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‘She-Hulk’ Origin Story Will Be Different From the Comics

Jennifer Walters gets a slightly different intro into the MCU.

Tatiana Maslany as She-Hulk/Jennifer Walters.

We’re weeks away from the premiere of Marvel’s new comedy-courtroom hybrid series ‘She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’, and the more we see of the series, the more excited we get. A new featurette reveals more about Jennifer Walters’ evolution from human lawyer to reluctant superhero. In comics lore, Walters receives a blood transfusion from her cousin Bruce Banner/Hulk, which imbues her with superpowers. The series changes this inciting incident to a car accident involving both Bruce and Jennifer. In the accident, Bruce’s blood co-mingles with Jennifer’s, which gives her Hulk-like powers.

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In the video, She-Hulk star Tatiana Maslany says, “Jennifer Walters is an attorney who has accidentally taken in the Hulk’s blood…” It’s a smart change to the origin story, which both ties Bruce and Jennifer closer together and sidesteps the question of why Bruce would willingly donate his gamma-irradiated blood.

The featurette also sees the cast of the series explaining the genre-defying show.  Renée Elise Goldsberry (Girls5eva) describes it as “It’s something that you think you knew, which is law shows, and something that you think you know, which is Marvel shows, smashed together.” The video also touches on the meta nature of the series, which breaks the fourth wall and sees Jennifer talking directly to the audience. While some viewers may consider this a Fleabag-ing of the series, which the cast and creators admitted was an influence, it is also a major callback to the She-Hulk comics. Series creator and showrunner Jessica Gao (Rick and Morty) says, “In the comics she broke the fourth wall and was super meta.”

The show’s creators also address Jennifer’s complete disinterest in becoming a superhero, with director Kat Coiro saying, “She spent all this time becoming a lawyer and this idea of being a superhero is not appealing to her.” It’s an interesting departure from your typical MCU origin story, which usually sees its hero willingly take on the mantle with zero qualms (and often working towards heroism their entire lives).

There’s a lot of cool stuff going on in this featurette, and I like the idea of Marvel stretching themselves into different, more experimental genres. That commitment to originality and a unique vision is present in the very best Marvel projects (WandaVision, Loki, Thor: Ragnarok) and will hopefully deliver the ‘She-Hulk’ series we’ve been waiting for.

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law premieres August 17 on Disney+.

(featured image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.

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