Everything You Need To Know About She-Hulk

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she-hulk marvel comics
Image: Marvel Comics

Tatiana Maslany has officially been cast as Jennifer Walters in the upcoming She-Hulk TV adaptation for Disney+.

She-Hulk is an iconic Marvel superhero who’s been kicking arse since 1980. While she’s often been criticised as a carbon “sexy” copy of the Hulk, she’s far more interesting and unique than her name suggests. (It’s always been a spectacularly reductive ‘hero’ name — she’s a far cry from the Hulk.) While Jennifer Walters is the cousin of Bruce Banner, she’s had a fantastic history in her own right and more adventures than half the Avengers. Here’s everything you should know about She-Hulk before Marvel’s TV adaptation kicks off.

A blood transfusion from Bruce Banner turned her into She-Hulk

She-Hulk is the alter ego of Jennifer Walters, a successful lawyer and cousin of Bruce Banner. After a mob hit against her, Walters required a life-saving blood transfusion ultimately delivered by Banner, the alter ego of the Hulk. The iradiated transfusion caused her to transform into She-Hulk, a giant woman with all the strength and capabilities of the Hulk.

Unlike Banner, her transformations were ultimately controlled and she retained her own personality while being She-Hulk. (This is due to Bruce Banner having diagnosed dissociative identity disorder and other related issues which would need their own article to describe.)

Walters was able to transform between her She-Hulk and Jeniffer Walters forms at will, ultimately becoming a hero and even joining the Fantastic Four and the Avengers.

She’s a part-time hero, part-time lawyer

She-Hulk leads a double life, but she doesn’t have a secret identity. She freely practices law and heroism interchangeably, with most people being aware of her dual identities. She’s frequently defended other heroes in court and maintains a strict regiment to keep her days streamlined and organised.

She’s well-known for rocking a power suit and is considered one of the ‘leading ladies’ of Marvel’s comics universe.

she hulk marvel comics

She’s been having a tough time lately

In recent issues of Marvel’s flagship comics, Jennifer Walters has been losing her grip.

While early comics portrayed She-Hulk as a powerful, confident woman who ‘had her shit together’ a life change in the late 2010s saw Walters begin to walk away from the super hero life, to the detriment of her mental health. After years of fighting and trauma, Walters chose to hide her She-Hulk personality, but trouble began when she refused to transform. While normally the stable voice of reason, Walters began losing control of She-Hulk and became a berserker much like the Hulk.

This struggle has defined her recent comics run and given her new challenges to overcome. If you want to follow along with Walters’ latest adventures, you should check out Hulk #1 (2016).

Whether the television adaptation delves into this trauma or the fun of her early adventures is currently unknown.

Yes, the name sucks

The 1980s were a different time for comics. Women were still largely seen as acessories or compliments to their male counterparts and Jennifer Walters was named “She-Hulk” because of her relation to Bruce Banner, rather than her own heroics. The Hulk was a popular character, so a spin-off with a female version of the Hulk was seen as a potential success. It’s never felt like a particularly fitting moniker given Walters’ unique personality, power set and adventures, but it’s the one that’s stuck.

Recent attempts to re-brand She-Hulk as just ‘Hulk’ haven’t stuck around and she’s defaulted back to her original name in recent years. “She-Hulk” is a recognisable name — but that doesn’t mean it’s a good one. Jennifer Walters is a hero in her own right and she deserves a better name. For now, we’re stuck with what we’ve got.

We’ll have to stay tuned to the TV show to see how they deal with this moniker.


Marvel’s She-Hulk TV adaptation is coming to Disney+ in the near future. Stay tuned for more news as we learn it.

Comments

  • “Recent attempts to re-brand She-Hulk as just ‘Hulk’…”

    You could always make a portmanteau and combine the two words into “Shulk”. Yeah, that’d work. I’m really feeling it!

    • The Also Incredible Hulk?

      I’ve never really seen She-Hulk to be belittling or demeaning. I associated it with She-Wolf, which is the standard term for a female Gray Wolf, a key figure in Roman mythology and scary as all hell.

      I guess they could always call her Jennifer? The Incredible Jennifer? The Civilised Hulk?

      • No! The incredible Jennifer sounds like a Disney kids show about a plucky tween.
        Oh god, I can already see her crossing her arms with sass in the promotional poster.

  • I was digging the rumour of Alison Brie as She-Hulk. Oh wells.

    Who is Tatiana Maslany? What is she in that I could watch to get an idea of what we may be seeing?

  • She-Hulk’s creation wasn’t so much about being an accessory to the male character, as to protect Marvel’s IP.

    At the time the licensed Incredible Hulk television show was on air, and they were afraid that if the show introduced a female Hulk (possibly to lead a spin-off like The Bionic Woman) that it would be owned by the production company. By introducing a female version in the comics first, they would be able to claim that anything in the show was derivative of that.

    Despite that history, she’s become a well rounded character.

  • A lawyer who turns into a green devil when she wants or when you disagree with her. Haha this is not a comic. This is a wedding.

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