In one of the first scenes of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Disney+’s Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslay) tries to come to terms with her newfound powers. Green-skinned and over seven feet tall, she attempts to follow Bruce Banner’s (Mark Ruffalo) insistent advice on the ultimate problem she must deal with. “Rage,” says Bruce philosophically. “You must learn to control your anger however you can and whenever you can,” he insists as Jennifer tries to say something, only to be interrupted again and again by her famous cousin. “The main thing you should do is keep aside any emotion that can upset you.”

“That’s almost my profession!” Jennifer then explains. “Hold the rage? It’s what every woman does every day!” she explains herself and does, with a tone meant to be ironic. “When they give you compliments, when someone with minimal experience tries to explain your work to you,” she insists. “There is nothing a woman does better than hold her anger.” Of course, it is a blow of effect. She or she tries to be.

Marvel, often accused of showing female characters lacking three-dimensionality, seems to find in Jennifer the answer to their dilemma. After all, she is an ordinary girl in her thirties, who has a great sense of irony, who laughs at herself and is also a superhero. One who is willing to live a normal life — whatever that means — in the midst of the debacle that means having acquired a series of abilities that she can hardly control.

But not all is so easy. Especially when She-Hulk: Attorney at Law does not find the correct formula to maintain a balance between satire and parody. Much less, the insistent comment about the woman and her hardships, which he tries to include in a forced way and with the deliberate intention of controversy. Arguably Marvel’s best attempt at looking at women beyond companions, idealized creatures, romantic interests, or victims of major disasters that underpin their strength, the show hits a rocky road.

Jennifer Walters is a figure full of good intentions. She’s a raunchy version of a superhero type who doesn’t want to be, going back and forth through the stream of her — and that’s what the show makes an irritating emphasis on — life as a citizen of a world populated by the extraordinary. But neither the charisma – undoubted – of Maslay or the comments loaded with mocking satire of the screenwriter Jessica Gao, manage to overcome an essential point. Marvel is not creating a woman who understands herself through a set of special abilities. In reality, she goes the opposite way and the result is, at least, poor.

Because She-Hulk: Attorney at Law It is not the story of Jennifer, a lawyer, with a student loan to pay and a life that she must deal with as best she can. Actually, the really important thing in the middle of the premise is what she is destined for. The well-known effect of La casa de las Ideas of the announcement of an intriguing and peculiar future, again in its worst enemy. Jennifer Walters, who breaks ground in the comic — and breaks the fourth wall, which she also does on multiscreen — comes to live action as a lackluster version of the original.

And not because Marvel does not try hard to make it clear that this is a contemporary woman destined to break barriers and schemes. A kick ass personality girl, who for now, wants a good job. But at the same time, she deals with the eventuality of super strength, agility, and a healthy emerald hue to her skin. Jennifer Walters is here and has a mission to rebuild Marvel, to teach the lesson that one of today’s most valuable franchises has room for the irreverent.

Nevertheless, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law does not achieve its goal. Never mind the unnecessary underlining of the elements that the script wants to highlight, the trite jokes that lose impact, the usual images of occasional comedies. The problem is deeper and has to do with the fact that Marvel doesn’t really want to create a character that stands on its own mistakes and nuances. Did Jennifer need a long training sequence alongside a brooding Hulk? Or the inevitable scene of the single woman in her thirties with her family, to receive critical comments about her employment?

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, with nothing to say, much less go deeper

Certainly, this is the first time that Marvel has admitted that its women are creatures crystallized in the amazing. From Black Widow, which Josh Whedon turned into a Red House martyr and Cate Shortland into a memory. Or María Hill, statuesque and silent, a useful and stereotyped right hand that appears without much importance. Even the newly vindicated Jane Foster, who from the scapegoat, passed to a woman with a realistic story in tow. Every woman in Marvel — even the powerhouses of Wakanda and Asgard — carries the fate of being unattainable. Or comfort the hero of the day. Or inspire him great deeds, advise quietly. Hold hands to comfort. Or demonstrate superior physical ability of him. Her intelligence that makes her unique.

But what happens beyond those limits? Sophia Di Martino’s Sylvie Laufeydottir in Loki almost pulled it off. The female variant of the god of lies and deceit turned out to be a Machiavellian play of nuances. A rare combination of strength, bare-knuckle fighting, and even just a sleepy nod after years of running from one place to another. And at the same time, a fragile spirit that fell into the very human weakness of love in the midst of a cosmic and multidimensional battle. But in the end, Marvel needed a heroine, not a flesh-and-blood creature whose responsibility sustained and hurt him. And the decision was inevitable. The carefully layered character, who made the decision to immolate himself in search of the elusive and quarrelsome male version of himself, ended up fulfilling a glorious purpose. And to demonstrate, once again, that La casa de las Ideas does not have much interest in women with feelings. With pain, with worries and hardships.

The same could, of course, be said of his heroes. But in that case, you’d have to ignore Steve Rogers, who came of age with suffering and good will, in the midst of the Infinity Wars debacle. Or Tony Stark, turned into a tragic figure thanks to a nearly perfect redemptive arc. Or the Hulk himself, who, from hating the “other guy”, reconciled the idea of ​​his two natures with kindness and a certain almost peaceful resignation. Will we see Sharon Carter embody a villain with edges, pure disappointment and frustration? Or a Yelena Belova grieving past a portentous figure destined to become the new female leader of a superhero team?

The new Marvel series is a comedy. One, moreover, with a feminist air and determined to have its own personality. But the fact of having a heroine does not make the political commentary — of having it, which is not the case — relevant. And that is exactly the problem of a program, created to build a version of the superhero that tries to appear innovative, without being so. Worse yet, when his attempt to build a new vision for Marvel fails because of his inability to piece together a bolder premise that he fails to fully flesh out.

Jennifer Walters is funny, she is eloquent in her message, but she is also a static figure floating in a new stereotype. The “girl next door”, so popular in the eighties of American cinema and television, came to the superhero genre. And her step is clumsy, artificial, without much to say. Perhaps the biggest problem in a heroine whose goal is to send a message.

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‘She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’ Marvel’s response to criticism of its vision of women