Go green or go home, with these 12 things to know about She-Hulk season 1

Did you love the legal dramedy Ally McBeal, but wished Calista Flockhart could’ve randomly transformed into a jolly green superhero more often? Then hoo boy, has Disney+ got the series for you: Marvel’s She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, starring Tatiana Maslany as comic book fave Jennifer Walters.

A high-powered superhero lawyer most of the time, she can Hulk out just like her cousin Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), after his irradiated blood is used to save her life. The resulting show looks both bonkers and empowering, hitting our streaming screens from August 17. If you’ve got questions about the mighty She-Hulk, the answers should be below. Hulk smash…the play button.

1. That questionable CGI should apparently improve in the finished product

“Terrible”, “awful”, “you should’ve used practical effects”: the first fan reactions to the She-Hulk trailer didn’t hold back on criticising Marvel’s special Hulk effects, despite expressing general optimism for the fun legal comedy vibes. There’s definitely something a bit Polar Express about Maslany’s uncanny face and body movements in the show’s first trailer.

Marvel has come under fire recently for their strenuous and poorly paid CGI production, but they’ve also assured Disney+ subscribers that She-Hulk‘s first season of nine episodes will look more finished when it’s ready to stream. One commenter urged critics to “keep [their] purple pants on”, as other Disney+ MCU shows have looked worse, and there was still three months to wait for the show at that point too.

2. She-Hulk is 2 metres tall, 250kg, and a nice shade of green—#9bc063, to be precise

Even if Jennifer Walters isn’t really terrifyingly tall in her She-Hulk form, you’d still definitely want her on your basketball team. The latest She-Hulk: Attorney At Law trailer shows her towering over colleagues at her law firm, and in the first teaser she could carry her date around in both arms like lifting a toddler to bed.

Standing at 6″7 after her blood transfusion from cousin Bruce Banner (who is three inches taller), she’s told that “spandex” is her new best friend: can’t be having any shredded purple attire in a formal legal setting, after all.

3. Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany originally denied that she’d been cast in She-Hulk

Back in October of 2020, Maslany was just a mere mortal with the freaky ability to summon Emmys, by playing 14 different clone characters on the sci-fi series Orphan Black. Marvel either had her silenced until She-Hulk: Attorney At Law was officially announced one month later, or she truly had no idea that every Marvel fan on the planet was expecting her to Hulk out in the near future.

In an interview with The Regina Leader Post from her native Canada, Maslany brushed off early announcements of her casting: “That actually isn’t a real thing and it’s like a press release that’s gotten out of hand”, she dismissed. “I’ve been connected to these things in the past and press has gotten onto it, but it’s not actually a thing, unfortunately.” Nice try, Tati! Your acting superpowers almost had us for a while there!!

4. Stan Lee only created She-Hulk so that Marvel wouldn’t lose the rights to any future ‘female Hulk’ character

In the late 1970s, Marvel had a profitable but nervy relationship with TV network CBS, where their show The Incredible Hulk aired. Hulk and The Six Million Dollar Man producer Kenneth Johnson greenlit (hehe) a female version of the latter show, resulting in The Bionic Woman, and Marvel comics execs were anxious that the broadcasters could similarly own the rights to any generic lady Hulk character if they were to try and replicate that success.

So, the late great Marvel creator Stan Lee quickly penned the first issue of The Savage She-Hulk in February 1980 to nip any future rights issues in the bud. Initially just a prettier, meeker version of her male counterpart, Jen would go on to join the Avengers and Fantastic Four, before blossoming into her own unique hero with John Byrne’s beloved solo series The Sensational She-Hulk.

5. Comic fans will be thrilled that She-Hulk is breaking into a new dimension

One aspect of The Sensational She-Hulk that has continued to win over Marvel readers is She-Hulk‘s habit of breaking the fourth wall. Much like Deadpool, Jennifer Walters seems to know that she’s a comic book character, letting the reader in on sneaky asides and even kidnapping the comic’s writer on the cover of issue The Sensational She-Hulk #31.

The latest trailer shows that this down-to-earth, metatextual trait will carry over into the show, too, and Maslany gave some extra reasoning for the narrative device at San Diego Comic Con. “That kind of hyper-awareness in a lot of ways feels like her superpower…it’s a great way to bring the audience in”, she explained. “They already jump into the universe of the MCU but to be like ‘hey, I know, I see you coming in so let’s go together’ is kind of a fun thing.”

6. Lead writer Jessica Gao has some notable experience turning characters green

Nerds the world over will be aware that in episode three of Rick & Morty season three, scientist Rick Sanchez turns himself into a pickle. But the real engineer behind “Pickle Rick” was the show’s writer, Jessica Gao, who’s now leading the team behind She-Hulk: Attorney At Law.

Is she just obsessed with transforming professional people into oddly-sized, green entities? We don’t know and we don’t care, as long as some of Gao’s inventiveness that won Rick & Morty its first Emmy ends up in this new show.

7. The show’s directors are the women behind your fave sitcoms

In a crew made up of primarily female talent, including composer Amie Doherty, directors Kat Coiro and Anu Valia are helming all nine episodes of She-Hulk‘s first season between themselves. Coiro, who headed up the J.Lo vehicle Marry Me earlier this year and also directs for Girls5Eva, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Modern Family, will take care of all but the fifth, sixth, and seventh episodes. Those are directed by Valia, who has earned acclaim by directing episodes of Never Have I Ever and SATC sequel show And Just Like That.

8. Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner drops by to teach his cousin the Hulk Thunderclap

For some reason, the Hulk’s trademark, eardrum-busting move hasn’t appeared in the MCU much, only using it to put out a helicopter fire in the critically maligned 2008 film The Incredible Hulk. The latest trailer for She-Hulk, however, has Bruce teaching Jennifer the trick, and in fact getting knocked back by the sheer force of her palms whamming together. Finally!!

9. Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock (aka Daredevil) returns to the courtroom

Reintroduced to the MCU as Peter Parker’s lawyer in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Matt Murdock is getting a lot of love from Marvel to make up for his show’s cancellation over on Netflix. Not only does he make a quick cameo at the end of the She-Hulk trailer above, but he’ll also get his own rebooted series in 2024, entitled Daredevil: Born Again.

Cox has always been devilishly likeable as blind lawyer Murdock, and his red-suited heroic alter ago. It just makes sense for him and Jennifer to cross paths in the courtroom as two of Marvel’s badass lawyers…but will they be on the same counsel, or opposing each other?

10. You might not remember Tim Roth’s Hulk villain, but he’s back too

Poor Tim Roth got the short end of the Marvel stick when he played forgettable military baddie Emil Blonsky, a.k.a. Abomination, in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. An uglier, meaner version of the Hulk, Abomination is now Walters’ supervillain client in court, despite her objections to her boss that there’s a serious “conflict of interest”…since Blonsky tried to kill her cousin a while back. Imprisoned and at the mercy of Jen and the law, Roth should get a chance to flex his comedic muscles a little more, in a Hulk story that doesn’t take itself so seriously.

11. A bunch of fierce female sitcom talents play Jennifer’s friends and foes

We love Renee Elise Goldsberry as the self-obsessed Wickie in Girls5Eva, and she’s collaborating again with that show’s director Kat Coiro here, as fellow lawyer Mallory. Stand-up and Space Force actor Ginger Gonzaga plays She-Hulk‘s best friend Nikki Ramos, and British comedy star Jameela Jamil looks very glam in the latest trailer as Titania, a force for Jennifer to reckon with. She’ll certainly get sent straight to The Bad Place for whatever evil deeds she’s planning here.

12. It’s the last TV entry in Marvel’s Phase Four—so what’s next?

We might be watching a new Marvel story every week for the rest of our lives, if the company’s Phase Four is anything to go from: starting with WandaVision and ending with November’s cinematic release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, it’s been a huge one. As She-Hulk brings the TV side of Phase Four to a close, Phase Five is already promising some huge shows for 2023, including second seasons of Loki and What If…?, Secret Invasion, Echo, and the aforementioned new Daredevil show.

A bunch of these titles make us go “huh, ok” (Thunderbolts? Ironheart?) rather than “oooo” (Blade and a show all about Kathryn Hahn’s villainous witch Agatha), but you can count on Maslany’s Jennifer Walters showing up in at least one or two of ’em, perhaps to keep the new heroes on the right side of the law. She hulks hard for the money, so the team at Marvel better treat her right…