At D23 in August 2019, Marvel announced three new Disney+ series. One of them happened to be She-Hulk.
While Marvel has yet to release many details about the show, there is a lot we know from the comics about Bruce Banner’s equally brilliant cousin. Here are five things Marvel could bring from the comics to the MCU.
1. Her Origin Story
Most fans know She-Hulk, real name Jennifer Walters, has the same powers as her cousin Bruce. What a lot of people don’t know is the in-depth history of how she got them. Being a lawyer, Jen was already crossing paths with villains. A crime boss by the name of Nicholas Trask (who had crossed her father, Sheriff Morris Walters), shot her for defending a gangster who betrayed him. Lucky for her, Bruce happened to be in town and fended off her attackers. The only way he could save her life though was to give her a transfusion of his own blood. In She-Hulk #3 (2006) Bruce mentions that same incident.
One would think that being a Gamma-charged human would hinder Jen’s life, rather than help her, and that’s partially true. In She-Hulk #4 (2006) she was having prolonged “mental blocks” as to why she couldn’t transform. Part of the reason was due to her “savage” outburst in the past that was caused by Jack of Hearts and Scarlet Witch, leading her to destroy Bone, Idaho. Bruce once again, protecting his cousin, took the blame. Going back to Bone, she went to go volunteer for The Green Cross, which helped repair Hulk-related incidents, and was able to transform into She-Hulk to apologize and fix the damage.
But being She-Hulk also helps her win cases that involve Super-Human law. When needed, she has a Gamma-Changer that allows her to go back and forth between Jennifer and She-Hulk. Jen was one of the most sought after lawyers, especially when it came to superheroes and, later, super villains. With her “frenemy”, Mallory Book, they had every recognizable name under the sun on trial, from Spider-Man to The Leader.
2. Her Relationships
As She-Hulk, Jennifer Walters has a lot of relationships. But her most important platonic one is with her cousin Bruce. Even though they eventually ended up parting ways when they grew up, they were actually inseparable as kids; developing a brother-sister bond, regardless of being five years apart. If the series does decide to touch on this, it would be really nice to see Mark Ruffalo make a cameo for a couple of episodes to establish that familial connection.
Augustus Pugliese, also known as Pug, is Jen’s best friend and co-worker. The two of them were unstoppable, and usually ended up winning their cases. But it is revealed that he has feelings for her, only to be friend-zoned. Though sad, in She-Hulk #21 (2007) the MCU multiverse is explored. And on Earth A, it’s revealed that the Jennifer and Pug of that planet, are a couple while the Jennifer and Pug of our Earth are still very good friends.
Jennifer also dates Colonel John Jonah Jameson (son of J. Jonah Jameson), The Man-Wolf and NASA Astronaut, who even eventually proposes to her. They end up getting married in She-Hulk #10 (2006). Her relationship with John doesn’t last long though. He would rather have her stay as She-Hulk and not accept her human form. Also, her feelings were manipulated by fellow hero Starfox, which made her rush into the relationship. Jen eventually breaks things off with John, and lives her life on her own terms.
John Jonah Jameson has appeared in live-action before in Spider-Man 2 and Venom. It would be nice to see this character return for the Disney+ series, and see another interpretation.
3. Her Partnerships
Obviously, She-Hulk would cross paths with a bunch of heroes and form partnerships, some more notable than others.
Two that would make the most sense for the show seeing that the world will intertwine with the Disney+ series WandaVision and the movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, are Scarlet Witch and Doctor Strange. Both appear in several issues with Jennifer. Wanda being the cause of her savage outburst in Bone could not only be mentioned in her own series, but it could also be an event that teases the introduction of She-Hulk in WandaVision. Wanda could have a moment where she “sees” Jen wanting to take her down, leading to her going “savage”. She-Hulk could also make an appearance in The Multiverse of Madness because in several issues, Doctor Strange has helped Jen figure out her “mental blocks” with transforming back and forth. I would not be surprised if a small cameo was in both projects.
Another character Jen could have a potential team up with is Monica Rambeau. In She-Hulk #3 (2006) Monica does defend Jen on why she should stay in existence, and not be erased from the timeline. Whatever she said, it cements a friendly bond that I could see getting touched more upon in the series.
If the MCU doesn’t end up releasing an A-Force movie, a small A-Force team up in a singular episode with Captain Marvel would be just as good. In She-Hulk #12 (2006) Carol ends up helping Jen convict Starfox, the “hero” that forced her to rush into a sham marriage. If these two can serve intergalactic justice, think of what they can do locking up a super villain.
Now Southpaw isn’t a hero to start off with, in fact she’s a villain who just so happens to be the granddaughter of one of the lawyers at the firm Jen works for, Holden Holliway, making her first appearance in She-Hulk #5 (2004). Holliway put his granddaughter, Sasha Martin, under the protection of Jen. After that, she popped up every now and again. But when Jen travels through time in the issue “Time of Her Life“, we are shown a grown up Southpaw, who decided to follow in Jen’s footsteps and become a lawyer; Sasha is actually her lawyer, and argues why she should stay in the timeline. Seeing that she changed someone’s life for the better, Jen realizes she does in fact have a purpose: To fight for those who can’t defend themselves.
4. Her Potential Villains
With a new hero, comes new villains, and She-Hulk has some foes that fans already know, as well as a couple that could be introduced.
Movie fans were first introduced to Doctor Doom in 2005’s The Fantastic Four and its sequel in 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. It would be interesting to see how his grievances with Jennifer Walters and She-Hulk play out on screen, with not much being known about their rivalry.
Speaking of Doom, he is the reason She-Hulk’s next villain was created: Mary MacPherran, aka Titania. Her innate jealousy over Jen was developed by reading comics as a kid; and being born premature fueled her insecurity as a kid. Having that greatness she wanted since she was young bestowed on her by Doom, and an Infinity Gem, her mission was to take down She-Hulk. Unfortunately for her, with the help of the Avengers, Jen was able to take her down, and rebuild part of the city that was destroyed.
Another villain created by Doom, Marsha Rosenberg, also known as Volcana, she too had a vendetta against She-Hulk. Unlike her friend Titania, she does end up doing some heroic deeds with the Avengers and The Fantastic Four. Eventually she turns to “Villain for Hire” with Titania, hired by former hero Nightwatch to keep She-Hulk away from documents that incriminated him. Both ended up being incapacitated by Jen and Hellcat after the situation.
First seen in She-Hulk #6 (2004) Carl Creel, aka The Absorbing Man is another big foe from She-Hulk’s history. Though not a lot is known, he did end up forming a serious relationship with Titania and the both of them end up getting taken down by She-Hulk. Last played by Brian Patrick Blake on Agents of SHIELD, it would be nice if the same actor could reprise his role; it would definitely give the series another layer of complexity, tying prime time and streaming together.
5. A Future Movie?
Not everything from She-Hulk’s backstory can be put into the Disney+ series, however this character has more than enough interesting story lines to be put into a future movie.
In She-Hulk #3 (2006) Jen in taken to court for trying to interfere with another timeline. During that trial, the TVA shows an event called “The Reckoning War.” It takes place two years in the future where She-Hulk ends up going savage again, this time she ends up annihilating an entire universe. Feeling dismayed, she accepts her sentence to be erased from the timeline. However, Southpaw shows the Justices and Mr. Mobius how many people Jen has helped, causing her sentence to be rescinded; Mr. Mobius ruled she was too important to be erased and allowed her to stay.
What also is touched on in the same issue is the House of M event. Before Hawkeye’s death in House of M #4, he is one of the witnesses at Jen’s trial. She tries to warn him of his impending death caused by Jack of Hearts and Scarlet Witch, which in turn leads to She-Hulk’s prosecution and sentencing. Seeing Jen trying to save Hawkeye would be an interesting way to tie in his Disney+ series as well, having it come full circle with WandaVision.
The next one isn’t a storyline per say, but an object. Having been used to help convict Starfox in She-Hulk #13 (2006) the Cosmic Cube isn’t described in detail. All that is known about it is that it can control matter and energy; known to grant the will of conscious beings. There are also different kinds of Cubes that can be created, but would be significantly less powerful. What Cube we’d see in the series is still unknown, but it would definitely throw She-Hulk for a loop.
With only the lead writer announced, a lot is still a mystery about the series. Though it may now take the form of a law-based show, like Law & Order, it is in good hands with Jessica Gao, who won an Emmy for the episode “Pickle Rick” of Rick and Morty. Who knows, maybe some comedy will balance out the seriousness of Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk.
She-Hulk is set to premiere in 2022.