In a podcast called Scriptnotes released yesterday, Goyer — the Christopher Nolan co-visionary for the Batman/Dark Knight film trilogy, and current shepherd of adapting the DC Universe to the big screen (“Man of Steel,” “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” [with Wonder Woman], Justice League, The Sandman, et al.) — went on a bit of a She-Hulk riff/rant/possible-break-from-narrative-reality that was so out there, it threatened to smash corners of the interwebs.
As transcribed by the good folks at the Mary Sue genre-fiction site today for all posterity (and thank you for that), here’s the most controversial nugget from the gold mine of hypotheses that Goyer spewed:
“I have a theory about She-Hulk. Which was created by a man, right? And at the time in particular I think 95 percent of comic-book readers were men and certainly almost all of the comic-book writers were men. So The Hulk was this classic male power fantasy. It’s, like, most of the people reading comic books were these people like me who were just these little kids getting the s— kicked out of them every day. … And so then they created She-Hulk, right? Who was still smart. … I think She-Hulk is the chick that you could [sexually explicit verb] if you were Hulk, you know what I’m saying?… She-Hulk was the extension of the male power fantasy. So it’s, like, if I’m going to be this geek who becomes the Hulk, then let’s create a giant, green porn star” who, as a character, serves to service the Hulk. (Yes. Like, sexually.)
Um. Wow. Where to begin.
Okay, let’s set aside for a moment the not-insignificant fact that She-Hulk (aka, Jennifer Walters) was created as the cousin of the Hulk (aka Bruce Banner). Because I “happen to have Marshall McLuhan right here,” so to speak, let’s let Stan Lee — in this case, the highest authority on the matter — dissect Goyer’s “theory”:
1. When Lee, as writer, co-created She-Hulk with artist John Buscema (the character debuted in February of 1980, in Savage She-Hulk #1), he was absolutely focused on his gamma-green superheroine having brains. Lee tells The Post’s Comic Riffs this evening, in response to Goyer’s words: “I know I was looking for a new female superhero, and the idea of an intelligent Hulk-type grabbed me.”
2. So, did Lee intend for Hulk and She-Hulk to be “kissin’ cousins,” as it were — in other words, was Walters created to be Banner’s brawny, X-rated plaything? “Never for an instant did I want her as a love interest for Hulk,” Lee tells Comic Riffs tonight. “Only a nut would even think of that.”
3. Goyer insists She-Hulk was created, physically, as a “male power fantasy.” So, how about She-Hulk’s tremendous physique, Stan the Man? “As for her looking beautiful and curvy,” Lee tells Comic Riffs, “show me the superheroine who isn’t.”
Well, there you have it. Straight from the source’s mouth. Excelsior!
Your move, Mr. Goyer.
You can follow Michael Cavna on Twitter: @comicriffs.
[ALYSSA ROSENBERG: She-Hulk is a feminist hero, not a male fantasy]