Will ‘She-Hulk’ Solve One of Marvel’s Biggest Problems?
Finding ways to make Hulk a stable part of the MCU franchise has been an ongoing hurdle for the last decade, despite the green guy being a legendary character. There was already a problem from the beginning adapting the character for the TV without him looking like a green Frankenstein’s monster.
When the classic late ’70s/early ’80s TV series aired — starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno — there was plenty of humanity brought to the role. Most of this was thanks to Bixby himself and Ferrigno’s powerful physical persona.
In the MCU, Mark Ruffalo managed to finally make Hulk interesting after Eric Bana and Edward Norton failed to capture the character’s essence. Now with She-Hulk on the books as part of Marvel’s next phase, it could mean a refreshing new woman superhero, or complete camp.
Marvel tried to sell the idea of a She-Hulk to TV decades ago
Long back when The Incredible Hulk was still airing on CBS, She-Hulk debuted in Marvel comic books. This was almost 40 years ago, but Stan Lee tried to sell the idea to CBS as a spinoff series. After all, She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters) was a cousin of Bruce Banner.
She so happened to turn into her own version of the Hulk because she took a blood transfusion from her cousin as a life-saving measure. What made She-Hulk different from her cousin is she managed to control her transformation to a point where she enjoyed being a Hulk-like figure while practicing as a criminal lawyer.
Yes, this all worked well in the comic books, yet CBS execs were not keen on the idea as a TV show. Whether that was gender bias at the time or based strictly on the concept, we’ll never know.
Based on the explanation of who Jennifer Walters is and her being a practicing lawyer while in the guise of a well-controlled Hulk, we have to assume the future Disney+ series will be a bit tongue-in-cheek.
Having a controlled male Hulk in the movies was already stretching things
As we saw by Avengers: Endgame, the Ruffalo version of Hulk took from She-Hulk and became a controlled being or a hybrid of Banner and the creature.
It all seemed to work, though it also strained credulity when you think about it awhile. Perhaps it made more sense in the Avengers world. Seeing such a thing in the world of law with Walters would have to be nothing but satire.
If they want to keep it serious, maybe they’ll go the route of what the She-Hulk comics did later in Walters losing her ability to control the creature and becoming an angry, rampaging Hulk, like Bruce Banner was.
Marvel may decide to go there instead as a way to create a more interesting character. Then again, having a combination of a controlled and rampaging Hulk would be a better choice for more unease in never knowing how Walters would be at a given time.
Finding the right balance could solve Marvel’s problem of a proper Hulk franchise
We all know Marvel and Universal are in a tug-of-war over the use of Hulk, hence why Ruffalo did not land a new solo film or even a streaming series. She-Hulk paves the way to not only another woman Marvel superhero, but also the potential for Ruffalo guest-starring on the series to add some legitimacy.
Many still want to know what the tone of the She-Hulk series will be. Should it become a semi-satire with Walters looking like Hulk while working criminal cases? As ridiculous as the premise sounds, it could work very well with the proper use of CGI and insightful writing about women issues. Audiences could also be scared out of their gourd seeing Walters’ She-Hulk go on angry rampages, proving cathartic for women who’ve had to put up with male dominance for so many decades.
Giving She-Hulk/Walters a sense of independence would help her become the beacon of a new female superhero who isn’t necessarily all-powerful like Captain Marvel is.