Once upon a time, back when Lou Ferrigno’s Incredible Hulk was the big thing on TV – “the rage,” you might say – Marvel Comics was starting to sweat because there was a chance that the show was going to eventually introduce a female counterpart to the main character. If some kind of “She-Hulk” was introduced on the show or a spinoff movie, then she would be CBS’s property. Marvel was so desperate for ownership of “Hulk, but woman” that Stan Lee and John Buscema put together Savage She-Hulk #1 in 1980.
How funny it is that decades later, Marvel is introducing She-Hulk to the Marvel Cinematic Universe via a TV show? She-Hulk: Attorney at Law will be coming out this August with nine episodes and, looking at the trailer, it gives us a comedic, albeit down-to-earth look at what society is in the MCU.
So who do we have breaking through walls and whatnot in this take on the law in a superhero world?
Tatiana Maslany plays Jennifer Walters, otherwise known as She-Hulk. A skilled lawyer with a strong will to fight for justice, Walters’ life was changed after a horrible injury. In the comics, she was the victim of a failed murder attempt, but based on the trailer, I’d imagine her origin is more tied with that car tumbling off the road. As it happens, she’s cousins with Bruce Banner and due to the severity of her injury and the clock ticking, Banner had no choice but to give her a do-it-yourself blood transfusion. It succeeded in keeping Walters alive, but it also gave her the ability to become a green gamma beast.
Other than being a lawyer in a bizarre legal system that has to contend with half the population vanishing and people possibly being shape-shifting aliens, Walters has to deal with being a single woman trying to just live her life. While she may get involved with the occasional metahuman brawl, she doesn’t want to be seen as a superhero, even if she’s a gigantic, green woman.
Then again, in the comics, She-Hulk has been both an Avenger and a member of the Fantastic Four, so it’s only a matter of time before she embraces her identity.
Mark Ruffalo returns as the hybrid Hulk introduced in Avengers: Endgame. Considering his arms are both normal, I would imagine the scenes with him are flashbacks and take place during the Blip. The She-Hulk transformation initially appears to be like what the Hulk was initially: fear and anger turning the person into a rage monster. Whatever Banner did to conquer that part of him and turn Hulk into brawn with the puny form’s brains, Jennifer Walters looks to be following in his footsteps. Banner walked so Walters could run.
Walters does make a joke about how fear and anger are the baselines of being a woman in general, which in the end means that, “I’m always angry,” is her secret as well.
Emil Blonsky aka Abomination
Not only does the Abomination return, but we even get to see him in his human form, played by Tim Roth, for the first time since Incredible Hulk back in 2008. After losing to Hulk on the streets of Harlem, Abomination was said to be imprisoned by SHIELD and kept in a special complex in Siberia. Then he returned in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings as an opponent and acquaintance of Wong the Sorcerer Supreme. His cameo only added to the confusion.
Supposedly, Benedict Wong will appear as Wong on the show. It’s worth noting that when the two walked through a portal in Shang-Chi, they were entering a room with the same hi-tech cage as shown in the She-Hulk trailer. It looks like She-Hulk may be acting as the defense for Blonsky, perhaps leading him towards redemption or into the Thunderbolts corner of Marvel.
Jameela Jamil will be Titania, a character introduced in the original Secret Wars event back in 1984. Mary MacPherran was a lifelong victim of bullying who ended up crossing paths with Dr. Doom. Doom needed soldiers in his war against the superheroes and MacPherran agreed to be his pawn in return for power. She became the mighty Titania and it wasn’t long before she was one of She-Hulk’s go-to opponents.
She-Hulk and Titania are briefly shown battling it out in a courtroom, though it’ll be a while until we find out why.
A major part of Titania’s lore is her marriage to fellow career super-criminal Absorbing Man. I wouldn’t expect to see that aspect of the character on the show as Crusher Creel had a big enough spotlight on Agents of SHIELD, including his apparent death.
Eugene Patilio, otherwise known as the Fabulous Frog-Man, was introduced in Marvel Team-Up #121 in 1982. The son of the failed villain Leap-Frog, Eugene became a vigilante to make up for his father’s crimes. He became a regular ally of Spider-Man, though is known for being successful due to luck more than anything else. He’s kind of a big joke who somehow gets by.
There’s a blink-and-you-miss-it appearance by him in the trailer, it seems. The MCU version of Frog-Man is less a teen in a cumbersome costume and more of a goofy sentai hero. It will be interesting to see what they have in store for this guy down the line.
Man. I can’t believe we have MCU Frog-Man before MCU Namor the Sub-Mariner. What the hell, Marvel?
As for the non-powered civilians to show up in the trailer, there’s nothing much to say. Characters like Walters’ friends Nikki and Amelia appear to be original creations for the show. Though I think it’s somewhat notable that one of her dates is played by wrestler David Otunga. It’s a cameo that gets a mild chuckle out of me considering Otunga is also a jacked lawyer.