Phase 4 of the MCU has introduced an impressive slate of new heroes and villains; but in terms of real-world MCU baddies, that title may belong to review bombers. Many of Marvel Studios' latest projects, such as Eternals, Moon Knight, and Ms. Marvel have faced backlash from online reviewers due to cultural or divisive content and representation; and the MCU's latest series, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, is no different. If anything, it's actually worse.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is a half-hour legal comedy where Jennifer Walters, a lawyer and cousin to Bruce Banner, juggles her legal career and her newfound superpowered persona.
While the show's premiere was largely met with positive reviews, She-Hulk's irreverent tone and brand of humor, coupled with its discussion of the differences between the male and female experience, spurred significant online conversation.
Now, just days after She-Hulk's debut, its first episode has become the latest victim of online review bombing; and it may be the worst case yet.
She-Hulk Tops Marvel's Review Bombed Shows
Along with Moon Knight, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Lightyear, and Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is the latest Disney project to suffer from the trend of review bombing with 31.9% of its reviews being 1-star on IMDb.
As of now, She-Hulk holds a higher percentage of 1-star reviews than any other MCU Disney+ series to date.
For comparison, here's a look at the percentage of 1-star reviews currently held by previous Marvel Studios Disney+ shows:
- WandaVision: 2.2%
- The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: 2.9%
- Loki: 1.5%
- What If…?: 2.1%
- Hawkeye: 1.5%
- Moon Knight: 4.1%
- Ms. Marvel: 19.9%
While the difference between She-Hulk's 1-star reviews and those of its predecessors is significant, it's not the full picture.
As of now, She-Hulk has only released one episode. All of the other Disney+ shows have released full seasons, and their stats have adjusted over time. For instance, while Ms. Marvel's 1-star reviews currently make up 19.9% of its total reception, the show's debut episode on IMDb generated a considerable number of 1-star reviews as well, equating to 28.7%.
The same can be said for Moon Knight, whose premiere episode with its reference to the Armenian Genocide was review bombed with 1-star reviews equalling 13.7%.
As She-Hulk continues its nine-episode run on Disney+, the series stats are expected to shift. However, the fact remains that Attorney at Law's review bombing has been worse than its MCU predecessors, and the shows which have borne the brunt of attacks have been the most recent and starred female superheroes.
Why She-Hulk Is Causing Anger
She-Hulk's online reviews are news, but what isn't is what a review should actually be, which is an assessment of a project as a whole and often separate from one's personal opinions, interests, and views.
This well-known fact has done little to stem reviewing bombing, however; and given recent incidents relating to Obi-Wan Kenobi, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, and now She-Hulk, it appears to be a growing trend.
Still, there are a number of reasons why She-Hulk has resulted in the worst reviewed performance to date for an MCU series.
Given the mixed reception for Marvel's Phase 4 thus far, She-Hulk's lackluster CGI was another point against the studio's handling of its latest projects and one that was hard to ignore. As for it being a comedy, it is true that humor, sarcasm, and irreverence have also been part of the MCU (Tony Stark, anyone?), but the universe itself has always been rooted in reality in order to make unbelievable things believable.
For some, too much comedy undermines this carefully crafted interconnected universe that, in recent years, some have felt has become a little too humorous and more disconnected.
Also, She-Hulk's brand of adult humor and use of mature, albeit comedic, situations have also been problematic for families and those with younger MCU fans.
But even though the series has a number of elements working against its broad appeal, the premiere episode also dealt with the differences between men and women, the struggles women face, and how that affects being a Hulk.
How fans received this particular proclaimed "woke" narrative dominated online conversation in ways that were both constructive and misogynistic; but given how prior MCU review bombings were related to cultural, political, and societal opinions, there's no doubt that misogyny played a significant part in She-Hulk's blitzkrieg of 1-star reviews.
It will certainly be interesting to see how She-Hulk fares throughout its 9-episode run on Disney+, particularly when the show's promised cameos appear.
In the meantime, it's safe to say that Attorney at Law will continue to spark conversation through its study of Jennifer Walters' experience while also allowing the audience to study its own perception and reception of what Marvel Studios is choosing to explore.
New episodes of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law debut on Thursdays on Disney+.