7 Spectacular SHE-HULK Comics to Read Before the Show - Nerdist
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7 Spectacular SHE-HULK Comics to Read Before the Show

She-Hulk is finally coming to the MCU. Created by Stan Lee and John Buscema, Bruce Banner’s smart-mouthed cousin Jennifer Walters has long been a fan favorite Marvel Comics character and now she’ll be bringing her brainy brawn to the screen. She made her debut in 1980’s Savage She-Hulk #1 as a way for Marvel Comics to gain a copyright to the character before a potential She-Hulk spinoff from the popular The Incredible Hulk TV series. That never happened but now decades later she’s getting a Disney+ series of own. In order to get you ready for She-Hulk’s MCU debut, we’ve curated a list of great comics that’ll introduce you to her most famous traits, tropes, and legal tactics. Shulkie has one of the most fun back catalogs of any Marvel Comics hero, so get ready to live laugh love with these picks. 

Avengers #221-242 by Roger Stern, Al Milgrom, Joe Sinnott, more (1982-1984)

The cover for Avengers #221 shows potential members of the Avengers including She-Hulk
Marvel Comics/Ed Hannigan/Brett Breeding

She-Hulk joined her first superteam after pounding down the Mechano-Marauder during a recruitment party at Avengers Mansion in issue #221. When Roger Stern began his legendary run in Avengers #227, Jen became a fun in-character, a down to earth gal who longed to leap into battle and missed the sunny vibe of the west coast. She-Hulk continued to fight alongside the Avengers right up until she was whisked off-planet during 1984’s Secret Wars, after which she joined the Fantastic Four full time. Though She-Hulk rejoined the Avengers numerous times over the years, this early ’80s comics run is where her momentous membership began.

She-Hulk: Superhuman Law by Dan Slott, Juan Bobillo, Paul Pelletier, more (2004)

The cover for the trade of She-Hulk Vol.2 shows a painting of She-Hulk walking up the steps of a courthouse
Marvel Comics/Mike Mayhew

In their critically acclaimed 2004 reintroduction of Jennifer Walters, Slott and Bobillo brought Jennifer back to the Marvel Universe. In the second half of that series—before the relaunch a year later—they sent her to space. Alongside the Living Tribunal, Jen begins to practice intergalactic law. Funny, flawed, silly, and filled with interesting tidbits we could see come to life—Pip the Troll, Adam Warlock, and Gamora—this is an easy place to start. And it’s all followed up by a classic slugfest with her nemesis Titania. These collections are very easy to find at your local comic shop. And from what we’ve seen so far, it looks like the Disney+ series will take pretty heavily from the less cosmic parts of this well thought of run.

She-Hulk: Planet Without a Hulk by Dan Slott, Ty Templeton, Rick Burchett, Cliff Rathburn, more  (2007)

The psychedelic cover for She-Hulk Planet without a hulk shows She-Hulk in a wingsuit flying over a collage of strange imagery and shapes
Marvel Comics/Greg Horn

Leading into World War Hulk, this super fun arc sees She-Hulk join S.H.I.E.L.D. (under the direction of Tony Stark) and take on some classic Hulk villains. But the relationship is short lived as Jen soon discovers the truth about what happened to her cousin. Bruce was exiled to space—sound familiar?—by the Illuminati and She-Hulk turns on both Iron Man and S.H.I.E.L.D., ending up depowered in the process. We also get an Amadeus Cho cameo from one of his earliest appearances, long before he became a Hulk himself. Could Disney+’s She-Hulk introduce more new Hulks? We can’t wait!

Incredible Hulks by Greg Pak, Tom Raney, Scott Hanna, more (2010-2012)

The cover for Incredible Hulks shows the Hulk-Family, A-Bomb, Hulk, She-Hulk, and Red Hulk rampaging towards the reader
Marvel Comics/Carlo Pagulayan/Jason Paz/ Jason Keith

We couldn’t not bring up this fun Incredible Hulk re-naming from World War Hulk’s Greg Pak. Seeing as we’re going to have multiple hulks in She-Hulk, this was no brainer. This epic story saw the Hulk-Family—Hulk, She-Hulk, A-Bomb, Amadeus Cho, and Betty Ross’ Red Hulk—collide in this wild tale that where Bruce’s ex becomes Hulk Enemy No 1. After she disappears with one of Bruce’s old enemies, he brings together other Hulks to hunt down Betty. This super ambitious sci-fi yarn is completely wild and likely will not come into play in the upcoming series, it’s still worth a read, especially as the MCU will inevitably introduce more Hulks in the future. 

She-Hulk by Charles Soule, Javier Pulido, more (2014) 

The cover for She-Hulk (2014) trade paperback shows she-hulk in the cloak of Doctor Doom
Marvel Comics/Kevin Wada

Ex-lawyer Soule brought his legal experience and quippy humor to this delightful She-Hulk series. One of Jen’s best outings in her comics, She-Hulk is a masterwork of slice of life superhero shenanigans. Following the lawyer as she leaves a big firm and sets up her own office—something we’re almost guaranteed to see in the upcoming series—we get plenty of Jen as both brute force brawler and smartest woman in the room. With a delightful array of supporting characters and plenty of good meta-jokes, this is a really great comic. And it’s a perfect place for new She-Hulk readers to begin their comic book exploration of the hero.

A-Force by G. Willow Wilson, Marguerite Bennett, Kelly Thompson, Jorge Molina, more (2015-2016) 

The cover for A-Force shows She-Hulk standing in front of a group of famous marvel heroes
Marvel Comics/Jim Cheung/Laura Martin

A-Force was the first  all-female Avengers team. During the original 2015 run—established during Secret Wars—the team was led by She-Hulk and featured pretty much every famous female hero including Captain Marvel, America Chavez, Rogue, Ms. Marvel, X-23, Domino, Scarlet Witch, and many more. It also introduced a super cool character, a living pocket universe named Singularity! Post-Secret Wars, A-Force streamlined but still featured She-Hulk. Both volumes are really fun cosmic romps that establish a team we wouldn’t be surprised to see adapted in the near future of the MCU.

Hulk by Mariko Tamaki, Nico Leon (2017)

the cover for She-Hulk #1 (2016) shows a grey she-hulk crushing the word hulk between her hands
Marvel Comics/Jeff Dekal

As part of the Marvel Now! line, Jennifer finally got her own Hulk book. It was long overdue and Tamaki and Leon did readers, Jen, and the title justice. Post Civil War II, Jen is struggling to survive and keep her violent alter-ego in check. This emotionally driven series not only reimagined Jen’s look to something far more akin to her cousin, but it also dealt with the reality of being a Hulk. Emotional, thought-provoking, and action packed, while the Disney+ She-Hulk show looks to be a more lighthearted take, we hope they take a bit of the gravitas and depth of these comics and deliver it to Jen’s story. Plus, there are a ton of great cameos and recurring characters we’d love to see show up, *cough Hellcat cough*. 

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