Remake & Reboot: The SHE-HULK Comic Series

When you’re 6’7″, female and green, you have a hard time fitting in with just about anyone. Even if you’re a superhero; heck, even amongst other superheroes you never get called in for the major events lately. That’s the plight of Marvel’s She-Hulk, and that’s what we’re out to change with a quick proposal on how to make things better.

Originally created as a savage female stand-in for her cousin the Hulk, She-Hulk grew by leaps and bounds into a fully formed superwoman in control of her green-skinned alter-ego but having a harder time dealing with life as a super-hero. She’s been a member of the Fantastic Four, The Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D. and even a superhero law firm, but she’s never been able to find herself — or the sales to keep a solo book going strong. That needs to change.

The Concept:

She-Hulk has constantly been living in the shadow of her older cousin the Hulk, so why not take advantage of that in light of the events of Incredible Hulk series which sees Bruce Banner gone mad? Step aside Doc Samson and let Jennifer Walters talk to her cousin  and see how far he’s gone and the consequences of his current state. Re-introduce She-Hulk in Jason Aaron’s run and then spin her off into her own series (with the creative team below) as she uses her background as a lawyer to try to reason with the world’s biggest threats or, you know, punches them. She could go in the darker corners of the Marvel U to ferret out these hard-t0-handle situations, like a one-woman street-level Planetary squad. And she could do it with a chip on her shoulder against other heroes for turning their back on her cousin and in a way turning their back on her.

The Creators:

Writers – Brian Michael Bendis & Kelly Sue DeConnick: He is Marvel’s (and arguably the comic industry’s) biggest writer. She’s a relatively new voice in comics with experience in manga and the excellent Osborn: Evil Incarcerated on her CV. Together they wrote the “adaptation” of a fictional novel by TV show Castle’s lead character Richard Castle, titled Richard Castle’s Deadly Storm: A Derrick Storm Mystery. This potential combination could be a perfect solution to get the nuanced life of Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk.

Artist – Ryan Stegman: Currently drawing Scarlet Spider, Stegman is one of Marvel’s next big things (to borrow a title from their conference call announcement series), and has experience with She-Hulk. Stegman has a real grasp of super-hero action, along with a tinge of classic cartooning ability that She-Hulk needs. Together with Bendis and DeConnick, they could make something extra special.


  1. Only problem with this, as we just learned, is that Stegman cannot do a monthly book. I fear frequent art changes would hamper this title, which needs all the help it can get.

  2. Can someone explain to me why there is no “she-Hulk movie”? Judging by all the rest of the crap Hollywood has been churning out over the last few years, I would’ve thought “Hot green chick in unitard who fights crime in the courtroom and out of it” would sell itself.

  3. I enjoy this feature but c’mon, Chris.

    Putting a name like Bendis anywhere near this exercise just reads uninspired. Kelly Sue Dominick’s name can stand on its own. Or why not crack open IMDB and pick from the dozens of TV and movie writers who’ve written legal dramas. Who knows, maybe they’ll consider taking on the project.

    • Like who, David Kelly?

    • David Kelly would work on several levels (consider the Wonder Woman hullabaloo from last year) but so would Marc Guggenheim. Guggenheim’s written a slew of episodes of The Practice, Law & Order plus has already written comics.
      Or Lynne Litt who’s penned several episodes of USA’s In Plain Sight as well as Law & Order, The Practice, and was a producer on the first season of Lost.

  4. Kelly Sue DeConnick, Kathryn Immonen and Marjorie Liu would be the first three writers I’d think of.

    As to artist, Ryan Stegman, Frank Cho, The Dodsons, Stuart Immonen, Stefano Caselli, Carlos Pacheco, Giuseppe Camuncoli, and Humberto Ramos could all do various arcs of the series.

    I like the concept. It would be nice to see a plot where the hero is at least attempting to be proactive, and actually have a plan of attack, instead of couch-surfing, drinking canned beer and eating cold pizza out of other people’s refrigerators while waiting around for the inevitable imminent planetary peril.

    • While we’re imagining:

      Backup features by Stephanie Buscema, Karl Kesel, Carla Speed McNeill, and others, including: Louise Simonson, Ann Nocenti, Elaine Lee, Mark Waid, Loeb & Sale or McGuiness, Colleen Coover, Sana Takeda, Adriana Melo, Amanda Conner, Nicola Scott, Sara Pichelli, Emma Rios, etc. The kind of folks Marvel called on to do Girl Comics and the Ms. Marvel series.

      Covers by whoever did the previous arc, with Stegman, Cho, The Dodsons, Sana Takeda and Mike Del Mundo as fill-in choices.

      Extend the concept to deal with dozens of forgotten heroes, unresolved plotlines or abandoned implements of worldwide destruction. Have Jen bring actions against various organizations with the 616-verse on behalf of washed-up, cast-off and wanna-be capes, agents, henchmen and villains. In a similar vein to the current Daredevil title, but with Jen fulfilling the role of life-coach to completely redeem the person on a more holistic level than just legal entanglements.

      It’d also be great to see her helping out former teammates, other gamma ray “victims” and various persons affected by her cousin’s actions to form a sort of support network and extended family for herself, including Banner’s many wives, consorts, co-parents and their children. Boston Legal meets Tarzan Family.

    • Extending the concept even further, I would have this book be a sort of foil to the Waid DD title.

      Instead of simply bursting through people’s lives with his inability to understand fear and the great peril that brings to everyone he encounters, like Daredevil, She-Hulk would instead circle back around to see the aftermath in the wake of senseless destruction, and choose to devote her life to seeking out and forming friendships with others also affected by larger-than-life phenomena like gamma radiation poisoning, interstellar abduction, or sudden loss of income resulting from non-existence of former mutant powers.

      While her cousin separates himself from others, and while the heroes turn their backs on him and each other, Jen is the glue of the entire Marvel U., with friends everywhere. She may not have stayed on many teams forever, but she usually (always?) left on good terms, filled in when called upon, often in times of dire peril and would be welcomed back. She doesn’t accept that she doesn’t fit in. She’s not a brooding loner like her cousin. She’s everybody’s pal, the gal who’s always willing to speak her mind, to see you in court, or see you on the fields of play or combat.

      And be ready. Because any of her friends might show up at anytime. Just to see how she’s doing or what she’s up to. Anybody who messes with her never knows who might randomly kick their ass in return. A lot of people either owe her favors, or would like to.

      Nobody dictates her life’s script for her.

      Not gamma radiation. Not her cousin’s craziness. Not invasions from beyond the stars.

      She’s got a family and she’s got friends because she went out and made a life for herself beyond her role as the big green girl you call when Hulk does something really bad and somebody need to clean up the mess.

  5. Good call Chris, as John Byrne said, or maybe it was Peter David, She hulk has the potential to be marvel’s wonder woman.

    However, I think there is a flaw in your plan. I thought bends had a well documented dislike of she hulk and wanted to kill her off? I’m sure I read that somewhere.

    Anyway, with enough launch velocity a she hulk book could do really well. Good choice Chris!

  6. Not trying to be mean here…

    Isn’t lady-a-fy-ing a hero generally seen by comic fans as lame?

    So basically, that’s all she-hulk is, lady-a-fied hulk. The reader has absolutely no reason to take her seriously, her name is a knock off, her powers are a knock off and her personal life is entirely mundane. There’s nothing to grab the readers other than the surface. That’s why she worked great in the slap stick and cheese cake Sensational She-Hulk(which I actually bought), her longest lasting series(quick wiki). Which I think (quick wiki) ran for more issues that Power Girl did, a character of the same ilk, and I was told that was a great “serious” book.

    In my entirely uninformed opinion, I think a She Hulk series pitch meeting could spiral head first into “try to save her from perma-death” meeting.

    A quote from wiki
    “She-Hulk was created by Stan Lee, who wrote only the first issue, and was the last character he created for Marvel[3] before his return to comics with Ravage 2099 in 1992. The reason for the character’s creation had to do with the success of the Incredible Hulk TV series (1977–82). Afraid that the show’s executives would suddenly introduce a female Hulk, resembling the popular Bionic Woman, Marvel decided to publish their own version of such a character to make sure that if a similar one showed up in the TV series, they would own the rights.”

    Why should she exist? Other than her connection to Stan Lee. Answer that and maybe you’ll have something on which to build.

    • The sensational she hulk series was slapstick, but it was also part of the tradition of books, like the seminal animal man run by grant morrison, where the form of comics was being challenged. So the sensational she hulk is historically important.

      The follow up series by dan slott was just really good comics, very well told and a prime example of what can happen when you give a talented writer the keys to a character and let him do what he wants. As a result of slott’s run and to a lesser extent the David follow up, she hulk became an interesting, rounded, complex character that deserves better and is capable of more than most give her credit.

      And I haven’t even mentioned her runs in the ff and avengers. She hulk is important to the history of the MU.

  7. Her cousin did something noble to save her life, which completely changed her life.

    She’s trying not to be a victim of it, but to own it, find others like her also affected by it, and help them to own it, too.

    She already has Lyra living with her.

    I’d have her reaching out to Betty Ross, Thundra, Lyja, Julia Carpenter (screwed over by the Avengers), Power Woman (whose husband Jen used to date), Skaar, Rick Jones, Samson, Valkyrie and the rest of the Liberators, and eventually even Thunderbolt Ross, as well as anyone affected by the Hulk’s “curse” in a negative way.

    Plus I’d include some cameos like Wanda, Namor, Emma Frost, Magneto, and Mar-Vell, besides the usual Ms. Marvel, Spider-Woman, Black Widow, Hellcat, Tigra, Storm, Sue Richards, Red Guardian, Sif, Magik, Pixie, Shadowcat, etc.

    Maybe have her reform the Liberators with an all-new team.

    Run secret humanitarian missions in dangerous regions of the world undermining oppressive regimes.

    Bring actions in court against major players on behalf of oppressed and forgotten nobodies.

    I think I’d play it slightly less flip than Sensational, and a little more Alias meets HIMYM.

    Yes, the craziness that surrounds her cousin’s life certainly forms a backdrop to her own, but she likes to think that her life forms a counterpoint to his: a person can face an unwanted destiny, can learn to make the best of what should be a curse.

    Maybe that blood transfusion made her She-Hulk, but it didn’t stop her from being Jennifer Walters.

    Maybe Also Known As would be a good title.


    • Why would she think shes a victim? I’d think she’d feel lucky she got this second chance at life and then some. Her powers dont have anything negative that comes with it and I’d think if they decided to showcase how she thinks her gamma power is a gift rather then a curse would be a nice contrast to Banner.

  8. I say thee YAY. Bring us more She-Hulk on a monthly basis, she is strong and hot and fun.

  9. Strong, fun, sexy female character needs a creative team?

    Sounds like a job for the ex-Power Girl Team!

    Someone light the Connor – Palmiotti -Gray signal and get them working on this yesterday.

    • I was just about to type this and you beat me to the punch. Amanda Conner would be PERFECT for this book.

    • While I agree on Amanda Conner, I don’t think she necessarily has to be teamed up with Palmiotti & Gray.

      While they did a great run together on PG, I’d really like to see Kelly Sue Deconnick, Kathryn Immonen or Marjorie Liu write Jennifer Walters.

      It would be interesting for Marvel to have another ongoing solo female monthly written by a woman. After Marjorie’s runs on Black Widow and X-23, I’d say she’s very qualified.

      It would also be interesting to see how much “male gaze” would be present in a mainstream superhero book largely created by two women.

      If they went with Amanda Conner, I’d recommend Nicola Scott as the alternate artist.

    • As for the male thing, ha I have noticed that female writers often have even more boob references / boob jokes etc and perviness than the male writers, Gail Simone for example etc.