She-Hulk has been a member of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, Heroes For Hire, Defenders, Fantastic Force, and S.H.I.E.L.D. A highly skilled lawyer, she has served as legal counsel to various superheroes on numerous occasions. Her cousin is Bruce Banner, better known as The Incredible Hulk.
Fictional character biography
Jennifer Susan Walters, the cousin of Bruce Banner (Hulk), is the small and somewhat shy daughter of Los Angeles County Sheriff William Morris Walters and Elaine (née Banner) Walters (who died in a car crash when Jennifer was seventeen). Operatives of Nicholas Trask, a crime boss who had crossed paths with her father, shot and seriously wounded her on a day that Bruce Banner happened to be in town for a visit. Since no other donors with her blood type were available, Banner provided his own blood for a transfusion; as they already shared the same blood type and DNA, his radioactive blood, combined with her anger transformed Jennifer into the green-skinned She-Hulk when the mobsters tried to finish her off at the hospital.
As She-Hulk, Jennifer possessed powers similar to those of her cousin, though at a reduced level. She also possessed a less monstrous, more amazonian appearance. Initially, the transformation to her She-Hulk form was triggered (as with Bruce Banner's) by anger. Like her cousin Bruce, his counterpart, the Leader, Doc Samson, and most other persons mutated by exposure to Gamma Radiation over the years, her mutated form was originally explained as being molded by her subconscious desire to look like the ideal woman. She eventually gains control of her transformations when Michael Morbius cures her of a lethal blood disease. As a criminal defense lawyer, she defended Dr. Michael Morbius in his trial for his vampiric killings.
Eventually, Jennifer decides that she is going to retain her She-Hulk form permanently — preferring the freedom, confidence, and assertiveness that it gave her compared to her more timorous and fragile "normal" form. After her brief solo career, she joined the Avengers. This led to her being transported to Battleworld by the Beyonder and her participation in the Secret Wars, most notable for sparking her long standing rivalry with the newly empowered Titania. After the heroes returned to Earth, she temporarily replaced the Thing as a member of the Fantastic Four.
During her tenure with the Fantastic Four, She-Hulk had to prevent a radiation leak in a downed S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. This radiation exposure had a drastic effect on Jennifer: she could no longer transform back into her original human form. However, this was an agreeable turn of events for her, since she preferred being She-Hulk, and it was revealed much later that the block was purely psychological.
Shortly after that, she appeared before the Supreme Court, where she battled Titania again.
After her Fantastic Four years, She-Hulk rejoined the Avengers for a while. She became hypnotized by the Ringmaster into becoming a performer in his circus, and battled the Headmen. With Spider-Man, she defeated the Headmenand became an assistant District Attorney and began working for New York City district attorney Blake Tower. Here she met Louise "Weezie" Grant Mason, formerly the Golden Age superheroine the Blonde Phantom. She had a long series of unusual encounters including when she battled Doctor Bong, first contended against Xemnu the Titan, encountered "Nick St. Christopher", and encountered "Spragg the Living Hill/Comet". She-Hulk later discovered that Louise Mason had manipulated Tower into hiring her, so that Mason might again star in a comic book (and thus avoid dying of old age). Later, while doing legal work for Heroes For Hire, She-Hulk spent some time dating Luke Cage.
After a time, She-Hulk returns to the Avengers. Repeated exposure to the presence of her teammate Jack of Hearts, who has the innate ability to absorb radiation that is around him, leads to She-Hulk being unable to control her changes, which resulted in her tearing the Vision in half. It is then revealed that all of the events were caused by the Scarlet Witch. Now, when she is afraid, she not only turns into She-Hulk but her mind became maddened by paranoia and rage. Jennifer flees, fearing that she will endanger her friends and others, leading to the "Search for She-Hulk" storyline.
The other Avengers track her to the town of Bone, Idaho, where Jennifer is lying low but the anxiety of being found prompts her to change, causing her to damage much of the town. Her cousin shows up but fails to reason with her; he "hulks out" and the two fight — the devastation to the town subsequently being blamed on the Hulk.
Psychological limitations inhibit her transformation between her two forms. For a time, as detailed in "She-Hulk" #4, March 2006, Jennifer works as a relief volunteer helping to repair Bone. She gains confidence after solving a murder mystery, reveals her green alter-ego to the entire town, and then uses her strength to make many more repairs. This, combined with Leonard Samson's new 'gamma-charger', gives her full control over her transformations for, as she said, 'the time being'.
Single Green Female
The events of The Search for She-Hulk, combined with her own lack of personal responsibility and the potential legal ramifications of her saving the world swaying juries leads Jennifer back to the legal profession in a more full time capacity, when she was asked to practice law in the Superhuman Law division of the New York firm of Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg & Holliway (GLK&H). This offer is dependent upon Jennifer remaining human while she worked for the firm.
While practicing at GLK&H, Jennifer gradually becomes comfortable as both She-Hulk and Jennifer Walters, realizing that she has much to offer the world in both forms.
She-Hulk registered under the Superhuman Registration Act, and is a supporter of Tony Stark (Iron Man). However, as an attorney, she advised individuals on both sides of the Civil War. She agreed to file suit against Peter Parker for fraud on behalf of her father-in-law, Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson. Her intention is to keep the suit tied up in the courts indefinitely. She is also the lawyer for Speedball in Civil War: Front Line.
In She-Hulk #14 (2006), Clay Quartermain of S.H.I.E.L.D. informs Jennifer that she has been drafted into the organization as a result of her registration. Her mission is to fight various foes of the Hulk while training heroes under the Initiative. She serves with the Hulkbusters: Clay Quartermain, Agent Crimson, and Agent Cheesecake.
World War Hulk
Due to her involvement in S.H.I.E.L.D., She-Hulk derives a bit of information suggesting that the organization knows of her cousin's whereabouts. Anticipating a problem, Tony Stark has She-Hulk secretly injected with S.P.I.N. Tech that transforms her to human form. Enraged, she tells Stark that, although he may have taken She-Hulk out of the equation, he still has to face Jennifer Walters, one of the best lawyers in the country. Jennifer informs Stark that he's miscalculated: She-Hulk would have just pummeled him, but Jennifer Walters has the ability to destroy him.
On her way home, Jennifer runs into Amadeus Cho, a young genius out looking for friends of the Hulk. Cho, whom the Hulk once saved, discovered what the Illuminati had done to the Hulk, and he wants help in finding him. Cho temporarily restores Jennifer's powers so that she can take out Doc Samson, who came to apprehend Cho for Reed Richards and Tony Stark. Cho says he can permanently restore Jennifer's powers if she'll join him, but she politely refuses, instead directing him to Hercules and Angel.
In World War Hulk #1, a re-powered She-Hulk assists in the evacuation of Manhattan; in #2, she tries to reason with her cousin, who has just destroyed Stark Tower during his battle with Iron Man. The Hulk warns her to leave, but she stands her ground. After she lands a punch squarely to his face, the Hulk smashes her into the ground, creating a crater around her body. As he moves on to his next confrontation, all Jennifer can say is: "God help us all."
Jennifer is held captive with the other defeated heroes at Madison Square Garden, which the Hulk has converted into a gladiatorial arena. The heroes have been implanted with the same obedience discs that compelled the Hulk and his allies to fight one another during their time on the planet Sakaar.
In She-Hulk #19, Jennifer returns to the law firm to work on suing Tony Stark for stealing her powers. She is subpoenaed to give a testimony in a case in which Mallory Book is trying to prove that the Leader's criminal acts are the result of a shift of personality induced by his mutation, and an addiction to his gamma irradiated powers, and that he thus can't be held accountable for his actions. During her testimony, Jennifer realizes that she herself is "addicted" to being She-Hulk; Mallory forces her to admit that she's had a long list of sexual partners as She-Hulk. After the testimony, Pug appears and the two spend an evening together as friends, which cheers her up. She confronts Mallory the next day and tells her that she'll put a stop to her Leader case. However, in She-Hulk #20, it is revealed that the Leader has been acquitted of his crimes.
There is an apparent inconsistency between the She-Hulk and World War Hulk comics: in She-Hulk #19, the Leader is on trial in New York City, which is being cleaned up after the Hulk's recent attack. The action in the issue takes place during or after the events of World War Hulk. However, Jennifer appears as She-Hulk in the first and second issues of "World War Hulk," during which the Hulk is destroying New York City. The discrepancy is resolved in She-Hulk #20: Jennifer explains that Tony Stark temporarily disabled the nanobots to allow her to assist in the battle against her cousin, only to reactivate them when the battle was over. She amends her suit against Stark to demand the permanent deactivation of the nanobots.
Post-World War Hulk
At some point after World War Hulk, Jennifer was brought before the Living Tribunal and asked to weigh her universe against a newer, better 'cosmic trophy wife' version, described by Walters as "an ultimate universe." Her universe wins, and she resigns from the Magistrati.
After the Leader's trial, Artie Zix reveals himself as RT-Z9 and holds the main staff of GLK&H hostage while asking them questions at the behest of a group of aliens from a corner of the galaxy recently discovered by the Watcher Qyre. The aliens, called The Recluses, wish to keep their existence a secret. She-Hulk earlier decreed that Qyre not reveal knowledge of the Recluses' existence at the meetings of the Watchers. This had serious repercussions: it is revealed at the close of She-Hulk #20 that an evil being has conquered that portion of the galaxy, and is preparing an assault on all of creation. Qyre, who holds knowledge of the plan, is unable to speak of it to anyone else. At She-Hulk's time trial, it was revealed that her actions made a destructive event called the Reckoning War possible. However, comments made by the future Southpaw, divulge that the war, though a terrible and dark time, will be favorably resolved.
A permanently depowered Jennifer Walters finds that tourists from an alternate universe - designated the Alpha universe - are crossing into her universe - which they call Beta - to gain access to superpowers and comes face to face with her own powered up doppelganger. Jennifer confirms that her Alpha counterpart slept with Juggernaut but her anger quickly turns to sorrow as she realizes that without her abilities, the Alpha Jennifer Walters - while unfamiliar with superhuman law - is far better suited to life in the Beta universe. Realizing this, she decides that she will go to the Alpha universe and let the other Jennifer Walters take over for her.
As she steps through the portal, Reed Richards realizes he can use the previously stored configuration of the Alpha She-Hulk to restore Jennifer's powers. Having regained her abilities, Jennifer remains in her home reality, while the Alpha Jen Walters returns to her own universe and reconciles with her boyfriend, the Alpha Augustus "Pug" Pugliese.
At an unspecified time after World War Hulk, She-Hulk assists Tony Stark with Emil Blonsky's murder investigation. While in Stark's Helicarrier she is attacked and beaten by the Red Hulk, but vows to get even for the deliberate humiliation. She later helps to prevent casualties in San Francisco after the Red Hulk caused an earthquake in the area, and assembles Thundra and Valkyrie together to capture him.
Some months after regaining her abilities, Jennifer was tasked to defend an accused killer named Arthur Moore. While she was successful in defending him, immediately after his freedom was secured he claimed to be guilty and showed her images of the crimes he had been accused of. Jennifer's horror at what she was being shown, combined with Moore's gloating, was enough to push her rage so far that she became The Savage She-Hulk once again. She attacked him and threatened to kill him if he wasn't given the death penalty. She also told everybody within earshot that he was guilty and backed up her accusation by revealing privileged information. This resulted in her being disbarred. Jennifer later found out that Moore really was innocent; the images he had shown her had been false. It was also revealed, albeit not to Jennifer, that Moore had hoped to get her to react exactly the way she did since his employers wanted She-Hulk disbarred for purposes as yet unknown. Unable to practice law any more, Jennifer began working for Freeman Bonds Inc. - a subsidiary of GLK&B - as a bounty hunter with her Skrull partner Jazinda.
She was later recruited by Stark as a member of an Initiative-sponsored incarnation of the Defenders for a short while until Tony Stark disbanded the team. Afterwards, she continued to aid team leader Nighthawk for a brief time. That was until she was fully able to join the team on Nighthawk's request and that it would be away from the Initiative.
Together they have several adventures, even encountering Hercules, but they soon ended up involved in the midst of Secret Invasion.
During the Skrull takeover of Earth during Secret Invasion, She-Hulk and Jazinda hunt down a member of the Skrulls who functions as their religious leader. X-Factor initially impedes her progress, but they part ways on uncertain terms. She-Hulk and Jazinda capture the Skrull and the two heroines take the Skrull to New York, where they encounter the Super-Skrull, Kl'rt. Kl'rt came to kill his daughter, Jazinda, going so far as to shoot her in the head. Due to her regenerative properties, Jazinda was still not fully dead. The Skrull religious leader wants to completely remove her regenerative ability but Kl'rt stops him after She-Hulk pleads to his fatherly nature, tapping into his guilt for not being able to save his son who had died in a previous war.
She-Hulk has joined a team including Thundra, Invisible Woman, Valkyrie, and various other superheroines called "Lady Liberators" and are doing things like bringing aid to countries that need it regardless of US and foreign policy. After being arrested for this, She-Hulk is off elsewhere getting an offer of her old job back. Jazinda is captured by the Behemoth when he mistakenly attacks her thinking she is the real She-Hulk. Jazinda is then taken to a government lab and experimented on and even killed at least once. She-Hulk is contacted telepathically by Jazinda who secretly implanted a mind reading device in her head and just before going dead/unconscious tells She-Hulk "I've always l...". She-Hulk is then asked by government agents to come with them and for a while claims not to know any Skrulls, until she sees what they are doing to Jazinda and along with a few other superheroines whom she has formed a team with jumps in to save her. Later it is seen that Mallory Book, her former boss, was behind all the bad things happening to She-Hulk along with a group called "Fourth Wall". Yet when she saw She-Hulk risk herself to save her Skrull friend Book "canceled" the plan.
In the 4-Part issue "All-New Savage She-Hulk", Jennifer fights Lyra, the alternate reality daughter of Hulk and Thundra after she comes to the Earth-616 reality for the DNA of the strongest man. While Jennifer and Lyra were fighting, Sentry tosses her away believing the man Lyra is referring to is him. She-Hulk later returns, enraged, and pummels the Sentry into the ground. She then helps Lyra escape from the Avengers Tower.
In Incredible Hulk #600, Jennifer tasks Ben Urich to discover the identity of Rulk. She informs him that she is unable to as she has asked too many questions to the wrong people. She has Urich bring a photographer (Peter Parker), and meets him along with her insider, Doc Samson, and they venture into a S.H.I.E.L.D. Base that is actually a front for A.I.M. and General Ross's Gamma Power Super Soldier Program. Leonard Samson then appears to have a breakdown but in reality he is changing into Samson. Samson claims to be stronger and faster (and is larger in size, has longer hair and a lightning-bolt scar) than Jennifer. The clashing duo are subdued by MODOK and in the aftermath of a fight between Rulk and Hulk, the facility explodes but not before Jennifer, Samson (who has reverted to Leonard) and Rulk are caught in the explosion.
Jennifer's status is unknown and Rulk does not reveal anything to Urich when the two meet a second time.
While She-Hulk is M.I.A., the Red She-Hulk makes her first appearance where she claims Jennifer Walters to be dead. It was later shown in a flashback that Red She-Hulk prevented Jennifer Walters from escaping from AIM custody. During this battle, Red She-Hulk brutally beat Jennifer and snapped her neck with a cable. In the last panel Jennifer Walters appeared to be dead with the Red She-Hulk standing over her body. Though the Red She-Hulk claims she didn't know her own strength then questions Doc Samson whether it was the real She-Hulk or a Life-Model Decoy to which Samson answers "You're here to Follow orders, not to ask questions". Lyra later infiltrates the Intelligencia, where she finds Jennifer in stasis. Following a brief fight with the Red She-Hulk, the three decide to team up to take down Intelligencia's forces.
The character's personality has changed over the years: originally ill-tempered and violent, she is now depicted as a fun-loving, kind, empathetic, yet still feisty woman who frequently uses humor when fighting. She has stated that she does not want to kill her foes, especially ones that she has already subdued. She also felt great remorse for almost destroying a small town (due to her transformed state briefly turning uncontrollable from radiation), and helped construction workers to rebuild it.
As a generally idealistic lawyer, the character has a history of defending the rights of minorities, the mentally ill, civil liberties, including the right for criminals to not be unduly mistreated and get a proper defense, or individuals to not be victimised by certain less ethical corporations, but also a belief in the necessity of law and order. These priorities have sometimes made her personally conflicted, such as reversing her stance regarding the "Superhuman Registration Act"; and being disillusioned when her more famous cousin (whom she considers as a brother) was shot into space without due process, or when what she thought to be a torturer and murderer of children was cleared from all charges.
In an interview former She-Hulk writer Peter David describes her as follows: "She-Hulk has the potential to be our Wonder Woman. A powerful female with a strong moral center and a determination to do what's right. She's also a unique combination of brains and brawn. The ideal She-Hulk story is one that plays on both aspects of her make-up, the intelligence combined with her strength."
Powers and abilities
A transfusion of gamma-irradiated blood from her cousin Bruce Banner (the Hulk) granted Jennifer Walters superhuman powers. In her She-Hulk form, she possesses enormous superhuman strength, which even when calm makes her one of the strongest known women in the Marvel Universe.
Although She-Hulk's strength originally remained at a set level and did not increase, later in her history her strength has sporadically been stated to increase further from fear, or anger, similar to her cousin. In addition the character possesses superhuman speed, agility, stamina, and reflexes.
As She-Hulk, Walters is exponentially stronger than she is in her Jennifer Walters form; therefore any extra strength gained as Jennifer Walters through intense physical training will be amplified, making her She-Hulk form even stronger. After being defeated by the Champion of the Universe, She-Hulk exercised for several months in her Jennifer Walters form, resulting in a significant gain in strength and muscular mass in her She-Hulk form and allowing her to soundly defeat the Champion in a rematch. At this time she was able to effortlessly sustain the Thing's maximum weight with a single arm, while her strength was greatly restrained by a "Jupiter suit," and she was shown as considerably stronger than Hercules. Her base strength level has since receded.
She-Hulk's body is superhumanly durable and nearly impervious to force, pain, and disease: her skin can withstand extremes of temperature, as well as tremendous stresses and impacts without puncture wounds or lacerations. Despite this, she has been proven to be highly ticklish, as she was once tickled by the Hulk Robot during a battle.Her enhanced physiology renders her immune to all terrestrial diseases. She-Hulk also possesses a healing factor, which enabled her to completely recover, within minutes, from a skewering by the Wendigo.
Unlike Hulk, Jennifer's personality and intelligence are less affected when she transforms into She-Hulk, although she becomes more self-confident and assertive. For a long time, She-Hulk could not revert to her original human form.
Due to training from the alien Ovoids, She-Hulk is able to swap powers and physiques with other women of the same species, but retains her green skin pigmentation, and only used it once.
She-Hulk is a formidable hand-to-hand combatant, having been trained by Captain America and Gamora. Even in her Jennifer Walters form, she possesses sufficient skill in the martial arts to dispatch several would-be muggers much larger than she is. She once displayed sufficient knowledge of acupressure to render the Abomination insensate by striking several nerve clusters after first using psychology to distract him.
The character is also a skilled and experienced attorney who attended UCLA School of Law, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif, a national merit society for top legal scholars. She-Hulk had performed legal work as a member of the Magistrati, who had the power to compel her to adjudicate cases anywhere in creation. She ceased to operate in this function after successfully adjudicating the merits of her own Universe to continue existing (opposed by the Ultimate Marvel Universe) before the Living Tribunal.
She is a skilled pilot and has previously used a modified 1995 Dodge automobile equipped with technology enabling flight in Earth's atmosphere and in outer space for limited distances, although it is incapable of interstellar flight.
In the Earth X series, Jennifer Walters is killed while being possessed by the Hydra; the resultant being becomes a Hydra Queen.
In the Marvel Zombies universe, She-Hulk is seen exiting Avengers Mansion already zombified. She is later seen being restrained by the Thing after eating Franklin and Valeria Richards. The Invisible Woman then proceeds to create a force field inside She-Hulk's head, effectively killing her.
In Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk, the characters of Dr. Jennifer Walters and She-Hulk are established. In current the Ultimate reality, they are actually separate characters.
Walters works for S.H.I.E.L.D. performing Super-Soldier research and development. It has not been explicitly stated if Dr. Walters is related to Banner but it has been established that he has a cousin named Jennifer.
Ultimate She-Hulk, meanwhile, is the alter ego of Betty Ross. She-Hulk first appeared Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk #3, interrupting the fight between Hulk and Wolverine. In issue #4, it is revealed that Ross gives herself a dose of the Hulk serum and becomes She-Hulk. Later in the series, Nick Fury reveals that S.H.I.E.L.D. is working to keep her transformations under control.
A teenaged version of She-Hulk appears as one of the main protagonists of Marvel Her-oes, an all-ages series. In this continuity, she is the best friend of Janet van Dyne, and is unaware that she possesses superpowers.