Marvel has never been shy about showcasing strong female characters. Even so, we still had to wait 7 years for a female title character on television (Agent Carter), and 10 years for one on film (Ant-Man and the Wasp.) The times, they are a changing, and 2022 alone has brought us Ms. Marvel and the upcoming She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. If you’re a woman looking for a relatable superhero, the odds are always increasing in your favor.
“I remember very vividly, being a little girl and seeing the cover of a She-Hulk comic in amidst the sea of male comics,” says Kat Coiro, Director and Executive Producer, during the recent global press conference for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. “I was moved by it, and the idea of being large and in charge and taking control, taking up space, was something that really resonated with me.” The ability to create a show based on that character who meant so much to Coiro has been, “The culmination of a real dream.”
The show frequently has more in common with Ally McBeal than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., with lower stakes – at least in the first four episodes – than standard Marvel fare. Coiro considers the series a half-hour legal comedy, but one with “huge cinematic scope and elements of drama, action, suspense.”
The show is also unapologetically female, as evidenced by the scenes the team fought to keep, including one that takes place in a bar bathroom, with the other patrons rushing to help a distressed Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk. “That scene was so important to me, and there were so many times that it was on the chopping block because a lot of people didn’t understand it,” according to Head Writer and Executive Producer Jessica Gao. “I was like, “This is the single most important scene to me in this entire episode because truly, the women’s bathroom in any club, bar, strip club, I don’t care, any public women’s bathroom is the most safe, protective, and supportive environment.'” The scene helped to serve as a balance to the frequent depiction of women as catty and bitchy. “The moment you’re in the inner sanctum of the bathroomwomen just wanna help each other. If you went into a bathroom and said, ‘This man was bad to me,’ you would have an entire [group] of women ready to go and kill him.”
Tatiana Maslany, who plays Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk, knows that the series will produce strong reactions from some fans. “I’m curious about what kind of conversations people will have about this show and with each other,” she said during the press conference. “People can have a real visceral response to a woman superhero, which we’ve already felt online, and it’s interesting to me that there is such a visceral response.”
Knowing that there will undoubtedly be controversy, Gao still has a clear goal for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. “I hope that the people who didn’t feel like there was a place for them in the fandom of Marvel, they didn’t get represented, that they didn’t really get to see themselves reflected, now feel like they get to finally see that.”
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law steams exclusively on Disney+ on August 18th.
About She-Hulk: Attorney at Law
In Marvel Studios’ “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law,” Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany)—an attorney specializing in superhuman-oriented legal cases—must navigate the complicated life of a single, 30-something who also happens to be a green 6-foot-7-inch superpowered hulk. The nine-episode comedy series welcomes a host of MCU vets, including Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk, Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky/Abomination, and Benedict Wong as Wong, as well as Jameela Jamil, Josh Segarra, Ginger Gonzaga, Jon Bass and Renée Elise Goldsberry. The series is directed by Kat Coiro (Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9) and Anu Valia (Episodes 5, 6, 7) with Jessica Gao as head writer. Executive producers are Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Brad Winderbaum, Coiro and Gao, “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” streams exclusively on Disney+ beginning August 18, 2022.