Monday, September 05, 2005

Favorite Female Characters #13: She-Hulk

She-Hulk #9
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.

Jennifer Walters was a mild mannered attorney until the day her cousin Bruce Banner visited and a hail of bullets changed her life forever. Bruce, who just happens to be the Hulk, gave her a transfusion of his blood to save her life. It worked but at a cost- Jennifer is forever now a female version of her cousin named She-Hulk.

There are differences of course. Jennifer's change from attorney to Shulkie usually occurs when her personality becomes more dynamic rather then being more rage induced, though rage has definitely been a trigger at times. Jennifer also appears to more in control of her abilities and maintains her intellect while changed at most all times.

Interestingly enough, She-Hulk was created around the time of the Incredible Hulk television series as a way of having Marvel license and maintain all rights to a female Hulk character. Her first series issue Savage She-Hulk #1 was written by Stan "The Man" Lee himself with art by John Buscema. After the first issue, David Anthony Kraft (Defenders) took over scripting chores. The series lasted just 25 issues, but Marvel had done what it set out to do.

Jennifer has served tenures with both the Fantastic Four and The Avengers. Her gregarious and lusty personality at times has put her on par with Hercules, another outrageous persona. Jennifer is also known for her loyal friendships and her mostly positive outlook on life.

John Byrne was at the helm of her second series The Sensational She-Hulk, which ran from 1989 to 1994. Though Byrne left part way through the run, the series ended at issue #60. After this, Jennifer became mainly a guest star again, and did another stint with The Avengers.

Dan Slott and Juan Bobillo brought Jennifer back again, this time in a series titled simply "She-Hulk". Running for 12 issues and ending due to events that occurred in Avengers Dissembled, She-Hulk is coming back for another stint in her own series this coming month.

I can hardly wait for Jennifer to have her own series back, as this last attempt by Slott really took for me. For the first time in a long while, She-Hulk has layers upon layers of depth. She isn't as happy go lucky, but she still maintains the qualities that have endeared her to readers for so long. Slott is interested in showing readers what makes Shulkie tick, and has made her one of the most compelling characters in the Marvel Universe.

I love She-Hulk for her inner and outer strength. She is truly beautiful on the inside, and is always there for her friends. She likes to have a good time, but is learning her limits. Flirtatious and vivacious, Jennifer Walters is the whole package.

Recommended Reading: Savage She-Hulk #1, Fantastic Four #265, Sensational She-Hulk #1-25, She-Hulk #1-12, upcoming She-Hulk series.

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