She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, the eighth MCU show on Disney+, starring Tatiana Maslany as the lawyer who transforms into the titular green giant, has already sparked plenty of debate among Marvel fans, mostly concerning She-Hulk’s appearance.
The trailer highlights the big difference between She-Hulk and (He)Hulk, as the latter looks like a green neanderthal, his body shape distorted by bulging muscle, like a gorilla overdosed on steroids. She-Hulk, on the other hand, looks much more human, essentially a taller version of Maslany – there’s practically no muscle definition. Where’s the Hulk?
Fans also questioned the wonky CGI, as again, the difference between the two Hulks is quite dramatic – He-Hulk looks far more realistic, the visual effects team likely able to reuse the digital asset from the films, which has been perfected over several years of blockbuster appearances, as well as the character being older, more weather-beaten, which gives the creature more texture.
However, She-Hulk will surely be improved over the next 3 months, as the show nears release, and the visual effects team has time to polish the CGI – but she’s not going to get any thicker.
Some fans pointed towards the comics, which often depict She-Hulk as more fit than muscular, especially in the character’s early years.
Others pointed out that the character has been portrayed with a vast range of body types, sometimes as dense as the Hulk, and other times as slim as a fitness instructor – it really depends on the artist. The most recent comics lean towards a bigger, more intimidating She-Hulk.
The trailer reignited an old debate about female representation in media, specifically fantasy, which is notorious for allowing male non-human characters to appear monstrous, while female non-human characters tend to lean towards conventionally attractive body types, with little distinction from a regular human, other than skin color, and maybe some cute horns and pointy ears.
Of course, some fans are just happy that Marvel is debuting the character in live-action at all, and seem excited by the trailer’s tongue-in-cheek nod towards She-Hulk’s inevitable fetishization – looks like the towering hero is going to be the next Lady Dimitrescu.
While the MCU chose a slender She-Hulk, erotic fan fiction writers and NSFW artists are surely going to offer their own, larger-than-life interpretations.