To Critics: More She-Hulk, Not Less, Is Essential for the MCU

Do not underestimate the potential of Jennifer Walters, expertly portrayed by Tatiana Maslany in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. Despite facing initial backlash from a segment of the internet resistant to narratives outside the traditional white cishet male perspective, the show, led by showrunner Jessica Gao, fearlessly stormed into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with a refreshing and unapologetically female outlook on life. While not without imperfections, She-Hulk remained true to its vision, introducing the talented Maslany to the Marvel universe.

Maslany recently hinted that a Season 2 for She-Hulk might not materialize due to the extensive VFX budget required. However, not every Disney+ MCU series should be solely aimed at launching characters into the cinematic realm. The interconnected approach has sometimes diluted the impact of individual projects. Jennifer Walters, akin to Kamala Khan’s introduction in The Marvels, tells a different story. Disney’s decision on She-Hulk’s future shouldn’t be swayed by internet trolls, but abandoning the narrative threads introduced in the series would be a disservice to Jennifer’s character and a missed opportunity for Maslany’s talent. She-Hulk deserves a place in the MCU as prominent as her male counterparts, considering her rich comics history.

Debuting in 1979, She-Hulk quickly became one of Marvel’s best superheroines, joining iconic teams like the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. Jessica Gao’s She-Hulk: Attorney at Law successfully preserved Jen’s wit, professional competence, and vibrant personality. Given Jen’s ties to the wider MCU established in the series, transitioning her across projects would be seamless. The groundwork for her connections with characters like Wong and Daredevil exists, offering a wealth of storytelling possibilities.

Digging into Jen Walters’ character, she is a woman with significant ideals, balancing her role as a human rights lawyer with superhero responsibilities. Her slice-of-life perspective opens doors to smaller, personal stories, providing a refreshing contrast to the typical superhero narrative. Jen’s humor, often of the Spider-Man ilk, offers a unique and multifaceted portrayal of a woman: witty, goofy, empathetic, courageous, and unsure. Maslany’s portrayal adds depth to Jen’s journey of self-discovery, which is already complicated by her green alter ego.

Beyond the humor, She-Hulk thoughtfully addresses real issues faced by women. The show’s exploration of misogyny and institutional violence against women is a bold move for a Marvel series, highlighting the stark realities that women endure. The series cleverly blends fantasy with real-world issues, creating a nuanced narrative that resonates with audiences.

She-Hulk’s potential is too valuable for Disney to squander. With Jennifer Walters breaking the fourth wall, a narrative technique unique to her character, the series takes bold creative strides while maintaining Marvel’s trademark self-effacement. The finale’s audacious approach, supported by Kevin Feige, marks new territory for Marvel. She-Hulk’s significance lies not just in her VFX budget but in her ability to reshape the narrative and contribute to the evolution of the MCU.

In conclusion, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, available on Disney+, stands as a testament to the MCU’s need for diverse storytelling. Commissioning and continuing series like She-Hulk that prioritize strong, nuanced heroines is crucial for Marvel’s growth. She-Hulk’s fate should not hinge on budget constraints; rather, Disney has the power to let Jennifer Walters rewrite the world and have her rightfully claim her place in the MCU.

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