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She-Hulk Director Kat Coiro Clues Us Into The Importance Of The Fourth Wall Breaks

After spending decades as a staple of Marvel Comics, Jennifer Walters, better known as She-Hulk, is finally a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Her own series, aptly titled "She-Hulk: Attorney at Law," chronicles her journey from an average person to someone capable of becoming a giant, powerful superhero as she sees fit. All the while, Walters (Tatiana Maslany) works as a lawyer at Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg, and Holliway, where she specializes in cases centered on superhuman crimes. It's a daunting life to live, but she's slowly getting the hang of it.

When compared to She-Hulk-centric comics, "She-Hulk: Attorney at Law" isn't too far off the mark. Aside from some stylistic and narrative adjustments to fit the MCU, it comes with all of the legal jargon, superhero action, and comedy that one would expect to see in print. The series even features fourth wall breaks, allowing Walters to get meta by speaking directly with the viewer from time to time — a storytelling device she employed long before the "Merc with a Mouth," Deadpool, who's become known for doing so at the movies and in comic books.

According to "She-Hulk: Attorney at Law" director Kat Coiro, in addition to honoring the character's roots, Jennifer Walters' fourth wall breaks serve an important purpose on the show.

The fourth wall breaks build Jennifer Walters' connection to the audience

During an interview with Marvel.com, Kat Coiro touched on why the fourth wall breaks on "She-Hulk: Attorney at Law" are so important. "One of the most important things was having Tatiana [Maslany] and the camera develop a relationship. She's not just talking to a camera, she's talking to a friend, and that camera becomes a confidante," she explains, adding that these moments are a byproduct of her gaining superpowers. Walters is supposed to steadily build a rapport with the camera in these moments, effectively giving audience members a presence in the narrative.

"Sensational She-Hulk" writer John Byrne pioneered the character's fourth wall breaks, and to "She-Hulk: Attorney at Law" writer Jessica Gao, it was crucial to honor Byrne's work. Although, doing so proved far more difficult than anticipated, resulting in lots of trial and error to get the storytelling device right. "It went through a lot of evolutionary steps. How much should she talk to the camera? Is she talking directly to the audience? Is there another meta element? Is she talking to somebody else that's more behind the scenes," Gao told Gizmodo, revealing that on-screen editor's notes like those seen in comics nearly played into this element before they were scrapped.

"She-Hulk: Attorney at Law" is currently making its way through its debut season on Disney+, so stay tuned for more fourth wall breaks in the coming weeks.