Marvel’s “She-Hulk” battles mixed reviews

Debuting+on+Aug.+18%2C+She-Hulk%3A+Attorney+at+Law+has+been+met+with+harsh+backlash.+Though+many+elements+such+as+comedic+relief+and+cameos+are+executed+well+in+the+show%2C+many+fans+are+continuing+to+show+distaste+for+the+ongoing+Disney%2B+series.

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Debuting on Aug. 18, “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” has been met with harsh backlash. Though many elements such as comedic relief and cameos are executed well in the show, many fans are continuing to show distaste for the ongoing Disney+ series.

Julia Hubbell, Editor-In-Chief

Making its Disney Plus debut on Aug. 18, Marvel Studios’ She-Hulk: Attorney at Law was met with mixed reviews. Following the story of attorney Jennifer Walters, the show puts a refreshing spin on classic street-level superheroes. With cameos from Marvel actors Mark Ruffalo and Benedict Wong, along with singer-songwriter Megan Thee Stallion, there are plenty of fun and original elements of the show for the audience to enjoy. However, the series has been met with harsh backlash, a trend becoming more popular with the release of each new Marvel project. And while it would be naive to say that there is nothing worth complaining about in the show, the hate it is receiving stems more from outside factors than it does the quality of its production.

Even prior to its release, fans showed distaste for Walters’ debut. After the first trailer was released, criticisms surrounding the production quality and CGI were under fire. One of the most common complaints in this area was that after “hulking out,” Walters did not resemble herself in her hulk form. However, this argument suggests that Bruce Banner resembled the Hulk during early films, before they merged. Furthermore, the show goes on to address the inconsistency in appearances between Walters and her alter ego. They joke about it by having her family suggest she change her personal style to look more like She-Hulk, and having reporters ask Walters about She-Hulk’s hair routine. While I think that the quality of the CGI is subpar, especially considering that Marvel has had a decade of practice turning people green, many criticisms are simply overdone and over exaggerated.

Although the quality of the CGI was a prevalent complaint about the series, the most prominent and ongoing debate is over the shows’ “feminist ideals.” The second major complaint that arose following the release of the trailer for the show was the question of why the story was even worth telling. Despite being in a variety of comic book series’, debuting in the 1980s, many fans were curious as to why there was a need for a female version of Bruce Banner. This rhetoric has been used for years to undermine the anticipation for female stories in the MCU. Criticisms echoed leading up to the release of “Ant-Man and the Wasp”, calling the Wasp a mere reflection of Ant-Man. This happened again as people deemed Captain Marvel unnecessary, claiming that Captain America was already fit to lead. Each new female-led project comes with a slew of critiques about the messages it promotes. The creators of She-Hulk understood that this was imminent, and therefore chose to address it directly in the show.

In one of the most divisive scenes in the show, Walters explains to Banner that she is innately better at controlling her anger due to her experiences as a woman. This immediately sent many viewers into a frenzy, some even vowing to stop watching the show. I believe that the response to this scene is the reason that Walters’ story was so important to tell. The outrage and scrutiny it fell under proved how little women’s experiences are explained in the media.

Overall, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is a fun, lighthearted series that introduces new characters well, along with addressing multiple serious topics. I agree that there are many complaints to be made about the show, but the most popular critiques are rooted in the idea that women’s stories are not worth telling. Letting go of that internalized rhetoric may allow more people to enjoy the series. And while I am aware that important messages of the series are lost on many, I hope to see Marvel continue in their pursuit of telling more than the white man’s story.