Cover of She-Hulk (vol. 1) #1, textless variant.
Art by Adi Granov.
|First appearance||Savage She-Hulk #1 (February 1980)|
|Created by||Stan Lee
|Alter ego||Jennifer Walters|
She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters) is a fictional character, a Marvel Comics superheroine. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist John Buscema, she first appeared in Savage She-Hulk #1 (February 1980). A cousin to Dr. Bruce Banner, Walters once received an emergency blood transfusion from him when she was wounded, which led to her acquiring a milder version of his Hulk condition. As such, Walters becomes a large powerful green-hued version of herself while still largely retaining her personality; in particular she retains her intelligence and emotional control, though like Hulk, she still becomes stronger if enraged. In later issues, her transformation is permanent.
She-Hulk has been a member of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, Heroes for Hire, the 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.
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Personality
- 4 Powers and abilities
- 5 Breaking the fourth wall
- 6 Relationships
- 7 Costumes
- 8 Reception
- 9 Other versions
- 10 In other media
- 11 Collected editions
- 12 References
- 13 External links
She-Hulk was created by Stan Lee, who wrote only the first issue, and was the last character he created for Marvel Comics before his return to comics with Ravage 2099 in 1992. The reason behind the character's creation had to do with the success of The Incredible Hulk (1977–82) and Bionic Woman TV series. Afraid that the show's executives would suddenly introduce a female version of the Hulk, as had been done with The Six Million Dollar Man, Marvel decided to publish their own version of such a character to make sure that if a similar one showed up in the TV series, they would own the rights.
All but the first issue of The Savage She-Hulk were written by David Anthony Kraft and penciled by Mike Vosburg, and most issues were inked by Frank Springer. Vosburg later remarked, "The oddest thing about that book was that Frank drew really beautiful women, I drew really beautiful women, and yet, the She-Hulk was never overly attractive." The Savage She-Hulk series lasted until 1982 where it ended with #25 (March 1982). She-Hulk then made guest appearances in other characters' books. Her earliest guest-starring adventures followed no specific story line, besides her recurring bad luck with automobiles. She-Hulk also appeared in the limited series, Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions (June to August 1982), in which numerous superheroes are kidnapped from Earth to fight in space.
She-Hulk becomes a member of the Avengers in Avengers #221 (July 1982). Her early Avengers appearances continued the running gag about her car troubles. She-Hulk also made occasional guest appearances in The Incredible Hulk. Her appearance in Avengers #233 (July 1983) was drawn by John Byrne, who would later become strongly associated with the character.
At the conclusion of the first Secret Wars miniseries, She-Hulk joins the Fantastic Four (Fantastic Four #265, April 1984). During She-Hulk's tenure with the Fantastic Four, she appeared in Marvel Graphic Novel #16: The Aladdin Effect, Marvel Graphic Novel #17: Revenge of the Living Monolith, and Marvel Graphic Novel #18: The Sensational She-Hulk. All three graphic novels appeared in 1985. The last, #18, appearing in November 1985, was written and illustrated by then-Fantastic Four writer/artist John Byrne.
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 Byrne. Byrne's She-Hulk stories satirized comic books and introduced She-Hulk's awareness that she is a comic book character. Two issues tested the limits of the comics code: #34 makes reference to the 1991 Vanity Fair cover in which actress Demi Moore appeared nude (and pregnant); in issue #40 She-Hulk's breasts and genital area are covered by blur lines as she is depicted jumping rope, implying that the character is nude. Other writers to contribute to this series include Steve Gerber (#10, 11, 13–23), Simon Furman, and Peter David.
During Sensational She-Hulk, the character continued making numerous guest appearances. In 1990, She-Hulk appeared in the two-issue limited series She-Hulk: Ceremony.
The Sensational She-Hulk ran until issue #60 (February 1994), making it the longest-running solo title of any Marvel superheroine up to that point. 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), the 1996 miniseries Doc Samson #1–4 (January–April 1996), Heroes for Hire #8 to #19 (February 1998 through the series finale in January 1999), and The Avengers. Her next major appearance was in the May 2002 one-shot titled Thing and She-Hulk: The Long Night.
In May 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 the titles received from their initial cluster-style launch. 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 is 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 had story art by numerous artists, including Vosburg. There was no new artwork by Buscema or Byrne, who were represented by reprints of Sensational She-Hulk #1 and Savage She-Hulk #1.
Dan Slott's last issue is #21; with 33 issues, Slott has written the most solo issues of She-Hulk. Peter David became the new writer with She-Hulk #22. Marvel Comics announced that She-Hulk #38 (February 2009) would be the final issue of the series. Peter David commented on his blog that sales of the book were hurt due to discrepancies between his book and Jeph Loeb's Hulk series, caused by editorial error:
I didn't even know she WAS going to be in Hulk. Had I known, I probably would have done things differently. As it was, there were thousands of readers who were not saying, "Gee, they're portraying her wrong in "Hulk." Instead they were saying, "Why should we care about her hero's journey in her own title when she's obviously gotten over her hostility toward Stark over in Hulk?"
Fictional character biography
Jennifer Walters, the cousin of Bruce Banner (Hulk), is the small and somewhat shy daughter of Los Angeles County Sheriff William Morris Walters and Elaine (née Banner) Walters (who died in a car crash when Jennifer was seventeen). Operatives 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. Like her cousin Bruce, his counterpart, the Leader, Doc Samson, and most other persons mutated by exposure to gamma radiation over the years, her mutated form was originally explained as being molded by her subconscious desire to look like the ideal woman. She eventually gains control of her transformations when Michael Morbius cures her of a lethal blood disease. As a criminal defense lawyer, she defended Dr. Michael Morbius in his trial for his vampiric killings.
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 being transported to Battleworld by the Beyonder and her participation in the Secret Wars, most notable for sparking her long standing rivalry with the newly empowered Titania. After the heroes returned to Earth, she temporarily replaced the Thing as a member of the Fantastic Four.
During her tenure with the Fantastic Four, 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 human 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.
Shortly after that, she appeared before the Supreme Court, where she battled Titania again.
After her Fantastic Four years, She-Hulk rejoined the Avengers for a while. She became hypnotized by the Ringmaster into becoming a performer in his circus, and battled the Headmen. With Spider-Man, she defeated the Headmen and became an assistant District Attorney and began working for New York City district attorney Blake Tower. Here she met Louise "Weezie" Grant Mason, formerly the Golden Age superheroine the Blonde Phantom. She had a long series of unusual encounters including when she battled Doctor Bong, first contended against Xemnu the Titan, encountered "Nick St. Christopher", and encountered "Spragg the Living Hill/Comet". She-Hulk later discovered that Louise 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 returns to the Avengers. Repeated exposure to the presence of her teammate Jack of Hearts, who has the innate ability to absorb radiation that is around him, leads to She-Hulk being unable to control her changes, which resulted in her tearing the Vision in half. It is then revealed that all of the events were caused by the Scarlet Witch. Now, when she is afraid, she not only turns into She-Hulk but her mind became maddened by paranoia and rage. Jennifer flees, fearing that she will endanger her friends and others, leading to the "Search for She-Hulk" storyline.
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, causing her to damage much of 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.
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 then 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 leads 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).[volume & issue needed] This offer is dependent upon Jennifer remaining human while she worked for the firm.
While practicing at GLK&H, Jennifer gradually becomes comfortable as both She-Hulk and Jennifer Walters, realizing that she has much to offer the world in both forms.[volume & issue needed] During one of these adventures she realizes her strength as She-Hulk is dependent on her strength as Walters and works out in her human form. Thus, she exponentially increases her powers as She-Hulk.
She-Hulk registered under the Superhuman Registration Act, and is a supporter of Tony Stark (Iron Man). However, as an attorney, she 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: Clay Quartermain, Agent Crimson, Agent Cheesecake and Agent Beefcake.
World War Hulk
Due to her involvement in S.H.I.E.L.D., She-Hulk derives a bit of information suggesting that the organization knows of her cousin's whereabouts. Anticipating a problem, Tony Stark has 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: She-Hulk would have just pummeled him, 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 discs 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 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. 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.
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.
At an unspecified time after World War Hulk, She-Hulk assists Tony Stark with Emil Blonsky's murder investigation. While in Stark's Helicarrier she is attacked and beaten by the Red Hulk, but vows to get even for the deliberate humiliation. She later helps to prevent casualties in San Francisco after the Red Hulk caused an earthquake in the area, and assembles Thundra and Valkyrie together to capture him.
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; 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.[volume & issue needed] Afterwards, she continued to aid team leader Nighthawk for a brief time.[volume & issue needed] That was until she was fully able to join the team on Nighthawk's request and that it would be away from the Initiative.[volume & issue needed]
During the Skrull takeover of Earth during Secret Invasion, She-Hulk and Jazinda hunt down a member of the Skrulls who functions as their religious leader. X-Factor initially impedes her progress, but they part ways on uncertain terms. She-Hulk and Jazinda capture the Skrull and the two heroines take the Skrull to New York, where they encounter the Super-Skrull, Kl'rt. Kl'rt came to kill his daughter, Jazinda, going so far as to shoot her in the head. Due to her regenerative properties, Jazinda was still not fully dead. The Skrull religious leader wants to completely remove her regenerative ability but Kl'rt stops him after She-Hulk pleads to his fatherly nature, tapping into his guilt for not being able to save his son who had died in a previous war.[volume & issue needed]
Some time after the Skrull invasion is defeated the country of Marinmer suffers a devastating earthquake. Because the victims of the earthquake are members of a minority religious group the Marinmer government has confiscated all humanitarian aid packages, and because of Marinmer's strong ties to powerful countries such as China and Russia other nations refuse to intervene for fear of sparking a war. She-Hulk and several members of the Lady Liberators secretly enter Marinmer intending to steal the confiscated aid packages and distribute them to the earthquake victims. The Winter Guard attempts to stop them but gives up after seeing the plight of the earthquake victims. Afterwards the US government attempts to arrest She-Hulk for her actions in Marinmer but drops the charges to avoid political embarrassment. With public opinion overwhelmingly in her favor She-Hulk seems poised to get her legal license back when Jazinda is captured by the Behemoth after he mistakenly attacks her, thinking she is the real She-Hulk. Jazinda is then taken to a government lab and brutally experimented on when her ability to resurrect herself from the dead is discovered. Jazinda contacts She-Hulk telepathically through a secretly implanted mind reading device and warns her that the government will be coming to question her about their relationship. Jazinda tells She-Hulk to say she didn't know Jazinda was a Skrull and just before going dead/unconscious tells She-Hulk "I've always l...". She-Hulk tries to keep up the denial but when she sees Jazinda about to be vivisected she loses control and breaks Jazinda out. The Behemoth tries to stop her but She-Hulk defeats him with the help of the Lady Liberators. Later it is revealed that Mallory Book, her former boss, was behind all the bad things happening to She-Hulk along with a group called "Fourth Wall". Yet when she saw She-Hulk risk herself to save her Skrull friend Book "canceled" the plan.
In the 4-Part issue "All-New Savage She-Hulk", Jennifer fights Lyra, the alternate reality daughter of Hulk and Thundra after she comes to the Earth-616 reality for the DNA of the strongest man. While Jennifer and Lyra were fighting, Sentry tosses her away believing the man Lyra is referring to is him. She-Hulk later returns, enraged, and pummels the Sentry into the ground. She then helps Lyra escape from the Avengers Tower.
In Incredible Hulk #600, Jennifer tasks Ben Urich to discover the identity of Rulk. She informs him that she is unable to as she has asked too many questions to the wrong people. She has Urich bring a photographer (Peter Parker), and meets him along with her insider, Doc Samson, and they venture into a S.H.I.E.L.D. Base that is actually a front for A.I.M. and General Ross's Gamma Power Super Soldier Program. Leonard Samson then appears to have a breakdown but in reality he is changing into Samson. Samson claims to be stronger and faster (and is larger in size, has longer hair and a lightning-bolt scar) than Jennifer. The clashing duo are subdued by MODOK and the facility explodes in the aftermath of a fight between Rulk and Hulk; Jennifer, Samson (who has reverted to Leonard) and Rulk are caught in the explosion.
Jennifer's status is unknown and Rulk does not reveal anything to Urich when the two meet a second time.
While She-Hulk is M.I.A., the Red She-Hulk makes her first appearance where she claims Jennifer Walters to be dead. It was later shown in a flashback that Red She-Hulk prevented Jennifer Walters from escaping from AIM custody. During this battle, Red She-Hulk brutally beat Jennifer and snapped her neck with a cable. In the last panel Jennifer Walters appeared to be dead with the Red She-Hulk standing over her body. Though the Red She-Hulk claims she didn't know her own strength then questions Doc Samson whether it was the real She-Hulk or a Life-Model Decoy to which Samson answers "You're here to follow orders, not to ask questions". Lyra later infiltrates the Intelligencia, where she finds Jennifer in stasis. Following a brief fight with the Red She-Hulk, the three decide to team up to take down Intelligencia's forces.
Following the defeat of Intelligencia, Jennifer begins travelling with her cousin Bruce, Skaar, Korg, Rick Jones, and Betty Ross. Shortly after the events of World War Hulks, Skaar becomes aware that his brother, Hiro-Kala, is approaching and that he intends to crash the planet K'ai into the Earth – She-Hulk is on the team as they manage to successfully avert disaster but upon returning to Earth, they find the world in flames as it is in the grasp of the Chaos War. They journey to Hell itself, where they fight and defeat the Chaos King but upon returning to a now restored Earth, they are greeted as monsters.[volume & issue needed]
At some point before or after these events, Jennifer and Lyra settle in New York, where Lyra begins to attend high school in an attempt to gain an understanding of humanity as it occurs in this timeline. As well as helping to integrate Lyra into society, they are also involved in trying to round up the remaining members of the Intelligencia.[volume & issue needed]
They manage to round up the Intelligencia but the Wizard is able to escape imprisonment and goes after Lyra at her high school prom, almost killing her before She-Hulk intervenes, knocking out Wizard but not before Lyra's secret identity has been compromised. The rest of the pupils turn on Lyra as a result of her prom date being injured and the endangerment of everyone at the dance. She-Hulk explains to her afterwards that they have to leave and that despite being heroes, the life of a Hulk is often lonely.[volume & issue needed]
The character's personality has changed over the years: originally ill-tempered and violent, she is now depicted as a fun-loving, kind, empathetic, yet still feisty woman who frequently uses humor when fighting. She has stated that she does not want to kill her foes, especially ones which she has already subdued.
She has also started and led her own disaster relief organization, and felt great remorse for almost destroying a small town (due to her transformed state briefly turning uncontrollable from radiation), whereupon she helped construction workers to rebuild it.
As a highly idealistic lawyer, the character has a history of defending the rights of minorities, the mentally ill, civil liberties, including the right for criminals to not be unduly mistreated and get a proper defense, or individuals to not be victimised by certain less ethical corporations, but also a belief in the necessity of law and order. These priorities have sometimes made her personally conflicted, such as reversing her stance regarding the "Superhuman Registration Act"; and being disillusioned when her more famous cousin (whom she considers as a brother) was shot into space without due process, or when what she thought to be a torturer and murderer of children was cleared from all charges.
In an interview former She-Hulk writer Peter David describes her as follows: "She-Hulk has the potential to be our Wonder Woman. A powerful female with a strong moral center and a determination to do what's right. She's also a unique combination of brains and brawn. The ideal She-Hulk story is one that plays on both aspects of her make-up, the intelligence combined with her strength."
Powers and abilities
A transfusion of gamma-irradiated blood from her cousin Bruce Banner (the Hulk) granted Jennifer Walters superhuman powers. In her She-Hulk form, she possesses enormous superhuman strength, that potentially makes her, by far, the physically strongest known woman in the Marvel Universe when her emotional state is sufficiently high.
Although She-Hulk's strength originally remained at a set level and did not increase, later in her history her strength has sporadically been stated to increase further from fear, or anger, similar to her cousin. In addition the character possesses superhuman speed, agility, stamina, and reflexes.
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. After being defeated by the Champion of the Universe, She-Hulk exercised for several months in her Jennifer Walters form, resulting in a significant gain in strength and muscular mass in her She-Hulk form and allowing her to soundly defeat the Champion in a rematch. At this time she was able to effortlessly sustain the Thing's maximum weight with a single arm, while her strength was greatly restrained by a "Jupiter suit," and she was shown as considerably stronger than Hercules. Her calm strength level has since receded, but remains somewhat higher than, for example, Wonder Man. Similarly to her cousin, her powers can also greatly increase by absorbing radiation.
She-Hulk's body is superhumanly durable and nearly impervious to force, pain, and disease: her skin can withstand extremes of temperature, as well as tremendous stresses and impacts without puncture wounds or lacerations. 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.
Unlike Hulk, Jennifer's personality and intelligence are less affected when she transforms into She-Hulk, although she becomes more self-confident and assertive. For a long time, She-Hulk could not revert to her original human form.
Due to training from the alien Ovoids, She-Hulk is able to swap powers and physiques with other human women, but retains her green skin pigmentation, and only used it once.
Due to the Hulk's wish, Jennifer can now switch between her human and hulk forms at will.
For a time, thanks to a hex cast by the Scarlet Witch, anyone who wished She-Hulk harm could not recognize her as Jennifer, but harmful side effects forced Jennifer to seek the assistance of Doctor Strange to remove the hex.
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. She once displayed sufficient knowledge of acupressure to render the Abomination insensate by striking several nerve clusters after first using psychology to distract him.
The character is also a skilled and experienced attorney who attended UCLA School of Law, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif, a national merit society for top legal scholars. 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 successfully adjudicating the merits of her own Universe to continue existing (opposed by the Ultimate Marvel Universe) before the Living Tribunal.
She is a skilled pilot and has previously used a modified 1995 Dodge automobile equipped with technology enabling flight in Earth's atmosphere and in outer space for limited distances, although it is incapable of interstellar flight.
Breaking the fourth wall
For a time, starting with the Sensational She-Hulk series by John Byrne in 1989, She-Hulk was portrayed with a form of "cross-dimensional" or metafictional awareness, to break the fourth wall. In some stories, she showed an awareness of being a comic book character, with visuals of her "tearing the page" or "walking 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, Uatu the Watcher (who narrates a majority of the issues of What If by speaking directly to the reader) 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 – 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 She-Hulk works.
If She-Hulk defeats Deadpool as the final opponent in Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, she will say "You know, if this game were made in 1991, I'd be the one whacking YOU with a health bar". This references Deadpool's Fourth Wall-breaking hyper move, where he attacks the opponent with his own life bar, as well as the character's rise in popularity in recent years. In the game's update Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, if Deadpool is her first opponent before the match starts, she will claim that she can break the fourth wall as well. If she defeats him as her last opponent She-Hulk will threaten to beat him in Marvel vs Capcom 4 if the game is ever made.
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. However, this encounter was later retold in flashback, 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, similarly to She-Hulk's own encounter with Starfox. Jennifer concluded that her interaction with Starfox had not been consensual after hearing this testimony, but she later discovered that he 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. 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 (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 and be medically examined as a "potential threat like her cousin". This was all filmed for personal arousal purposes, before Dum Dum Dugan put a stop to the harassment. Although She-Hulk put forward a brave exterior during those incidents, she was actually quite shaken and 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. 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 both the suddenness of She-Hulk's strengthened feelings for Jameson as well as 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 Power Man while both were on the Heroes for Hire team. She resisted dating an "ex-con" but after a scuffle with Titania and Absorbing Man where Cage aided her she reconsidered. The relationship never developed but a friendship between them was formed.
After Jennifer broke up with John Jameson (but before he signed the annulment) she had flings with Clay Quartermain and Tony Stark, and even made a pass at Wolverine. Wolverine rebuffs her, saying he has no wish to "chase after Juggernaut's sloppy seconds." She-Hulk repeatedly vehemently denies sleeping with the Juggernaut (as a wanted criminal who has attempted to murder her cousin), despite the two previously being shown in bed together. It is revealed that Juggernaut had, in fact, bedded a She-Hulk from an alternate universe. An out of continuity tongue-in-cheek mini-chapter later spoofs this, by jokingly showing the two characters as passionately in love.
Perhaps her longest crush is on Hercules who she has repeated dreams about. However, after fighting demons together, she rebuffs Hercules' advances, seeing him as a muscle-bound oaf. After Hercules jovially smacks her bottom, She-Hulk sends him through a brick wall, and says she will relegate the idea of a relationship with him to fantasy, as she finds the reality disappointing. Despite this, years afterwards they eventually sleep together.
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, dark green, almost-black hair.
In her first appearance, She-Hulk was a massive, towering figure, with wild, untamed, waist-length hair. She wore a ragged white dress or blouse (the dress ripping and tearing as Walters turned into her giant alter ego). That white garment, which was often only the blouse that Walters had on before her transformation, always covered her upper body and midsection (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.
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.
She-Hulk was ranked as the 104th greatest comic book character of all time by Wizard magazine. IGN also placed her as the 88th greatest comic book hero of all time stating that plenty of heroes have gained female sidekicks over the years, but few of these ladies have so capably managed to escape the shadow of their namesakes as She-Hulk. UGO Networks also placed her as one of the top heroes of entertainment stating that "If nothing else, she has proven to have a longer shelf life than Spider-Woman (who is also in no way a cheap marketing ploy)". She-Hulk was ranked 11th in Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list.
She-Hulk is seen as one of the last few Avengers fighting the entity called Charnel. It had been tormenting her 2020 earth for decades; she had spent two of those years partnered with Rhino. She is killed in action during the defeat of Charnel.
In the DC/Marvel crossover JLA/Avengers, She-Hulk first appears being brainwashed by Starro when the Avengers battle her, grabbing a startled Ms. Marvel by her leg, before the latter blasts her away. She later assists the Avengers in the subsequent hunt for the twelve artifacts needed to trap the DC villain Krona, first battling Aquaman in Asgard, and later in the Savage Land with the rest of the heroes. During the final battle against Krona and his forces, she assists Wonder Woman in her battle against Surtur, and eventually appears at the end as one of the heroes that started out the entire event.
A teenaged version of She-Hulk appears as one of the main protagonists of Marvel Her-oes, an all-ages series. In this continuity, she is the best friend of Janet van Dyne, and is unaware that she possesses superpowers.
In the Marvel Zombies universe, She-Hulk is seen exiting Avengers Mansion already zombified. She is later seen being restrained by the 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 and also obliterating her zombified body.
Ultimate Jennifer Walters
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 named Jennifer.
Old Man Logan
In other media
- She-Hulk appears in the 1982 animated The Incredible Hulk series broadcast on NBC, voiced by Victoria Carroll.
- She-Hulk was announced as co-star of a 1989 made-for-TV film headlining the Incredible Hulk, the third reunion/sequel to the live-action Incredible Hulk series with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno reprising their roles. Although no specific title or actress was announced, in early July of that year it was still firmly expected to air that autumn. A third Hulk telefilm did appear in February 1990 without any additional Marvel character adapted. A year later, a proposed She-Hulk series for the ABC network was "dead."
- She-Hulk made a brief cameo with other members of The Avengers in the 1994 Fantastic Four animated series episodes "To Battle the Living Planet" and "Doomsday".
- She-Hulk appears in the 1996 The Incredible Hulk animated series, voiced by Lisa Zane in season one and Cree Summer in season two. Although she appears in only two episodes in season one, She-Hulk takes center stage in season two to the point that the new season renamed the series The Incredible Hulk and the She-Hulk.
- She-Hulk appears in the episode "The Cure" of the 2006 Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes TV series, voiced by Rebecca Shoichet.
- In addition to being in the series two opening titles, She-Hulk appears in The Super Hero Squad Show episode So Pretty when they Explode, voiced by Katee Sackhoff.
- She-Hulk appears as one of the main characters in Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., voiced by Eliza Dushku. In the show, Jennifer Walters is a stunt pilot in her civilian identity.
- After the two television projects for She-Hulk described failed to materialize, a live-action motion picture was planned in the early 1990s, with Larry Cohen as writer and director. Ten months later, Brigitte Nielsen was announced as set to play the role in Cohen's film. She even posed for photos dressed both as She-Hulk and her alter ego Jennifer Walters.
- She-Hulk is a playable character in the 1997 side-scrolling beat 'em up PlayStation game Fantastic Four game.
- She-Hulk appears as a mini-boss in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, voiced by Alicia Coppola. She-Hulk is also a playable character, exclusively on the Nintendo DS version.
- She-Hulk appears in the Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet video game, voiced by Cree Summer.
- She-Hulk appears in the crossover fighting game Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds as a playable character, voiced by María Canals Barrera. She-Hulk later appears in the game's standalone update, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
- She-Hulk appears in the MMORPG Marvel Heroes as a non-playable character, voiced by Mary Faber.
- She-Hulk appears as table artwork characters in two virtual pinball games for Pinball FX 2 released by Zen Studios. The games she appears in are based on the Infinity Gauntlet and Civil War storylines.
- She-Hulk is a playable character in Marvel Avengers Alliance Tactics.
- There have been numerous She-Hulk toys over the years, most frequently 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 Comic-Con.
- In 2008, a Savage She-Hulk figure was released as part of the Marvel Legends line. The figure—dressed in a long tattered dress—is reworked from Hasbro's Shanna figure.
The stories have been collected into a number of trade paperbacks:
|Title||Page count||Material collected||Publication date||ISBN|
|Essential The Savage She-Hulk||552||The Savage She-Hulk #1–25||July 2006||ISBN 0-7851-2335-0|
|The Sensational She-Hulk||191||The Sensational She-Hulk #1–8||September 1992||ISBN 0-87135-892-1|
|The Sensational She-Hulk||200||The Sensational She-Hulk #1–8, Marvel Comics Presents #18||April 2011||ISBN 0-78515-306-3|
|Avengers: The Search for She-Hulk||136||Avengers (vol. 3) #71–76||May 2004||ISBN 0-7851-1202-2|
|She-Hulk: Volume 1: Single Green Female||136||She-Hulk (2004 series) #1–6||November 2004||ISBN 0-7851-1443-2|
|She-Hulk: Volume 2: Superhuman Law||144||She-Hulk (2004 series) #7–12||May 2005||ISBN 0-7851-1570-6|
|She-Hulk: Volume 3: Time Trials||136||She-Hulk (2005 series) #1–5,||July 2006||ISBN 0-7851-1795-4|
|She-Hulk: Volume 4: Laws of Attraction||192||She-Hulk (2005 series) #6–13||March 2007||ISBN 0-7851-2218-4|
|She-Hulk: Volume 5: Planet Without a Hulk||192||She-Hulk (2005 series) #14–21||November 2007||ISBN 0-7851-2399-7|
|She-Hulk: Volume 6: Jaded||152||She-Hulk (2005 series) #22–27||September 2008 (softcover)
May 2008 (hardcover)
|ISBN 0-7851-2563-9 (softcover)
ISBN 0-7851-3222-8 (hardcover)
|She-Hulk: Volume 7: Here Today...||112||She-Hulk (2005 series) #28–30, "She-Hulk: Cosmic Collision"||March 2009||ISBN 0-7851-2966-9|
|She-Hulk: Volume 8: Secret Invasion||120||She-Hulk (2005 series) #31–33, X-Factor #34–35||April 2009||ISBN 0-7851-3180-9|
|She-Hulk: Volume 9: Lady Liberators||128||She-Hulk (2005 series) #34–38||July 2009||ISBN 0-7851-4114-6|
|She-Hulk by Dan Slott: The Complete Collection: Volume 1||416||She-Hulk (2004 series) #1-12, She-Hulk (2005 series) #1-5||February 2014||ISBN 0-7851-5440-X|
|She-Hulk by Dan Slott: The Complete Collection: Volume 2||384||She-Hulk (2005 series) #6-21, Marvel Westerns: Two-Gun Kid||May 2014||ISBN 0-7851-5470-1|
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