In what’s beginning to become the usual twist (but not one this writer is complaining about) Marvel Comics has announced its latest title that will be turned over to the distaff counterpart of its original hero. The She-Hulk, Jennifer Walters, will be the main character of Hulk, starting in December of 2016.
It hasn’t been a great few months for She-Hulk, the part-time hard partying lawyer and part-time giant green superhero. Jennifer was nearly killed in a battle between the Avengers and Thanos, and woke up from her subsequent coma to the news that her cousin Bruce — who had been managing his condition with nary a SMASH for months — had been killed by Hawkeye under dubious circumstances. Hawkeye maintained that he was only doing what Bruce himself had pleaded with him to do should it ever look like he was going to become the Hulk again, and a jury of ordinary Americans, no doubt tired of the Hulk’s rampages, refused to convict the archer of murder.
That’s where writer Mariko Tamaki and artist Nico Leon will be picking up with Jennifer for Hulk this December.
"Jen is absolutely shaped by the trauma she’s experienced," Tamaki told the A.V. Club. "Much of it was inspired by thinking about how different people deal with the hard things that happen in their lives, how memory, trauma, can infuse our whole being, be a physical presence in our lives. I was really into the idea of a Hulk, of the ability to transform into something close to monstrous, that’s still human, and heroic. It was interesting to think about what’s human about Hulk and vice versa."
Jennifer "She-Hulk" Walters has always been a very different character from Bruce Banner’s Hulk. Unlike her cousin, Jen can Hulk out at will, and she doesn’t have to trade losing control of her mind for additional size, strength and toughness. Her most popular modern stories have actually been ones that focus on how her superhero persona affects her day job as one of the world’s canniest lawyers.
Jen’s recent history, however, gives her plenty of reasons to be very, very angry with her fellow Avengers. But for readers, well, we do like the Hulk when she’s angry.
Marvel also recently announced that Tony Stark will walk away from the Iron Man suit this fall, with a teenage girl, Riri Williams, set to replace him. If you’re wondering why the House of Ideas is replacing so many of its big name male heroes with women, the answer is it’s turned out pretty good for them in the past.