First off, I should say that NetFlix's DAREDEVIL proved to me something I had long suspected: Unencumbered by dumb network "input", a television series really is the best way to do superheroes. I love Marvel's movies, but they're really just snapshots in the characters' lives once every few years. A serialized, episodic TV series is much more in keeping with the nature of superhero comics as they have existed for decades, and that concept really serves the characters best.
But we live in a world where the A-list Marvel heroes will always be on the big screen, leaving TV for the lesser known or more obscure characters -- and I submit that, perhaps after the already announced stable of NetFlix characters -- Daredevil, Power Man, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones -- no Marvel character is a better fit for TV than She-Hulk. I'll even take that a step further and declare that no Marvel character is a better fit specifically for network TV than She-Hulk.
Yes, I just noted above that networks are dumb, and I believe that they frequently devolve TV series far below their potential with stupid, borderline insulting pandering to the broadest possible audience. But -- She-Hulk's premise is practically cast from the network mold: Jennifer Walters is a prosecuting attorney by day, party girl by night, involved in all manner of interpersonal conflicts both in and out of her workplace. The only thing that separates this from a dozen other legal "dramedies" is that the protagonist in this case happens to be six feet tall and green. She's not a superhero by trade, but of course does occasionally get into situations where she must exercise her strength. But at its core, this should be a funny, sexy, primetime TV soap opera which takes place in the Marvel Universe.
We'd set the series in Southern California, the site of She-Hulk's original comic book series, to give it an identity unique from Marvel's NetFlix series, all of which take place in New York. In regular practice the series should be lighthearted and, while grounded mostly in reality, played often for laughs; the main thrust would always be the interplay between the cast members, the legal cases, etc. The fact that NBC recently greenlit a workplace sitcom set in the DC Universe proves that this sort of thing could be viable. That "broadest possible audience" I mentioned earlier would be covered pretty easily as the show could rope in female viewers, fans of procedural court shows, younger Marvel fans, and probably a few other groups I'm leaving out.
Without delving too far into it, I'd draw the cast from various iterations of She-Hulk's published life:
- Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk: She would be She-Hulk 24/7, as in most of her comics, suddenly brimming with self-confidence she never had before her transformation, and working as a prosecuting attorney for Los Angeles County. The best way to play her would be a mix of the John Byrne and Dan Slott iterations, maybe even including Byrne's "breaking the third wall" schtick, which has traditionally played well on TV. Physically, She-Hulk doesn't need to be a huge, expensive CGI character -- cast a tall enough actress, put her on a women's version of the transformative Marvel fitness regimen which worked wonders on Chrises Evans, Hemsworth, and Pratt, and let some platform shoes and creative photography do the rest. I trust a talented makeup department could easily turn her green on a weekly TV budget.
- District Attorney Blake Tower: Jen's dashing boss as seen in John Byrne's SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK, transplanted for the purposes of this series from New York to Los Angeles
- Dan Ridge: Jen's platonic childhood friend who now carries an unrequited torch for her transformed self. Also from the original series. (Yes, he was nicknamed "Zapper" in the comics. Not sure if something so dopey would play to a modern TV audience.)
- Mallory Book: Another attorney and the primary antagonist in Jen's life; she could either be set up as a criminal defense attorney or a rival working with Jen, as in the comics. From Dan Slott's ongoing SHE-HULK series.
- Sheriff William Walters: Jen's father, a Los Angeles County Sheriff, a character from her original ongoing series.
- To this I would add one more female character; a confidante and friend of Jen's. In the comics this has traditionally been Janet "Wasp" Van Dyne, but the Wasp's story is being told on the big screen right now, so a character might need to be created or repurposed from the printed page -- perhaps Jen is friends with someone like Patsy Walker or Millie the Model?
Like I said, this seems like a no-brainer to me, and a series I would gladly watch. If Jeph Loeb is reading this, Jeph: You're welcome. Give me a "developed for television by" credit and we'll call it even.
Art credits top to bottom: Mike Mayhew, Mike Mayhew, Joe Jusko. Photoshopped ads by yours truly.