Get ready to Hulk out true believers. The Jade Giantess returns in a brand new series coming in December but not as She-Hulk, Jennifer Walters is dropping the she from her alter ego all together and has decided to just go by Hulk. Maybe it’s in honor of her fallen cousin Bruce Banner or maybe this is just the next chapter of Jennifer’s life after everything she went through thanks to the events of Civil War 2. It’s probably a little bit of both but if I was a betting man I’d say it’s more the ladder than the former.
The creative team behind the new Hulk series is writer Mariko Tamaki and artist Nico Leon. Tamaki has worked on fan favorite series like The One Summer and the 2016 Tomb Raider ongoing series. Nico Leon has worked on issues of both Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man. These two are both powerhouses in their own right just imagine what they can do together? I for one couldn’t be more excited.
Civil War 2 has left many fans wondering what’s next for Jennifer. She miraculously managed to survive her encounter with Thanos only to later find out that her beloved cousin was killed by someone she considered a friend. That kind of emotional and psychological trauma would mess anyone up, but if you are familiar with your Hulk lore then you know that the person’s mental state is often reflected in their Hulk form. Take a look at this image from Civil War 2 issue 4 and see the shift in Jenifer for yourself.
Before we continue to think about what lies ahead for Jennifer let’s take some time to see just how far she has come. She-Hulk was created in the 80’s. She was a somewhat timid yet intelligent lawyer that gained powers similar to her cousin after she received his blood through a transfusion after being targeted by the mob for her involvement in a case. She-Hulk was unique compared to her cousin because unlike Bruce, Jennifer was able to maintain control over her mind and body while in her Hulk form. In fact Jennifer soon discovered that she was much more confident while in her Hulk form so she opted to remain in her Hulk form, even when in court. She-Hulk was a huge hit with fans and received her own ongoing series in 1980. In the beginning, her stories featured a mix of the classic light hearted style of romance comics and traditional superhero adventures. These type of fun silly stories would be the status quo for She-Hulk for a while until she was taken more seriously later on in her history. Something fun that some Marvel fans may not know is that She-Hulk actually pre dates Deadpool when it comes to breaking the fourth wall in a superhero comic. The Jade Giantess beat the Merc with a Mouth to that punchline.
Her character took a more serious shift when Dan Slott took over the title a bit before the events of the original Civil War. During his run Slott focused on how Jennifer would balance her life as both a superhero and a lawyer, these two worlds would often overlap. He also touched on Jennifer’s inner conflict about who her true self was, her natural human form or her She-Hulk form. Jennifer’s struggles, adventures, and victories made her much more relatable which helped to endear her to fans and elevate her place within the greater Marvel universe.
The most recent She-Hulk series by Charles Soule took She-Hulk back to her roots. The series mainly focused on Jennifer and her adventures in her new law office as she tackled cases that dealt with various aspects of the Marvel universe. It was met with mixed reviews among fans and critics. The series was unfortunately canceled after 12 issues but She-Hulk and her law practice made a brief return as the center piece of the Gwenpool Holiday Special. Jennifer would still remain an active part of the Marvel universe despite her solo series ending. She would go on to make guest appearances in several titles, eventually becoming the leader of A-Force and of course she is a key player in Civil War 2.
Now that we’ve touched on Jennifer’s past and present a bit. It’s time we get back to discussing what the future holds for Ms. Walters. Let’s think about the name Hulk for a second. When most fans think of Hulk they think of emotional baggage and a constant relentless struggle between a hero and the monster within. Check and double check. Jennifer has been through hell and back. There’s no way that after all of this she will be able to shake it off and just go back to normal. This could and most likely be a struggle, the likes of which the fans have never seen before with Jennifer. As long as she’s been around she’s had control of herself and her powers. We’ve seen a couple glimpses of what Jennifer losing some control in things like Avengers Disassembled, but never to the scale of how damaged she is in Civil War 2. It has a lot of exciting possibilities. All the fear, anxiety, and anger she no doubt is carrying with her now, who knows how that will effect her both as a hero and just as Jennifer Walters. Maybe this could even be a chance for fans to see something we haven’t seen in years. Jennifer’s human form and her struggle between the two. All in all this news is very exciting and this series has a ton of potential.
Well true believers what do you think? Do you love Jennifer Walters as much as I do? Are you excited for this new Hulk series? Tell me in the comments.