She Hulk is the only part of the MCU I’m currently remotely invested in at the moment. Aside from WandaVision, it’s one of the few things Marvel Studios has produced that actually reflects how broad superhero comics can be. They are so much more than banter and big monster fights, but that’s largely all we get from the MCU. While She Hulk does dabble in these things, it’s more Ally McBeal than Avengers, and the result is immensely entertaining. Developers thinking of pitching a superhero game should take note.
As much as I had a hoot web-slinging my way through New-York in Spider-Man and Miles Morales, there’s not much to get excited about when it comes to superhero games these days. Crystal Dynamic’s take on the Avengers ended up being a disappointing live service affair, and there have been few other notable releases. There are plenty of very simple mobile games filled to the brim with microtransactions, I guess, and the Lego Marvel and DC games continue to be a laugh, though they have settled into a very familiar groove.
Even if we were inundated with them, however, I’m not convinced I’d be that interested. Let’s face it: they’d almost all be open-world action games. Like Marvel Studios, game devs and publishers also seem to have a myopic vision of what superheroes are all about. And it’s mostly punching stuff. That’s why She Hulk is a gift. In the comics, She Hulk does her fair share of superheroics, but the best stuff is always just her being a giant green lawyer. Thankfully, that’s also what the show focuses on.
Her lawyer shenanigans are elevated by the fact that she specifically deals with superhuman cases—like an elf scamming another lawyer by pretending to be Megan Thee Stallion—that serve as excellent comedy fodder. The MCU’s heroes might spit out a lot of jokes, but the movies and shows still take themselves pretty seriously, which isn’t an issue for She Hulk. Last week, her depressing dates with a series of awful dudes became a key component of a legal battle. It’s incredibly dumb and it revels in it. Her dating profile, by the way, includes this incredible line: “Mean, green and straight poured into these jeans.”
Amid the gags, She Hulk also explores what it’s like to simply live as a superhero: what it’s like to date, to go out for drinks with friends, to hold down a regular job. Mundane stuff made infinitely more novel because of gamma radiation. These are all fun scenarios that don’t involve a giant monster knocking down skyscrapers. And I’m convinced they’d be just as fun to experience in a game—especially when games about driving through mud and snow (opens in new tab) or unpacking boxes (opens in new tab) have proved to be so riveting.
The Ace Attorney series serves as a good framework for what a She Hulk game could be like—and not just because there’s a dearth of lawyer protagonists in videogames. Part visual novel, part adventure game, and full of courtroom battles, they’re exactly the sort of games that fit She Hulk’s MO. And like She Hulk, they’re far more interested in human drama than the ins and outs of the legal system. I can already see Jen Walters hulked out and screaming “Objection!” or defending superheroes—maybe Squirrel Girl has been accused of robbing supermarkets of all their nuts.
Ace Attorney already has all the ingredients waiting to be lifted, but there are plenty of other genres that could serve as inspiration. The love lives of superheroes is well-trodden territory, but the romances of Captain America, Iron Man and Scarlet Witch are all high drama, doomed affairs. She Hulk’s grounded tone, however, gives us dating disasters that are tragic for more relatable reasons, while also exploring what it’s like to simply exist as a larger-than-life public figure with a not-remotely-secret dual identity. A dating sim that’s really more about the civilian lives of superheroes than finding romance might be a welcome contrast to the usual superpowered brawls.
Since I can’t go a day without craving a management game, I’d be up for running a law firm as She Hulk as well. Her comic counterpart’s already done it, drumming up business to keep the lights on while occasionally being interrupted by Howard the Duck. I’m not convinced running a regular law firm would be very exciting, but one in a world where alien invasions, time travel and space gods are passé is bound to be a bit more compelling.
There’s a lot to work with here that doesn’t involve putting on a costume and tangoing with a supervillain, but that doesn’t need to be excluded entirely, and could even complement the legal fights or management wrinkles. Someone from her rogues’ gallery is bound to make a nuisance out of themselves at some point, kicking down the door right as she’s reading out a will. It just doesn’t need to be the character’s sole dimension.
She Hulk is perfect for an unconventional superhero game because, at least in the show, she’s specifically trying to live a mostly normal life and not join Avengers or get involved in cataclysmic battles over the fate of the planet. If superhero games are to be liberated from the shackles of open-world punchfests, she’s the hero to do it.