First Impressions: Shulkie McBealThe Dark Herald
The Incredible Hulk is one of Marvel’s longest-standing A-list heroes. Consequently, when licenses were getting farmed out to various studios by Marvel in the 1990s, Hulk was in demand and was snapped up by Universal. The licenses stated that ancillary characters went along for the ride. So, when Sony got Spiderman, they also got Venom, Morbius, Miles Morales, Gwen Stacy and you have figured out the rest. The Hulk got the same treatment, so She-Hulk went to Universal along with her top-shelf cousin.
Marvel had learned its lesson with the Fantastic Four, these new licenses came with ironclad requirements regarding budgets, theatrical releases, and marketing. A Roger Corman straight-to-video film would NOT meet these new requirements. Additionally, the license had a time limit built in. If they didn’t make a Hulk movie every five years, the license would be voided.
Universal made a couple of Hulk films. Ang Lee’s Hulk was damn near an arthouse superhero movie. They tried again with a more traditional Hulk but both of them flopped.
Universal came to an agreement with Disney for Hulk’s use in the Avenger films but they retained their license. Part of the agreement was that the Disney Marvel movies would count as the contractually required Universal releases. Hulk’s last appearance in theaters was in *2017. The license is now voided. Disney has unfettered rights to all of Hulk’s characters. She-Hulk was now available to Marvel Films, poor thing.
She Hulk’s comic book persona was that of a fun and sexy superheroine. She frequently broke the fourth wall and often made jokes about her curvaceous body. You knew what she was there for, but more importantly, She-Hulk knew it too.
Jennifer Walters developed a major following and her fans named her Shulkie. She bounced around various superhero teams until Marvel Comics decided to go off the deep end and never look back.
I knew with the same certainty that I know a rotten egg smells like sewer gas concentrate that this show wouldn’t even try to bring the real She-Hulk to the screen.
Her origin story in the comics had Bruce Banner’s cousin, Jennifer Walters getting shot by a mobster. Bruce is on hand to patch her up but ends up having to give her a transfusion of his own blood. The next time she got angry, She-Hulk was born.
In this parody of She Hulk’s origin story, Jennifer and Bruce are in a car when they hit an alien starship. Bruce has some MacGuffin device that keeps him from going green. So he gets injured too. Since for feminist reasons that a person with the standard amount of genders will never understand, having Bruce deliberately save Jennifer’s life would completely degrade her as a woman. Because no feminist heroine can under any circumstances be saved by a man. Bruce’s blood drips into her open cut and that does the trick. Jennifer Walters Hulks out. She wakes up in the woods and heads to the nearest building which is a bar.
She is trying to clean herself off when some other women walk into the Lady’s room. They are all black so you know they are good people and can be trusted with anything. I am not quite certain if they were just girls clubbing or hookers calling it a night but either way, they clean up Jenny and give her clothes that make her look like a hooker. She calls Bruce and waits outside the bar for him to pick her up.
But then MEN approach her. In case you didn’t know this, men will gang rape any single woman that they see outside of a bar. It’s true! Jennifer hulks out again and Shulkie smash filthy men.
The writing was feminist clumsy. The men were only behaving that way to justify She-Hulk beating them mercilessly.
To set She-Hulk apart Incredible Hulk in the comics, Jennifer Walters was able to maintain sapience when in green giant form. To balance this out she was made less powerful.
Guess what was completely intolerable to Woke-ass Marvel?
Although, there was no longer a point to this due to Marvel Studios’ storytelling incompetence. When they resolved the Jekyll and Hyde issue between Banner and Hulk, they destroyed both characters.
However, the show made it quite clear that She-Hulk is better than Banner-Hulk in every way available. She is stronger, has better balance, and was even able to heal Banner’s arm. Isn’t she just the greatest?
She’s an expert in controlling her anger because she gets cat-called in the street, and incompetent men mansplaining her job to her, and if she doesn’t control herself she might be viewed as EMOTIONAL or DIFFICULT or might just be MURDERED.” Murdered? Well, Karens are annoying as hell. This one sure as hell is.
Also, Karen Hulk can control her transformation at will making her better than Bruce at that too..
Karen Hulk also started breaking the fourth wall which doesn’t work outside of a comic book. Not at all. Theoretically, this was a shout-out to the fans of the comic book but they clocked out twenty-five minutes ago.
This show is embarrassingly bad. Literally. I was actually embarrassed for a TV show. The special effects look cheap because it turns out they were. Disney is only taking the lowest of the effects company bids and effects guys call it “being pixel fucked by Marvel.” The production values are what we’ve all come to expect from Disney. I’m so sorry for Tatiana Massey, she is too good to be in this thing but she has hit forty, so this is it.
But it was the writing that really took this thing to the next lower level and the showrunner is Jessica Gao. She has a good track record for writing comedy. Gao has an extensive list of credits going back. She did the famous Twisted Pickle episode on Rick and Morty. The only way she made something this bad was if she was getting heavily directed from higher up. Almost certainly, Victoria Alonso, this was probably her baby. It has her smell all over it.
I’m not going to be watching any more of this show. I just can’t my Unfallen Darklings. After this week I’m not broken but I’m bending.
Okay, I’m done here.
*Universal didn’t forget about the time limit; they knew it was coming. When Disney bought out Fox they acquired two-thirds controlling interest in Hulu. Universal still held a one-third stake. I am guessing here, but I’m positive that Hulk and company were part of a package deal that Disney made with Universal as part of the 24 billion dollars Disney will have to cough up for Universal’s remaining stake in Hulu in 2024. Universal threw in Hulk as a sweetener.