She-Hulk Doubles Down on the Biggest Problem With the Avengers
The following contains spoilers for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Season 1, Episode 2, "Superhuman Law," which premiered Aug. 25, on Disney+.
While many thought She-Hulk: Attorney at Law would find Jen Walters (Tatiana Maslany) embracing the idea of superheroes in her quirky origin story, the premiere revealed she wasn't into the concept at all. When she gained powers, becoming a more superior Hulk, Jen actually wanted away from this path, going as far as to fight Bruce to gain her freedom. He couldn't believe it, but Jen preferred to be a lawyer fighting crime and the patriarchy over pursuing a career as an Avenger.
It resulted in Jen going back to Los Angeles to resume work, only for her to Hulk out to stop Titania in court. She saved the jury, took the villain down and seemed like she'd eventually warm up to being a hero. Well, Episode 2 confirmed Jen still despised the idea, and she revisited a major problem with Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
This revolves around benefits and salaries, which first cropped up on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. In "New World Order," it was revealed that the Wilson family ran into money problems when Sam got dusted in The Blip and took five years to return. He obviously couldn't earn any money as a dead man, so they needed help from the bank to stave off bankruptcy. More so, they couldn't afford any more debt as it'd crush their family business, so a loan was the only option.
In the conversation with the loan manager, Sam confirmed that the Avengers didn't get paid, not even by Tony Stark. The series kept it vague, but it did state they lived off the "goodwill" of others, making it seem like donors treated the Avengers like a charity. Sam was lucky, though, as he could pick up government contracts to supplement his income, but clearly, whatever he earned, even before and after military duty, wasn't enough. It was a thought-provoking discussion, which, while comedic at times, did have a grave feel to it as fans would have liked their heroes to be more stable with consistent revenue streams.
Well, Jen called out the B.S. once more when she and her friend, Nikki, discussed how she'd capitalize on her newfound popularity. In the opening act, they were in a bar, where Nikki wanted She-Hulk to steal the show, not Jen. They got free drinks and were clearly the hit at the establishment, eventually leading to Nikki asking if she'd be up for joining the Avengers. However, this was the furthest thing from Jen's mind.
"Do the Avengers offer healthcare?" she asked. "Maternity leave? A pension? Are they even paid?" she continued, leaving Nikki stumped. It proved how naive Nikki, like most of the public, was regarding the career choice. Ironically, Jen's boss came in right after, firing Jen because he felt she was too much of a distraction. It all stemmed from Jen losing the last case, deemed a mistrial as the opposition claimed the jury voted in favor of her client after she saved them from Titania. As such, Jen became a liability to the district attorney's office, which now resulted in her being an attorney for hire.
Sadly, many other firms felt the same way, rejecting her, which subtly doubled down on Jen's disdain for superheroes. Plus, she needed a job to sustain her lifestyle, so there's no way she'd ever contemplate joining the Avengers now, or any company for that matter, that wouldn't pay. Ultimately, Jen did pick up a job with the same rivals that got her fired, GLK & H, for their Superhuman Law Division. It's the closest she'd come to the superhero field, all due to this line of work actually depositing good money into her bank account, unlike what the Avengers could afford.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law streams Thursdays on Disney+.