Forget a Hulk Movie: Make a She-Hulk TV Series
In the past decade, we've seen that comic book movies, even relatively obscure comic book movies, have the ability to transcend their genre and be very impressive films, while making boatloads of sweet, sweet money for their creators. Still, not all comic book characters automatically translate into film success. The 'Hulk' movies, despite having top-notch talent, never really took off. And, to be honest, I don't think that they could have taken off. The Hulk has none of the fantasy-lifestyle components of Batman and Iron Man. He has an interior struggle for calm and stability that cannot be shown onscreen, since everything the camera can see is the embodiment of rage.
To get a sense of the character, we need to know more about him when he's not hulking out, but in a movie, we never get a chance to see any of it. Pretty much all of that time has to be spent either ramping him up or cooling him down, and we end up with pretty much one story: Bruce Banner becomes the Hulk, Betty is both the fastest way to trigger his rage and the only way to calm it, and at the end he knows he must renounce happiness with her in pursuit of control over himself. There's little to no opportunity to showcase the variations of Hulk's personality.
A long form version of a Hulk story would be better, but only incrementally. There's still the awkwardness and unhappiness of the character to be dealt with. The Hulk is one hero who is upstaged, in almost every way, by his spin-off. There's no need for a Hulk movie, when a She-Hulk TV series would be much better, and here's why.
1. She-Hulk's power is a gift, not a curse.
So many superheroes are doom and gloom. That's not a terrible thing. Batman makes brooding look good and feel dramatic. Hulk - doesn't. He's a socially awkward nerd and when he becomes Hulk, his social awkwardness isn't dispelled, it's just taken up a notch or two hundred. What's worse, when he comes back he has to deal with all the crappy things that his social awkwardness did. This isn't anyone's fantasy, and although it can be fascinating, it's not fun to watch.
She-Hulk, on the other hand, turns from a mildly socially awkward nerd to a huge, hot, green chick capable of kicking the ass of anyone who looks at her funny. And she does it on purpose, while fully in control. Some versions of She-Hulk are conflicted about her powers, but most of them are happy to have both worlds; the one where she blends in with the crowd and the one where she stands out and fights. Her life is made better by her powers, she knows it, and she works with it.
2. She-Hulk has a life.
Unlike Hulk, this is a woman who has a consistent life that doesn't involve her running away, staying in second-rate hotels and working whatever jobs won't aggravate her too much. Her world can be peopled with more than just a few recurring characters, and those characters don't need to put all their focus into either killing her or saving her. They can just be themselves.
What's more, she's a lawyer. There's a reason that lawyer shows have been staples of television for well over fifty years. They supply an endless number of fresh characters, new plots, and convenient narratives. While focusing too much on the lawyer aspect of her character would put the series in danger of being "Green Ally McBeal," a job at a law firm provides a base from which other stories can be built. There's a lot more potential in She-Hulk's life than Hulk's life.
3. She-Hulk has less baggage.
This isn't true, of course. If a comic book character has been around more than five years, they have baggage. With everyone. However, a TV series wouldn't need to get into that. At least, a TV series about She-Hulk wouldn't have to get into that. A series about Hulk always would.
Superheroes will have a different relationship with a character that they will always have to fight against than with a character they will always have to fight alongside. Every hero in a Bruce Banner movie or show will have to explain why they're fighting him, why they're not fighting him, or why they'd usually fight him, but not right now. She-Hulk's a hero with hero friends. Friends help each other, so let's start the next adventure without a long explanation about why they're doing a team up.
The bottom line is She-Hulk takes all the problematic aspects of the Hulk character and throws them out the window. He's a tragedy. She's a screwball comedy. It's not hard to choose between them.
What would you think about a She-Hulk TV series?