She-Hulk Episode 3 Raises Important Questions About Superhuman Law

She-Hulk: Lawyer has been entertaining so far, offering just the right amount of cameos from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. GHL&K’s Superhuman Law Division has tapped a superhero to be the face of the team, providing new insight into criminal cases involving people with superhuman abilities. This approach has raised important questions about superhuman law and how justice can be served in cases involving magical powers.

Even before its creation, She-Hulk: Lawyer was presented as a different series from some of its predecessors. Tatiana Maslany’s Jennifer Walters was established as a bubbly but smart lawyer, who just wanted to be able to fight crime in the courtroom. However, after her transformation, she suddenly became a lawyer with superhuman strength and power, and eventually had a greater responsibility to represent all other individuals with powers. But how does the law apply to MCU heroes?


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The third episode of She-Hulk: Lawyer dives deep into some court cases conducted by members of the Superhuman Law Division. The one led by Maslany’s Walters, aka She-Hulk, is the case for paroled Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth), aka the Abomination. There are times in the episode where Walters makes valid points about how certain things heroes or villains do in the MCU are either unethical or unacceptable. Even though the show is billed as a sitcom about a female lawyer struggling with her dual identities, the show seems to be trying to make legal sense of some of the unique storylines the MCU has created in the past.

In the case of She-Hulk: Lawyer, the Abomination is seen fighting Wong in a cage match in a totally different country, when he should be in his cell at the Department of Damage Control’s Supermax prison. The incident occurs just as Walters is preparing for his case, which means the parole board could potentially deny his release. When questioned by Walters, however, Blonsky reveals that he was taken against his will by Benedict Wong’s character, the Sorcerer Supreme, and in fact returned voluntarily to his prison cell. When later asked for an explanation as to why the Abomination was seen fighting him, the Sorcerer Supreme replies:

“I pulled him from his prison, against his will, as I needed a worthy opponent as part of my training to become Sorcerer Supreme.”

The scene played out for the first time in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Even though he clearly broke the law and helped a prisoner escape from a high-security prison, Wong doesn’t seem to feel remorse for his actions. He later suggests sending Blonsky into the mirror or shadow dimension, once again helping him escape prison and the law. Wong even suggests “wiping everyone’s memory,” as Doctor Strange did in Spider-Man: No Coming Home. Walters refuses, stating that it is very unethical.

Even though the timeline might seem a bit off, one wonders about the unethical nature of the hero’s actions. To hide his true identity and get rid of false rumors, Peter Parker enlisted the help of Doctor Strange, and the two came up with the idea to make everyone forget who he really was. Although the plan seems simple and works for the fan-favorite hero, the action was carried out without the consent of the citizens of the world. It makes you wonder how far the heroes would go for their own benefit.

Wong’s attitude during the episode is just one example of how people with superhuman abilities try to use their superhero status to escape punishment. The shape-shifting elf Runa, who claims to have come from Asgard, is another superhuman who helps raise eyebrows in the heroes’ attitudes towards the law. When brought to justice for cheating on Walters’ former colleague, Runa claims she has “diplomatic immunity” simply because she is Asgardian. The judge must remind him that “we are not in Asgard”. The exchange highlights the complications that arise when superhumans have to deal with the law, as they seem to believe they are above it.

Both of these cases raise questions about the heroes of the MCU and their civic duty to the world many of them live in. The MCU has been bringing superhero stories to life for over a decade, incorporating pop culture into the lives of its fans. He has the ability to use his position to think through several real-life scenarios. In several of his series, including She-Hulk: Lawyer, the MCU has chosen to provide social commentary on issues that affect people in the real world. How people are treated by law for wrongdoing, or how the world is constantly trying to challenge the status quo, is an important topic that hasn’t been covered before.

With She-Hulk: Lawyer, the MCU has a chance to reflect on this question and talk about how power is distributed in the real world. With episode 3, the series has already established the theme, and if it continues to explore the subject, it could affect the MCU in the future. The only other time the popular universe questioned the heroes’ actions was when it introduced the Sokovia Accords in 2016. Captain America: Civil War. The purpose of these legal documents, supposedly established by the United Nations, was to control those with enhanced abilities, like the Avengers, and to hold the heroes accountable for their actions. The Sokovia Accords stated that “the Avengers will operate under the supervision of a United Nations panel, only when and if that panel deems it necessary”.

How then does superhuman law affect the heroes and citizens of the world? Are heroes liable for property damage in battle? Does the law really apply to everyone equally? These are some questions that Episode 3 of She-Hulk: Lawyer successfully raised. It will be interesting to see if the MCU benefits from such conversations in the future, or if this is just a passing phase.

She-Hulk: Lawyer is streaming on Disney Plus.

MORE: She-Hulk’s Twitter Account Shares a Collection of Emil Blonsky’s Haikus

About Marjorie C. Hudson

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