Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk, is easily one of the most popular Marvel heroes who has never appeared in any kind of live-action format. She very nearly had her own movie at one point, but that’s as close as we’ve ever come.
She’s the perfect combination of brain and brawn. Sometimes she’s She-Hulk, a member of groups ranging from the Avengers to the Defenders to the Fantastic Four, while other times she’s Jennifer Walters, a lawyer who has helped many a super-friend and even a few reformed villains out of various kinds of legal trouble.
Unfortunately, she’s never really had the best of luck. She-Hulk has been at the center of some of the Marvel Universe’s biggest, most dynamic events. While she’s always come out the other side, she’s rarely ever come out totally unscathed.
Even in her personal life, she’s been dealt a pretty unkind hand. Because of that, we’re assembling this list of the worst things to ever happen to She-Hulk, whether they happened in large-scale crossovers, team books that she was a part of, or inside her own solo title-- all of it counts.
Here are the 15 Worst Things To Ever Happen To She-Hulk.
15 Being Brainwashed by Starro into Attacking the Avengers
Given that this story takes place in a crossover with DC Comics, it’s unclear if it counts as canon, but its effects on She-Hulk are no less devastating. Here, she’s treated in a way similar to Hulk’s part in the formation of the Avengers.
In that case, Hulk was manipulated by Loki, running amok and totally out of control. The Avengers came together to bring him down and then make Loki answer for his crimes. In this instance, She-Hulk is manipulated by the DC villain Starro into attacking her teammates.
This one is even more surprising given the fact that, even with everything she’s going through at the time, She-Hulk’s never really been known for her uncontrollable outrages. Ms. Marvel is forced to blast She-Hulk away before she causes any undoable damage. Later, She-Hulk joins the Avengers in the fight against Krona and teams up with Wonder Woman to battle Surtur.
14 Losing Her Mom in a Car Accident
Jennifer was the daughter of Los Angeles County Sheriff William Morris Walters and his wife, Elaine. She was somewhat shy growing up, though she remained close with both of her parents.
Her mother died when she was only seventeen, and although it’s a major event in Jennifer’s life, it was actually revealed through the letter pages of the Sensational She-Hulk comic series.
It later turned out that the mob boss Nicholas Trask had arranged to have Sheriff Walters killed by orchestrating the accident without realizing it was actually Elaine at the wheel, ultiamtely resulting in her death.
It’s later noted that this incident helps to spark Jennifer’s passion for justice. It was one of the worst things that ever happened to her, but wound up becoming one of the defining moments of her life.
13 Getting a Blood Transfusion and Becoming She-Hulk
It could be argued that a lot of her pain would be spared if Jennifer Walters had never become She-Hulk to begin with. This is especially true given the fact that she never had a choice in the matter.
Of course, many heroes—like Spider-Man and her cousin Bruce Banner—were the victims of accidents. However, in She-Hulk’s case it’s especially unsettling, as she needed an emergency blood transfusion/ She was dying, and the only one who matched her type was her irradiated cousin Banner. Receiving his Hulk blood transformed her and turned her into a superhero.
It was a jarring transformation. Even though she retained most of her human traits when she turned into She-Hulk, her transformation and life have been vastly changed since.
12 Contracting a Lethal Blood Disease
She-Hulk has made many surprising alliances over her long career as a superhero, but few are more surprising than Michael Morbius. A longtime enemy of Spider-Man, Morbius’s experiments with vampire bats went awry and turned him into a living vampire.
Though he craves human blood to sustain his existence, Morbius tries to err on the side of good most of the time. One of the most brilliant hematologists in the world, he was the first person Jennifer turned to when she contracted a lethal blood disease.
When he was able to cure her of the disease, which also resulted in her ability to completely control her transformations, Jennifer returned the favor by defending Morbius in court for the murders that he had committed as a vampire.
11 Getting Stuck in Hulk Form After a Radiation Leak
While working with the Fantastic Four, She-Hulk has to work to prevent a radiation leak in a fallen S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. Due to the fact that she’s already been affected by radiation before, She-Hulk feels that she can handle this with ease.
However, the radiation has an unforeseen effect: she can no longer transform back into her human form. Given that she is already making the decision to stay in Hulk form all the time at this point, she doesn’t treat it as too big of a deal.
It’s not something that she starts seriously dealing with until later, when she truly realizes that she wants to return to human form and can’t. It is eventually revealed that the radiation didn’t have the effect she thought it did and that her inability to shift between forms is purely psychological, but that doesn’t stop it from being scary at the time.
10 Learning Her Boss Had Been Manipulated into Hiring Her
Becoming Assistant District Attorney is one of the biggest advancements of Jennifer’s career. It allows her a serious position of power and affords her the chance to do a lot of good.
She works alongside District Attorney Blake Tower to put a lot of criminals-- both small-time crooks and super villains-- behind bars. This goes on for some time before she discovers the unfortunate truth: Tower was manipulated into hiring her.
Louise Mason had talked Tower into doing it. Now an old woman, Mason had once been the Golden Age superheroine known as the Blonde Phantom. Somehow, by hiring She-Hulk, she believed that she could star in a comic book again and thus avoid dying of old age.
Whatever the bizarre reasons, learning that there were ulterior motives behind her hiring was a huge blow to Jennifer.
9 Losing Her Mind to Paranoia and Fleeing the Avengers
When She-Hulk decides to rejoin the Avengers full-time after learning of the manipulation within the DA’s office, and spends some subsequent time working with Heroes for Hire, she discovers that even going back to her old teammates has some unforeseen side effects.
Jack of Hearts has the ability to affect radiation around him, which means that She-Hulk can no longer control her changes. This is a spark that appears to lead She-Hulk on a path to eventually hulk-out and tear the Vision in half. While it is revealed that this event was actually caused by Scarlet Witch, it has a serious effect on Jennifer.
After that, whenever she is afraid, she hulks-out— this differs from her normal transformations, in which she simply turns green and gets stronger. These hulk transformations are much more similar to her cousin's, but maybe even more unpredictable.
She becomes paranoid and overcome with rage whenever she transforms. This leads her to eventually flee the Avengers out of fear of endangering them.
8 Destroying a Town in Idaho During an Uncontrolled Hulk-Out
Jennifer’s decision to flee the Avengers when she loses control over her transformations results in the “Search for She-Hulk” storyline. The team eventually tracks her to the small Midwestern town of Bone, Idaho.
She is lying low and, ironically, isn't really causing any kind of damage until they show up. The anxiety of being discovered by her former teammates is what prompts her to change, causing her to go on a rampage that destroys much of the town. Given everything that’s happening to her, the Avengers call in the only person who could understand what she’s going through: Bruce Banner.
Her cousin steps in to talk with her, but when he fails to reason with She-Hulk, he winds up hulking out, which leads to a devastating fight between the two. Afterward, the destruction of the town is blamed on the Hulk, which winds up making She-Hulk feel even worse.
7 Tony Stark Stealing Her Powers After Sending Hulk Into Space
Shooting Bruce Banner into outer space is one of the worst decisions ever made by some of the Marvel Universe’s best and brightest. Like many unpopular decisions made at the time, the bulk of the blame rests on Tony Stark’s shoulders.
His need to stand by even the worst choices costs him a lot of friends during Civil War. It essentially destroys his friendship with She-Hulk for several reasons. Even though Jennifer was pro-registration and sided with Iron Man, his treatment of her after sending Banner to space creates a rift between them that simply can’t be fixed.
Anticipating She-Hulk to take issue with his decision to send Hulk away, Stark prematurely decides to completely deactivate her powers. Shocked and appalled by this, Jennifer takes Stark to court, saying that his mistake was fearing She-Hulk and not Jennifer Walters because, as a lawyer, she can completely destroy him.
Eventually, Stark restores her powers during World War Hulk, only to take them away again immediately after. This only strengthens her suit against him.
6 Being Beaten Into a Crater by Hulk During World War Hulk
Speaking of World War Hulk, this is one of the most dramatic beat downs in She-Hulk’s long career. She believes that she is one of the only people who can get through to Hulk-- she believes she can calm him down and stop the all-out destruction he plans on unleashing on the Avengers.
They fight and she proves to be no match for this Hulk, who’s reached a point of rage that she’s never, ever seen from him before. He beats her to a pulp and leaves her lying in a crater. Lying there in a daze, She-Hulk can only say “God help us all.”
It’s unclear if she truly wasn’t a match for Hulk during that fight or if the nanites that Stark used to restrict her powers held her back from operating at her full potential. Either way, it’s a devastating fight for She-Hulk.
After all Hulk has done to help her in the past, she wanted to be there to talk him down and only wound up being knocked out and cast aside while Hulk continued on his rampage.
5 Being Beaten and Humiliated by Red Hulk
Sometime after World War Hulk, She-Hulk hesitantly assists Stark with the investigation into the murder of Emil Blonsky, aka The Abomination. During this time, she is attacked without warning and beaten by the Red Hulk, which she sees as a deliberate humiliation.
She brings in Thundra and Valkyrie to help her take Red Hulk down and make him pay for what he’s done. Red Hulk goes on to cause an earthquake in San Francisco. She-Hulk is on the scene and helps to prevent casualties during the disaster.
With the help of her two allies, she eventually subdues Red Hulk and captures him. The fact that he showed up out of nowhere on a Helicarrier to beat She-Hulk for his own amusement proves that the dark, gross underside to this anti-hero can be extremely dangerous if it goes unchecked.
4 Getting Disbarred After Hulking Out and Threatening Her Client
After regaining her abilities, Jennifer is tasked with defending an accused killer by the name of Arthur Moore. She succeeds in clearing him of all charges, only for Moore to then admit to her that he actually was guilty of everything he was charged with and more.
He shows her images from the scenes of his crimes and gloats about all the things that he’s done. This causes Jennifer to transform into the Savage She-Hulk. She threatens to kill him if he does not turn himself in and receive the death penalty.
She-Hulk tells everyone in earshot that he is guilty and discloses privileged information, such as the pictures. Later, it’s revealed that Moore actually was innocent. The photos were faked, he was hired to get her to react exactly as she did so that his employers could get her disbarred.
It’s unknown why exactly they wanted or needed this to happen. After losing her ability to practice law, She-Hulk starts working as a bounty hunter.
3 Being Beaten and Left for Dead by Red She-Hulk
The Red She-Hulk first appears when she claims that Jennifer Walters has been killed. Red She-Hulk attacks Jennifer when she is held captive in AIM custody alongside Leonard Samson, Ben Urich, and Peter Parker.
She brutally beats Jennifer and then snaps her neck with a cable, believing her to be dead. Red She-Hulk claims that she simply didn’t know her own strength at the time and even questions if this was really Jennifer Walters or a Life Model Decoy.
Whatever her intention, the damage was severe. Jennifer was found to be alive, in stasis. When she wakes up, she fights Red She-Hulk once again before teaming up to take down the forces of the Intelligencia.
Eventually, Red She-Hulk is able to overcome her confused state and break out from under Samson’s thumb, allowing her to take on the more heroic traits of her alter-ego, Betty Ross.
2 Losing Control and Killing The Vision
This is one of the most infamous, most traumatizing things that She-Hulk has ever been a part of. Avengers: Disassembled kicked off the era of the mentally unstable, terrifyingly powerful Scarlet Witch that fans have either passionately loved or passionately hated ever since.
This event caused the deaths of several key Avengers members, from Ant-Man to Hawkeye. Vision, under Scarlet Witch’s hex, crashes into the Avengers mansion to cause even more damage. This hex then extends to She-Hulk, who becomes consumed with rage and rips Vision in half.
The dramatic events of Avengers: Disassembled led to a lot of course correction-- from explaining that Scarlet Witch was under the control of Doom to attempting to fix some of the many continuity errors in the story, not to mention eventually bringing all of those slain heroes back from the dead.
She-Hulk might be one of the few characters for whom the event truly had lasting effects.
1 Being Mortally Wounded by Thanos
The worst thing to ever happen to She-Hulk is surprisingly recent and is something she’s still dealing with. At first, it looked as though Civil War II was gearing up to kill her outright.
However, instead, She-Hulk was severely wounded in the battle against Thanos, telling Captain Marvel to fight for the future before going into cardiac arrest. During this time, Hawkeye also fatally shoots Bruce Banner, after he hulks out during Thanos’ attack.
When She-Hulk wakes up in the hospital, she angrily demands to know the outcome of Hawkeye’s trial. Unable to tell She-Hulk that Hawkeye was acquitted, Captain Marvel simply remains silent. These events led She-Hulk to her own solo Hulk series in which she gives up being a superhero altogether to focus on being a lawyer full-time.
Can you think of any other horrible things that have happened to She-Hulk that we missed? Let us know in the comments!
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