|YMMV • Radar • Quotes • (Funny • Heartwarming • Awesome) • Fridge • Characters • Fanfic Recs • Nightmare Fuel • Shout Out • Plot • Tear Jerker • Headscratchers • Trivia • WMG • Recap • Ho Yay • Image Links • Memes • Haiku • Laconic|
The Hulk acquired a few other hangers-on in later years, most notably Doc Samson (...) and She-Hulk, Banner's 7-foot, green, voluptuous, vivacious cousin, who is the single hottest thing on the planet. She's like putting Wonder Woman, an Orion Slave Girl and Joan Jett in a blender and setting it on damn. It's a real shame that she buys all her tops at the same place her cousin buys his pants, but I guess that's life.
Once upon a time, there was Bruce Banner, whose gamma-irradiated blood made him The Hulk. He keeps going on about how you wouldn't like him when he's angry, but he's actually pretty damn popular. Marvel Comics, knowing as they do the power of a Distaff Counterpart, were quick to snag the name She-Hulk for trademark reasons. Thus, Bruce Banner's lawyerly cousin, Jennifer Walters, became gravely injured and received an emergency transfusion of his irradiated blood, becoming The Sensational She-Hulk: "The Second Strongest One There Is". The character first appeared in Savage She-Hulk #1 (February, 1980), created by Stan Lee and John Buscema.
She-Hulk's Jekyll and Hyde tendencies are rather more subtle than the Hulk's. Jennifer Walters is a slightly timid, insecure lawyer who, under the effects of gamma radiation, can voluntarily transform into the seven-foot-tall green-skinned Hot Amazon. She-Hulk acts out the fantasies Jen finds too intimidating, becoming both a powerful warrior and a voluptuous flirtatious party girl. In fact, for a long time she was permanently stuck in her super-powered form and didn't mind at all, and friends and close allies regularly addressed her by her human name, thus implying--at least under most writers--that the only differences between the She-Hulk and Jennifer Walters personas were of physical nature. Retaining her human intelligence, she was able to pursue a successful career as a lawyer despite being a green-skinned
space babe amazon, and had a much better control of her temper than her cousin (although, for Jennifer Walters, it is fear that is the trigger of Involuntary Shapeshifting, not anger). She's a sex symbol both within the Marvel Universe and without. Oh, and occasionally she had romantic/erotic dreams of Hercules. Literally, since Herc exists as a real person in the Marvel universe. About two decades after turning her into She-Hulk for good, the permanence of this state was reverted, and psychological problems that had never really been an issue before were introduced.
She's been a member of The Avengers as well as the Fantastic Four, The Defenders, Heroes For Hire, SHIELD and created the "Lady Liberators", to take down the Red Hulk. Her solo title got cancelled (for the fourth time), but she rejoined the Fantastic Four. After Fall of the Hulks and WWH, she's joined her cousin in the team book Incredible Hulks (written by Greg Pak), the first time they've been on a team together. She also co-starred with the Hulk's daughter Lyra in the mini-series She-Hulks (written by Harrison Wilcox).
During She-Hulk's second run under John Byrne, she became completely Fourth Wall Savvy, and was once even Genre Savvy enough to run across advertisements trying to reach the next page. (Meanwhile, in a guest appearance in the parodistic Damage Control title, her medium awareness was parodied, depicting her as a crazy lunatic who believes she's a character in a comic book. And then subverted that by having her react to a caption pointing this out. Too bad she's never been in a crossover with Deadpool, until... read below) In her third solo run, when examining comics--which in Marvel canon are accounts of actual events, with an authenticity that is sufficiently great for them to be submitted as evidence in court--She-Hulk is asked if she possesses these abilities and she replies (while looking directly at the Fourth Wall) that of course she doesn't.
In modern comics, Jennifer Walters is one of three She-Hulks. One is Lyra, the daughter of Bruce Banner and Titania, who comes from an alternate future; the third is Betty Ross Banner, who was turned into "Red She-Hulk" as the result of the Leader's machinations. Lyra is a student at Avengers Academy and assisted Doctor Strange during the Serpent War, while Betty is a member of the current incarnation of the Defenders.
She Hulk provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Originally, She-Hulk was really just a brawler but due to her time on various superhero teams she has picked up a lot of fighting skills -- such that she effortlessly disabled a mugger, while still in regular human form.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: She's gamma green.
- Amazonian Beauty: Jennifer is the Marvel Universe's standout example, and she has company in Red She-Hulk and Lyra.
- The only notable exception was in Sensational She-Hulk #16 (Vol. 1, May 1990), where Jen temporarily assumed a Grey She-Hulk form. She's even taller and even more muscular, but is quite Gonk and uses a speech pattern similar to that of her cousin. In many respects, it's like the anti-Grey Hulk/Joe Fixit.
- Anti-Hero Substitute: Both subverted and played straight. Right after Jen's ongoing was cancelled, All-New Savage She-Hulk was announced, with Lyra -- daughter of Hulk and Thundra from an alternate universe -- as a main protagonist. People were pissed, because it looked like we were going to get a Darker and Edgier replacement of Jen. However, as the comics ended, both She-Hulks became very good friends, Jen kept her name and become something like a Mentors for Lyra. Even when Jen was mysteriously Put on a Bus Lyra chose to look for her, rather than simply take her place. However, at the same time Jeph Loeb created Red She-Hulk though she's more of a villain.
- Arch Nemesis: Supervillainess Titania, a fellow Hot Amazon/Amazonian Beauty and longstanding foe of Jen's. Notably, she may be the only female on Earth to rival She-Hulk in terms of power and durability (she, like Jen, can also augment her strength level through rigorous, prolonged weight-lifting training). See also: Evil Counterpart.
- Badass Family
- Between My Legs: The cover of Savage She Hulk #2.
- Boobs of Steel: The bustiest superheroine in the Marvel universe, she is also the strongest woman in the Marvel universe.
- Boxing Lessons For She-Hulk: While she was training to fight the Champion. Even more relevant to the trope, she trained in her human form, so that when she Hulked Out, she would be exponentially stronger.
- Bronze Age: She-Hulk was created firmly in the Bronze Age. She shares this with Spider-Woman and Ms. Marvel, since Distaff Counterparts were all the rage in that era.
- Bunny Ears Lawyer: At times. She's also worked for a Bunny Ears Law Firm.
- Clothing Damage: Frequently.
- Cursed with Awesome: Shortly before the start of Sensational She-Hulk, She-Hulk was "gene-locked" following the events of her graphic novel, resulting in her permanently being big and green. She was completely unfazed by this -- but when Dan Slott took on the 3rd run of her solo title, he retconned the condition to being a purely psychological one.
- Deadpan Snarker: Jen sometimes exhibits signs of this. She's usually this mostly when she's in a group (usually The Avengers or Lady Liberators).
- Depending on the Artist: During her Savage incarnation, she was statuesque with the vague hint of muscle tone but with wild hair. Under John Byrne she morphed into a green super model with massive 80s hair. During Dan Slott's run, Juan Bobillo gave her more bulk but because of his style, she often appeared pudgy rather than muscular. When PAD took over the title, Jen was consistently shown to be both tall and impressively muscular in her Hulk form - a trend which has been followed since the discontinuation of her solo title.
- Depending on the Writer: She's been an exact female copy of the Hulk, a Fourth Wall Breaker, Fun Personified, and even downright serious.
- Did Not Do the Research or Viewers are Morons: She-Hulk repeatedly refers to herself as aunt to Bruce Banner's kids. Since she and Bruce are (first) cousins, not siblings, she's actually their first cousin, once removed. (She may consider herself an "honorary" aunt.)
- Distaff Counterpart: Supposedly, She-Hulk was spawned as a direct consequence of a Benny Hill clip that involved a woman getting big and green and bursting out of her clothes -- She-Hulk being the response to ensure they had a copyright on the character.
- The rumor at the time was that CBS was planning a spin-off of the wildly successful Hulk series based on a female version of the Hulk. Marvel assumed CBS would still have to pay royalties, until the Benny Hill sketch came along. When Marvel's lawyers confirmed that Marvel wouldn't see a red cent from CBS should they go forward with their plans, they couldn't rush the first issue of She-Hulk out fast enough. The whole thing ended up being moot anyway, since CBS didn't go through with the spin-off for fear of being labeled "The Superhero Network".
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Her transformation sequence in the 90s cartoon. "Lighting my fire", indeed.
- Double Standard: The Marvel Masterworks series of archive-quality reprints includes no volumes dedicated to Marvel's major female superhero titles. She-Hulk is probably the most famous character to suffer from this (followed, again, by Spider-Woman).
- Effortless Amazonian Lift: As a Running Gag, no less.
- End of Series Awareness: A rather threatening version.
- Evil Counterpart: Titania and Red She-Hulk. However, Titania didn't start out as evil at all (at least according to her flashback arc), just severely victimized, out of options, severely personality-changed by Doctor Doom's machine, and had fallen into bad company. It was later that she turned into a murderous asshole. Red She-Hulk also started out nice, but had experiments performed on her mind that turned her much nastier than she used to be. Insane, arrogant, and possibly ruthless, but it's uncertain whether she's actually evil or not. Subverted with Lyra, who is a neutral or anti-hero counterpart trying to turn good, and turns stronger the calmer she gets, rather than angrier.
- Foot Focus
- Fun Personified: The Dan Slott series, and the current She-Hulks run is also a lot of fun. Basically like an improved version of Loeb's Hulk run.
- Genius Bruiser: Jen, who helps pioneer the field of superhuman law when she's not kicking butt. Pug, a supporting character from Slott's run, also counts. He paid for law school by working as a Bouncer, and it shows.
- Genre Savvy
- Good Bad Girl
- Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law: She-Hulk's role within the Marvel Universe is roughly a mixture of this and being the strongest, and most morally upstanding, superheroine it has to offer... well, except for Gloriana, but nobody ever uses her potential to full capacity.
- Hello, Attorney!: Boy howdy!
- Hilarity Sues: Her third series, written by Dan Slott, began as Harvey Birdman in the Marvel Universe. Hercules was sued for battery, Starfox for sexual harassment, and J. Jonah Jameson for libel, among others.
- Hot Amazon Gammazon: She-Hulk has no difficulty in finding bed fellows (beds, on the other hand...).
- The Heroine: Of the Lady Liberators.
- Hulking Out: Not as much or as often as the Trope Namer, but it does happen.
- Leotard of Power: A purple and white one is her most common attire unless she's in a courtroom; there, she's a Hot Chick in a Badass Suit.
- Like Brother and Sister: With Bruce Banner/The Hulk. She's really protective of him too (though he usually can take care of himself). She-Hulk beat the crap out of Iron Man after she found out he exiled Bruce into deep space.
- Medium Awareness: Limited (almost) entirely to her run in Sensational She-Hulk under the auspices of John Byrne.
- Monster Modesty: Jen is a rare Fan Service version of this trope.
- Most Common Superpower: And freakin' how.
- Ms. Fanservice
- My Horse Is a Motorbike: The time-displaced Western hero Two-Gun Kid receives a sky-cycle as a gift from his descendant Hawkeye via Video Will. The Kid explicitly compares it to a horse.
- Never Live It Down: Despite likely being the genuinely nicest hero on the planet, people everywhere (writers, readers, in-universe characters) keep focusing on her somewhat promiscuous sex life.
- No Guy Wants an Amazon: Somewhat perversely, despite She-Hulk racking up the notches on the bedpost, she ends up marrying Captain John Jameson who expresses a genuine dislike of her being She-Hulk. Jen was kind of a hypocrite, since she also had problems with his Man-wolf form because Captain John Jameson mauled one of her co-workers while in said transformation.
- Her co-worker Pug - who had a pretty serious crush/unrequited love thing going on - regularly seemed uncomfortable with Jennifer when she was in her She-Hulk form, actively encouraging her to remain in her normal human form.
- Occult Law Firm: Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg & Holliway.
- Parental Substitute: Bruce Banner invoked this trope with Jen and Lyra -- after brief talk with his daughter he has decided that, coming from a world where men and women live separately, she doesn't need a father, but has serious issues about Parental Abandonment on her mother's side, so he asked Jen to become her legal guardian and help her get normal life.
- Pillars of Moral Character: Arguably the kindest and most idealistic superheroine in the Marvel Universe, along with Meggan and Kitty Pryde. This includes working as a, considerably less well-paid than corporate, public defense attorney, consistently trying to make the system work for particularly vulnerable groups in society, and running her own disaster relief organization. This on top of her general unpaid rescue work, and being one of the very least murder-happy heroes on the planet. However, her temper can get the best of her at times.
- A time-policing court once sentenced her to erasure from history, saying that in any case where she thought herself invaluable some other super-strong heroine could have filled in. The counter argument came in the form of her clients. She-Hulk is rather fungible, but Jen Walters is completely irreplaceable.
- Really Gets Around: Jen has unapologetically slept with a great many people, including Hercules and Iron Man. This is generally played for laughs. For example, when called to testify in a trial this involved a list of her past sexual partners. It was several meters long, and involved hundreds of entries...
- Though the double standards do piss her off. She once asked Iron Man why no one gave him crap for sleeping around (Iron Man being a male example of this trope)... while in bed with him.
- And then there's the ongoing Flame War about whether she had sex with the Juggernaut, which has been retconned out and brought back in a number of times.
- Of course, in this case it's because Juggernaut has repeatedly tried to kill Bruce/The Hulk and still many felt it was out of character for her. Especially considering that when she found out that Iron Man exiled Hulk into space after having slept with Stark, she got really angry and beat the crap out of him.
- Wolverine, another character who Really Gets Around, actually refused Jen's advances on the basis that "He didn't want Juggernaut's sloppy seconds," although considering that Wolvie is much worse than she is, and has also tried to murder her cousin/isn't really much different from Juggernaut, according to the writer this was simply Rule of Funny. Then again, Wolverine and Hulk are Vitriolic Best Buds.
- The Rival: Her relationship with Red She-Hulk/Betty Ross has progressed to this. They also act as Good Cop (Jen) and Bad Cop (Red) over in Incredible Hulks.
- Statuesque Stunner: Jennifer, Red-She Hulk, and Lyra all qualify.
- Super Strength: Potentially the strongest known woman in the Marvel Universe when sufficiently enraged.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Much more averse to resorting to killing combat than virtually any Marvel superhero around. Though there are times she has killed, but she gets upset about it after.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Odd case with Red She-Hulk. Jen gets along with Betty Ross just fine, but when she turns into Red, they start trading insults back and forth.
- Will Not Tell a Lie: Even though she's a lawyer, she won't even do this in court.
- Justified trope. Despite the common perception, lawyers are never supposed to lie. This is explicitly stated in the bar association's code of conduct.