She-Hulk Episode 1 is the debut instalment of a Disney+ superhero streaming TV drama miniseries based on the Marvel Comics character, and set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The miniseries will have nine parts and focus on what happens when Jennifer Walters, Bruce Banner’s cousin, becomes a Hulk as well.
S P O I L E R S
Entitled “A Normal Amount of Rage”, She-Hulk Episode 1 is essentially an origin story, setting out how Walters (played by Tatiana Maslany) became She-Hulk and how she intends to live a life very different from that of her cousin, Banner a.k.a. The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo reprising his MCU role).
That’s really all She-Hulk Episode 1 is – Walters gets an accidental infusion of Banner’s gamma-irradiated blood in a car accident and voila! She’s a hulk! Most of the episode consists of Banner’s misdirected best intentions for his distaff cousin – trying to prepare for a life as a hulk. However, to Banner’s chagrin, Walters is able to handle being a hulk, much better than him. This faithful to the comic books, where She-Hulk and Walters are basically one without the personality divide that Banner experiences with the Hulk. After several arguments and fight scenes, Banner accepts that Walters may not require to undergo the same traumatic experiences that he did.
While Walters/She-Hulk is conveyed as a very light-hearted character, what she goes through turns out to be a reflection and commentary on Banner/Hulk instead. While Banner is doing his utmost to impress upon Walters what a heavy responsibility having powers are, Walters seems to shrug it all off. What this does is make Banner’s life a tragedy – all that he has suffered and lost because of the Hulk – none of that will touch Walters. Or so it would seem.
She-Hulk Episode 1 clearly revolves around the theme of the female superhero experience – none of that tortured, conflicted existence that the men seem to revel in, She-Hulk simply makes her powers part of who she is, even integrating She-Hulk into Walters’ everyday life – a refreshing change, for sure!
In final analysis, while She-Hulk Episode 1 is very watchable, it’s by and large bang average, an accusation that can be levelled at most Disney+ MCU series, with the notable exception of Moon Knight. Once more, we are left with hopes that things get better in the remaining eight episodes.
Now streaming on Disney+.
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