Today I’m about to answer one of the most important questions you’ll ever ask. Right up there next to “What’s the meaning of life” and “Will I find love” is this timeless question–Who is She Hulk? Well, fear not, I happen to be best friends with She Hulk (nbd) and she gave me permission to fill you in.
Don’t be fooled by the muscles that she’s got, she’s still Jenny from the block. Let me explain: before she was ever She Hulk, Jen Walters was a timid, short and brainy lawyer. But she needed a blood transfusion once. Luckily her cousin Bruce Banner was in town and was able to do it. Little did she know, her cousin Bruce was actually The Incredible Hulk and she was given hulk-like powers. (Don’t you HATE when that happens?)
Unlike her cousin who turns into a muscle-y primal beast, her ability to transform into a big green machine made a decidedly different more attractive form. She essentially looks like a green super model and maintains her cool. Instead of hulk-like rages, she becomes more vivacious and flirty. The offensive gender commentary doesn’t escape me.
Like any gal who gains super strength, she decides to pursue a life of fighting crime and takes the name She Hulk. Through her escapades as She Hulk, she joins The Avengers and The Fantastic Four and has several different series devoted to her written by some of the best creators in comic books. She is one of the only comic book characters that can break the fourth wall which means that she knows that you are reading about her. Also, her ability to turn from a timid shrinking violet and into a super strong super hero/model has been turned into the most interesting science fiction modernization of the feminine mystique. The question was often asked, “Why should I ever be Jen Walters when I can be She Hulk?” At one point, she actually makes a t-chart comparing herself to She Hulk.
I believe the best story-arcs came from Dan Slott. In his series, She Hulk was kicked out of Avenger’s mansion because she was bringing too many guys home and it was creating a security concern. Additionally, she was fired from her law firm (where she practiced law as She Hulk) because the argument was made that the jury was affected by hero worship. Down on her luck, she was offered a job at a new law firm to practice super hero law as Jen Walters but could never transform into She Hulk. All this was just in the first issue of his run. She also represented Spider Man in a case against Peter Parker, practiced time-law and got involved in a date-rape case where one of her former fellow Avengers was being tried for using his “Charisma” powers to get poon.
Where did the inspiration for such a ridiculous character come from? Well, when the comic book sages were trying to figure out new female comic book characters, they had a great idea, “Let’s just make female versions of our male characters!” Examples include Spider-Woman, Ms Marvel and a few others. Another consideration for the character’s creation was that if The Hulk live-action television show created a She Hulk character first then the comic books wouldn’t have the rights to it. So they made one, post-haste. Considering all that, I think She Hulk is a very happy accident.
Without question, She Hulk is one of the smartest, funniest and funnest comic characters out there. So why doesn’t she have twice the amount of movies as Spider Man or Superman? Girl can’t get no respect, that’s why. People enjoy her because of the camp-value. I mean, I love her and we hang out all the time but it’s hard to take a leggy green super heroine seriously. So, she won’t ever be the definition of action and heroism but she is undeniably fun. And luckily, she has attracted the attention of many clever writers who have fun writing her. Leading to some of the greatest stories in comic books.
My pitch to you, Hollywood (I know you’re listening,) She Hulk: The Movie. Jen Walters, a neurotic but love-able repressed, smart lawyer (Tina Fey) finds herself able to transform into a 6 foot tall, leggy green supermodel (Tyra Banks) and decides to leave law and fight crime as the super heroine She Hulk. Along the way, she makes some friends as She Hulk but mainly learns to appreciate the friends she had all along. The moral of the story? Confidence doesn’t come from the outside but through gamma infused blood. You may now pay me to write a draft. Super thanks, -Adam.
In short, run, don’t walk, to the nearest comic book store. I suggest your first purchase should be “Single, Green, Female” by Dan Slott. Just ask the nerd at the register, they’ll be happy to show you where to purchase a copy after they’ve finished rolling their eyes at you for not knowing about it already.