Yet another week and it yet another light hearted, emerald-hued dissection of the crap women have to put up with on a daily basis and yet, six weeks into her nine week run, She-Hulk is still bravely not taking the easy way out despite the humongous Daredevil tease that closed last weeks episode. In fact one of the more enjoyable aspects of these later episodes is how well the show predicts the silly backlash that it regularly gets by disgruntled basement dwellers before the show had even aired; so a fun bit of trolling is in order as the devil of Hell’s Kitchen is nowhere to be seen in favour of Jen trying to negotiate the hideous wedding of an old friend and the continuing assault on her patience by super powered influencer and garish arch nemesis, Titania. But is it time for She-Hulk to finally switch gears and finally get down to embracing some classic superhero-ing?
Flooded with conflicting emotions with the arrival of an invite to the wedding of an old friend that she’s sort of lost touch with, gamma infused attorney at law, Jennifer Walters nevertheless sees this as a prime opportunity to strut her stuff as her curvier alter ego She-Hulk and show off some of her new, custom made clothes.
However, upon arriving, it soon becomes apparent that Lulu is nothing short of a spoilt, self obsessed bridezilla who takes umbrage with Jen’s spectacular green look and demands she attend the ceremony as just Jen. As the day goes on Jennifer is saddled with more and more pre-wedding duties that borderline on flat out insulting asxLulu takes advantage of her good nature and gets her to do laundry, clean up glasses and even have a dog pair off with her as groomsman to her bridesmaid.
And yet with all this passive aggressive bullshit going on, undoubtedly the worst aspect of this wedding is that She-Hulk’s reoccurring sparring partner, Titania, has managed to weasel herself an invite purely it seems to turn the screws on her foe like never before.
Meanwhile, back and law firm GLK & H, Mallory Book and Nikki Ramos join forces in order to tackle the highly unorthodox divorce case of the self proclaimed Mister Immortal, a man who has amassed a small army of wives and husbands simply because his inability to handle confrontation leads him to use his powers of resurrection to repeatedly fake his death and move on.
However, while cracking this immensely complicated case, both Mallory and Nikki stumble on a website named Intelligencia who seems to bear a grudge on super people and, quite worryingly, on She-Hulk in particular.
So once again we have another, fun, yet restrained episode that brings hints of a greater storyline moving behind the scenes, but instead drags its hapless heroine through yet another gauntlet of dignity shredding experiences. Say what you will about She-Hulk’s superhuman efforts to avoid becoming a typical superhero show, its resolve is truly impressive, but with the final act giving us our clearest look yet and the conspiracy that’s targeted an unknowing Jennifer, there’s the feeling that She-Hulk should finally make that last leap toward upholding the law as well as defending it.
Still, despite this, Episode 6 is still a fun romp that takes perverse pleasure in delivering yet more emotional blows to Tatiana Maslany’s long suffering lead in favour of physical ones and the actress continues to be an utter champ when weathering the slings and arrows of Lulu’s tyrannical demands with some prime comic timing. Be it having her stride around the place in her oversized Hulk clothing while she maintains her tiny, original form or having to grit her teeth against the latest verbal (and physical) assault from Jameela Jamil’s grating influencer.
Elsewhere, the B-story sees a character dedged up from the mists of Marvel Z-list characters in the form of the egotistical, undying man-baby known as Mr Immortal (West Coast Avengers #46 if you must know), who proves to give the team of Nikki and Mallory something of a sizable headache as they try to curb his urge to literally hurl himself out of the nearest window when things get too heated. He’s a deliberately annoying presence (almost as irritating as Titania) but hes a great foil for the new power couple of Nikki and Mallory and while this plot feels somewhat inessential to the whole, it’s essentially a great metaphor for the whole season.
But still, despite the fact that the show delivers consistently fun episodes, the lure of the greater story of the MCU means there’s always that nagging feeling that She-Hulk should now be moving toward some sort of final goal. Up until now, I personally have been feeling the opposite and have fully enjoyed the change of pace that Jen’s resistance to joining this world of orphan billionaires and thunder gods has caused, but with Daredevil, other supervillains, Leapfrog and a further appearance of Tim Roth’s Abomination still to come, the revelation that She-Hulk is being targeted by the internet trolls of the Intelligencia and that mysterious scientists are trying to steal and harness her blood has once again sent the Marvel rumour mill into a frenzy. After all, the comic version of the Intelligencia is a supervillain brain trust whose past members have included MODOK, The Leader (coincidentally both due for future feature apperences) and even Doctor Doom, but while a comic accurate version of this group is probably not on the cards – behold Iron Man 3’s usage of AIM – it does mean that the show needs to find a way to present a typically sinister master plan and making it an appropriate threat while not losing the goofiness that gives the show its identity.
The series has a mere three weeks to get there and it’s a balancing act that going to be exceedingly tricky, especially considering the (completely fitting) glib nature of the short battle that Shulkie finally has with Titania before her veneers give out on her.
I love the different vibe that show runner Jessica Gao has brought to the MCU and I genuinely believe it should be encouraged to thrive, but I think it’s time to channel it towards something that falls more in line with the universe in general – but not at the expense of the fun.
I guess the show, like She-Hulk herself, needs to find a balance between its duel forms as things rapidly come to an oversized head.
Little Leader joke there…