Who gets green and big when they’re angry, thanks to a gamma experiment gone wrong? If you answered Bruce Banner, a.k.a. the Hulk, you’re correct. But if you answered Jennifer “Jen” Walters, a.k.a. She-Hulk, you’re also correct. While she may not be as well-known to the general public as her Avenger cousin, all that will change when Disney+ releases their new She-Hulk series. And according to recent reports, the show may take its cue from Jen’s original comic story, where she receives her hulk powers thanks to a transfusion from Bruce after she is shot.
It’s no surprise that She-Hulk looks to be leaning towards a comic-inspired storyline— most of the upcoming Disney+ shows, including Hawkeye and WandaVision, have pretty much confirmed they’re taking their influences straight from the pages of Marvel, with some even based on specific story runs. While we don’t yet know when we’ll meet Jen Walters, we thought we’d dive into some of the more interesting adventures she’s had over the years. Who knows? We may see some of them come to life.
Jen Walters attended UCLA and worked as a lawyer in Los Angeles. Her Hulk journey began in 1980 with The Savage She-Hulk #1. She was shot and wounded by a Trask, a crime boss who was associated with a trial she was working on. It turns out that Bruce planned to visit her that very day to tell his cousin about his accident. So, with no other donors available who shared Jen’s blood type, Bruce saved her life by sharing his own blood… but the gamma radiation transformed Jen into She-Hulk. Although she acquired the same powers as Bruce, they were less intensive.
While her Hulk alter-ego was initially brought on by anger, Jen eventually learned to control her transformations, allowing herself to retain her intelligence and continue her life as a criminal defense lawyer. Eventually, she learned to appreciate the confidence she felt when she was She-Hulk, coming to the decision that she was more comfortable in that form than in her human form. Embarking on somewhat of a solo career as a superhero, she used her powers to bring Trask to justice when he continued to come after, eventually taking him down.
Following Jen’s solo stint as a superhero vigilante, she joined the Avengers where she participated in the first Secret Wars. She took a break from the group and then rejoined following a short career with The Fantastic Four, finding out when she returned to the Avengers that they were chaired by Doctor Druid and Nebula, who manipulated the group’s leader, Captain Marvel. After both disappeared in space-time, She-Hulk disbanded the group, but returned once again when Captain America restarted the team.
After this, Jen stayed with the Avengers for a while, continuing to have adventures where her powers were tested and affected. One such adventure saw her losing control of her savage personality after being exposed to another Avengers’ radiation powers, causing her to injure her friends and destroy a whole town in Idaho. Thankfully, the Hulk was able to calm her down until her gamma levels could be balanced out again.
The Fantastic Four
When Jen returned from Battleworld for the first time, she replaced The Thing in Fantastic Four in 1985’s Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12. During this time, she helped prevent a radiation leak in a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier, which so affected her that she was unable to transform back into her human form. Fortunately for Jen, not being able to become human again wasn’t too much of a disappointment, since she’d come to appreciate and accept herself in hulk form.
Heroes for Hire
Did we mention that Jen helped out the Hells Kitchen crew for a while by doing some legal work for them and joining them on a few adventures of their own? Not only that, she embarked on a brief romance with Luke Cage during it all.
During Secret Wars, Jen was part of A-Force: a group of defenders including Nico Minoru, Captain Marvel, Dazzler, and Medusa. After an attack on Arcardia (a Battleworld nation), She-Hulk travels through a portal to investigate the Sentinel Territories, finding out that a traitor exists. Eventually, the traitor is revealed to be female Loki, as She-Hulk realizes the energy from the portal she traveled through was Asgardian in origin. She-Hulk gathers her team to fight off the zombies Loki has let into the city and save Arcadia.
Civil War II and Beyond
The second Civil War event and the most recent solo comic run from Mariko Tamaki and Nico Leon saw a more humanized version of Jen Walters and focused on the mental trauma that came with her powers as opposed to her physical trauma. After suffering an injury at the hand of Thanos and after Bruce is killed by Hawkeye in the events of Civil War, Jen quits the superhero life and becomes a full-time lawyer again. But she struggles from the battle and losing her cousin, which causes her to transform into Grey Hulk uncontrollably. She eventually retains her green hulk form after visiting an author of self-help books who gives her a special pill that lets her confront Thanos in her dreams and also find closure with Bruce and his death.
As with any Marvel character, there’s a ton of backstory and adventure to explore when it comes to Jen Walters. These “greatest hits” are just the tip of the iceberg. So what can we expect to see in the Disney+ series? The rumors specifically mention that she will be a future Avenger, and even though Marvel could choose to riff off Jen’s many Avengers adventures, it’s entirely possible Marvel is setting up their own version of Young Avengers with Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, Wiccan and Speed, Kate Bishop, and She-Hulk.
With heavy hitters like Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, and Jane Foster potentially leading the next phase of the MCU, this would be a smart way to integrate the Disney+ properties into the larger Marvel world, while also keeping the two new generations of the Avengers separate.
Although Bruce Banner is still alive, it’s also possible we might see a little of Tamaki’s recent storyline, as we know we’re going to see Jen balancing her lawyer and superhero side. That run is the perfect way to incorporate a modern plot if we’re sticking with original origins. No matter what route Marvel chooses to go with, we’re psyched that Jen Walters finally gets to take center stage and can’t wait to see the result.
Featured Image: Marvel Comics