Those who reacted with misogynistic furor about some new “female Hulk” when Marvel Studios announced its upcoming She-Hulk series on Disney+ greatly missed the mark. Not only is Jennifer Walters not a new character, but she’s also arguably in possession of an even more impressive comic book history than her more famous cousin. While Bruce Banner will likely always be the world’s most prominent Hulk, Walters brings a lot more to the superheroic table than he does - all the brawn, twice the brains, and a thriving legal practice.
Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe unfamiliar with her personality are in for more than a few surprises - and those who already know all about “Shulkie” can’t wait for the jade giantess to make her debut.
She-Hulk Joins The Avengers - And Immediately Gets Roped Into One Of Their Zaniest Adventures To Date
In 1982's Avengers #221, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes go looking for some additional members, and She-Hulk wins one of the roster spots. As a teammate, Jennifer Walters proves to be much more popular than her less-than-cooperative cousin. Good thing, too, as she’s almost immediately roped into one of the Avengers’ wildest crossover adventures to date.
Along with countless other Marvel characters, She-Hulk is transported to Battleworld for Secret Wars - an event in which the forces of good and evil are toyed with by the uber-powerful Beyonder. Despite her rookie status, Walters acquits herself well on Battleworld, and sets the stage for the next step in her vigilante career.
Walters Replaces The Thing On The Fantastic Four Roster For A Time
At the conclusion of 1984’s Secret Wars, Ben Grimm decides to stay behind on Battleworld, where he’s able to completely control his transformations into the Thing. That leaves the Fantastic Four short one member, and they turn to the Sensational She-Hulk to fill the void.
Walters quickly ingratiates herself with Marvel’s first family, so much so that she’s eventually granted a lifetime detached membership. She ends up serving on the team for longer than expected when the Thing quits upon returning to Earth. It's important to note there are no hard feelings between Walters and Grimm, who remain staunch allies to this day.
Jennifer Is Temporarily Stuck In Her Hulk Form, But That Doesn’t Keep Her From Her Day Job
While part of the Fantastic Four, She-Hulk heroically stops a crashed S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier from leaking radioactive material, but becomes dangerously irradiated in the process. Though she already has gamma radiation coursing through her veins, the additional exposure has the effect of trapping Jennifer Walters in her hulking form. It's a turn of events she becomes surprisingly comfortable with.
Despite being stuck at 7 feet tall and green, Walters continues her day job as She-Hulk, attorney at law. She defends several of her fellow superheroes in court, including Spider-Man when he is sued by J. Jonah Jameson. Walters has also gone up against Matthew Murdock in court - a lawyer who leads a double-life as Daredevil - on numerous occasions.
‘Shulkie’ Has Been Breaking The Fourth Wall Since Before Deadpool Even Existed
When She-Hulk regained her own solo series in the late '80s, writer/artist John Byrne made some important changes to the character. Throughout the issues of The Sensational She-Hulk, Byrne has Walters break the fourth wall on a regular basis - often speaking to readers directly about her plight as a comic book character.
Long before Deadpool was even created, She-Hulk could be found on comic book covers taunting would-be buyers with both her feminine wiles and her raw wit. On one particularly memorable cover, “Shulkie” makes a compelling case to buy her comic: "If you don’t buy my book this time, I’m gonna come to your house and rip up all your X-Men!"