Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk, is set to make her MCU debut in the Disney+ series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law on August 17th, but her comic book counterpart has an on-the-page history that dates back to 1980 when she first featured in The Savage She-Hulk #1.
There is far more to She-Hulk than the superhuman powers of speed, strength, and durability, though. She not only has connections to many well-known Marvel heroes but has taken center stage in several solo comics runs, developing her personality and giving comic book fans more insight into the life of the lawyer and Avenger.
Updated on July 26th, 2022 by Stacie Rook: The release of the latest She-Hulk: Attorney at Law trailer has given Marvel fans better insight into what the series will bring to the MCU, including many aspects of the character that are integral to her comic book persona. From team-ups to character quirks, Jennifer Walters has had a long and intriguing comic book history.
Bruce Banner’s Cousin
Jennifer Walters’ origins as the She-Hulk came about because of her connection to Bruce Banner, who is her maternal cousin.
Jennifer’s earliest appearances see her critically injured by a mobster, and so in an effort to save her life, Bruce provides aid in the form of a blood transfusion. The gamma radiation which instigated Bruce’s transformation into the Incredible Hulk was then passed on and had the same effect on Jennifer, and so the hero She-Hulk was created.
Member Of The Fantastic Four
She-Hulk has been associated with the Fantastic Four for many years, and has been a part of the team twice, first in the 1980s, and later again in the 2010s.
One of the best alternate members of the Fantastic Four, her first showing as part of the team came about in the aftermath of the original Secret Wars event when she acted as the Thing’s replacement while he was occupied elsewhere. She was later chosen to be his replacement once more when the core Fantastic Four team set off on a journey through space and time, showing the connection and trust she has with them.
Before the character of Deadpool had even made his comic book debut, She-Hulk had been established as a character who broke the fourth wall, showing self-awareness that she existed within a comic and directly addressing the audience.
Although this ability and quirk of her character has not been engaged with so much in recent years, her solo series in the late 1980s — written by John Byrne — often saw the character talking to the writer, audience, or editor of the comic, while making quips about the construction of comic book stories as a genre and her place within them.
Leader of A-Force
First created as part of the 2015 Secret Wars event, the all-female hero team A-Force made their debut in an alternate reality, as protectors of the city of Arcadia, led by She-Hulk.
The team’s popularity later meant that they crossed over into the main comic book continuity, but even as their roster has grown and changed, She-Hulk remains one of the most powerful members of A-Force. As the team’s leader, she commanded the respect of her teammates, not only because of her powers but because she could be called on to both make tough decisions and comfort those who needed it.
A Lawyer With High-Profile Cases
Alongside her history as She-Hulk, another important facet of Jennifer Walters’ character is her career as a lawyer, and she often uses her knowledge and connections to the superhero world to represent super-powered clients.
One such case had Jennifer up against fellow hero and lawyer Matt Murdock in a trial where she is set to defend an elderly Steve Rogers concerning something that happened in World War II. The pair of lawyers have been asked by Steve himself to do their best on their respective sides of the case, and the storyline really shows how important Jennifer’s law career is to her.
Friendship With Hellcat
She-Hulk has a friendship with Patsy Walker, also known as Hellcat, that stretches back to her earliest comic book appearances, but in recent years the pair’s connection has been explored in greater depth.
One of many characters who should appear in Disney+’s She-Hulk, a version of Hellcat has already been seen in the MCU in Jessica Jones, but her dynamic with Jennifer remains a compelling part of the character not yet seen on screen. Aside from being long-time best friends, Walker has worked for Jennifer as a private investigator, which could be a way to bridge the gap between the dark version of the character in Jessica Jones and She-Hulk’s lighter tone.
A Stan Lee Creation
It was ultimately a calculated move from Marvel that led to She-Hulk’s creation, as the company wanted to ensure that if a female version of the Hulk was created by TV executives for the then-airing The Incredible Hulk series, Marvel would have the rights to the character.
She-Hulk’s creation was then put in the hands of Marvel legend Stan Lee, who wrote the first issue of her solo series. Despite these origins, She-Hulk has grown to be a well-loved hero who stands apart from her cousin and has continually proven her worth as a character over the years in a variety of team and solo stories that show her complexity.
Differences To The Hulk
There are myriad awesome She-Hulk storylines that could be adapted for the Disney+ show, with many showing how Jennifer Walters differs from her cousin the Hulk.
For example, in quite a few of She-Hulk’s more recent solo outings, the character is shown as staying in her green form at all times, a feat she is able to pull off because she retains her personality and intelligence all the while, in contrast to Bruce’s usual experience as the Hulk. Additionally, while both heroes have had arcs that show them struggling to control their powers, Jennifer has historically been able to have more influence over them.
Rivalry With Titania
Confirmed to appear in the She-Hulk Disney+ series, Titania is a character who has been depicted as both a villain and antihero and has upheld a rivalry with She-Hulk.
Titania, whose real name is Mary MacPherran, gained her own set of superhuman powers, including immense strength, through a deal she made with Doctor Doom. In her later work for Doom, Titania comes across She-Hulk and bests her in battle, which kickstarts their rivalry. The two women share strength-based superpower-skillsets that make them well-matched, and both have experienced hardship in adjusting to these powers.
Superhero Team Regular
Despite the fact that She-Hulk has often been written in solo series, she is also a big team player, as evidenced by her place on teams like the Avengers and the Defenders.
In addition to being on these rosters, Jennifer has also worked for organizations like S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Future Foundation, showing both her willingness to become part of a larger force to fight for good and her determination to only align herself with those who represent her own morals as a hero.
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