Did you know there are over 7,000 characters introduced in the Marvel comics (probably thousands more if you include those that only appeared one time)? Ten percent of them can be found in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and that list is continually growing. From Captain America to Black Panther to Thor, etc. audiences have been anxiously awaiting each new project and endeavor announced by the MCU. The week they add another, very reluctant, superhero to their ever growing roster with She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (Tatiana Maslany; Orphan Black). First introduced in the Marvel Comics in 1980, the female equivalent to Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo; Spotlight) comes to life and premieres on Disney+ this week.
Jennifer Walters (Maslany) is a successful lawyer working in the DA's office. However, while on a vacation with her cousin, Bruce (Ruffalo), she gets into a rollover car accident and while attempting to distance both of them from the vehicle, she gets Bruce's radioactive blood in her body. Not thinking anything of it, she continues her daily life, until one day she gets angry and suddenly transforms into a big green creature, just like her cousin.
At first, Bruce tries to help Jennifer but quickly realizes she is more advanced than he was when he first changed into the Hulk. Bolstered by this idea Jennifer returns to her old life with her new secret hidden from almost everyone. Then one day while making her closing argument in court, she is suddenly interrupted by a super villain breaking through the courtroom wall. Fearful innocent people will be killed, Jennifer becomes She-Hulk and fights off the villain.
With her secret out in the open, she is thrust into the spotlight and becomes a superhero. Unfortunately, her celebration is short-lived when she gets fired because she is a distraction. Forced to take the only attorney job she can find, she ends up working for the man she was trying to put in jail...with the stipulation that while working she appears as She-Hulk.
I'm not sure this series would have worked with a different actress in the lead role, as Maslany offers just the right combination of smarts and sassiness to make Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk fierce yet likable. Of course, no superhero show would be complete without a friend and confidante and Jennifer's is her assistant, Nikki Ramos, portrayed by Ginger Gonzaga (I'm Dying Up Here). Gonzaga's character is more "footloose and fancy-free" than Jennifer and she does her best to impart those ideals to Jennifer. Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs) reprises his role as Emil Blonsky/Abomination and does so with charm and grace. Of course, no Marvel production would be complete without some cameos including Ruffalo, Benedict Wong (Doctor Strange), and Charlie Cox (The Theory of Everything) as Matt Murdock/Daredevil.
Besides the wonderful cast, the series offers a well-written script that balances wit and banter with action and "superhero stuff". Again, Maslany recites her dialogue, and performs her stunts with ease and comfort, switching back and forth between the humorous and serious moments like the consummate actor she is.
The biggest issue with She-Hulk ( and a glaring one at that) is the CGI. Many of the times when Maslany is presented in her super-human form, especially when she is training with her Cousin Bruce, are obviously CGI. Unfortunately, that is probably the only detractor in an otherwise, well-crafted, quality program.
While I was initially skeptical about this concept and show, I was pleasantly surprised and found myself wanting to binge-watch the season in one sitting. Entertaining, enjoyable, and funny, I hope the production can keep up the momentum they have created so far to a fulfilling and proper ending.