“Okay now, this is your second chance,” declared She-Hulk on the cover of 1989’s Sensational She-Hulk #1. “If you don’t buy my book this time, I’m gonna come to your house and rip up all your X-Men comics.”
That declaration didn’t exactly make Sensational She-Hulk a best-seller, but it did launch the John Byrne run on the comic, which made Jen Walters into the fourth-wall breaking hero seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe TV series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. The show was met with a mixed reception too, including here at Den of Geek. But if an update from star Tatiana Maslany is to be believed, it looks like the MCU Shulkie won’t get the second chance afforded her comic book counterpart.
While on the Codenames LIVE: The New Class stream, host Tim Riel asked Maslany about hopes for a second season for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. “I don’t think so,” she answered. “I think we blew our budget, and Disney was like, ‘No thanks.'”
Although Maslany has no particular inside information to make her comments official, her statement does track with Marvel’s recent shakeups to its approach. To help turn the tide of superhero fatigue that has resulted in poor receptions to big-budget movies such as The Marvels and Ant-Man 3, the MCU has slowed production on its offerings. All five episodes of Echo dropped at one time, a first for the Disney+ shows, most of Daredevil: Born Again was scrapped and is being retooled for later release, and Deadpool 3 is currently the only MCU movie scheduled for this year.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law shares some of the blame for Marvel’s recent woes. While some praised the show’s light-hearted, sitcom approach and its use of (mostly) standalone episodes, others found the humor irritating and its treatment of other characters — most notably Daredevil, who appears in his yellow and red costume before doing a walk of shame from Jen’s apartment — unsatisfying.
More importantly, even viewers sympathetic to the show couldn’t get over the series’ ugly special effects, a problem made worse by the issue underscored in Maslany’s comments. According to various reports, She-Hulk cost $25 million per episode to make. While some of that cost certainly went to guest stars such as Mark Ruffalo, who appeared as both Bruce Banner and the Hulk in several episodes, a big chunk was also for the CGI that allowed Jen to stay in her Shulkie form. When combined with reports about Marvel’s ongoing mistreatment of VFX artists, one cannot help but wonder where all of that money went.
As despairing as Maslany’s statement may be for fans of She-Hulk, all hope is not lost. Whatever the shortcomings of She-Hulk, most liked Maslany’s performance. Furthermore, the comic book She-Hulk has a long history with not just the Avengers, but even more so with the Fantastic Four, whose MCU debut is coming soon.
In short, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law may be done, but She-Hulk can still get a second chance. Hopefully, she won’t need to destroy our X-Men movies to make it happen.