Hulk, according to the fine minds of Merriam-Webster, means “one that is bulky or unwieldy,” or “to appear impressively large or massive.” (There’s also some stuff about old ships, but that part’s not really relevant here.) Marvel’s Hulk absolutely fits the definition—but according to the She-Hulk trailer released this week, Disney+ is about to deny us all out the opportunity to see a lady Hulk who’s anywhere near as terrifyingly brawny.
The trailer for Disney+ She-Hulk: Attorney at Law dropped Tuesday, and has staked out a place at the top of YouTube’s trending list, as Marvel teasers tend to do. But not all the chatter has been good. Fans have complained about the not-entirely-convincing CGI—which, considering the working conditions most visual effects artists toil under, isn’t exactly surprising. Then, there’s the fact that She-Hulk, who’ll be played in the series by Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany, appears to be decidedly less strapping than her mean green machine of a cousin, Bruce Banner. This isn’t to body shame, She-Hulk looks great: cut, strong, like she knows her way around a weight bench. But hulking? Definitely not.
“What is She-Hulk without her huge, rippling muscles,” one Twitter user wrote. “Why are the She-Hulk CGI people so scared of giving her more muscles,” tweeted another. “I should piss myself when She-Hulk is in the vicinity,” writer Clarkisha Kent tweeted. “Y’all are really afraid of MUSCLES.”
According to a Twitter user named Sean Ruecroft, who claimed to work on the show, the VFX designers behind She-Hulk received instructions from higher ups “saying to ‘make her smaller.’” It doesn’t seem like a huge stretch to assume that She-Hulk’s bountiful muscular potential was shelved in order to keep her physique within the range that fanboys generally find fappable, which sucks and is very boring. In the trailer, another woman tells her that her “ass looks crazy right now,” and I’m sure it does, in the “she’s been incorporating squats into her workout” sense. Though, She-Hulk’s ass should look crazy in the “can destroy a car by leaning on the hood” sense, and it does not. Just compare She-Hulk to her cousin He-Hulk to get a sense of how vastly different their physiques are.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time She-Hulk has been tragically shortchanged on the muscle front. Most comic depictions seem to portray her as a green and only moderately more jacked version of any other scantily-clad comic book heroine. Sure, this could have been the opportunity to turn over a new leaf and give the world a She-Hulk just as menacingly mountain-like as her male counterpart. We could have had a woman so gigantic she can barely move, a babe so burly that her elbows and sides have never even met. Instead, we were given Princess Fiona, if she got really into CrossFit.
Look, we all know that there’s a subset of the population who believes that every woman visible in pop culture, whether she be real or fictional, human or animal, people-colored or green, should be specifically designed for them to jerk off to. Superhero content tends to bring out that contingent in droves, so there’s probably no point in trying to convince the folks at Disney not to design She-Hulk with boners in mind. Instead, I’ll just point out that plenty of people love properly brolic women, women who could crush them between their vice-like thighs, women who could pick their spindly bodies up with one arm and twirl them overhead like a locker room towel. Give the world the buff She-Hulk we deserve! Dudes will still find a way to jerk off to her—they always do.