This is “How Can I Explain?”, which is a feature spotlighting inexplicable comic book plots.
Today, we look at the completely inexplicable situation with She-Hulk when the heroes returned to Earth following the events of “Heroes Reborn.”
Okay, to start our story, we have to explain how the Onslaught crossover ended. Onslaught was a being made pretty much entirely out of malevolent psionic energy. It was the dark sides of Xavier and Magneto merged together with Xavier’s psionic powers to form a sentient being of pure energy. It used a special armor to give it form and its plan was to merge with the powerful telepath, Nate Grey, to give itself a human body and then it would, I dunno, take over the world? Destroy the world? Onslaught’s ultimate goals were a bit hazy. I think it was something like transform the entire human race into energy or something like that. So everyone would be united as energy? Maybe? Well, whatever it was, it was bad news for everybody involved, so the X-Men tried to stop him.
They were trying to stop Onslaught and were not getting very far when, at the end of the Onslaught crossover (in Onslaught: Marvel Universe by Scott Lobdell, Adam Kubert, Joe Bennett and a bunch of inkers), the Avengers and the Fantastic Four showed up to help out…
Oh, and the Hulk was there and so was Doctor Doom.
Reed Richards figures out that the only way to defeat Onslaught (once the Hulk got so angry that he got strong enough to crack open Onslaught’s armor) was to absorb Onslaught’s psionic energy with their bodies. The problem was that since Onslaught began life sort of as a mutant, when mutants entered his energy field, it just made him stronger. He could feed off their bodies, while with Homo Sapiens, he was drained into the bodies (but it would destroy their bodies in the process). So all the heroes got together and figured that they had to sacrifice themselves to weaken him and absorb enough of his energy that the X-Men could then destroy him once they were all gone. The heroes knew that they would die, but this way they would save the world.
In reality, this was all just a way to take a few of Marvel’s characters off of the board when Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld (and their respective studios) would relaunch the “dead” characters in an alternate universe.
The reveal was that Franklin Richards saved all of the heroes’ lives by simply transporting them to another Earth (not an alternate universe). They were seemingly new people, but they were alive.
However, here’s an issue. She-Hulk? Wasn’t with the heroes that day. She hadn’t been a regular Avenger in a few years at that point, so she wasn’t there when they sacrificed themselves.
She was also clearly still on Earth while the other heroes were on the alternate Earth, as seen in this page from the short-lived Heroes for Hire series out during the period where the Avengers and Fantastic Four were gone…
That should be simple enough, though, right? Not every hero was there. However, it was complicated by the fact that She-Hulk WAS in the Heroes Reborn universe, in the pages of Iron Man!
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