Skip to main content

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law review: Green is good in the MCU

Anyone familiar with writer Dan Slott’s celebrated run on the She-Hulk comic book series already knew that Marvel’s live-action She-Hulk: Attorney at Law series had plenty of potential, but for everyone else, the introduction of Bruce Banner’s superhero cousin likely seemed a strange — and perhaps, unnecessary — addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And yet, it doesn’t take long for the new Disney+ series to make it clear that actress Tatiana Maslany’s green-skinned alter ego, Jennifer Walters, is a character the MCU sorely needed.

Created by Rick and Morty and Silicon Valley writer Jessica Gao, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law casts Maslany as Walters, an ambitious lawyer whose professional aspirations are seemingly derailed when an accidental blood transfusion with her cousin, Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), gives her powers similar to those of Hulk. Unlike Banner, however, she’s able to control both her transformations and her psyche as She-Hulk. As she attempts to get her life back on track, she soon finds herself dealing with supersized problems she didn’t ask for — including a new job at a legal firm specializing in cases involving superpowers.

Bruce Banner and Jennifer Walters, Hulk and She-Hulk, meditate while facing each other.

Gao serves as head writer on the series, with Kat Coiro (Girls5Eva) directing most of the first season’s nine episodes. The pair make an impressive creative duo, as She-Hulk flows through its first four, busy episodes at a fun, but never frantic pace. The series packs a lot into each chapter of Jennifer’s story, with plenty of call-outs to the greater MCU, cameos from established characters in Marvel’s live-action universe, fourth-wall-breaking asides, and story arcs that explore the effects of her newfound fame (and form), her love life and career, and wider themes like gender roles and bias.

It’s a lot — but She-Hulk juggles all of it with ease, and with plenty of humor and heart, too.

While there’s clearly a lot of creative talent behind the camera, She-Hulk also has one of Hollywood’s most impressive, criminally underappreciated actresses leading the series, who makes everything it tries to deliver a lot easier to manage. Emmy-winning Orphan Black star Maslany is perfectly cast as Walters, whose professional aspirations have — like so many other women — often forced her to put on a public face and be the person others want her to be. Walters soon finds herself struggling to reconcile the attention her She-Hulk garners with the sense of personal accomplishment she’d been chasing before she accidentally inherited superpowers.

Tatiana Maslany stands in a courtroom in a ripped suit in a scene from She-Hulk.

Maslany has a gift for effortlessly shifting between different characters and personalities, which was on display throughout her celebrated run playing multiple roles across five seasons of Orphan Black. In She-Hulk, her pivots are more subtle when it comes to the different ways that Walters interacts with her family, friends, colleagues, and clients, and also more pronounced when her character transforms — both literally and personality-wise — into She-Hulk. The series would have been in trouble if it couldn’t maintain a connection between Walters’ natural state and her hulking, green-skinned persona, but Maslany’s performance is the glue that holds every version of the character together.

Her performance also keeps the screen time her digitally created counterpart fills in the series more grounded.

Hulk stares at Jennifer Walters, who's in a laboratory room, in a scene from She-Hulk.

Although there were heaps of criticism lobbed at She-Hulk early on for the digital effects used to blend Maslany’s face and performance with She-Hulk’s larger-than-life form, the first four episodes of the series rarely veer into the Uncanny Valley with her character (or any of the other CG characters who make appearances in the show). Whether that’s the result of some late-stage tweaking of the visual effects or a result of seeing the character in context (as opposed to clips from the trailer) is hard to discern at this point, but Maslany’s performance fills every bit of the She-Hulk character and prevents her presence in scenes with non-supersized characters from being too jarring.

Official Trailer | She-Hulk: Attorney at Law | Disney+

With its mix of self-aware humor, balanced storytelling, and a brilliant performance from its lead actress, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law manages to avoid nearly all of the pitfalls the series could’ve fallen into on its way to the screen. Maslany, the show’s creative team, and the supporting cast keep the human heart of She-Hulk relatable in a universe filled with fantastic, superhuman elements, and deliver a series that’s distinct within the MCU and a character who’s absolutely delightful to watch.

New episodes of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law premiere weekly on the Disney+ streaming service.

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022)
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law
tv-14 1 Season
Genre Comedy, Action & Adventure
Cast Tatiana Maslany, Jameela Jamil, Ginger Gonzaga
Created by Jessica Gao

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
Rick Marshall
A veteran journalist with more than two decades of experience covering local and national news, arts and entertainment, and…
Paris, 13th District review: Sex and the City (of Lights)
Lucie Zhang, Makita Samba, and Noémie Merlant walk through the park in Paris, 13th District.

Architecturally, there’s no confusing New York for Oslo, or Oslo for Hong Kong, or Hong Kong for Paris. But view these major metropolises through the lens of twentysomething and thirtysomething dating culture, and they start to look more alike than different. The language of being young and horny and uncertain about the future is universal. You don’t need a tour guide to identify that emotional skyline, or to see yourself against it.

As its title suggests, Jacques Audiard’s new film, Paris, 13th District, is a snapshot of the City of Lights. To get more granular still, it’s predominantly set in a particular neighborhood: Les Olympiades, a culturally diverse, visually distinctive district of high-rises that Audiard shows off immediately with a series of breathtaking pans, gliding up the side of towers and peering into open windows. Yet there’s nothing so environmentally specific about his portrait of hot, young Parisians playing musical mattresses while trying to sort out their lives. It could be set in any epicenter of hustle and bustle -- including any of the cities, each a former host of the Olympics, after which the tallest buildings of Les Olympiades are named.

Read more
Hawkeye review: Two archers, one great start for Marvel’s new series
Hailee Steinfeld aims an arrow in a scene from Hawkeye.

Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye has always been the hard-luck hero of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He's been mind-controlled by malevolent gods, had his entire family turned to dust, and even had to stand by helplessly as his best friend sacrifices herself to save the universe.

The Avengers' archer certainly hasn't had it easy, so it's especially nice to see him finally get the spotlight in Marvel's Hawkeye series on the Disney+ streaming service.

Read more
Black Panther 2: Everything we know about the sequel so far
Black Panther review

Marvel Studios made the entire world shout "Wakanda Forever!" when Black Panther hit theaters in February 2018, kicking off a spectacular run that has made the film one of the highest-grossing movies of all time and the best-reviewed of any movie in Marvel's cinematic universe.

Of course, Disney is making a sequel. While Black Panther 2 missed Marvel's big Phase 4 reveal at Comic-Con International 2019, the film was confirmed at Disney's D23 convention a month later.

Read more