She-Hulk is one of the most popular superheroes in comic books. She was created in 1980 by Stan Lee and John Buscema because they were afraid that someone else would come up with the name, so they just published She-Hulk as a way to hold onto a future copyright. Yet she's become more than just the female version of the Hulk, standing in her own way as an icon thanks to her strong powers, confidence and intelligence. Not only does she have the power to change into a super-strong green Amazon but in her human form, she also fights for justice as a criminal defense attorney. With her sense of humor, power and iconic presence, her body is one of the most noteworthy in comics today. So, we thought it was time to give away all her body's secrets.
We'll be talking about powers and abilities that you didn't know She-Hulk had, her connections to the original Hulk and the times she got too close. We'll talk about how she changes and when she's lost control, as well as the complicated relationship between She-Hulk and her not-so-secret identity as Jennifer Walters. CBR is ready to dish all the most scandalous dirt on the Jade Giantess's sexy body.
15 SHE-HULK KEEPS HER MIND
The original Hulk is known for his mindless rages and use of broken English, like in his trademark line, "Hulk smash!" He's always been a very different person than his human alter ego, Dr. Bruce Banner. In fact, both Hulk and Bruce Banner see themselves as separate people and occasionally even rivals. That's not the case with She-Hulk.
When Jennifer Walters changes into She-Hulk, she usually keeps her personality and her intelligence but gains incredible strength. In fact, her role as She-Hulk is more like a costume than a transformation, with her personality as Walters still a big part of her persona. There have been some exceptions to that rule but her ability to keep a smart and witty mind along with her superhuman strong body is part of her appeal.
14 SHE CAN RIP THROUGH COMICS (LITERALLY)
You probably knew that She-Hulk can rip right through metal but did you know she could also rip paper? Doesn't sound so impressive? Allow us to explain. She-Hulk had always been a fairly typical superhero with strength and speed until John Byrne turned her upside-down in 1989's Sensational She-Hulk where she gained a new power: metafictional awareness.
That means she knows she's in a comic book. While that allowed her to tell a lot of funny jokes about her storylines, artwork and complain about her editor, it also gave her new abilities. In one issue, She-Hulk actually used her strength and awareness to escape a villain by literally ripping a hole in her own comic book. She led her companions through one of the book's advertisements to the other side.
13 SHE SWAPPED FLUIDS WITH HULK
Lots of superheroes have gained their powers in many different ways. Some, like Spider-Man, were exposed to weird radiation; others, like Superman, were born with their powers. Bruce Banner became the Hulk by getting caught in a gamma bomb explosion. You would expect She-Hulk to get her powers like Banner, but she didn't. She got her powers by swapping body fluids with her cousin... which admittedly sounds dirtier than it is.
Jennifer Walters was a lawyer who was shot by a gangster. Fortunately, her cousin Bruce Banner saved her life from the almost fatal wound by giving her a blood transfusion. The blood let her survive long enough to get to the hospital, but the radiation in it also changed Walters into She-Hulk. That sure beat getting blown up.
12 SHE HAD HULK'S CHILDREN
She-Hulk has always been close to her cousin Bruce Banner but one alternate universe got them way too close. In the 2008 miniseries Old Man Logan (Mark Millar, Steve McNiven), we saw a distant future where supervillains had wiped out almost all the superheroes to take control of the United States. Logan was an aged Wolverine who had turned his back on violence because of a horrible tragedy but agreed to take a road trip with Hawkeye to save his farm.
His farm and his family were threatened by the Hulk Gang, a group of mutant Hulks who had taken over the East Coast. In the end, it turned out the Hulk Gang were the inbred children of Jennifer Walters and Bruce Banner. It seemed way out of character for Jennifer, so let's just assume the radiation drove her to do it.
11 ANGER MAKES HER STRONGER
What drives Bruce Banner to transform into the Hulk? Most people know the answer is rage, but it's a little more complex than that. At times, the Hulk has changed because of the time of day or because of physical stress. For the most part, She-Hulk has been able to change at will instead of having to respond to emotional stress or external factors, although she has occasionally changed out of fear or anger.
However, She-Hulk does share an emotional response with the Hulk in that anger makes her stronger. There's no known limit to her increasing strength when she's mad but she doesn't get as mad as her cousin so we haven't seen her push the limits. Here's hoping we never have to see how mad and strong she can get.
10 SHE WENT GRAY
She-Hulk has been called the Jade Giantess, a version of the Hulk who's smart and in control but that's changed in a major way. In recent issues, She-Hulk has been through a very hard time. In 2016's Civil War II, her cousin Bruce Banner was killed. Shortly after that, she had to fight the cosmic warrior Thanos. The stress caused her to change for the worse.
Jennifer Walters has discovered that she's started changing while under stress into a gray version of herself instead of green. The gray version is bigger, stronger and less intelligent than her green form. In other words, Gray She-Hulk is more like the green Hulk, which is bad news for everyone. She worries that she'll become like Bruce with an out of control monster inside her.
9 SHE-HULK IS HER IDEAL WOMAN
Why is She-Hulk a statuesque, visually arresting woman instead of the bulky monstrous form of the Hulk? That's tied to the fact that different people exposed to gamma radiation change into different forms. The Abomination became even more hideous than the Hulk, and the Leader got a powerful mind instead of a powerful body, with the head to match. Even Doc Samson became a handsome and muscular adonis with no physical deformity except for long, green hair. Why would a single source of radiation cause so many different changes?
Banner and other gamma researchers came to believe gamma radiation turns people into their subconscious desires. In the same way that the Hulk was born from Banner's repressed rage and frustration, She-Hulk was born out of shy Jennifer Walters' desire to be strong, confident and beautiful. In other words, She-Hulk is Walters' idea of a perfect woman.
8 SHE COULDN'T CHANGE
She-Hulk has usually been in control of her changes, but that hasn't always been the case. She's been a member of many different superhero groups but her time with the Fantastic Four changed her drastically. For a while, the Thing left the group and She-Hulk took his place. In Marvel Graphic Novel #18: Sensational She-Hulk (John Byrne), She-Hulk was caught in a radiation leak from a crashed S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. While she succeeded in saving the day, the radiation left her without the power to change back to human form.
Oddly enough, she didn't mind being stuck in She-Hulk form since she preferred to be a hulk anyway. Later on, though, it turned out the radiation didn't cause any physical change and her block was just psychological. With that taken away, she gained the power to change back again.
7 A VAMPIRE CHANGED HER
In the beginning of the Savage She-Hulk's history, she was nothing more than a female version of the Hulk. She would change when she turned angry, just like Bruce Banner did at the time. However, a funny thing happened in Savage She-Hulk #11 (David Kraft, Mike Vosberg). In a previous issue, she contracted a rare blood disease that almost killed her and only Michael Morbius, a scientifically created vampire, could cure it.
Morbius gave her a serum that treated the disease but she had to change to her human guise as Jennifer Walter for it to work. With a lot of effort, she was able to will herself to transform and that left her with the power to change whenever she wanted instead of turning into She-Hulk at random.
6 SHE-HULK IS ADDICTIVE
People can get addicted to things like drugs and alcohol while other people get addicted to things like playing video games. Jennifer Walters suffers from an addiction to She-Hulk. Before she became a hulk, Walters was a shy woman who didn't like to stand up for herself. When she became She-Hulk, Walters became more outspoken, confident and even aggressive. In other words, She-Hulk is everything Walters isn't.
Not only does Walters not mind becoming She-Hulk, she actually loves it. She stays She-Hulk most of the time and hasn't minded when she lost the power to become human. At one point, she lost the power to turn into She-Hulk and what should have been a blessing was a curse. In She-Hulk #19 (Dan Slott, Ty Templeton, Rick Burchett), she was forced to admit to being addicted to She-Hulk.
5 EXERCISE MAKES HER STRONGER
Unlike her cousin, She-Hulk's strength tends to have a set limit. She's strong but not as strong as the Hulk. Other than getting angry, she discovered a new way to boost her speed the good old-fashioned way. In 2006, She-Hulk #8 (Dan Slott, Juan Bobillo) brought her up against the Champion of the Universe, an immortal who is dedicated to proving himself the best fighter ever. He's challenged some of Earth's strongest heroes.
When he came to She-Hulk, she almost lost until she asked for an appeal to try again three months later. During that time, she exercised faithfully in her human form and discovered that boosted her strength as She-Hulk as well. When she returned to face the Champion, she also argued that he couldn't use his Power Gem because that was an outside weapon. With her skills as a lawyer and increased strength, she won!
4 HEALING FACTOR
As a human woman, Jennifer Walters is as vulnerable as anyone, but She-Hulk is much more resilient than most people think, inside and out. If her enemies tried to stop her from poisoning or infection, they'd be out of luck because she's resistant to all toxins, bacteria or viruses.
In battle, She-Hulk can take a lot of damage. Bullets bounce right off her and she can take a punch from the Hulk without breaking all her bones. She's not invulnerable, though. If she gets hurt badly enough, her skin can be broken and she can get injured like anyone else. However, just like the Hulk, She-Hulk can heal herself within minutes. She can't grow back missing arms or internal organs but when she was hurt by Wendigo in 2007's She-Hulk #16 (Dan Slott, Rick Burchett), she recovered in moments.
3 SHE CAN SWITCH BODIES
You know what you didn't know She-Hulk could do? Switch bodies with people, that's what. In 1992, Sensational She-Hulk #45 by John Byrne introduced that new power into She-Hulk's arsenal. In the story, She-Hulk was taken as a prisoner and held in a cell along with aliens, including a race called the Ovoids. The Ovoids are a powerful alien race that could switch minds with other beings. It turned out the power wasn't just for Ovoids. They had taught Doctor Strange how to do it, and taught She-Hulk, too.
She used the power to switch bodies with her secretary Weezi, who even took on a greenish hue. With Weezi's body, She-Hulk escaped but had to convince Weezi to let her change back. She-Hulk never used the power again but she probably hasn't forgotten it.
2 SHE WASN'T RECOGNIZED
Why doesn't anyone notice that Superman and Clark Kent are the same people? That's a long-standing question in comics that gets at the heart of the secret identity many superheroes have. In 2004, She-Hulk #2 (Dan Slott, Juan Bobillo) introduced the solution for why no one went after the superhero when she turned human.
Her Avengers teammate Scarlet Witch put a hex on her that kept people who wanted to hurt her from recognizing Jennifer Walters. That way, she wouldn't have to keep a secret identity but also didn't have to worry about people attacking her as a human. In 2008's She-Hulk #8 (Dan Slott, Paul Smith), Jennifer tried to figure out why she couldn't change back into She-Hulk and found out the hex was the problem. She went to Doctor Strange to take the hex off, but it was great while it lasted.
1 AN EXPERT FIGHTER
When it comes to combat, the Hulk just punches and kicks things until they fall apart or stop moving. She-Hulk has the advantage there because she doesn't just fall back on superhuman strength. As a member of different superhero teams, she's been trained by combat experts like Captain America and Gamora. Not only can she use a variety of weapons, but when she fights hand-to-hand, a karate chop has a lot more impact than a simple punch.
Whether she's in her human or Hulk form, she uses the same martial arts skills to take down enemies much bigger and stronger than she is. In 2007, She-Hulk #15 (Dan Slott, Rick Burchett) put her up against Hulk's nemesis, the Abomination. First, she used psychology to try to distract him, then she used her knowledge of acupressure to strike nerve clusters on his body and take him down.