She-Hulk


She-Hulk is a Marvel Comics superheroine. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist John Buscema, she first appeared in Savage She-Hulk #1 (February 1980).

She-Hulk has been a member of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, Heroes For Hire, Defenders, Fantastic Force, and S.H.I.E.L.D. A highly skilled lawyer, she has served as legal counsel to various superheroes on numerous occasions. Her cousin is Bruce Banner, better known as The Incredible Hulk.

Publication history

Although the first issue of the comic had a cover date of February 1980, its Christmas-themed advertising makes clear that it was released late in 1979. Therefore, the She-Hulk is perhaps the last major creation of Stan Lee during his most prolific and critically acclaimed period, the 1960s and ’70s.

At the first anniversary of the character, She-Hulk made a guest appearance in Spidey Super Stories # 50 (January 1981). Spidey Super Stories was a Spider-Man title based on the segments featuring the character from The Electric Company, marketed to children just learning to read and is not part of Earth-616. She-Hulk met Spider-Man for the first time in the regular Marvel Universe in a Marvel Team-Up #107 (July 1981) in a story that seems to fit between issues #16 and 17 of the Savage She-Hulk series (published in May and June of 1981). That chronology is suggested by the behavior of Jennifer Walters’ nemesis Assistant District Attorney Buck Bukowski, in spite of the fact the Savage She-Hulk issues in question were published right before the Marvel Team-Up issue.

The Savage She-Hulk series lasted until 1982 where it ended with #25 (March 1982). She-Hulk then made guest appearances in other character’s books. Her earliest guest-starring adventures followed no specific story line, besides her recurring bad luck with automobiles. For instance, the She-Hulk was involved in an amnesia-inducing car accident in Dazzler #14 (April 1982). She-Hulk then appeared in Marvel Two-in-One #88 (June 1982), in which she gets temporarily duped by a used-car salesman, tries to seduce The Thing, and helps the Thing stop a supervillain who attacked a power plant.

She-Hulk also appeared in a three-issue limited series, Marvel Super Heroes Contest of Champions (June to August 1982), in which numerous superheroes were kidnapped from Earth to fight in space. That miniseries was a predecessor of the more expansive, twelve-issue Secret Wars miniseries that appeared a few years later. She-Hulk’s participation in Contest of Champions involved a fight depicted in issue #2.

Shortly after her post- Savage She-Hulk guest appearances, the She-Hulk became a member of the Avengers, in Avengers #221 (July 1982). Although Contest of Champions continued until August, She-Hulk was not yet an Avenger during that miniseries’ storyline.

She-Hulk joined the Avengers at the same time that Hawkeye rejoined. (Her early Avengers appearances continued the running gag about She-Hulk’s car troubles.) She-Hulk also made occasional guest appearances in The Incredible Hulk: for instance, she makes small and large appearances in the story arc running from Incredible Hulk #278 to #284 (December 1982 to June 1983). That story involves the Hulk receiving amnesty from the U.S. government and then going on a space-traveling/time-traveling adventure with She-Hulk and the Avengers.

She-Hulk’s 1982-83 appearances in “The Incredible Hulk” and her appearance in Avengers #227 (January 1983) were pencilled by artist Sal Buscema, a relative of She-Hulk co-creator John Buscema. Other great artists also drew the character during this period, including John Byrne in Avengers #233 (July 1983), who would later become strongly associated with She-Hulk.

She-Hulk’s background was then compiled in the 1983 edition of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, volume Q-S, published in September 1983. At the conclusion of the first Secret Wars miniseries, She-Hulk joined the Fantastic Four (Fantastic Four #265, April 1984). In Avengers #243 (May 1984), the She-Hulk returns to Earth as a member of the Fantastic Four when the Secret Wars come to a conclusion.

During She-Hulk’s tenure with the Fantastic Four, she appeared on the covers of Avengers #246 and #249 as a member of the Fantastic Four. Also, during her FF tenure, She-Hulk appeared in Marvel Graphic Novel #16: The Aladdin Effect, a story in which she teamed up with fellow superheroines Storm, Tigra and Wasp; and She-Hulk appeared in Marvel Graphic Novel #18: The Sensational She-Hulk. Both graphic novels appeared in 1985. The latter, appearing in November 1985, was written and illustrated by then-Fantastic Four helmer John Byrne.

She-Hulk also made appearances in New Mutants #37 (March 1986) and Incredible Hulk # 316 (February 1986, a John Byrne story) — but she somehow missed her cousin’s wedding in Incredible Hulk # 319 (May 1986).

She-Hulk regained a solo series in 1989, The Sensational She-Hulk (maintaining the 1985 graphic novel’s title). The Sensational She-Hulk ran for sixty issues. Issues #1 to #8 and #31 to #50 were written and drawn by John Byrne. As noted above, Byrne had previously written and drawn She-Hulk while she was featured in the Avengers and Fantastic Four. Byrne’s She-Hulk stories satirized comic book clichés and introduced the She-Hulk’s awareness that she was a comic book character. Two issues tested the limits of the comics code: #34 makes reference to the Vanity Fair cover of 1991 in which actress Demi Moore appeared nude (and pregnant); in issue #40 the She-Hulk’s breasts and genital area are covered by blur lines as she is depicted jumping rope, implying that the character is nude. However, once she finishes jumping, she is shown to have been wearing a bikini.

During Sensational She-Hulk, the character continued making guest appearances, for instance, in X-Men v. The Avengers No. 2 (May 1987) and Marvel Fanfare (December 1989).

In 1990, She-Hulk appeared in the two-issue graphic novel She-Hulk: Ceremony. She also appeared in Marvel Comics Presents #124 to 126 (1993) and in The Incredible Hulk (December 1993).

The Sensational She-Hulk ran until issue #60 (February 1994), making it the longest-running She-Hulk series so far, and the longest-running solo title of any female Marvel super hero up to that point. Non-super-hero characters, like Millie the Model, have had longer runs in the past while newer characters, like Spider-Girl, have had longer runs after She-Hulk.

After the cancellation of She-Hulk’s second solo series, she continued making backup, one-shot and team appearances — in Fantastic Force (starting with issue #13 in November 1995), in Avengers Unplugged #4 (April 1996), in the 1996 miniseries Doc Samson, in Heroes for Hire #8 to #19 (February 1998 through the series finale in January 1999), and — of course — in The Avengers. Her next major appearance was in the May 2002 one-shot titled Thing and She-Hulk: The Long Night.

In 2004, She-Hulk was given a new title and launched in a wave of six new Marvel books. Despite favorable critical notices, the new series could not escape the low sales numbers that both it and other titles received from their initial cluster-style launch. Marvel decided to give the book a second chance to find an audience. With a re-launch planned 8 months later, Marvel brought the series to a close with #12 and promised a re-launch of the title (as a “second season”) eight months later. The eight month gap was alluded to in the body of the story itself.

With the original creative team (Dan Slott and Juan Bobillo) from the previous series, the book returned eight months later as promised in October 2005. The third issue was billed as the 100th issue of a She-Hulk comic book, and it had story art by numerous artists who sported their own interpretations of the character’s looks. Among them was seminal She-Hulk artist Mike Vosburg (who drew Savage She-Hulk #2 through #25). There was no new artwork by ’80s and ’90s artist John Byrne, but he was represented by a complete reprint of his first solo issue of Sensational She-Hulk. Savage She-Hulk #1 was also reprinted, featuring the story by Stan Lee and art of John Buscema.

Dan Slott’s last issue is #21; with 33 issues, Slott has written the most solo issues of She-Hulk. David Anthony Kraft has written the most consecutive issues: Savage She-Hulk #2 through #25.

John Byrne has penned the most appearances by She-Hulk in his runs on the Fantastic Four, Avengers, and the Sensational She-Hulk. Peter David began his run with She-Hulk #22; he has written her numerous times in The Incredible Hulk and other titles.

Fictional character biography

Savage She-Hulk

Jennifer Susan Walters, the cousin of Bruce Banner (Hulk), is the small and somewhat shy daughter of Los Angeles County Sheriff William Morris Walters and Elaine Morris, who died in a car crash when Jennifer was seventeen . Agents of Nicholas Trask, a crime boss who had crossed paths with her father, shot and seriously wounded her on a day that Bruce Banner happened to be in town for a visit. Since no other donors with her blood type were available, Banner provided his own blood for a transfusion; as they already shared the same blood type and DNA, his radioactive blood, combined with her anger transformed Jennifer into the green-skinned She-Hulk when the mobsters tried to finish her off at the hospital.

As She-Hulk, Jennifer possessed powers similar to those of her cousin, though at a reduced level. She also possessed a less monstrous, more amazonian appearance. Initially, the transformation to her She-Hulk form was triggered (as with Bruce Banner’s) by anger. She eventually gains control of her transformations when Michael Morbius cures her of a lethal blood disease.

Eventually, Jennifer decides that she is going to retain her She-Hulk form permanently – preferring the freedom, confidence, and assertiveness that it gave her compared to her more timorous and fragile “normal” form. After her brief solo career, she joined The Avengers. This led to her participation in the Secret Wars, most notable for sparking her long standing rivalry with the newly empowered Titania. After the Avengers, she temporarily replaced the Thing in the Fantastic Four.

During her tenure with the Fantastic Four, the She-Hulk had to prevent a radiation leak in a downed S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. This radiation exposure had a drastic effect on Jennifer: she could no longer transform back into her original form. However, this was an agreeable turn of events for her, since she preferred being She-Hulk, and it was revealed much later that the block was purely psychological.

Sensational She-Hulk

After her Fantastic Four years, She-Hulk rejoined the Avengers and began working for district attorney Blake Tower. Here she met Louise “Weezie” Grant Mason, formerly the Golden Age super-heroine the Blonde Phantom. She-Hulk later discovered that Mason had manipulated Tower into hiring her, so that Mason might again star in a comic book (and thus avoid dying of old age). Later, while doing legal work for Heroes For Hire, She-Hulk spent some time dating Luke Cage.

After a time, She-Hulk returned to the Avengers. The events of Red Zone led to She-Hulk being unable to control her changes and precipitated the Search For She-Hulk, when Jennifer fled — fearing that she had become a rampaging monster, like her cousin. The other Avengers track her to the town of Bone, Idaho, where Jennifer is lying low but the anxiety of being found prompts her to change, doing much damage to the town. Her cousin shows up but fails to reason with her; he “hulks out” and the two fight — the devastation to the town subsequently being blamed on the Hulk. Jennifer discovers that her loss of control was caused by Jack of Hearts interfering with her radiation. Psychological limitations inhibit her transformation between her two forms. For a time, as detailed in “She-Hulk” #4, March 2006, Jennifer works as a relief volunteer helping to repair Bone. She gains confidence after solving a murder mystery, reveals her green alter-ego to the entire town and uses her strength to make many more repairs. This, combined with Leonard Samson’s new ‘gamma-charger’ gives her full control over her transformations for, as she said, ‘the time being’.

Single Green Female

The events of The Search for She-Hulk, combined with her own lack of personal responsibility and the potential legal ramifications of her saving the world swaying juries, led Jennifer back to the legal profession in a more full time capacity, when she was asked to practice law in the Superhuman Law division of the New York firm of Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg & Holliway (GLK&H). This offer was dependent upon Jennifer remaining human while she worked for the firm.

While practicing at GLK&H, Jennifer gradually became comfortable as both She-Hulk and Jennifer Walters, realizing that she has much to offer the world in both forms.

Civil War

She-Hulk has registered under the Superhuman Registration Act, and is a supporter of Tony Stark (Iron Man). However, as an attorney, she has advised individuals on both sides of the Civil War. She agreed to file suit against Peter Parker for fraud on behalf of her father-in-law, Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson. Her intention is to keep the suit tied up in the courts indefinitely. She is also the lawyer for Speedball in Civil War: Front Line.

In She-Hulk #14 (2006), Clay Quartermain of S.H.I.E.L.D. informs Jennifer that she has been drafted into the organization as a result of her registration. Her mission is to fight various foes of the Hulk while training heroes under the Initiative. She serves with the Hulkbusters, comprised of Clay Quartermain, Agent Crimson, and Agent Cheesecake.

World War Hulk

Due to her involvement in S.H.I.E.L.D., She-Hulk derives a tid-bit of information suggesting that the organization knows of her cousin’s whereabouts. Anticipating a problem, Tony Stark has the She-Hulk secretly injected with S.P.I.N. Tech that transforms her to human form. Enraged, she tells Stark that although he may have taken She-Hulk out of the equation, he still has to face Jennifer Walters, one of the best lawyers in the country. Jennifer informs Stark that he’s miscalculated: the She-Hulk would have just knocked him around, but Jennifer Walters has the ability to destroy him.

On her way home, Jennifer runs into Amadeus Cho, a young genius out looking for friends of the Hulk. Cho, whom the Hulk once saved, discovered what the Illuminati had done to the Hulk, and he wants help in finding him. Cho temporarily restores Jennifer’s powers so that she can take out Doc Samson, who came to apprehend Cho for Reed Richards and Tony Stark. Cho says he can permanently restore Jennifer’s powers if she’ll join him, but she politely refuses, instead directing him to Hercules and Angel.

In World War Hulk #1, a re-powered She-Hulk assists in the evacuation of Manhattan; in #2, she tries to reason with her cousin, who has just destroyed Stark Tower during his battle with Iron Man. The Hulk warns her to leave, but she stands her ground. After she lands a punch squarely to his face, the Hulk smashes her into the ground, creating a crater around her body. As he moves on to his next confrontation, all Jennifer can say is: “God help us all.”

Jennifer is held captive with the other defeated heroes at Madison Square Garden, which the Hulk has converted into a gladiatorial arena. The heroes have been implanted with the same obedience disks that compelled the Hulk and his allies to fight one another during their time on the planet Sakaar.

In She-Hulk #19, Jennifer returns to the law firm to work on suing Tony Stark for stealing her powers. She is subpoenaed to give a testimony in a case in which Mallory Book is trying to prove that the Leader’s criminal acts are the result of a shift of personality induced by his mutation, and an addiction to his gamma irradiated powers, and that he thus can’t be held accountable for his actions. During her testimony, Jennifer realizes that she herself is “addicted” to being She-Hulk; Mallory forces her to admit that she’s had a long list of sexual partners as She-Hulk. After the testimony, Pug appears and the two spend an evening together as friends, which cheers her up. She confronts Mallory the next day and tells her that she’ll put a stop to her Leader case. However, in She-Hulk #20, it is revealed that the Leader has been acquitted of his crimes.

There is an apparent inconsistency between the She-Hulk and World War Hulk comics: in She-Hulk #19, the Leader is on trial in New York City, which is being cleaned up after the Hulk’s recent attack. The action in the issue takes place during or after the events of World War Hulk. However, Jennifer appears as She-Hulk in the first and second issues of “World War Hulk,” during which the Hulk is destroying New York City. The discrepancy is resolved in She-Hulk #20: Jennifer explains that Tony Stark temporarily disabled the nanobots to allow her to assist in the battle against her cousin, only to reactivate them when the battle was over. She amends her suit against Stark to demand the permanent deactivation of the nanobots.

Post World War Hulk

At some point after World War Hulk, Jennifer was brought before the Living Tribunal[3] and asked to weigh her universe against a newer, better ‘cosmic trophy wife’ version, described by Walters as “an ultimate universe.” Her universe wins, and she resigns from the Magistrati.

After the Leader’s trial, Artie Zix reveals himself as RT-Z9 and holds the main staff of GLK&H hostage while asking them questions at the behest of a group of aliens from a corner of the galaxy recently discovered by the Watcher Qyre. The aliens, called The Recluses, wish to keep their existence a secret. She-Hulk earlier decreed that Qyre not reveal knowledge of the Recluses’ existence at the meetings of the Watchers [4]. This had serious repercussions: it is revealed at the close of She-Hulk #20 that an evil being has conquered that portion of the galaxy, and is preparing an assault on all of creation. Qyre, who holds knowledge of the plan, is unable to speak of it to anyone else. At She-Hulk’s time trial, it was revealed that her actions made a destructive event called the Reckoning War possible. However, comments made by the future Southpaw, divulge that the war, though a terrible and dark time, will be favorably resolved.

At another point not long after World War Hulk, a powered She-Hulk is seen assisting Tony Stark with Emil Blonsky’s murder investigation. While in Stark’s Helicarrier she is attacked by Red Hulk.

A permanently depowered Jennifer Walters finds that tourists from an alternate universe – designated the Alpha universe – are crossing into her universe – which they call Beta – to gain access to superpowers and comes face to face with her own powered up doppelganger. Jennifer confirms that her Alpha counterpart slept with Juggernaut but her anger quickly turns to sorrow as she realizes that without her abilities, the Alpha Jennifer Walters – while unfamiliar with superhuman law – is far better suited to life in the Beta universe. Realizing this, she decides that she will go to the Alpha universe and let the other Jennifer Walters take over for her.

As she steps through the portal, Reed Richards realizes he can use the previously stored configuration of the Alpha She-Hulk to restore Jennifer’s powers. Having regained her abilities, Jennifer remains in her home reality, while the Alpha Jen Walters returns to her own universe and reconciles with her boyfriend, the Alpha Augustus “Pug” Pugliese.

Some months after regaining her abilities, Jennifer was tasked to defend an accused killer named Arthur Moore. While she was successful in defending him, immediately after his freedom was secured he claimed to be guilty and showed her images of the crimes he had been accused of. Jennifer’s horror at what she was being shown, combined with Moore’s gloating, was enough to push her rage so far that she became The Savage She Hulk once again. She attacked him and threatened to kill him if he wasn’t given the death penalty. She also told everybody within earshot that he was guilty and backed up her accusation by revealing privileged information. This resulted in her being disbarred. Jennifer later found out that Moore really was innocent, that the images he had shown her had been false. It was also revealed, albeit not to Jennifer, that Moore had hoped to get her to react exactly the way she did since his employers wanted She-Hulk disbarred for purposes as yet unknown. Unable to practice law any more, Jennifer began working for Freeman Bonds Inc. – a subsidiary of GLK&B – as a bounty hunter with her Skrull partner Jazinda.

She was later recruited by Stark as a member of an Initiative-sponsored incarnation of the Defenders for a short while until Tony Stark disbanded the team. Afterwards, she continued to aid team leader Nighthawk for a brief time.

Powers and abilities

In her She-Hulk form, Jennifer possesses immense superhuman strength that is higher than the base strength levels of the Gray, Savage, and Professor incarnations of the Hulk. Unlike her cousin, however, her strength doesn’t fluctuate with surges of adrenaline when she is enraged. As a result, she is ultimately far less powerful than her cousin. When she transforms back and forth, she gains/loses considerable mass (much of it muscle). Unlike her cousin, her personality and intelligence are less affected when she transforms into the She-Hulk, although she becomes more self-confident and assertive.

As She-Hulk, Walters is exponentially stronger than she is in her Jennifer Walters form; therefore any extra strength gained as Jennifer Walters through intense physical training will be amplified, making her She-Hulk form even stronger. She used this to her advantage to prepare for a fight with the Champion of the Universe on an alien world (where court cases were decided through boxing matches), and managed to defeat him. While Jennifer Walters’ training resulted in her becoming a bit more toned, She-Hulk’s musculature, in contrast, became much more pronounced. As a result, she donned a special strength-controlling bodysuit to replace her business clothes, which no longer fit her frame. Walters subsequently shed some of that muscle mass during a work hiatus, but since first becoming She-Hulk, her strength has increased. Although the She-Hulk’s strength originally remained at a set level and did not increase, later in her history her strength increases as her anger grows, similar to her cousin the Hulk. However, Jennifer’s strength does not reach the Hulk’s rage-enhanced levels. The Avengers story arc “The Search for She-Hulk” established that fear also increases her strength. She-Hulk is impervious to high levels of force, pain, and disease: her skin can withstand extremes of temperature, as well as tremendous stresses and impacts without puncture wounds or lacerations. Despite this, she has been proven to be highly ticklish, as she was once tickled by the Hulk Robot during a battle between a rag-tag group of villains and the Avengers during the Acts of Vengeance. Her enhanced physiology renders her immune to all terrestrial diseases. She-Hulk also possesses a healing factor, which enabled her to completely recover, within minutes, from a skewering by the Wendigo.

Thanks to training by the Ovoid alien race, She-Hulk can exchange her physical characteristics and powers with the physical characteristics and powers of another being by simply focusing on a mental image of the person and willing the transfer to take place. The actual intent of the Ovoid skill is to exchange the minds of the user and another being, but it was theorized by the Ovoid who trained the She-Hulk that some factor of her gamma-mutated physiology causes her use of this talent to manifest in a different way. She rarely uses this power; unless she initiates this exchange with another superhuman being, she will become basically human in ability, but still green-skinned and generally recognizable as She-Hulk, and thus vulnerable to attack (a fact that the super-villain Titania took advantage of the one time She-Hulk did use this ability).

She-Hulk’s legal practice requires her to spend extended periods of time as Jennifer Walters. The Scarlet Witch cast a spell for her which rendered anyone intending to harm the She-Hulk incapable of recognizing her as Jennifer Walters. However, the spell actually rendered Jennifer Walters completely undetectable to these individuals. While this had its advantages, it also left Jennifer unable to communicate with certain people whose knowledge or information it was vital for her to acquire. The spell was eventually removed by Dr. Stephen Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Universe.

Skills

She-Hulk is a formidable hand-to-hand combatant, having been trained by Captain America and Gamora. Even in her Jennifer Walters form, she possesses sufficient skill in the martial arts to dispatch several would-be muggers much larger than she is.

Jennifer Walters is a skilled pilot, as has been shown in multiple issues of Avengers and Fantastic Four.

Very intelligent, She-Hulk is a skilled and experienced attorney. In spite of the character’s party-girl image, she is a bona fide intellectual, being one of the few superheroines to have attained an advanced post-baccalaureate degree. Jennifer attended UCLA School of Law, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif, a national merit society for top legal scholars. It is revealed in the Savage She-Hulk that Walters has also attended Harvard Law School. She has shown great versatility in her legal practice, representing criminal defendants, corporations, and domestic violence victims, as well handling civil rights issues and international law.

She-Hulk is not above using her looks to her tactical advantage in a fight; she did so against a then-single Hawkeye during a conflict in their early appearances together in Avengers. It is revealed in She-Hulk #100/#3 that she once distracted and destroyed a cadre of alien villains by staging a wardrobe malfunction.

Despite her considerable strengths, She-Hulk does have a habit of appearing late for appointments—such as on the splash page of Avengers Unplugged #4 (April 1996). Due to lateness, she missed the opportunity to appear on the David Letterman talk show with the other Avengers [5].

She-Hulk had performed legal work as a member of the Magistrati, who had the power to compel her to adjudicate cases anywhere in creation. She ceased to operate in this function after adjudicating the Trial of the Universes on behalf on her Universe to the Living Tribunal. When she realizes that Hawkeye has been plucked from the past in order to serve as a juror in one of these cases, the She-Hulk tampers with the time-stream in order to warn him of his future death. Her actions trigger the Reckoning War, the details of which have yet to be revealed.

Breaking the fourth wall

For a time, She-Hulk was portrayed with a form of “cross-dimensional” or metafictional awareness, to break through the so-called fourth wall. In some stories, she showed an awareness of being a comic book character, with visuals of her “tearing the page” or “walk through a page of advertisements” to reach an enemy’s control centre. She sometimes engaged in arguments with the writer (John Byrne), or appealed to the comic’s editor, Renée Witterstaetter. Sensational She-Hulk #50 (Byrne’s last issue) involved Renée locking a bound and gagged Byrne in a storage closet while she and Jen tried to find the book’s new writer. This trend was briefly carried on during her tenure with the Heroes For Hire, when she “spoke” to the book’s narrator and “fired” him for losing the plot. Other Marvel characters that have been written to directly “address” the audience include She-Hulk’s friend Louise Mason and Deadpool. On occasion, this practice has also been used for Loki, Rick Jones, Wyatt Wingfoot, and Howard the Duck. The latest series has not acknowledged this primarily-humor-based quirk of She-Hulk’s, save for a coda in Volume 2, #3 (#100), in which Stu Cicero, a law firm “researcher”, asks Jen if she can “really do stuff like that”. She somewhat wistfully replies “No. I can’t” – however, the panel is drawn at a somewhat ambiguous angle that suggests She-Hulk may be looking “out” of the comic, at the reader. She-Hulk’s most recent profile in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe continues to list this “ability” of hers, and confirms that she is simply downplaying it for the benefit of those around her.

The new series has taken a different approach to the metafiction angle, making use of a concept dating back to Lee and Kirby’s early Fantastic Four – the fact that the heroes of the Marvel Universe permit licensed comic-book adaptations of their adventures to be published. Since all comics published before 2001 bear the seal of the Comics Code Authority of America (a federal agency in the Marvel Universe), they are considered legal documents admissible as evidence in the superhuman law cases on which the She-Hulk works.

Relationships

She-Hulk’s relationships with men have been defined by her dual needs for independence and acceptance. These needs were evident in her often tempestuous relationship with her father, Sheriff Morris Walters. A widower whose wife had been killed by mobsters, Walters was overprotective, controlling, and judgmental. In response, Jennifer sought independence from her father, while also desiring his acceptance.

Sheriff Walters felt that the best way for Jennifer to live was for her to follow his values. However, Jennifer grew up perceiving the gray areas of law enforcement (for example, she interpreted the events leading up to riots which occurred during her childhood differently from her father). Although Jennifer saw her decision to become a criminal defense attorney as a kind of homage to her father, Sheriff Walters instead interpreted her choice (to defend criminals) as a rejection of his values.

Jennifer worked at nurturing a supportive relationship with her father, and remained close to a childhood friend, Zapper, with whom she ultimately became romantically involved. Being She-Hulk allowed Jennifer to express emotions which she was not otherwise comfortable revealing. For example, although Jennifer Walters was restrained from dating a younger man, as She-Hulk she felt free to express her affection for Zapper. During that same time, Jennifer pursued a problematic relationship with the affable ne’er-do-well Richard Rory (a supporting character created by Steve Gerber for Man-Thing stories), who actually valued her for who she really was.

Ultimately, She-Hulk’s relationship with Zapper fell apart, primarily due to her insistence on permanently remaining in her She-Hulk form, eschewing the Jennifer Walters persona that Zapper had grown up with. Zapper believed that Jennifer’s preference represented a rejection of the character’s true self. Although in actuality She-Hulk liberated much of Jennifer Walters’ repressed personality, the She-Hulk persona also repressed certain aspects of Jennifer Walters’ personality which She-Hulk found distasteful.

During her time as an Avenger, She-Hulk engaged in a relationship with Starfox (Avengers #234, August 1983). However, this encounter was later retold in flashback (She-Hulk volume 2 #7 June 2006), and in that storyline, Starfox was on trial, charged with sexually assaulting a married woman. The alleged victim testified that Starfox’s euphoria power had forced her to be sexually forward—as forward as She-Hulk herself had been during her own encounter with Starfox. Jennifer concluded that her interaction with Starfox had not been consensual after hearing this testimony, but she later discovered that Starfox had not used his powers on her.

She-Hulk was briefly engaged to the younger Wyatt Wingfoot, whom she first met during her tenure with the Fantastic Four (Fantastic Four #269 [August 1984]). She let her guard down with Wyatt, expressing her vulnerabilities as Wyatt supported her during a series of traumatic events. A paparazzo took photos of her sunbathing topless in Fantastic Four #275 (but nobody ultimately knew it was She-Hulk due to an unwitting editor ‘correcting’ her green skin). Later, corrupt agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. forced her to strip naked in Marvel Graphic Novel #18. Although She-Hulk put forward a brave exterior during those incidents, she appreciated Wyatt’s support.

Although She-Hulk deeply values close emotional ties with family, friends, and lovers, she seldom admits the depth of her need for these attachments. For example, years after her mother died, Jennifer could not move on from the family home. Even when her father moved out, Jennifer would not leave her family memories behind. The Avengers and Fantastic Four became surrogate families for her; she forged strong bonds with them.

She-Hulk was married to John Jameson, whom she first met while he was the Man-Wolf in a Microverse adventure in Savage She-Hulk. The two precipitously eloped in Las Vegas (She-Hulk #9). However, the two shared an apartment with She-Hulk’s colleague, Augustus “Pug” Pugliese, who holds an unspoken (but obvious) crush on her. Pug correctly deduced that the suddenness of She-Hulk’s strengthened feelings for Jameson and the pair’s marriage were the result of manipulation by Starfox. Due to his efforts to prove this, She-Hulk and John became aware of Pug’s crush just as John was forced to become the Man-Wolf once more.

She-Hulk’s passion for John has cooled since Starfox’s “love zap” was removed. However, John was never zapped, and his deep love for Jennifer Walters has been confirmed (John has stated a preference for She-Hulk in her human form). She-Hulk’s reaction to John as the Man-Wolf/Stargod has not been positive. The marriage has been annulled.

She-Hulk had a date with Luke Cage/Power Man while both were on the Heroes for Hire team. She resisted dating an “ex-con” but after a scuffle with Titana and Absorbing Man where Cage aided her she reconsidered. The relationship never developed but a friendship between them was formed.

Before John Jameson signed the annulment, She-Hulk has had flings with Clay Quartermain and Tony Stark, and made a pass at Wolverine. Wolverine rebuffs her, saying he has no wish to “chase after Juggernaut’s sloppy seconds.” She-Hulk repeatedly denies sleeping with the Juggernaut, despite Uncanny X-Men #435 (2003) showing the two in bed together. It is revealed in She-Hulk (vol. 2) #21 that Juggernaut had, in fact, bedded a She-Hulk from an alternate universe.

Perhaps her longest crush is on Hercules who she has repeated dreams about. At one point she faints from just seeing him. However, after fighting demons together, she answers Hercules’ Macho advances with “Get Lost! I’ve had it with muscle-bound morons! What I ever saw in you, I can’t imagine!”. After Hercules jovially whaks her, She-Hulk sends him through a brick wall, and says she’ll stick to dreaming about him, as the reality is “a little disappointing” [6]

After the Infinity Crisis is over she starts dating him. But when he belittles her for being a woman she says from now on she’ll stick to admiring him from afar. Despite this at an Avengers reunion she is seen flirting with him.

She-Hulk finally fulfills her fantasy and does indeed have sex with Hercules.[7]

Personality and costumes

Due to her affiliation with different supergroups over the years, She-Hulk has donned numerous costumes. She-Hulk’s personality has also gone through significant changes: from aggressive and short-tempered to intelligent, free-spirited, and vivacious.

Because of her various outfit changes, no single costume can be considered iconic (compared to Superman’s blue and red tights, or Spider-Man’s red and blue costume and mask). However, She-Hulk is immediately recognizable due to her size, green skin, and long green hair.

In her first appearance, She-Hulk was a massive, towering figure, with wild, untamed, waist-length hair. She wore a ragged white dress (the dress ripping and tearing as Walters turned into her giant alter ego) and went barefoot. That white garment, which was often only the blouse that Walters had on before her transformation, always covered her upper body and mid-section (in the same way that enough of the Incredible Hulk’s pants survived to cover him after his transformations). When she was asked about this in an early issue of the second series, Jennifer responded that her clothes carry the label of the Comics Code.

During one of her Savage appearances, She-Hulk visited a high-priced dress shop and shredded a small outfit to make it fit her large frame: she was credited with starting the “ripped look,” in which fashionistas sported strategically torn shirts, jackets, and jeans.

After her Savage era, She-Hulk wore appropriately sized clothes. For instance, she joined the Avengers and began dressing in a one-piece aerobics outfit. During the Avengers era, she wore a purple, one-piece swimsuit with a white belt.

After the first of the Secret Wars, She-Hulk took the place of The Thing and became a full-fledged member of the Fantastic Four. Her costume kept the sleeveless/legless leotard design, incorporating the colors and style of the team’s costumes, with a “4” prominently displayed across her chest and white gloves and boots. After leaving the Fantastic Four, she rejoined the Avengers, donning a white one-piece costume with the blue Avengers insignia emblazoned on it.

More recently, She-Hulk has worn a purple and white one-piece leotard, complemented by fingerless gloves. Her hair is long and straight, as opposed to the thick, curly tresses she sported in the past. After the events of World War Hulk, she has added baggy low-rise jeans to this look.

Her personality has also changed over the years: originally ill-tempered and violent, she’s now a fun-loving, gentle woman who frequently deploys humor when fighting. She even stated in The Sensational She-Hulk vol. 2, #27 that she prefers not to kill her foes, especially ones that she has already subdued.

Other versions

Earth X

In the Earth X series, Jennifer Walters is killed while being possessed by the Hydra; the resultant being becomes a Hydra Queen.

Marvel Zombies

In the Marvel Zombies universe, She-Hulk is seen exiting Avengers Mansion already zombified. She is later seen being restrained by Thing after eating Franklin and Valeria Richards. The Invisible Woman then proceeds to create a force field inside She-Hulk’s head, effectively killing her.

Ultimate Jennifer Walters

In Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk, Dr. Jennifer Walters works for S.H.I.E.L.D. performing Super-Soldier research and development. It has not been explicitly stated if Dr. Walters is related to Banner but it has been established that he has a cousin called Jennifer.

In other media

Television

  • She-Hulk appeared in the 1982 animated The Incredible Hulk series broadcast on NBC, voiced by Victoria Carroll. The eleventh episode is entitled “Enter: She-Hulk” and covers She-Hulk’s origin (an emergency blood transfusion), which had Bruce Banner seeking She-Hulk’s help in retaining his mind when he transforms into the Hulk. This She-Hulk is based upon her depiction in the Savage She-Hulk comic.
  • She-Hulk appeared in the 1996 The Incredible Hulk animated series, voiced by Lisa Zane in season one and Cree Summer in season two. The episodes follow the comic book origins, with Jennifer Walters as Bruce Banner’s cousin who receives a blood transfusion in a life-and-death situation. Jennifer takes immediate delight in this new form and chooses to stay in this form full-time. Although she appears in only two episodes in season one, She-Hulk takes center stage in season two.
  • She-Hulk also made a brief cameo with the other Avengers in the 1994 Fantastic Four animated series.
  • She-Hulk appeared in an episode of the 2006 Fantastic Four TV series called “The Cure”, co-written by Dan Slott.[1][2] In the episode, The Thing’s “condition” had been cured (though, as a side effect, Ben’s memories after the accident that empowered the Fantastic Four are lost), and the Fantastic Four audition potential replacements, much under Johnny’s suggestion. After a number of rejected auditions (including Captain Ultra, Frog-Man, Texas Twister, Squirrel Girl, and Flatman), Jen Walters shows up in human form and Johnny, frustrated, gives her a hard time, resulting in her transformation into the She-Hulk. She then picks him up (by the face), finally convincing Sue and Reed. She-Hulk is selected to fill Thing’s slot for the duration of their current mission. She utters a classic Hulk line in this episode, warning people not to make her angry. This rendition of the character is based upon the current comics version.[8]

Film

  • A live action motion picture was planned in the late 1980s, with Carl Gottlieb as writer and Tamara Asseyev as producer. Marvel Comics, interested in making a film that might capitalize on the popularity of the Incredible Hulk television series, sought financial backing from the now-bankrupt New World Pictures and hired statuesque actress Brigitte Nielsen to pose for photos dressed as She-Hulk (Brigitte had starred in the 1985 film Red Sonja, another Marvel Comics property). The film was never produced.
  • In the Marvel Entertainment, Inc. Quarterly Report published May 12, 2008, She-Hulk was included on a list of Marvel characters licensed to be in any movie produced by Marvel Studios. Whether she might appear in an Incredible Hulk film sequel or her own film is unknown.

Parody/Homage

  • The British comedy The Benny Hill Show once featured a character similar to She-Hulk in a brief sketch. A young woman sexually harassed at a bus stop gets angrier and angrier until she transforms into a savage creature that exacts revenge on her harassers. This was probably more a parody of the Incredible Hulk TV series, as the woman’s transformation was filmed in a similar style.
  • Actress Jenny McCarthy provided a similar skit for her canceled television series The Jenny McCarthy Show, in which she increasingly becomes angry in a restaurant until she becomes a blonde She-Hulk.
  • Internet actress Casey McKinnon stars in an episode on her web series Galacticast where, after being infected with a gamma-powered microwave, she gains the ability to turn into the She Hulk, or Casey Hulk as she calls herself, whenever she gets angry and uses this to get whatever she wants.
  • Website Barely Political has bodybuilder Collette Nelson turn into ‘The Incredible McCain Girl’ whenever she gets angry. The McCain girl is a green giantess who goes around crushing those who oppose John McCain.[citation needed]
  • In the Luann Comic Strip when another girl insults Luaan she becomes angry and dreams of herself turning into the She Hulk and getting revenge, when her friends notice her unusual pose the furious Luann asks if she is getting green yet.[citation needed]
  • In the Strong Bad E-Mail “alternate universe,” Strong Bad visits a comic world where his counter part (Strong Badman)’s evil scheme is to waste water “and not pay for it!” He replies “Who’s writing this issue, the geniuses behind She-Hulk?”
  • In the Simpsons episode “Days of Wine and D’oh’ses“, Comic Book Guy throws away numerous comic book copies of “She-Hulk vs. Leon Spinks”, a parody on the classic “Muhammad Ali vs. Superman” comic, fearing he would never sell them and proclaiming it to be “worst cross-over ever!” In the later episode “Worst Episode Ever“, Bart and Milhouse discover Comic Book Guy has a secret room in his store filled with pirated videotapes. The door to the room is hidden behind a poster of She-Hulk.

Video games

  • She-Hulk was playable in the 1997 Fantastic Four PlayStation game, a side-scrolling Beat ’em up that featured her along with the rest of the Fantastic Four, a nod to her time with the group.
  • Evil clones of She-Hulk appeared as enemies in Marvel Super Heroes: War of the Gems.
  • She-Hulk appeared as a non-playable character in Capcom’s Marvel Super Heroes. She-Hulk can be seen in the background of the final level, having been turned to stone along with other heroes. In the ending video (after defeating Thanos) she and the others are shown returning to normal.
  • She-Hulk appears as a boss in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

Merchandise

There have been numerous She-Hulk toys over the years, most frequently appear in lines covering large numbers of Marvel characters, such as HeroClix. The first unique She-Hulk action figure was released among the later waves of toys produced for The Incredible Hulk animated series. This figure was later repainted with a Fantastic Four costume and offered as an exclusive for ToyFare magazine.

ToyFare and Diamond Select Toys held a poll to decide which exclusive Marvel Select figure to release for the Wizard World 2005 conventions; She-Hulk outpaced the other four options. The figure was based upon the cover for She-Hulk #2 (2004 series). Originally sold only to attendees of the conventions and limited to six per customer, the figure was eventually offered for sale to specialty retailers.

In 2007, Marvel Legends and Minimate versions of She-Hulk appeared. The Marvel Legends figure was also reworked to include a Fantastic Four costume and a cloth business suit as a convention exclusive at the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con.

References

  1. ^ Sanderson, Peter (2007). The Marvel Comics Guide to New York City. New York City: Pocket Books, 3. ISBN 1-14653-141-6.
  2. ^ Elaine Walter’s death was revealed much later in the letter pages of Sensational She-Hulk #47
  3. ^ She-Hulk #20
  4. ^ She-Hulk vol. 1 #7, Nov 2004
  5. ^ Avengers #239
  6. ^ Sensational She-Hulk #25
  7. ^ She-Hulk #30
  8. ^ The Cure“. Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes. 2007-06-09. No. 18, season 1.



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