might just want to hang out with She-Hulk?
posted by Alex404 at 10:06 AM on September 16 [1 favorite]


I expect the haters hate that it’s such an overtly feminist, non-male-gazey show, mainly because they wanted eye-candy-She-Hulk and instead she’s like, an actual person and stuff, but also because the critiques of men have been pretty on-point so far, so ugh.

I’m continuing to enjoy this show tremendously, it’s really fun. It occurs to me that when you have a show based on a really, really powerful character, it’s either Super Tremendous Stakes (to rise to their level of ability), or mundane, every day stuff that anybody might have to deal with (where the scale of their power doesn’t really come into play). MCU has been almost all the former kind and it’s nice to see a show that mostly chooses the latter path.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:15 PM on September 16 [6 favorites]


I was not expecting to see Dakota North referenced above! Nice recall ricochet biscuit.

Funnily enough, Jen's wardrobe is actually on trend. The big, oversized slouch suit is in for women. Even her co-star and other Marvel and DC actresses have gotten in on the trend that other famous Hollywood women are sporting. Jen just needs hers is some better colours and needs to learn to accessorize better (or "style" as the fashion types would say). I'm sure her friends could help her with that.

The thing that I find a bit disappointing, is that rather than taking the opportunity to present She-Hulk with really strong and powerful facial features, they don't. She is still very much conventionally pretty--even to the point where she has a very noticeable pink blush--you know, the kind of thing that would typically be used to "soften" a women's look or make her look younger and more innocent. I would have been more impressed if they gave She-Hulk a harder, more angular, appearance--maybe something with coarser (or less refined, if that's a preferred word choice) features.

I was kind of hoping DD's costumer Melvin would have been involved in the atelier, but overall, I'm okay without extra cameos for this show if we get more time with the supporting cast.
posted by sardonyx at 9:01 PM on September 16


Ok, so they're not using the most expensive state-of-the-art slave-labor-every-frame CG in this show. But I really can't see how it would be significantly better if they did. It's just not a WOW LOOK AT THAT type of show or story.

Sure I might like an action movies about people with superpowers that look very real and have convincing stunts and effects. But I don't think that's possible, or even the right goal, if you're putting Marvel and DC comic book superheroes on screen. She-Hulk is a bright green giant. She's gonna look cartoonish no matter what you do. And I'm fine with that. Even in big-budget MCU movies, I am much more interested in superheroes looking cool than looking real.

For this show the only effects I really care about are capturing Maslany's facial expressions, and they seem to be doing that pretty well. The big straight model hair doesn't make sense, but I think it works to frame her face so that the contrast between CG face and the rest of the scene is less jarring.

I really enjoyed this episode. Renée Elise Goldsberry was great.
posted by straight at 10:06 PM on September 16


I don’t know if that’s a pre-existing character from the comics, but his characterization seemed like a reheated Edna Mode to me.

Given the bit with the intercom, I thought it crossed over to deliberate homage. It's time to take She-Hulk to see Edna. (Disney owns Edna! They shoulda just used Edna.)
posted by straight at 10:09 PM on September 16 [1 favorite]


Wondering how amused the cast and crew were by the Titania / Tatiana similarity.
posted by straight at 10:12 PM on September 16 [1 favorite]


I realize this is not a gee-wow sort of graphics show, but I find it jarring when random shots of She-Hulk walking or moving suddenly look stilted and not-very-lifelike, like I'm watching a video game cut scene.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:29 AM on September 17 [1 favorite]


Creeper date guy who wanted to test vibranium on her: still creepy.

I have a theory that creepy dude is trying to make superpowers for sale, kind of a low-rent version of the Power Broker, and is where Titania got hers from.

He wanted to know if a Vibranium needle would work on Jen because he wants a blood sample to improve his process.

This is something Bruce was worried about in episode 1, and also what the Wrecking Crew guys were after an episode or two ago.
posted by kewb at 12:23 PM on September 17 [6 favorites]




> "I guess the low-stakeness of it is why it's offensive?"
> "I expect the haters hate that it’s such an overtly feminist ..."

You guys are way overthinking this. They hate it because the superhero is a woman.

That's it.
posted by kyrademon at 12:31 PM on September 18 [16 favorites]


10 She-Hulk Runs Every Fan Should Read made me realize that the cameo-a-week for this series worked as an additional reference to the John-Byrne-started Sensational She-Hulk comics run:

"Item 8 : The Sensational She-Hulk Broke Barriers And Comic Codes
The run not only had a guest star in almost every issue, as well as wacky villains such as the Toad Men from Outer Space..."

Content warning: the run was fan-servicey under the cover of 'making fun of comics tropes'. I admit that's what got me reading it in my 20s, but I see the problems with it.
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 3:53 PM on September 18


You guys are way overthinking this. They hate it because the superhero is a woman.

That's it.


In general, if women have trouble understanding men, it is because they are thinking too hard.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:33 PM on September 18


Speaking of overthinking things, as this episode dealt with names an identities, I started wondering what She-Hulk's legal standing was in court. She-Hulk didn't pass the bar, Jennifer Walters did. GLH+K wants She-Hulk to be the face of its metahuman division, but who is the clients' actual attorney of record: She-Hulk or Jennifer Walters?

I can't imagine Jen wanting to legally jump through the hoops to officially change her name on all her government documents or apply for a name change with the bar association because doesn't intend (from the evidence shown) to live all her life as She-Hulk. Jen, who is much harder for the average person to recognize than She-Hulk will still need photo ID or a driver's licence or a social security number in her name, and she'll still need to be able to call herself a lawyer.

I'm guessing the situation will be as it is for any lawyer who uses a nickname but files court documents with their full legal name, but then again, who knows how the law actually works in the Marvel universe?
posted by sardonyx at 8:50 PM on September 18


I don't think Dwayne Johnson needed a separate driver's license under the name "The Rock" for his lawyers to send cease-and-desist orders to people selling knock-off "The Rock" t-shirts.

"Jennifer Walters" is She-Hulk's legal name.
posted by straight at 11:58 AM on September 19 [1 favorite]


No, but Dwayne Johnson isn't the lawyer in that scenario. He's the client.

In the case of the TV show, clients are expecting, when they book an appointment, to have "She-Hulk" represent them, not "Jennifer Walters" (even if they are the same person). What happens if a judge refuses to hear from a big, green Jen and insists that regular old Jen appear before the bench? What does that mean for the client who doesn't get the representation they were led to believe (by GLH/K advertising) they were promised? That sounds like the making of a lawsuit to me.
posted by sardonyx at 2:18 PM on September 19


That's kind of like if you hired "Iron Man" to be your bodyguard and Tony Stark showed up without his armor on. He's got the armor there in his nano chest piece, but he he never activates it because there's no danger.

Whether you can sue would depend on the language of the contract / transaction (Does it specify he would be wearing armor the whole time?), not on whether Tony Stark and Iron Man are the same person or not.

If you gain/lose weight or your skin color changes, you don't become a different person in the eyes of the law, even if people give you a nickname that sticks. I imagine She-Hulk has the same DNA and fingerprints (but bigger) as Jennifer Walters.
posted by straight at 7:31 PM on September 19


She-Hulk didn't pass the bar, Jennifer Walters did.

She's not a different person. She's just a different colour. If you dye your hair or shave your beard, you don't need to retake the bar.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:01 PM on September 20 [1 favorite]


There's a precedent available because for a while, the Hulk was functionally two different people. He's integrated now, but early on there was little to no (consciously) shared mind. So I could see someone trying to push that, but Jen is clearly able to transition at will and maintain not just personality across the transition but can even do so during a conversation, so functionally it's a lot more like shaving or something.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:39 AM on September 21


Which is to say, you could have it as an episode's A-plot somewhere along the line, but it is something that should be quickly settled.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:40 AM on September 21


I don't know about the legal quality of the arguments, but there seems to be a logical difficulty with Titania's original suit and response to the countersuit. If the claim is that Jennifer Walters has not been using the name She-Hulk so that the trademark is valid, doesn't that mean there is no claim against Jen for infringing the trademark?
posted by eruonna at 11:10 AM on September 21


eruonna, the argument would be that Jen had not been using the name at the time Titania registered her trade mark, so could not claim prior rights to be protected by a trademark; Jen's more recent use would be what Titania was seeking to prevent.
posted by Major Clanger at 7:55 AM on September 22


The tailor is the funniest and i want to see more of him.
So having watched the second season of The Flight Attendant it was immediately head-canon that The Tailor had (at least) two other side jobs and must be an amazing multi-tasker. Like; super hero/villain level. Also? As mentioned later kinda "reheated Edna" but I took this in the absolute best way. I'd have died for any mention of capes at all.
Ok, so they're not using the most expensive state-of-the-art slave-labor-every-frame CG in this show. But I really can't see how it would be significantly better if they did. It's just not a WOW LOOK AT THAT type of show or story.
See so this was a complaint when the series premiered but I love this choice. Jen is the hero, the protagonist, the central character here. not She-Hulk. I appreciate that the CGI is a little cheesy; like it was a production note, a nod to, the idea that the big green is secondary to the story. My partner? Not so much. But then again we loved/hated Into the SPiderverse for exactly the same reasons - just writ much much larger.
posted by mce at 11:46 AM on September 22


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