6’7″. 650 lbs. green. female. Put those together and you get one of Marvel’s most powerful (and litigious) heroines. The last major comic character Stan Lee created for Marvel (let’s all forget Ravage 2o99), She-Hulk went from a carbon copy of her cousin Bruce Banner, aka The Hulk, with angry outbursts, torn clothes and “savage” in the the title to a more nuanced super-hero under the pen of John Byrne as the character grew up in the Marvel Universe. She’s been a key member of many of Marvel’s major teams like the Fantastic Four, the Avengers and even S.H.I.E.L.D., but she’s often-times best seen on solo adventures in four previous ongoing series as well as a slew of one-shots and limited series.
In recent years, She-Hulk’s character has been expanded to include not just her hulked-up identity but also her normal human self as attorney Jennifer Walters. Dan Slott’s excellent She-Hulk series from 2004-2007 expounded on that with Walters/She-Hulk working as part of a law firm representing superhuman interests like a super-hero version of The Practice. After the finale of her most recent solo series in 2009, She-Hulk has been involved with select Avengers missions but also wading in to the ever-growing Hulk family of characters and their raging tempers from Red Hulk and even previously unknown kids of the Hulk like Skaar and Lyra.
You’d imagine a woman who is 6’7″, green and built like Beth Phoenix from WWE might be easy to find on comic shelves, but you’d be wrong. Therefore, iFanboy pulled the five best collected editions for you to track down if you want to know more about She-Hulk… Just don’t call her Shulkie.
She-Hulk, Vol. 1: Single Green Female: As previously mentioned, Dan Slott’s run on She-Hulk beginning with this collected edition forged a new path for the Jade Giantess that sees the character going in and out of her She-Hulk persona while trying to carry a job as a lawyer representing super-human clients. If you like what Slott’s doing on Amazing Spider-Man, this is that cranked up a notch with zany characters and characterization, but all with a foundation of strong storytelling.
Sensational She-Hulk, Vol. 1: This is the big one. Fresh off his run on Fantastic Four, writer/artist John Byrne is at the top of his game when he takes on She-Hulk in her own solo series. Bouncing off from an earlier graphic novel, Byrne pushes She-Hulk character-wise away from the raging antics Hulks are known for into an almost Ferris Bueller-style romp fighting inane villains, vamping guest stars, and even breaking the fourth wall and talking to the reader. Arguably one of the most unique comics in the mainstream before or since, and a key asset for anyone wanting to know more about She-Hulk.
She-Hulk: Ceremony: The rarity in my list today, this two-part miniseries follows She-Hulk as she attempts to revive her relationship with Fantastic Four-era boyfriend Wyatt Wingfoot and have a baby. This unique series really takes She-Hulk to new places, from preventing the bombing of an abortion clinic, an Native American vision quest, and some experimental 80s art scene reminiscent of Devo. Done by Dwayne McDuffie and artists Robin Chaplik and June Brigman, this is worth tracking down if you find yourself a fan of She-Hulk.
Hulk, Vol. 2: It says “Hulk” in the title, but the main character here is “Red Hulk”… but I’m picking this one out for Red Hulk’s main antagonist in this, She-Hulk, as she assembles a crew to try to take down the rampaging red behemoth. Frank Cho turns in one of the best modern itterations of She-Hulk here (assisted by writer Jeph Loeb), and reforms the all-female hit squad the Lady Liberators to take on the then new Red Hulk.
Essential Savage She-Hulk: If you want to know how She-Hulk started, this is where you go. Gifted with her powers after a blood tranfusion from her cousin Bruce Banner, Jennifer Walters really breaks out here thanks to a stellar first issue by Lee and artist John Buscema. This collects the the entire 25-issue run of this series, and it’s interesting to see where her growth as a character mirrors and then breaks away from that of the original Hulk. In these early issues we begin to see the formation of what would be the core rogue’s gallery for She-Hulk, including one of the best character names ever: Buck Bukowski, Assistant D.A.