So far, the Disney+ side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has explored sitcoms, the Sacred Timeline, Egypt, and Pakistan, among other places. Now, audiences are being ushered into the courtroom with She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, starring Tatiana Maslany as the titular lawyer-turned-hero.
From the get-go, She-Hulk has been advertised by many on Marvel Studios' behalf as its first 30-minute legal comedy, creating a new genre for the already well-established franchise. However, cameos and special appearances galore have been teased to keep that true Marvel anticipation alive along the way.
She-Hulk herself is also set to eventually make the transition to the big screen alongside other Disney+ stars such as Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight, and one can only wonder how and if her show will create that jumping-off point.
But, for now, the super-powered lawyer has time to shine on Disney+, and shine she does. With a vibrantly eccentric cast, an eyebrow-quirking plot, and solid MCU roots to accompany it, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has officially declared that court is in session.
Please Rise for Tatiana Maslany's She-Hulk
Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany steps into the role of Jennifer Walters aka She-Hulk, a woman whose life is turned upside down after being exposed to her cousin's gamma-infused blood. That cousin is none other than Mark Ruffalo's Hulk, who has been the MCU's green machine for over a decade.
Nonetheless, Maslany herself radiates as the headstrong, relatable Jennifer Walters, a woman whose life goes from normal to anything but in the MCU. Maslany is enticingly witty in the role of She-Hulk, playing the dual role of the modern-day woman and superhero lawyer in an extremely comedic fashion.
From taking on the world to online dating to representing the man who tried to kill her cousin back in 2008, comic book fans and She-Hulk newbies alike will be rooting for Maslany every step of the way.
Opening Statement: Supporting Cast
It isn't just Maslany that's carrying the show. Alongside her are Ginger Gonzaga's Nikki, Jameela Jamil's Titania, and a slew of other actors and actresses in varying cameos and appearances for She-Hulk to riff off of.
Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner kicks off the extensive guest appearances and picks up from Avengers: Endgame as Smart Hulk, expanding on how he achieved that form and giving a glimpse into what exactly he was up to while half the universe was blipped away. From there, audiences will then catch up with Tim Roth's Emil Blonsky aka Abomination and Benedict Wong's Wong, both seeking legal help from none other than Jennifer Walters herself and showing surprisingly different sides to their characters along the way.
As for She-Hulk's original characters, Gonzaga's Nikki is a hilarious ride-or-die best friend to Jennifer Walters, while Jamil's Titania truly does lean into her egotistical side, immediately going after She-Hulk's newly-formed brand.
The entire cast of She-Hulk brings the series together as one that viewers will be thoroughly entertained by, laughing and trying to solve the legal cases themselves alongside them.
Witness Testimony: Plot & Comedic Elements
She-Hulk being, indeed, a 30-minute legal comedy gives the show breathing room to explore several different plots in each episode, although some of them do bleed over into multiple. The most prominent of these examples is the case of Emil Blonsky aka Tim Roth's Abomination, one of a few nods to 2008's The Incredible Hulk.
Viewers will also see Jennifer Walters giving legal aid to cases involving the Mystic Arts (Benedict Wong's Wong) before being sucked into her own legal troubles with Jamil's Titania, the series' leading antagonist.
Shifting to the comedic tone of the show, one of the freshest ways She-Hulk accomplishes this is by breaking the fourth wall, a tactic many die-hard Marvel fans might be used to from Deadpool's side of things. However, She-Hulk doesn't do it in quite the same way, making the mechanic her own as Jennifer narrates to, riffs with, and nods and winks to viewers.
Otherwise, the show's realism plays well into its comedy, such as Jennifer going onto the dating app scene as both herself and the She-Hulk persona. The show is also hyper-aware of itself at times, even citing how some of its surprises will likely end up trending on Twitter for the next week.
One of She-Hulk's biggest pitfalls leading up to its release has been criticism over its VFX, which skyrocketed after the Disney+ series' first teaser trailer debuted. Since that initial release, though, the special effects work has noticeably been touched on throughout other promotions - and the final product demonstrates this.
Viewers shouldn't be taken aback by how the She-Hulk comes across on screen; there are little to no outlandishly noticeable setbacks in how she exists in the MCU. Though she admittedly still doesn't look as polished as Ruffalo's Hulk, Maslany's hero blends in well enough with her surroundings to feel like she is, in fact, a seven-foot-tall green lawyer trying to maintain as normal a life as possible.
Other welcome VFX nods are the return of the iconic Doctor Strange portals and Hulk vs. She-Hulk fighting mechanisms, a clash which many will find good fun as two indestructible beings get knocked around in what would be painstakingly harmful ways to most any other hero.
Closing Statement: MCU Connections
As is arguably the biggest question on most MCU fans' minds, how does She-Hulk tie into the wider MCU? Where are the Easter eggs? Who else is showing up? The answers to all of these questions should make fans happy.
She-Hulk has already promised cameos galore and delivers on that right off the bat, with Emil Blonksky and Wong almost immediately coming into play. As for other surprise appearances, fans are prepared to see Charlie Cox's return to the streaming world as Daredevil at some point in the series, with head writer Jessica Gao revealing that other cameos haven't even been unveiled yet.
As for the show's definitive place in the MCU, tie-ins to other projects are prominent, particularly with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, as audiences will learn of the origins of Wong and Abomination's cage fight as well as what Wong himself has been up to otherwise as the newly-named Sorcerer Supreme.
Verdict: She-Hulk Is Another Disney+ Win
As this review has proven...
Okay, despite the legal lingo tie-ins, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law will undoubtedly win over audiences (jurors?) worldwide with its comedy, surprises around every corner, and overall feel-good tone. While, at this point, it's hard to pinpoint how She-Hulk herself will make it to theaters, that eventual moment should be met with both laughs and triumph.
For now, fans can stay tuned to Disney+ every Thursday as Jennifer Walters begins her superhero journey, whether she likes it or not.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law premieres on Disney+ on Thursday, August 18.