Marvel has long since established itself as a household name in modern culture, being one of the most iconic and well-known franchises in comics, television, and film. However, in the aftermath of Endgame, Phase 4 has felt… haphazard, a word that I wouldn’t normally think to attribute to this franchise of this scope and magnitude.
With Phase 4 beginning with WandaVision back in 2021 and ending soon with She-Hulk and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, a lot of the projects in between have felt (dare I say it) rushed. Projects like Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness have simply felt unorganized and left me with my head reeling in the aftermath. Others, such as Thor: Love and Thunder — which I was actually really looking forward to after Ragnarok — have aimed for fun and campy, yet have simply fallen a bit short of expectations. Kevin Feige may have a vision, but at this point, it’s still shrouded in mystery to us all — or to me at least.
Enter She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. She-Hulk knows exactly how ridiculous it is and embraces that fact — plays into it even. From breaking the fourth wall with some truly Jim Halpert-like stares and soliloquies into the camera to Megan Thee Stallion cameos (Dennis really thought he could pull her? Megan THEE Stallion? BFFR.), She-Hulk has not been afraid to what us Louisiana folk would call “joce”. With the main character, Jennifer Walters, sarcastically narrating the events of the show by talking to the viewer directly from the outset, the show establishes early on that it’s not looking to become the next great cinematic masterpiece in the MCU –– and to me, that’s the beauty of it. The story is free to be told without trying too hard. The writers can make jokes and poke fun and above all, be very unserious. I would rather watch something that’s self-aware and knows what it is than a project trying so hard to be something it’s unequivocally not.
Of course, there have been many critics laying into the show online, taking its lack of seriousness as a personal affront to some of their beloved favorite characters’ legacies –– to Stan Lee’s legacy even (I personally think he’d be tearing it up in that office with Meg in his cameo, but that’s just me). From what I can tell, most of the people doing the complaining are 40-year-old men who still live in their moms’ basement, but hey, what do I know. To the critics, I say do you bro (and maybe touch some grass in the meantime). But me? I’ll be tuned in every week to see what shenanigans the show manages to get up to next, twerking cameos, purported Daredevil appearances, and all.