She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Episode 1 is spoiler news. Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) knows that viewers are itching to learn about her herorigin story; how does everyday lawyer Jennifer become She-Hulk? Jennifer and her cousin Bruce Banner, who has been the Hulk for over a decade, are willing to assist Jennifer in this difficult transition.
Jennifer accepts her new role like a duck to water, unlike her cousin Bruce. Barring her first two changes when she blacks out, she is not only aware in Hulk form, but she can change with ease. This is also part of Jennifer's comic book plot as well, but in the episode, head writer and creator Jessica Gao provides a rational explanation for this difference between the cousins.
Bruce Banner's journey in Hulk, The Incredible Hulk, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe has a common thread. His emotions, especially his fear, would trigger the Hulk alter-ego. This is why, for over a decade, Bruce has been battling with Jennifer for control of his body in a way that not only protects it, but also actively aids in her survival.
Jennifer isn't like Bruce because of his assumptions about Jennifer's reaction to being She-Hulk. Those are not the only reasons why she's easier to transform. They're the basis of any woman just standing. She and the majority of women must deal with their emotions on a near constant basis.
Jennifer cites being catcalled on the street as an example of how she must keep her emotions in check. It's a heartfelt celebration of sisterhood that is juxtaposed with a subsequent scene when a group of men starts circling her rather than leaving her alone. Of course, she Hulks out and scares the men, and she's still smiling despite it!
Jennifer's belief that Hulking out and returning is easier doesnt necessarily imply that she'd rather quit her job as a lawyer to pursue her passion for being a full-time superhero. For Bruce, this is the case, but in Jennifer's experience, it's the latter.
She-Hulk is the first Marvel property to mention gender as a spectrum (no hint, really), but it's one of the few entries in the Marvel franchise that addresses gender issues, particularly in Avengers: Age of Ultron, which focuses on the Red Room and its sterilization of the Widows. Ms. Marvel touched on the discrimination faced by the female members of the mosque, but this program is well overdue for official Disney/Marvel properties.
From Hulk to Captain America to Spider-Man, anger and fear have been viewed as constructive emotions by the film or by other characters. But those who gave into these darker emotions were all male ones living in the world in very different ways from their female counterparts. With She-Hulk, we were seeing that anger and fear can be controlled and even conquered, yet they also have a very real place in how half the worlds population lives moment to moment.
Jennifer's job as a woman navigating the world involves containing her emotions and resisting her anger, and this is reflected in the first episode itself. This is yet another example of why pop culture requires different viewpoints behind the scenes.
Every Thursday on Disney+, She-Hulk releases new episodes.