The Disney+ roster of Marvel shows powers on with She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, a new take on the MCU that mixes some serious muscle with the legal drama genre:
There’s plenty of tie-ins and references coming your way, so strap in, and let’s get started with the trailer breakdown.
Setting The Post-Endgame Stage
The trailer opens to a shot of New York City, which is where just about everything in the MCU seems to happen these days. The series — which consists of nine episodes — is set immediately after Avengers: Endgame, giving us interesting possibilities regarding the blip, as well as Bruce Banner’s life after the deaths of Tony and Steve.
For now though, we have Mark Ruffalo’s voiceover as Banner describing the process of becoming a superhero as ‘trial by fire’ — very much echoing the traumatic and harrowing life that’s now behind him — to She-Hulk’s hero, attorney Jennifer Walters, played by the extremely talented Tatiana Maslany.
Bruce continues his ominous warning to Walters, as we catch a glimpse of two groups of men aiming weapons at the camera.
The first, armed with FBI-style armor and glowing blue guns, is likely to be the ‘Hulk Busters’ — a squad of military personnel who focus on taking down the Hulk. These soldiers are led by General Thaddeus E. ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross, a key figure in the gamma ray project that changed Bruce Banner’s life forever, who eventually becomes the notorious ‘Red Hulk’.
The second group is a lot less important but is a neat nod to The Defenders #17 (1974) comic issue where we meet a bunch of villains called the ‘Wrecking Crew’ who owe their super-strength to a… magic crowbar? I guess Marvel really did print anything back in the day.
Despite their odd first issue, there’s potential here for some pretty slick rewriting of She-Hulk’s own origin story. In the comics, while Bruce comes out to Walters regarding his big green secret, she is shot by a gangster named Nicholas Trask, on a suspicion of possessing evidence that could send him behind bars. In this adaptation, the writers could possibly involve the Wrecking Crew instead, who were actually hired to assassinate The Punisher in the comics.
Either way, Walters’ injury requires a blood transfusion to solve, which Banner does using his own gamma-infused plasma. While the comics showcase her first transformation as a result of a second hitman job by Trask, the show instead seems to throw Walters into a massive car accident — the fear response triggering her latent She-Hulk powers.
The trailer also highlights the key aspects of Walters’ life as a professional attorney. This will appeal to Suits fans of course, but also dives into an exciting territory once Walters’ powers come into play. On the human side of things, we come across Walters’ friend Nikki —- a reimagined version of Jill Stephen, a magazine writer who’s BFFs with comic book Walters.
We also get a glimpse of Walters’ legal firm; in one shot with Josh Segarra, we see a ‘GLKH’ logo on a monitor in the background.
This is a direct callback to Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzburg & Holliway — the greatest law firm on the U.S. East Coast and the first one to specialize in representing superheroes. The name is also a direct reference to Martin Goodman — the OG publisher of Marvel Comics, Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby, the latter two having Lieber and Kurtzburg as their actual surnames, respectively.
That leaves Holliway, who is the only GLKH partner we come across, and who seems to recruit Walters as ‘the face’ of the organization’s new superhuman legal department, which is possibly the most exciting prospect of She-Hulk as a character.
There’s plenty of unexplored territory here to cover, which I hope we’ll see play out in the latter half of this season. For starters, there’s all the weird and wacky ideas from the She-Hulk comics, such as when Doctor Strange channels a ghost to testify at a murder trial, or when Spider-Man sues J. Jonah Jameson for libel — both hilarious, interesting mashups of legal drama and superhero world.
In the meantime, however, Walters needs to get in touch with her powers and decide whether she wants to be an anonymous lawyer, or embrace her identity as a popular superhero figurehead. During this time, she comes across locked-up Emil Blonsky, also known as Abomination. We first saw the character in the 2008 Ed Norton The Incredible Hulk flick, and recently noticed him fix underground fights with the help of Sorcerer Supreme Wong, in Shang-Chi.
With Wong confirmed to return in She-Hulk, it’s fairly clear that Blonksky may be Walters’ first superhuman client. It isn’t all work though. Sporting an ‘I ❤️ Mexico’ t-shirt, we confirm that she joins her cousin on his beachside getaway, where Banner as ‘Professor Hulk’ works at the same ‘Gamma Lab’ he references in Endgame.
Here, Banner tries to trigger a fear/anger response in his cousin using a wall of Stark Industries saw blades, which she quickly smashes before giving him a piece of her mind. As the series goes on, we see Walters deal with getting fired from perhaps her original workplace, facing hordes of reporters, and eventually choosing to accept and enjoy her superhero identity.
Eventually, Walters’ two lives clash right in the courtroom, and this is seen when she has a face off against Jameela Jamil’s character, Titania.
Titania first appeared in 1984’s Secret Wars storyline as the alter-ego of Mary MacPherran, a bullied young woman who finds herself transformed into a superhuman by Doctor Doom. In this series, Jamil has confirmed that her character will be considerably different — a Kardashian-style influencer with a dark side, calling on her performance as Tahani in Good Place.
We also get a glimpse of Frog-Man — a quirky, fun hero with origins in 1982’s Marvel Team Up #121, which was a crossover comic for Spider-Man and The Human Torch.
Finally, we see She-Hulk get busy on ‘Matcher’, which seems to be the MCU’s version of Tinder. Many of the faces we see in this scene are people associated with the series’ production, and there’s even a cameo from WWE superstar David Otunga. This seems to have been a big hit online, with plenty of men and women swooning over the towering 6’7” Walters:
The trailer ends with every She-Hulk fanboy’s dream — being carried off for some superhuman-level sexcapades:
She-Hulk is set to premiere on Disney+ on August 17th, 2022.
(Featured Image Credits: Marvel Studios, Disney)