Just in time for Halloween, we’re back to feature all those creepy, kooky, and scary characters of comic book lore! This time, we’re going to take a look at monsters from the vaunted House of Ideas. So, enter, if you dare, for Comic Book Monsters 2012: The Mighty Merry Marvel Edition!
Comic Book Monsters – October 15th: She-Hulk
Stan Lee’s last superhero creation before returning to create Ravage 2099, talented attorney Jennifer Walters was shot and nearly killed by assassins sent by crime boss Nicholas Trask. Lucky for her, cousin Bruce Banner happens to be in town that day and, in order to save her life, he performed a blood transfusion. However, thanks to Banner’s irradiated blood, when Jennifer gets angry, she’s transformed into a female Hulk based on a subconscious desire to look like the ideal woman. This tall, beautiful, but green, lady took the name She-Hulk and began a career as a superheroine.
At first, Jennifer’s transformation into the “Savage” She-Hulk was just like her cousin Bruce’s, but after Michael Morbius (a monster in his own right) cured her from a deadly blood virus, she gained the ability to control her transformations, but she’s generally seen as the She-Hulk and very rarely reverts back to her normal form. As thanks for saving her life, Jennifer would take Morbius’ case and defends him for his vampire killings in court.
Later, Jennifer would start getting more and more involved with some of the most popular characters in the Marvel Universe. Her solo series may have only lasted twenty-five issues, but She-Hulk later became mainstays of the teams such as the Avengers (which she was a part of when the Secret Wars went down) and the Fantastic Four (immediately following the Secret Wars to take the Thing’s place when he opted to remain behind on Battleworld for a while). It would be during the Secret Wars when Jennifer met her would-be arch-nemesis, Titania. This would be a long standing rivalry that continues to this day.
After her stint with the Fantastic Four, Jennifer got a shot at another solo series. Some might say that her status over the course of the 80s earned her this new series. Others might say that Marvel was cashing in on the idea of a sexy female heroine to sell comics to teenage boys. However, The Sensational She-Hulk ended up surpassing the original series, The Savage She-Hulk. The success would come in the form of She-Hulk becoming a much more light-hearted character and someone who would break the fourth wall constantly while being written by John Byrne. It really gave the character a second life and a personality that still exists to this day.
Before her third solo series would begin featuring her in a more comedic, but still metaphysical style, stories, She-Hulk returned to the Avengers where her teammate, Jack of Hearts, warped her powers. His effect on radiation made her lose control over her transformations and when she would become scared, she would fly into a fit of uncontrollable rage. This eventually led her to tearing apart the Vision during the fabled Avengers’ “worse day” during the Avengers: Disassembled story. It would later be revealed that these things weren’t being caused by Jack of Hearts, but by the Scarlet Witch who lost control over reality and her powers, warping circumstances surrounding her and her friends.
Afterwards, even during the run of her own quirky series, She-Hulk continued to be a part of almost every single important event. During the Civil War, she took Tony Stark’s registration side, but still used her legal expertise to advise heroes and villains on both sides of the issue – even going so far as defending Speedball during his trial for blowing up Stamford, CT. After the Civil War, she played a part in Stark’s Initiative-sponosored Defenders team after playing a role in the World War Hulk conflict. She went missing for a while after rattling too many cages to find out who the Red Hulk actually was, but returned during the Serpent War to form the Fearsome Four with Howard the Duck, Nighthawk, and Frankenstein to take down the Man-Thing. Currently, She Hulk has been asked to join the Future Foundation.
That does it for today’s Comic Book Monsters. Tomorrow, we return with one of the more popular foes for the X-Men created during the mutant team’s heyday. Come back tomorrow to join us for another featured Marvel character!