She-Hulk has been ranked as one of the top 20 most powerful Avengers, ranking higher than Captain America and Luke Cage, yet there are still a lot of things that are unknown about the character. She shares many of the same abilities as her cousin Bruce Banner when he is in his Hulk form, but her control over her ability makes her, arguably, a more valuable asset than the Hulk.
This is evident in her multiple team memberships, from the Avengers, to the Fantastic Four, to the Lady Liberators, Jen Walters has repeatedly shown that she is a team player with a level head, displaying both teamwork and leadership skills.
Fans and regular readers of She-Hulk will likely be able to rhyme off this list as if it’s common knowledge, but the fact is, She-Hulk doesn’t have that widespread recognition that her male counterpart receives. Everyone knows the Hulk. He’s been a mainstay in pop culture for over 40 years, but since She-Hulk is yet to appear in her own movie or TV show, so for the most part, only comic readers and video game fans will be aware of her excellence.
Here are 15 Things You Didn’t Know About She-Hulk.
15. She-Hulk was created to retain a trademark
In the late 1970s, The Incredible Hulk TV movie and subsequent TV series garnered a lot of popularity from both fans of Incredible Hulk comics and non-readers alike. Predictably, this lead to a lot of rumors that the studios involved were thinking of creating a female version of the green monster, in order to appeal to multiple demographics through both shows.
Marvel got wind of this rumor and decided that they had to get there first in order to protect their interests. Thus, She-Hulk was born. Stan Lee and John Buscema created the Jade Giantess in late 1979/early 1980, releasing the Savage She-Hulk #1, and filing the trademark before CBS could, beating them to the punch.
14. She’s A Bruin
She-Hulk’s past isn’t Fantastic, it’s not Amazing, and it’s not even Incredible – it’s academic. Jennifer Walters is an alum of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She studied in the same halls as the likes of Rob Reiner, Mayim Bialik, and George Takei.
Part of the appeal of Marvel Comics, for many fans, is that that the universe is rooted in some sort of pseudo-reality that can be likened to our own. Many of the flagship characters were based in real-life places within New York City, likely due to the creators working from within the bullpen in the Marvel offices.
This certainly isn’t the first time UCLA has been used to contribute to pop-culture. Its campus has famously been used in the past by Hollywood and television studios. It’s refreshing to have a Marvel character’s backstory not be rooted in the Big Apple like so many others, but we’re still thankful she eventually made New York City her home.
13. She Has A Law Degree
Like her cousin, She-Hulk has two sides to her – the career Avenger and the former UCLA student, Jennifer Walters. Unlike the Hulk, though, she has full control while in She-Hulk form and has access to all the brain power she gained while earning her law degree.
Thanks to this little extra upside to her abilities, it’s not uncommon to see Jennifer Walters show up to court Hulked-out and in business dress. The confidence gained while in her green form obviously helps her while performing her duties as legal counsel, and it’s definitely a show of force to the opposing counsel.
This side of Jen is a huge part of She-Hulk comics. Like with Daredevil, readers won’t just be treated to some ass-kicking and the dishing-out of street justice, they’ll also see court appearances that rival any courtroom drama on the small screen. Both titles have also benefited from the skills of writer/New York City attorney Charles Soule.
12. Her law firm is named after comic legends
The Marvel Universe’s other fictional law firm, Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg, and Holliway, has taken on many cases within the pages of She-Hulk, from Spider-Man vs The Daily Bugle, to Howard the Duck vs Lucas (in which Howard wanted to sue George Lucas over movie rights).
The firm is located in Timely Plaza, New York City (a clear nod to the publishers’ pre-Marvel Comics name). It gains its name from Martin Goodman (Marvel’s first publisher), Stan Lee (whose original surname was Lieber), and Jack Kirby (who was born Jacob Kurtzberg), with Holden Holliway appearing as the fourth member in 2004’s She-Hulk #1 when he hired She-Hulk. The caveat being that she operates as Jennifer Walters in order to avoid swaying juries with the large, green reminder of her past heroics.
During this time at GLK&H, she finds out that her strength while in her She-Hulk form is directly affected by how strong she is as a human, leading to Jen starting to train in her human form, increasing her She-Hulk strength exponentially.
11. Awesome Andy
Although not strictly being a piece of She-Hulk trivia, Awesome Andy is certainly worth a mention. During Dan Slott’s run on the comic, readers were re-introduced to the character as he transitioned from mindless slave of the Mad Thinker, to heroic admin clerk in the firm where Jen works.
In a run in with Thor, Awesome Android copied the God’s nobility, which sparked independent thought within his mind and allowed him to choose not to follow the Mad Thinker’s orders. With his newfound sentience, Andy set about building a legal case in his defense, and he sought out the services of GLK&H, later working for them in lieu of payment.
Awesome Andy also helped Jen after Southpaw (Granddaughter of the H in GLK&H) was placed in her custody. She-Hulk essentially used Andy as a free babysitter for the young criminal, but Andy didn’t seem to mind.
10. The Fifth Member Of The Fantastic Four
After the events of Secret Wars (1984), Ben Grimm stayed on “Battleworld” for a few months longer than the rest of the heroes, leaving the Fantastic Four with a vacancy. It was proposed that She-Hulk take his place, no doubt owing to the fact that, like The Thing, she was one of the heaviest hitters around.
She was introduced as a full-fledged member of Marvel’s first family in 1984 with Fantastic Four #265, with her first day shown in #266 when she is at the hospital with Sue Storm after the latter collapsed due to pregnancy complications.
However, these weren’t her first appearances in an FF comic. It was in the pages of Fantastic Four #254 where John Byrne wrote and drew She-Hulk as a character for the first time, later going on to produce some of the most iconic stories in She-Hulk’s history.
9. Leader Of The A-Force
Marvel fans were “treated” to another Secret Wars in 2015. During the not-so-great crossover, the main Marvel Universe merged with many other alternate realities, creating a patchwork universe where there can exist more than one version of certain characters. Spinning out of Secret Wars (2015), and as part of the crossover event, G. Willow Wilson, Marguerite Bennett, and Jorge Molina created A-Force – an all-female team of Avengers who were led by She-Hulk.
When the universes merged into one after Secret Wars, Singularity awoke on Earth-616 (the main universe) and made attempts to unite the 616-versions of her team. She was successful in bringing a handful together to fight Antimatter – Captain Marvel, Medusa, Dazzler, Nico Minoru, and She-Hulk, who would become leader of the team.
8. Fourth Wall
As we have mentioned before, She-Hulk was breaking the fourth wall long before Deadpool. Jen’s “comic awareness” was mostly seen during John Byrne’s run on Sensational She-Hulk. Readers have seen her interact with the writer and the editorial team on numerous occasions, but her fourth wall breaks aren’t exclusive to her own comics.
In 1998’s Heroes for Hire #14, for example, She-Hulk is seen firing the narrator for being pretty useless. The narrator protests and tries to convince her that it’s Stan Lee, Stan Lee’s girlfriend, and Monika Lewinsky (it was the late ’90s), all of which takes place in front of Luke Cage and Scott Lang (Ant-Man). They’re only hearing She-Hulk’s side of things, however, as she talks to, from their perspective, nobody.
7. The Blood Transfusion
Any article you encounter about the Jade Giantess, She-Hulk, will mention that she got her powers from a blood transfusion, but let’s go into a little more detail.
In Savage She-Hulk #1, crime boss, Nicholas Trask had come up against Morris Walters, Jen’s father and the local Sheriff. In true legal defender style, Jen was trying to protect one of Trask’s men after the villain had double-crossed him, as he intended to provide evidence against his former boss.
In a moment of serendipity, this all happened on a day that Bruce Banner was in town visiting his family. After the botched first attempt on Jen’s life, Trask sent a few of his men to finish the job, but they were caught by surprise. Thanks to Banner’s gamma-irradiated blood transfusion, Jen’s abilities manifested at that moment, with the goons exclaiming, “It’s some kinda she-hulk!” Jen trapped them to make them easy for the police to pick up, and she ended up keeping the name. And thus, She-Hulk was born.
6. Immune To Telepathy
Like her cousin, The Hulk, She-Hulk also has telepathic resistance. This is a skill that certainly comes in handy in the Marvel Universe, as there are a high number of mutants with telepathic abilities. Professor X, Emma Frost, Jean Grey, Psylocke, Quentin Quire… the list is seemingly endless.
She-Hulk’s power may be due, in part, to her fourth wall awareness, as Deadpool is also immune to telepathy, and both character’s regularly break the fourth wall. That said, it’s probably safer to assume that it’s due to her Hulk-traits, since Banner is also resistant.
However, this isn’t to say that her mind cannot be altered. The effects of magic and pheromone-based manipulations have altered She-Hulk’s free will in some brutal ways. Ripping the Vision in half, for example. Marrying John Jameson, for another. So telepathic resistance doesn’t actually mean that much anymore, given than She-Hulk and Hulk can be manipulated in other ways.
5. Body Switch Ability
She-Hulk isn’t just stuck with her original abilities, of course, as she can learn new ones. This was the case in Sensational She-Hulk #45, when she had to alert her friends on a Skrull ship, and her fellow captives, members of the Ovoid race, taught her the mind transfer ability that their race is famous for.
However, the ability somewhat backfired — when using it to transfer with her friend Weezi, they didn’t swap minds, but physical stature and ability. This resulted in the height and strength of She-Hulk being transferred to Weezi aboard the Skrull ship, and She-Hulk being left as a green, 5’2″ prisoner with no abilities.
As it turns out in the following issue, the gamma radiation in her blood interfered with the transference, causing her to take on the physical form of the subject. This meant it was Weezi’s time to shine, taking down her jailer and convincing the Skrull commander to help her rescue Jen. This switch wasn’t as permanent as the Ovoid stated, and both women transformed back to their original states.
4. Failed Adaptations
Despite many animated appearances in cartoons such as The Incredible Hulk (1996), Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes (2003), and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. (2013), She-Hulk is still without a major live-action adaptation.
She-Hulk was originally set to be a co-star in the Incredible Hulk direct-to-TV movie in 1989, but nothing came of this. When a third follow-up film did appear, the character was nowhere to be seen.
Marvel Comics, prior to the blockbuster days we’re experiencing now, didn’t have the capital to fund a She-Hulk film or TV series, and so they tried to tempt studios with photos of Brigitte Nielson as She-Hulk. They failed to find investors, both at home and abroad, and so fans remain without. There have been recent rumblings about future adaptations, so fingers crossed. Given what Marvel Studios has been able to produce over the last ten years, it’s certainly not impossible to imagine Jen Walters finally making her big-screen debut sometime in the near future.
3. Magistra Of The Living Tribunal
The Living Tribunal is a cosmic entity within the Marvel multiverse whose main goal is to ensure that the cosmic balance remains intact. If the imbalance involves a single universe, then he delegates the adjudicating to entities within that universe.
She-Hulk is one such delegate. These proxies are known as the Magistrati, and they are used to rule on matters that are not as dire as affecting the wider cosmic order. However, the Magistrati have the power to compel She-Hulk to adjudicate cases anywhere in all of creation (yet another way in which She-Hulk can be manipulated despite telepathic resistance).
After she successfully defends her own universe against the Marvel Ultimate Universe before the Living Tribunal, she resigns her position as Magistra. Although nothing can stop the latest version of the Living Tribunal from ‘compelling’ her again to serve, so we’re not so sure what the point of that was.
2. Wrestler In Spider-Gwen’s Universe
Spider-Gwen comics exist in their own universe, and in it, there’s an alternate version of She-Hulk. In Spider-Gwen Annual #1, the Savage She-Hulk is a famous wrestler who visits Gwen’s high school to set up a charity wrestling match. The stipulation is that if anybody can pin her to the mat, she will give the money earned to an orphanage, but if she wins, then “the green comes home to mama!”
Gwen’s plan is to user her newfound spider abilities and win the money for herself, but when a robber threatens Ben Parker with a shotgun (Ben just can’t avoid trouble in any reality, it would seem), Gwen is distracted. Ben handles the situation, putting himself on the line and living to see another day.
Meanwhile, She-Hulk deliberately takes the loss, showing that the promotional event was a set up the whole time to raise money for an orphanage. She allows herself to be pinned, not really trying to cover the fact that she isn’t too bothered about it.
1. Grey She-Hulk
Much like her cousin, She-Hulk has her own Grey persona. This state, however, can be more likened to Wolverine’s berserker rage as, while in her grey form, she loses control of herself, has increased strength, and her speech becomes more broken, like Banner’s main, green Hulk persona.
Her grey form first made its appearance in Sensational She-Hulk #15 during an adventure with Howard the Duck. When demons, eyeing their next meal, pounce on a human-form Jen, her rage manifests itself as a grey She-Hulk form.
In the recent Hulk #1, Jen is the titular character and she is seen battling to keep her grey Hulk persona in check. The reemergence of her grey form was brought on by the smackdown she received at the hands of Thanos during the events of Civil War II, along with the stress and grief she experienced upon finding out that her cousin Bruce was killed by Hawkeye.
What other fun facts do you know about She-Hulk? Let us know in the comments!
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