She: Hulk Premiere Questions the Idea of a Superhero and Criticizes Patriarchy

The latest Marvel web-series, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law premiered on Disney Plus today. The sitcom-like vibes of the series seem quite non-MCU like at first, but the premiere episode managed to deliver some beautiful moments along with some shortcomings.

Ambitious lawyer Jennifer Walters makes a comedic entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as she finds herself transforming into a super-human green giant to fight villains. Tatiana Maslany plays the titular superhero, who opens the episode by giving a speech about and rephrasing fellow MCU hero Spider-Man’s iconic lines – “With great power comes great responsibility.”

She: Hulk Premiere Questions the Idea of a Superhero and Criticizes Patriarchy

The first episode titled “A Normal Amount of Rage” begins with Jennifer Walters practicing for a court case. Interestingly, she also speaks to the audience and breaks the third wall. After her paralegal best friend Nikki calls her a ‘Hulk’, she moves into flashback mode, leading us back to her origin story.

Jen’s life changed a few months ago when she was out on a road-trip with her cousin Bruce Banner aka The Incredible Hulk. A spaceship makes her car crash, and Jen ends up getting some of Bruce’s blood on her, which awakens her Hulk-ness. We get proof of this again when Jen transforms into She-Hulk after a few men on the street try to harass her.

Jen wakes up in a bunker, where her cousin Bruce explains to her that his blood foisted some Hulk-ness into Jen, and now she cannot go back to what she was before. However, unlike Bruce, Jen can remain conscious even when she is She-Hulk and does not have an alter ego.

This makes Bruce very jealous, but Jen still needs to control when she changes. Bruce begins training her in this aspect, and we see Jen’s life changing as she goes through the process. She also learns about some of the ‘upsides’ of being a Hulk. For starters, if you’re a Hulk, your body metabolizes alcohol at a very fast rate.

The premiere episode focuses a lot on the idea of a superhero and the consequences of it. Jen is not excited about the idea of protecting the world, unlike her cousin Bruce. She wishes to go back to her previous life as soon as possible, which Bruce has a problem with.

She: Hulk Premiere Questions the Idea of a Superhero and Criticizes Patriarchy

Bruce and Jen have a major argument about this, leading to a fight between Hulk and She-Hulk. However, Bruce finally comes around and lets Jen go back to her life, which is where her origin story ends.

Back in the present, Jen is back in court trying to win a case against a male lawyer. However, her closing argument is interrupted by the sudden arrival of Titania, a superpowered influencer from the original comics.

Jen is forced to awaken her Hulk-ness to save the day, which she manages to do quite efficiently. Crucial moments in the episode constantly show us how Jen is way better at being a Hulk compared to Bruce, challenging established notions of masculinity associated with a conventional superhero.

The premiere episode delivers what the series promised in the trailer, although the social commentary sometimes appears to be too direct. However, episode 1 still remains a fun watch. We can expect to see why Titania decided to break in in the middle of a court case in the next episode.

There’s also a surprise post-credit scene, featuring Jen and Bruce. In the light-hearted, funny scene, Bruce reveals that Steve Rogers did not die a virgin when Jen continues to lament the fact that Captain America did not get to have sex.

She: Hulk Premiere Questions the Idea of a Superhero and Criticizes Patriarchy

Apparently, he lost his virginity to a girl in 1943 on the USO tour. Jen immediately responds with a “I knew it”, revealing that she was only pretending to be drunk to get that information from Bruce. For someone who calls the Avengers a “secret government contractor squad”, breaking Captain America’s nationalist image definitely had its perks.

For a change, it is refreshing to see someone in the MCU with immense power who is not interested in using it at all. Episode 1 sets the tone of the series pretty clear: She-Hulk does not want to be a superhero and has no interest in saving the world. Even while talking to the viewers, she keeps reminding us that it is a “lawyer show”.

The premiere episode also makes it clear that the show will have a lot to do with patriarchy and gender differences, as the message was anything but subtle. The humor in the script is quite refreshing too. Hopefully we will have more of it in the upcoming episodes.

New episodes of She-Hulk premiere every Wednesday on Disney Plus.

Watch She-Hulk: Attorney at Law on:

About She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is an American superhero television series created by Jessica Gao for the streaming service Disney+, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Directed by Kat Coiro and Anu Valia, the show is a part of Phase Four of the MCU.

Jennifer Walters, Attorney to superhumans, must balance her job and identity as She-Hulk and decide which path is for her. Her journey is hurdled by dangerous enemies like The Abomination and Titania. Her cousin Bruce Banner trains her to live life as a green-skinned superhero.

The comedy-legal drama premiered on Disney+ on August 17, 2022, with weekly episodes every Wednesday. The show stars Tatiana Maslany, Mark Ruffalo, Tim Roth, Jameela Jamil, Benedict Wong, and Charlie Cox.

Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

Our talented team of Freelance writers - Always on the lookout - pour their energies into a wide range of topics bringing to our audience what they crave - fun up-to-date news, reviews, fan theories and much much more.


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