From Monica: I know….we’ve only had one episode air so far and usually over at VoxPop we wait on this kinda thing. We’re also usually big champions of “adaptations don’t need to hold a deep reverence for adhering to their source materials.”
But this time around, I think we should do things a little backwards. Whether it was the early release of some clunky CGI, or just a whole lot of gender and body politics, She-Hulk is already coming out of the gate with a bad reputation. And I honestly think that some comic book context would give her a better shot at success. She-Hulk is loyal. She’s funny. She’s sex positive. She’s a style icon. She’s Elle Woods objecting to cat calls–if Elle Woods was the type to immediately punch a creepy man in the dick. And seriously, what’s not to love about that?!
To prep for my SDCC presentation on She-Hulk, I read a lot of comics and a lot of comics scholarship featuring the Green Giantess. Over the years, She-Hulk’s character has been portrayed with great variation, but the thing each iteration has in common is that every creator, every character, every fan, and every scholar has an opinion about who She-Hulk should be— how she should look, and how she should behave. Perhaps because the notions of feminism have shifted drastically across her publication history, and perhaps because our patriarchal society has already made it natural to police a woman’s behavioral codes, She-Hulk is stuck in constant tension between displaying too much femininity and sexuality or not enough. Either her She-Hulk or her Jennifer Walters persona is championed while the other is shamed, but never are both women allowed to be valued as equals, despite the fact that She-Hulk’s defining feature over her cousin is the ability to maintain consciousness of both identities simultaneously. Part of the reason we’re all so focused on offering our opinions of She-Hulk is that it’s part of her source text. But this week we’re joined by Samantha Langsdale, editor of Monstrous Women in Comics, and we’re going to be talking about who She-Hulk is, rather than our judgements of her. So that we can all sit back and enjoy the next few weeks of television that much more.