A few years ago, Stevie Wonder’s “What Christmas Means To Me” came on as I listened to Christmas carols while decorating. It led me to reflect (reflectin’ and decoratin’ and dancin’ to Christmas carols made for a great night!) which in turn led to a series where I ruminated on what Christmas means to me, using various Doctor Who Christmas specials as a frame for the reflection. It turns out – just like Stevie sings about, “All these things and more, darling (all these things and more)” – Christmas means a lot of things to me, too! ‘Tis the season for me to watch and read Christmas-y things and write about all Christmas means to me. First up this year is The Sensational She-Hulk #8. For many, writer/artist John Byrne’s quirky, eccentric, fourth-wall demolishing version of Jen Walters/She-Hulk is the definitive version of the character. Keeping in line with the wacky and unpredictable hijinks of the title, its eighth issue saw Shulkie literally team-up with Santa Claus to convict a serial killer. Nothing says “Christmas” like a ho-ho-homicide conviction!
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is, in my humble opinion, the most important show (it’s finale in particular) to the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It cuts loose the albatross which has hung around the neck of the MCU since Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame were released. If the MCU is to continue for another ten years, if it’s to stay relevant and interesting, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law must become the Bible for Marvel’s cinematic storytellers. And ok, I see how my title and these opening sentences may seem a bit clickbait-y. It may seem like a “hot take,” purposefully framed to invite shocked, curious, or even hate reads. But here’s the thing; I honestly, completely, wholeheartedly believe this. For all their EPICNESS, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame inadvertently set off a problematic chain reaction within the MCU’s fandom which will plague the MCU until it’s set right. How do you stop this reaction? She-Hulk SMASH. Salvation, it turns out, comes in a sensational She-Hulk-sized package.
Note, this piece contains SPOILERS for the She-Hulk: Attorney at Law finale.
Yes, this title is clickbait. It’s probably the most clickbait-y thing I’ve ever written. Given the MCU has earned a not insignificant $15,558,746,560 at the global box office to date (which doesn’t include all the profit it’s generated in merchandise sales and Disney+ subscribers) it’s not like the Marvel Cinematic Universe is in trouble. It is a cultural juggernaut and like…well, like the Juggernaut, nothing seems to stop it. It’s not in need of saving per se so it’s not like She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is salvifically sweeping in to salvage a once thriving interconnected cinematic universe flailing on the brink of cultural irrelevance. But I chose the title to be an eye-catching invitation for readers (those intrigued, those enraged, and those in agreement) to dialogue with what this piece has to say. Showrunner Jessica Gao’s She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is intelligent, goofy, sassy, funny, and self-aware; it’s everything that made me love She-Hulk more than the Hulk when I was a kid. It’s also important to the future of the MCU in several key ways and we should talk about it. So yeah, I said She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is saving the MCU. Here’s why.
Be aware this piece contains some spoilers for the first two episodes of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.