Ginger Gonzaga’s Nikki is Her Own Kind of Superhero in ‘She-Hulk’
Nikki can hang with me anytime.
Nikki (Ginger Gonzaga), Jen (Tatiana Maslany)’s best friend and paralegal in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, is the kind of buddy you would kill for: she’s kind, loyal, funny, and always pushing Jen to be her best self. As Gonzaga herself said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, “Nikki is very much a cheerleader for [Jen], and she wants to see her friend reach her full potential. And she also communicates with the language of love.” If you have a friend like Nikki in your life, count yourself lucky.
While she doesn’t get as much screen time as Jen does, Nikki has been steadily coming into her own as a character over the past seven episodes, and there’s depth to her character that still hasn’t been fully explored. What makes Nikki so magnetic? So many things! Here are a few of the reasons she’s so great.
Nikki’s fashion sense is unparalleled
Right from the very first scene of She-Hulk, in which Jen is practicing her closing argument before heading to the courthouse, Nikki’s fashion sense steals the scene. She takes her style to the next level, pairing perfectly-tailored suits and dresses with loads of layered jewelry. Nikki’s discerning eye even becomes a plot point in Episode 5, when Jen takes on influencer Titania in court over the copyright to her name. When Jen goes to see her colleague Mallory (Renée Elise Goldsberry) dressed “like a football player pleading no contest to a DUI,” Mallory tells Nikki to help Jen with her look. Nikki reveals that she’s already tracked down the best superhero designer around.
It turns out that a lot of Nikki’s fashion sense comes straight from Gonzaga herself. Gonzaga told THR, “I didn’t feel comfortable as Nikki unless she was wearing something a little defiant or something that she shouldn’t be wearing at work or something that’s a little too high fashion and really racks up her credit cards.” She also told them that some of Nikki’s outfits even came from Gonzaga’s actual closet, with Marvel buying her outfits off of her to use as Nikki’s costumes.
Nikki’s style is so amazing that it started influencing my style, and I’m the kind of dork who usually shuffles around in a burlap sack. I love her puff sleeves so much that I started buying puff sleeve tops for myself. I look a tiny bit more put together than I did before She-Hulk, and I owe it all to Nikki.
Nikki is a queer goddess who slays at her job
Most of the time, we see Nikki in cheerleader mode, helping Jen as her paralegal, friend, matchmaker, and haute couture hunter. In Episode 6, though, we finally get to see Nikki step into the limelight.
While Jen is away at her friend Lulu’s wedding, a superpowered guy who calls himself Mr. Immortal retains GLK&H to help him sort out the divorce settlements for all of his exes at once. Nikki starts off by helping Mallory as her temporary paralegal, but by the end of the episode, she’s handling the whole case by herself. We see her drafting customized settlements for each angry spouse, appeasing them with everything from cash to formal apologies (with 20 seconds of eye contact from Mr. Immortal as a bonus). Mallory looks on in amazement as Nikki works her magic, leaving the exes not just satisfied, but healing and happy.
In an interview with TVLine, Gonzaga explained that Nikki’s people skills are a core aspect of her character. She also revealed that Nikki is canonically bisexual. Fans had been wondering about Nikki’s sexuality ever since Episode 4, in which Nikki scrolls through Jen’s dating app and mutters, “Oof, hetero life is grim.”
According to Gonzaga,
Nikki is definitely queer, she’s free, she’ll love anyone. I thought of her initially as being bi, because I’m kind of projecting myself onto this character. But in truth I think Nikki will love anyone — and she can hang with anyone, which is fun. She can hang with villains, and she can all of a sudden convince them to get on her side. She can charm herself out of any situation. There are no rules for Nikki, which is a nice balance with Jen Walters.
Nikki can hang with me anytime! She doesn’t need to convince me to get on her side; I’m already there! I’m Team Nikki all the way.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe will always be defined by its superheroes, but it’s always great when the MCU’s non-superpowered characters get to shine. With only two episodes left of She-Hulk Season 1 (and no second season announced yet), it’s not clear how much longer we’ll get to bask in Nikki’s glory. Will her character arc have some sort of closure? Will she make an appearance when Jen inevitably joins the Avengers in Phase 5 or 6? Will she ever get to hang with Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) from the Thor franchise? (You can see it, right? They’d love each other.) We don’t know yet, but here’s hoping that Nikki gets some more space to shine.
(featured image: Marvel)
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