With the rapidly ever-expanding roster of super hero characters making their way to the silver screen or on Television, I hold out hope that She-Hulk makes her debut sooner or later. She's the cousin of the Not-So-Jolly Green Giant and can very easily transition into one of the greatest female characters in Super Hero Cinema. She's powerful. She's incredibly intelligent. She is confident and respected in both her towering Jade Gigantess personae, or as her sharp as a tack legal eagle alter ego Jennifer Walters. Let's get to know this Sensational character a little more, and find out for yourself why she should be one of the next break out stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
Normally, I’m not a big fan of female pastiches of already established male superheroes. I prefer heroines that have their own identity, and stand apart from their male counterparts. Cue my exception to the rule: the Sensationally Savage She-Hulk! Created in 1980 by the immortal Stan Lee and the legendary John Buscema, She-Hulk entered the comic fray following in the footsteps of Spider-Woman, who had debuted and had a modicum of success a couple of years prior.
The character’s alter-ego is Jennifer Walters, the cousin of Marvel’s gamma irradiated goliath the Incredible Hulk (actually his alter ego of puny Banner). While visiting his cousin in California, Bruce Banner witnesses Jennifer get gunned down by mobsters. It turns out that Jen is a hotshot lawyer and is building a case against a nefarious mobster, the boss’s cronies tracked her down and tried to put her out of commission — permanently! Watching her bleed out, Bruce couldn't stand idly by waiting for help, so he jimmied a transfusion apparatus and transferred his blood to his dying cousin. RAWR! Banner’s gamma infused blood reacted to Jennifer’s on a cellular level and turned her into a very scorned woman — 7ft tall, green and savage — but scorned nonetheless.
Unlike her cousin Bruce, however, Jennifer was able to retain her mental faculties and intelligence when she transforms into the She-Hulk. Normally meek, timid, and mild mannered in her natural human form, Jennifer becomes uninhibited, overtly sexual and flirty, and far more daring when she transforms into the She-Hulk. In fact, Jennifer enjoys her lifestyle so much as She-Hulk that she often chooses to remain in that form for extended periods of time — sometimes for months.
SHE-HULK – AVENGER
She-Hulk’s initial comic book run lasted 20 something issues. Realizing the potential for good stories centred around her larger than life personality, writers Jim Shooter and David Michelinie and artist Bob Hall, recruited her for membership in the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes; and in Avengers #221 She-Hulk joined the team. It proved to be a good selection as her ultra-feminist attitudes clashed beautifully with fellow bow slinging Avenger Clint Barton, the brash and egotistical Hawkeye. She also provided the team with some much needed muscle when the villainous Masters of Evil attacked the Avengers, and also with Thor‘s brief departure soon after. She-Hulk continued as an Avenger for almost 2 years and mysteriously left the team once the mighty heroes returned from the interstellar Secret Wars in Avengers #243 (1984).
SHE-HULK – FANTASTIC FOUR
When all of the heroes returned from the Secret Wars, many notable changes had occurred to characters and super teams inexplicably — the mini-series was actually a flashback and was released months later, thus driving eager beaver readers crazy with anticipation for explanations as to why Spider-Man was now wearing an all-black costume, and other changes…including She-Hulk defecting from the Avengers to the Fantastic Four! It turns out, Ben Grimm — the blue-eyed ever lovin’ Thing was having problems with his powers and kept reverting to his human form at inopportune times and for extended periods of time. Wanting to soul search and figure out his predicament, he decided to remain on the Beyonder‘s mosaic Secret Wars world when everyone was sent back. Having battled alongside her during the War, Grimm elected She-Hulk as his replacement on the team. She lasted more than two and a half years and almost 30 issues in her first stint with that team.
She-Hulk has rejoined the Avengers and the Fantastic Four on several occasions throughout the years, proving to be a valuable and formidable team-mate. She has had several solo titles, of differing calibre, but she always seems to be at her best when flexing her gamma gams with other superheroes.
DEFINING MOMENT – SHE-HULK BUSTS OUT!
If ever there was a one and done story featuring She-Hulk that could be easily adapted for film or television, is Marvel Graphic Novel #18: The Sensational She-Hulk. The book was written and illustrated by 80’s stalwart John Byrne (some of my favorite of his work to be honest). In the book, She-Hulk and her beau Wyatt Wingfoot get picked up by S.H.I.E.L.D. after a mistaken altercation with some armoured agents in down-town New York. There is also a side-story of some alien cockroaches that possess bodies and are charged by radioactivity.
Eventually, the two stories converge and it’s up to She-Hulk to SMASH things up right and save the day! While in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, one of the commanding officers –a real jerkwad named Dooley — forces She-Hulk to strip naked and later puts her through a disturbing torture body search. But the Jade Gigantess handles it all in stride and Dooley (the dirty roach) gets it back in spades! All-in-all a great graphic novel, and an exciting part of She-Hulk’s colourful history and would be absolutely incredible to see in live action format.
So get on it MARVEL!