Published date06 September 2022
Publication titleSignal
ARE you ready for some fun? I ask, because it’s been a while and we all may need to limber up first. But once you are properly prepared, you can now switch on Marvel’s latest television offering She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (Disney+) and enjoy yourself in exactly the way, I would suspect, that the title She-Hulk: Attorney at Law suggests

It doesn’t have the emotional depth, the subtlety or the technical sophistication of WandaVision. It doesn’t have the youthful bounce or a spin as refreshing as the Islamic slant of Ms Marvel. But, oh, you will enjoy yourself thoroughly, for at least 28 minutes straight. And, honestly, who at the moment dare ask for more than that?

Thirty-something deputy district attorney Jennifer Walters (a perfectly cast Tatiana Maslany) is a busy, ambitious woman, happy in her job and eager to progress. When we first meet her, she is about to go into court. Her assistant, Nikki (Ginger Gonzaga in what would be a scene-stealing performance if Maslany wasn’t so incredibly good), recommends that she “hulk out” if things get tricky.

In the first of many fourth-wall breaking moments (following the tradition of the comic book series in which she originated), Walters turns to the camera and acknowledges that Nikki’s suggestion is going to need explaining. In flashback, we learn her origin story, which is brief and effective. She and her cousin Bruce Banner (a.k.a. Hulk, a.k.a Mark Ruffalo) are involved in a car accident and she receives an inadvertent Hulk-blood donation. He immediately spirits her new 6ft 7in form away to his Stark-funded lab to help her begin the laborious journey of learning what it is to be one of the avocado-hued; how to control her anger, fear and her transformations and how to integrate the two personalities that now live inside her.

Except Jennifer is already ahead of the game. “Anger and fear — those are just the baseline emotions for any woman just existing,” she notes, before going on to point out that she has had a lifetime of suppressing her emotions and making herself palatable to those around her. Unlike Banner, she has no second personality to integrate. So, creator Jessica Gao (one of a female-heavy team of directors, producers and writers) gives us a jolly, boulder-tossing, sonic-boom-clapping training montage as Jennifer tests out her new powers. When she feels she has got a handle on them, she heads back home to take up her job again. As she puts it in the second episode — “I’m not going to be a vigilante...

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