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When She-Hulk Was Simultaneously an Avenger and in the Fantastic Four

by  in CBR Exclusives Comment
When She-Hulk Was Simultaneously an Avenger and in the Fantastic Four

In every installment of “If I Pass This Way Again,” we look at odd comic book plot points that were rarely (sometimes NEVER!) mentioned again after they were first introduced.

Today, we look at a rather novel idea that Roger Stern and John Byrne came up with that never actually came into play really, which is the idea that She-Hulk would be one of the (if not THE) first superheroes to be on two separate teams simultaneously. Now, this was back in the 1980s, long before Wolverine made a whole artform out of being on a whole bunch of teams at once (Wolverine was literally on at least four different teams at once circa 2010, possibly even FIVE, as he was on the regular Avengers, the New Avengers and then a few different X-Men teams. Earlier, when he was only on the New Avengers, he was also on X-Force plus a few X-Men teams. I don’t know if it ever got more than four at once, though).

She-Hulk joined the Avengers in Avengers #221 (by Jim Shooter, David Michelinie, Bob Hall and Brett Breeding), which had the following iconic Ed Hannigan cover…

The Avengers were down to just four members after Yellowjacket was kicked off of the team and Tigra then resigned, so they went about recruiting new members and the Wasp specifically tried to get a new female member for the team by hosting a number of female heroes to recruit them. In the end, Hawkeye returned to the team and She-Hulk joined up. However, the two new members had an awkward first meeting…

So anyhow, She-Hulk then served with the team with distinction for the next two years, until in Avengers #242 (by Roger Stern, Al Milgrom, Joe Rubinstein and Brett Breeding), the Avengers are called to a mysterious ring in Central Park. Most of the Avengers, She-Hulk included, enter the ring…and vanish!!

As it turned out, they ended up on a whole other world, a Battleworld created by the Beyonder just to watch superheroes fight supervillains in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1 (by Jim Shooter, Mike Zeck and John Beatty)…

While on the world, the Thing (of the Fantastic Four) discovered that he could change between his Ben Grimm human form and his Thing form whenever he wanted to. He decided that he wanted to stay on the world for a while, to enjoy this new status quo. The She-Hulk agreed to take his place on the Fantastic Four (as John Byrne noted – it’s all about the illusion of change. The Fantastic Four lost a super strong member and gained a super strong member)…

She-Hulk then heads over to the Avengers Mansion to check in with the Avengers and the new chairman of the team, the Vision, offers her an intriguing new position – she can be a “detached” member of the Avengers. She’s still a member of the team and not a reservist, but she will only be treated as an active member whenever she was available to help out…

Thus, she was now the first hero to be a member of the Avengers and the Fantastic Four simultaneously!

However, did this new arrangement actually WORK?

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