Marvel Demanded A Major Change For She-Hulk

By Nathan Kamal | 3 weeks ago

Marvel She-Hulk

Marvel Studios unexpectedly dropped a trailer for the upcoming She-Hulk: Attorney at Law series just the other day. While fans were obviously excited to finally get some looks at Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer Walters, the trailer also immediately caused some consternation online as people somehow found fault with the quality of the visual effects to turn the Canadian actor into a green-skinned superhero. Now it turns out there was another issue with She-Hulk: apparently Marvel Studios did not want She-Hulk to be too muscular. 

Marvel VFX artist Sean Ruecroft responded on Twitter to comments about the relative size of She-Hulk compared to Bruce Banner as the Hulk, saying that the studio had repeatedly given notes to make the hero smaller. While Ruecroft seems to have deleted his Twitter, here is an indication of what was initially said:

Currently, the debate is currently raging as to the appropriate depiction of She-Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While some feel that it robs the character of her authority and strength for her to be depicted in the Disney+ show as relatively slimmed down, others have indicated that it is usual for her to be drawn in Marvel Comics as significantly less muscular than her Hulk cousin. As the issue of body image and esteem is one with no easy answers in modern society, it is unlikely that Marvel’s current incarnation of She-Hulk will be accepted by everyone. 

There is also the issue of Marvel Comics canon and the fluidity of character depiction. A unique aspect of comic books is that there is no single authoritative version of any character comics, from She-Hulk to Batman to Archie Andrews. Instead, the characters have been depicted in multiple different ways by different artists for decades, with each version part of a larger, gradually developing hero. As such, She-Hulk has sometimes been depicted as intensely muscular like Bruce Banner in his Savage Hulk form and sometimes as comparatively svelte. 

However, Marvel’s apparent demand that She-Hulk be made “smaller” (or as has been inferred, less muscular) does not sit well with many people. It also is very reminiscent of the reports that Walt Disney Studios (the parent company of Marvel) pushed for the character of Luisa in 2021’s animated film Encanto to be made less muscular. In both the case of Luisa and She-Hulk, it is pretty much inherent in their character that they are supposed to be super-strong, which makes requests that they do not look it seem…well, pretty weird. 

The canon of Marvel Comics also historically depicts the shape and appearance of both Bruce Banner as the Hulk and Jennifer Walters as She-Hulk to be very fluid and highly dependent on the mental state of the characters. While it does not look great for either Marvel Studios or Disney that they seem to be enforcing some stereotypical depictions of female forms, it is entirely possible that She-Hulk’s appearance will change over the course of the series. Hopefully, they will manage to get a firm grasp on the character (and the CGI) before the series premiers on August 17.