Mariko Tamaki fills us in on what Legacy has in store for Jen Walters!

The Leader is back on the scene to wreak havoc (it’s kind of his thing), but this time the big-headed ne’er-do-well strikes our hero when She-Hulk is at her weakest. Dealing with her new grey state has been challenging enough for Jen to face as it is, but what will happen when she is forced to face herself… literally?

SHE-HULK #159 by writer Mariko Tamaki with art by Jahnoy Lindsay presents their Legacy offering — JEN WALTERS MUST DIE: PART 1! Catch it on November 8th at a comic store near you.

We grill Mariko Tamaki on SHE-HULK Legacy and her strongest foe yet: herself.

Marvel.com: How has Jen Walters been holding up lately? Walk us through her state of mind, personally and professionally.

Mariko Tamaki: Professionally, Jen is good. Great, even! Work is busy because she’s got a full case load. Personally? Yeah, she’s burying everything under that workload. She’s still in a place where she’s not the Jen/Hulk she wants to be, but she’s determined to power through because she thinks it will be possible to deal with all the things she’s dealing with BY powering through… she is, of course, not entirely correct.

SHE-HULK #159

Marvel.com: Jen does so much to help save other people, but why is it so much harder for her to save herself (from herself)?

Mariko Tamaki: I think dealing with your own stuff is a whole other skill set. It’s like knowing how to explain how to play baseball and knowing how to play baseball. It’s a whole extra bit of uncomfortable work! And delving into that pain and discomfort is something Jen is afraid will undo her, so she’s mostly avoiding it. Helping people feels good, so she’s focusing on that.

Marvel.com: What has it been like working with a new series artist (the wonderful Jahnoy Lindsay)?

Mariko Tamaki: I have been incredibly lucky to work with so many amazing artists on this series. I love working with Jahnoy!

Marvel.com: Jen recently opted back to the title “She-Hulk.” Is she a little torn on whether it’s right to take on Bruce’s title of “Hulk” in light of his tragic passing

Mariko Tamaki: I don’t think Jen is concerned with being called Hulk or She-Hulk. Jen is very busy and also, most importantly, Jen knows who she is. She is Hulk and she is She-Hulk!

Marvel.com: What does the Marvel Legacy mean to you personally as a reader of and a writer for the brand?

Mariko Tamaki: To me it means going big, bringing something somewhat colossal to the story. The Leader is the perfect person to bring in now. He’s so striking and evil.  I love writing him. With the Leader, we wanted to go big with the villain in this issue, to connect a novel foe with Jen’s current mental state.

Marvel.com: How does Jen feel about her grey form? What does she like and dislike about that new development?

Mariko Tamaki: Being grey Hulk is still sort of out-of-body for Jen, literally. It’s a powerful but still unfamiliar feeling. Also it’s connected to trauma, to being in pain, and that’s not an easy thing. It’s not a form she completely trusts, at this point, and for good reason… as we shall see.

Charge over to a comic store near you on November 8th for SHE-HULK #159 by Mariko Tamaki and Jahnoy Lindsay, everywhere Marvel comics are sold!

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Artist Jahnoy Lindsay flexes his artistic muscles for Marvel Legacy!

Jen Walters Must Die!

…will be the name of this story’s first arc! On November 8, the sensational attorney-turned-super hero enters Marvel Legacy with SHE-HULK #159!

Writer Mariko Tamaki and artist Jahnoy Lindsay present Jen with a new enemy: The Leader. And our hero will do her best to fend him—and that title reference—off as a new era begins for She-Hulk.

We sat down with Jahnoy to hear about Jen’s new look, the Leader’s role, and working with Tamaki.

Marvel.com: Jen’s been through a lot in the past few years. How has all that changed her from a physical perspective?

Jahnoy Lindsay: I think she’s gotten much tougher, which seems kind of weird to think of because she’s always been such a strong character.

Marvel.com: We get a new version of She-Hulk in this book. How has it been getting used to this new style?

Jahnoy Lindsay: Admittedly, it has been a bit challenging, but definitely a ton of fun. I really want to convey just how monstrous and powerful this new She-Hulk can be.

Marvel.com: The Leader’s always been an interesting foil to whatever Hulk he faces—he’s the perfect physical counterpoint to raw power.

Jahnoy Lindsay: Absolutely—it’s the classic battle of brains vs. brawn.

Marvel.com: Mariko’s been steering the SHE-HULK ship for about a year now. How has it been working with her?

Jahnoy Lindsay: It’s been great! Her scripts are easy for me to follow and not too restricting, so I’m able to have fun and do my thing. I feel very blessed to be working with her—and my Editor, Christina Harrington—my first time around.

SHE-HULK #159, by writer Mariko Tamaki and artist Jahnoy Lindsay, drops on November 8!

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Mariko Tamaki and Jahnoy Lindsay detail Jen Walters' intro to Marvel Legacy!

She-Hulk continues to struggle with the trauma she experienced during the events of Civil War II, but the villains of the Marvel Universe don’t plan on waiting for her to adjust. The Leader has picked up on Jen’s current state—and believes it might be the perfect time to strike.

Marvel Legacy takes on a green hue when SHE-HULK #159, by writer Mariko Tamaki and artist Jahnoy Lindsay, lands on November 8!

Jennifer Walters needs to come to terms with her new Hulk form if she wants to stand a chance against the Leader’s latest wicked plan. Will she be able to stop fighting herself long enough to confront her old foe?

We spoke with Mariko and Jahnoy to find out.

Marvel.com: She-Hulk has been through a lot since Civil War II, but this threat from The Leader could be the biggest one yet. What has brought him out of the woodwork?

Mariko Tamaki: The Leader has always been lurking, waiting for an opportune moment. And Jen finds herself in a place where she’s a little vulnerable—an ideal time for him to strike.

Marvel.com: As she continues to grapple with her new Hulk form, does Jen even feel like she’s able to face someone like The Leader?

Jahnoy Lindsay: Definitely—Jen still has a lot to work out within herself, but she’s still She-Hulk. She’s ready to take on anyone!

Mariko Tamaki: Jen would never back away from a threat. That’s just not her jam. Even if she’s not sure how she will manage something, it’s really not in her DNA to walk away. So yes, she’s in a place where she doesn’t completely understand her new Hulk form, but she’s always going to step up.

Marvel.com: She-Hulk’s solo series has dealt a lot with Jen’s PTSD following the events of Civil War II—and we’ve explored this focus before. Will that theme continue through Marvel Legacy and into this new arc?

Mariko Tamaki: There are a lot of layers to trauma—so as a theme, and as an experience, it has a lot of twists. For Jen, this feels like a new twist because the previous battles she’s faced, since Civil War II, have been with people she once tried to help. And that couldn’t be further from her situation with The Leader. The Leader wants to end her, and she’s going to have to fight him from a very liminal and complex space. She’s dealing with trauma…but it’s also super villain time.

Marvel.com: Jahnoy, you’re working on this book for the first time. How has everything been so far?

Jahnoy Lindsay: A lot of fun! I’m just really excited and appreciative of the opportunity to contribute to such an important part of this characters story

Marvel.com: And you two are teaming up for the first time—what has your collaboration been like?

Jahnoy Lindsay: Working together has been pretty cool. I think there’s still a lot for me to learn about making comics, so I’m glad to be able to work alongside such an experienced writer like Mariko.

Mariko Tamaki: I am loving what I’ve seen so far.

Marvel.com: What about this new story are you most excited for readers to see?

Mariko Tamaki: The Leader has been a cool character to write for sure. I mean, he has a giant brain, you know? That’s intriguing.

Jahnoy Lindsay: It may be a bit selfish, but there’s a new character we’ve introduced who I just love drawing and learning about, so I’m looking forward to seeing how that person will be received.

Check out SHE-HULK #159, by Mariko Tamaki and Jahnoy Lindsay, on November 8!

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Look back on Jennifer Walters’ powerful past to prepare for her next chapter!

Back in her own ongoing series, Jen Walters once again reigns as the Queen of Green in HULK #1, out December 28. Her career’s long and storied, but though she’s looking to the future, she can’t deny her past as one of the Marvel Universe’s most fascinating figures…

Savage She-Hulk (1980) #1

Savage She-Hulk (1980) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?
Savage
Lawyer Jennifer Walters took a bullet for her cousin Bruce Banner, and transformed into a mean, green hulking machine after he gave his own blood to save her life. As She-Hulk, she worked hard to manage her anger issues, and eventually gained control of it to stand as a hero alongside both the Avengers and the Fantastic Four.

Sensational
Jen’s law career expanded by leaps and bounds, elevating her to the role of Assistant District Attorney in New York, but after many adventures both in and out of court, She-Hulk’s string of good fortune snapped when a maddened Scarlet Witch manipulated her into kicking off the dissembling of the Avengers. Afterward, Jen withdrew into self-exile.

She-Hulk (2005) #15

She-Hulk (2005) #15

What is Marvel Unlimited?
S.H.I.E.L.D.
She-Hulk found renewed empowerment by strengthening her Jennifer Walters form, but also suffered through the loss and regaining of her powers. When the super hero Civil War broke out, she registered with the government and took on a role with S.H.I.E.L.D. as an agent and a trainer of young heroes. This also led to a spot for her on the new Hulkbusters team.

Secrets
When her cousin The Hulk declared Manhattan as his kingdom, She-Hulk helped to evacuate the island before confronting him. Later, she admitted to a deep-held secret, that she’d become addicted to her gamma-spawned persona. The mystery of the Red Hulk provided some focus for Jen, and she assembled a team to hunt him down.

She-Hulk (2005) #37

She-Hulk (2005) #37

  • Published: January 28, 2009
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: July 16, 2009
  • Rating: A
  • Writer: Peter David
  • Penciller: Steve Scott
What is Marvel Unlimited?
Shake-up
Her life now complicated, Jen joined the Lady Liberators to help the quake-stricken country of Marinmer, fell prey to the Red She-Hulk, joined the Future Foundation, and struggled with a supposed cure from her cousin’s “Doc Green” persona. Recently, she took a serious wound in the opening salvo of Civil War II, leading to a new evolution yet to be seen.

Mariko Tamaki and Nico Leon chronicle the next chapter for Jennifer Walters in HULK #1 on December 28!

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Get a first look inside the smashing new series!

Jennifer Walters has survived the Civil War, but not unscathed. On December 28, she rises from the rubble, re-entering the world as a different kind of hero in the brand new HULK #1! Marvel is pleased to present your look inside the debut issue from Eisner Award-winning writer Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer) and rising star artist Nico Leon (SPIDER-MAN)! Be there as they chronicle the ongoing adventures of Jennifer Walters – and bring you a Hulk book for Marvel NOW! the likes of which you’ve never seen before!

Following the traumatic events of Civil War II, Jen is determined to move forward, to go on with her life. But there is something bubbling under the surface. A quiet rage. The physical and mental wounds are still fresh. The pain of the past and all she’s lost is always there – an undercurrent, a pulse, waiting to quicken and trigger her transformation into the one thing she doesn’t have control over…the HULK! Jennifer Walters’ greatest battle is about to begin. One that will pit her against the monster inside. Can she control the rage that consumed her cousin Bruce for so long? Or will she succumb to it? Find out when Tamaki and Leon bring you the can’t-miss HULK #1 – coming to comic shops and digital devices on December 28!

HULK #1 (OCT160788)
Written by MARIKO TAMAKI
Art by NICO LEON
Cover by JEFF DEKAL
Variant Cover by PIA GUERRA (OCT160791) and DALE KEOWN (OCT160789)
Action Figure Variant by JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER (OCT160794)
Hip-Hop Variant by RAHZZAH (OCT160793)
Classic Variant by JUNE BRIGMAN (OCT160792)
Young Variant by SKOTTIE YOUNG (OCT160790)
ICX Variant Also Available (OCT160795)
FOC – 12/5/16, On-Sale – 12/28/16

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Charles Soule goes behind the scenes and in-depth on his year with Jen Walters!

Updated with issues #10-12…scroll down for the latest!

Also, check out the #12DaysofSheHulk hash tag on Twitter that inspired these essays for more Shulkie goodness!

This week, Charles Soule and Javier Pulido brought their acclaimed run on SHE-HULK to a climactic conclusion, as Jen Walters faced down the truths she has been pursuing for 12 action-packed issues.

Over at his personal blog, Charles has been running a series of essays looking in detail at each issue of SHE-HULK. Marvel.com proudly presents excerpts from these writings here. Be sure to read the full versions on his blog and pick up SHE-HULK #12, as well as the full series!

She-Hulk (2014) #1

She-Hulk (2014) #1

  • Published: February 12, 2014
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: August 11, 2014
  • Rating: Rated T+
What is Marvel Unlimited?

SHE-HULK #1: “Motion”

I got a call from Jeanine Schaefer on September 10, 2013 about doing a new She-Hulk book for Marvel. Jeanine is the amazing editor who worked on most of the series (alongside Tom Brennan). We were lucky to have both of them, as well as the many other editorial/production/PR people who worked on the series. I suspect that editing this book was an interesting challenge. I had a very specific sense of what I wanted to do, as did Javier Pulido (the artist who created the majority of the artwork for the series alongside colorist Muntsa Vicente). I knew from the start that I wanted this to be a talky legal book as opposed to a traditional superhero punch-em-up. That concept could have gone terribly wrong (by which I mean it could have been hideously boring) – and I think editorial guidance is  significant part of why it went right.

Anyway, let’s talk a bit about the issue itself.

The idea here was to introduce both Jennifer Walters and the setup I was planning to use for the series – She-Hulk starting her own private practice out in Brooklyn, dealing with all sorts of weird/cool clients from the Marvel Universe. I figured that Jen knows pretty much everyone in the MU by this point (she’s been on a billion teams), and I know from experience that if you’re the only person your friends know who works in the law, then they call you for every legal problem they experience, even if it has nothing to do with your specialty. Lawyers are generally hyper-focused on one practice area or another, just like a person with a medical degree might specialize in brain surgery or podiatry or whatever. For whatever reason, though, many folks don’t seem to make the same distinction with attorneys. Applying that logic to She-Hulk, it just made sense to me that if she hung out a shingle, she’d be getting calls from all over the place.

Seemed like a nice engine for a series.

I should mention at this point that I’m an attorney myself, for anyone reading this who doesn’t already know. I used to never mention my legal work when I was breaking in – call it paranoia, maybe, but I felt then that lawyering was seen as a fundamentally uncreative profession. Or even more, I thought that people’s reaction to my being an attorney who was also trying to write comics was unpredictable. Breaking in is hard, and I wanted to control as many variables as I could. If was going to be judged about anything, I wanted it to be the work, nothing else.

She-Hulk (2014) #1 art by Javier Pulido

She-Hulk (2014) #1 art by Javier Pulido

I did exactly what we see She-Hulk doing in issue #1. I left a job at what’s called a “white-shoe” (fancy office, big clients, somewhat to extremely soulless) firm in midtown Manhattan to start my own practice. That happened a little over ten years ago. Starting a practice is not easy, no matter how many Tony Starks and Reed Richards you happen to know. It’s a huge leap of faith. You’re turning away from (relative) short-term certainty as far as income, benefits and security in favor of (hoped-for) increases in long-term income and freedom. It’s really that last one that’s important both for me and Jen Walters. I am fairly sure that if I hadn’t left that big firm so long ago, I wouldn’t be doing what I am today. It was a big deal, and I wanted to write a series that captured some of the constant tug of war between unexpected setbacks and little triumphs that characterized my first few years as a solo practitioner.

That’s also why this issue is called “Motion” – it’s a lot of change happening in a short period of time for the Jade Giantess (and of course, since you file motions with the court to try to get them to do things for you… it works on that level too.)

The discussion Jen has with the partners when she’s having her bonus meeting – I had that conversation (more or less – definitely less table smashing.)

She-Hulk (2014) #2

She-Hulk (2014) #2

  • Published: March 05, 2014
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 01, 2014
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Writer: Charles Soule
  • Cover Artist: Kevin P. Wada
What is Marvel Unlimited?

SHE-HULK #2: “…AND?!”

I knew from the start that I wanted two characters to help Jen out with her practice – a paralegal/assistant, and a friend character that she could hang out with after hours. The para became Angie Huang, of course, and the friend ended up being Patsy Walker, aka Hellcat. Let’s talk about Angie first.

She-Hulk was always conceived as a multicultural book. The Marvel Universe is supposed to reflect the “world outside your window.” I live in New York, and I’ve lived a lot of other places as well, all over the world. The world outside my window isn’t just one color. 

I’ve worked with a lot of paralegals over the years in my legal practice, and I was one before I went to law school. It’s a really tough job, and an essential one. Paralegals are responsible for organizing the attorneys, shuffling and analyzing the mounds of documents that come into a firm on pretty much any case, and millions of other tasks and details that allow a law office to function smoothly. I don’t think they get as much credit as they deserve, and so… Angie.

She-Hulk (2014) #2 art by Javier Pulido

She-Hulk (2014) #2 art by Javier Pulido

Patsy Walker! The best! Kind of a trainwreck, but a very fun trainwreck. Fiercely loyal to her friends, maybe with a little chip on her shoulder, maybe even a little jealous that some of them have better powers than she does. The idea with Patsy was to give Jen Walters a character that she could almost take care of a little bit. Jen has often been shown as the wild one who needs someone to take care of her – and so flipping that dynamic somewhat seemed like it could generate some good stories. We see that most directly in Issue 7 – but certainly there’s some of that here, as Patsy gets hammered and, against the advice of her legal counsel (Jen) decides to go wreck an A.I.M. base.

I didn’t want to make them perfect, no-conflict super-pals, though. That’s not how close friends really are, in my experience. The closer you are to someone, the easier it is for them to drive you crazy – sometimes inadvertently, sometimes on purpose – and that’s certainly where Jen and Patsy are, in this issue and beyond it.

She-Hulk (2014) #3

She-Hulk (2014) #3

  • Published: April 02, 2014
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: October 06, 2014
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Writer: Charles Soule
  • Cover Artist: Kevin P. Wada
What is Marvel Unlimited?

SHE-HULK #3: “The Man Who Wouldn’t Be King”

With issue #3, all of the pieces were in place to start Jen’s solo law practice in earnest. She had an office, a paralegal/assistant and an investigator. What she did not have, however, was a client. We addressed that here with her first case – an asylum filing on behalf of Kristoff Vernard, the son of Victor Von Doom, PhD. (Doom must have a doctorate, right? Probably lots of doctorates. I know he went to school with Reed, but did we ever see him graduate? Could you imagine if “Dr.” is just a title he gave himself, like those esteemed practitioners J and Dre? Fabulous.)

ANYWAY.

The reason I chose this particular type of legal case is because immigration law has been a significant part of my own practice for many years. I knew from the start that I wanted to get the law side of things in She-Hulk as correct as possible – being a lawyer, I suspected I would be raked across the coals a bit by other attorneys if I got things wrong. I was correct about that, but we’ll get to that more with issues #8-10. I thought I was pretty safe with immigration, though, since I’ve been doing it so long. While I certainly took some liberties, most of the points you see here are the way asylum actually works in the US.

She-Hulk (2014) #3 art by Javier Pulido

She-Hulk (2014) #3 art by Javier Pulido

Not to turn this into a law school class, but in a nutshell, to successfully claim asylum in the States, you have to be able to prove that you’ve been persecuted in your home country because of your membership in a particular race or class (religious group, etc.), that the persecution was connected to the government, and that it would be likely to recur if you were shipped back home. That posed some tricky questions for me, because Kristoff has mostly been shown to be Doom’s hand-picked heir to the throne of Latveria. They’ve had their differences over the years, but it was pretty consistent that he stood to inherit an entire country if and when Doom died. Hardly “persecution.”

Unless… Kristoff wasn’t sure that’s what he actually wanted. Once I came up with that central idea – that Kristoff was a kid who had been groomed for something all his life, but he was realizing he might want to at least see what else was out there… I had a story.

She-Hulk (2014) #4

She-Hulk (2014) #4

  • Published: May 07, 2014
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 03, 2014
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Writer: Charles Soule
  • Cover Artist: Kevin P. Wada
What is Marvel Unlimited?

SHE-HULK #4

Jen goes to see Daredevil, as opposed to just calling him, in part because I loved the idea of her going to a new location (and I wanted to see Javier draw it), but also because I wanted to actually get Matt into the issue and maybe give them a chance to have a little adventure.

Daredevil has been one of my favorite characters forever. FOREVER. I’ve had this thing ever since I started writing comics – if I have a chance to sneak a character I love into a storyline, even if it’s not “their” book, then I’ll do it. There’s always a chance all of this could vanish tomorrow, and so I want to take opportunities to write Daredevil. Look at the early issues of any of my runs – you’ll see cameos popping in, and it’s all because of this particular theory.

At this point in the run, we were already talking about doing a court case where She-Hulk faced Daredevil, but it was pretty tentative. There were a lot of question marks surrounding that idea that needed to be addressed before we could move forward. I was hopeful, though, and that’s why I put in this little tease…

She-Hulk (2014) #4 art by Javier Pulido

She-Hulk (2014) #4 art by Javier Pulido

I couldn’t believe that DD and Shulkie had never had a case against each other, and I really wanted to do it, no matter how tricky it would be. So, was this whole sequence possibly a little self-generated audition to show that I could successfully write Daredevil in a future She-Hulk storyline? Maybe, in sort of a backhand way.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun.

She-Hulk (2014) #5

She-Hulk (2014) #5

  • Published: June 11, 2014
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: December 15, 2014
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Writer: Charles Soule
  • Cover Artist: Kevin P. Wada
What is Marvel Unlimited?

SHE-HULK #5

As many of you probably noticed (except possibly those who consume their comics as audiobooks, but I suspect that’s a pretty small percentage), the art team changed for issue #5 of SHE-HULK. Javier Pulido and Muntsa Vicente stepped away for issues #5 and #6, while Ron Wimberly did pencils/inks for #5 alongside colors from Rico Renzi, and Ron did the pencils, inks and colors for issue #6.

Why, you may ask? Well, it’s pretty simple – the demands on artists to produce the level of art that modern comics readers are used to seeing are significant. It’s tough to put out an issue every month and not get behind. So, fill-in teams are used to give the “regular” artists a chance to catch up, maybe even get a little bit ahead. It’s very common these days. If you’re lucky, you also get to work with a consistent rotating team, so the run can build a strong look and feel over time.

She-Hulk (2014) #5 art by Ron Wimberly

She-Hulk (2014) #5 art by Ron Wimberly

So, when Javier and Muntsa took a planned two-issue break for #5-6, the question became about who would take over the reins. Even in just four issues, the aesthetics of SHE-HULK had become very firmly defined, which meant whoever came on had some big shoes to fill. I talked with my great editors at Marvel about some possibilities for #5-6, and Ron Wimberly’s work grabbed me right away. If you’re only familiar with him from SHE-HULK, do yourself a favor and check out his Prince of Cats or really any of his work. I think he’s phenomenal – in particular, I like the way he plays with perspective, and his sense of color is amazing.

I wanted an artist who would be as idiosyncratic and cool as Javier, but who was not Javier. That was Ron, for sure. It’s funny – the art on this series could be strangely divisive. Not everyone loved JP (crazy!) and not everyone loved RW (crazy!), and some people seemed to love one but hate the other. There were clearly people who loved both, too – but people don’t always take the time to tweet about things they love. I mean, where’s the fun in that?

She-Hulk (2014) #6

She-Hulk (2014) #6

  • Published: July 16, 2014
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: January 19, 2015
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Writer: Charles Soule
  • Cover Artist: Kevin P. Wada
What is Marvel Unlimited?

SHE-HULK #6

Cliffhangers are fun – I try to do them every issue, not just because it’s a really good idea to set the hook and bring people back for the next one, but because I like thinking them up. There are a number of types – there’s the “whoa, I can’t wait to see that…” bit, when you bring in an awesome new character or reveal a setup for the next issue, and then there’s the “no… he wouldn’t…” type, when you set up something so horrible for your beloved characters that the readers can’t help but come back to see how it all pans out. The trick with those is that sometimes you need to fulfill that promise. Sometimes Wyatt does need to fall off the cliff, because if you never follow through on the cliffhanger, then your readers will think you’re bluffing every time. It’s like a game of chicken with the audience.

She-Hulk (2014) #6 art by Ron Wimberly

She-Hulk (2014) #6 art by Ron Wimberly

In this case… Wyatt does not fall off the cliff. He loses cell reception just as Jen says the magic death words. But perhaps next time, gentle readers… he will. You never know. YOU JUST NEVER KNOW!

She-Hulk (2014) #7

She-Hulk (2014) #7

  • Published: August 06, 2014
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: February 02, 2015
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Writer: Charles Soule
  • Cover Artist: Kevin P. Wada
What is Marvel Unlimited?

SHE-HULK #7

Issue #7 was a huge challenge for me. I’m not sure why, exactly. I knew I wanted to do a one-shot, and I had the plan to do the Hank Pym story pretty early, but getting it all to gel took me a number of drafts. I suspect that was related to a few factors – one, I was coming back into writing for Javier Pulido after a few issues writing for Ron Wimberly, which meant a switching of mental gears. Second, I was maybe a little focused on plot as opposed to what the issue would really be about. You can think up all the goofy bits with shrunken superheroes you want, but if the characters’ engines aren’t humming along properly, it’s just a bunch of goofy bits about shrunken superheroes.

I finally cracked it when I realized that this was a perfect issue to bring the Patsy/Jen partnership/friendship to the fore. The surface story has two business partners in a spat because they can’t seem to agree about how to go about their business – and that’s paralleled by what happens with Hellcat and She-Hulk here.

She-Hulk (2014) #7 art by Javier Pulido

She-Hulk (2014) #7 art by Javier Pulido

It seemed pretty plausible to me that Patsy Walker could have a bit of an inferiority complex about her superheroing gig. She doesn’t have powers, really – she can detect magic use, but in a world where people can blast mountains apart, that’s not really all that much to speak of. Basically, she’s an incredible acrobat and hand-to-hand fighter, and she has one hell of a lot of pizzazz. That’s it.

I knew this was a thread I’d want to play out eventually, so I started hitting it early. We see it in her first beats in Issue #2, when she wants to go (drunkenly) beat up AIM, and the AIM agents straight up say she’s “powerless.” We see it again in Issue #6, when she’s trying to figure out what happened with Tigra.

Powerless is a pretty strong word for a woman like Patsy Walker, though. I don’t see her as powerless – not even a tiny bit. She might not have the most impressive superpowers, but that’s not the only way you can kick some ass.

She-Hulk (2014) #8

She-Hulk (2014) #8

  • Published: September 03, 2014
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: March 02, 2015
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Writer: Charles Soule
  • Cover Artist: Kevin P. Wada
What is Marvel Unlimited?

SHE-HULK #8: “The Good Old Days, Part 1”

Here we are with the start of a three-part story involving something that had never happened before in comics up to this point – She-Hulk vs. Daredevil in a court of law.

Once I started working on the story, I realized why. It was all but impossible to pull off, at least in regular continuity. You could do it in something like an alternate reality setting, but in the real-deal Marvel Universe? Oof.

Let me explain. I’d been talking with my editor Jeanine Schaefer about doing this story for a while, and so it had been in the back of my mind for ages. When we started to get into specifics, it became clear that I’d be dealing with a few very significant bullet points. To wit:

-She-Hulk must be heroic.

-Daredevil must be heroic.

Tricky enough, because if you’re writing a court case that feels even a little bit realistic, one side probably comes off a bit looking a bit negative, if not both. Actual litigation can get extremely intense. Just to bring up one example, discrediting the other side’s witnesses by impugning their character happens quite often, and it can get vicious. As a lawyer, you’re obligated to do everything you can to serve your client, even if it means (sometimes especially if it means) screwing over the other side in some dastardly but perfectly legal and legitimate way (within the confines of our legal system, of course.)

She-Hulk (2014) #8 art by Javier Pulido

She-Hulk (2014) #8 art by Javier Pulido

In this story, all of those strategies were immediately off the table for both sides, even though Daredevil in particular has done some very morally questionable things in the past. There’s a reason he keeps getting disbarred.

So, tough enough to do this at all. The reason why no writer had tried this before started to become very apparent to me. At which point, I made my life ten times as hard by choosing the defendant – Steve Rogers, aka, at times, as Captain America. At the point in Marvel continuity where this happens, Steve has lost his super-serum-ness, which means he’s ninety-some years old. A hale, hearty ninety, for sure – he’d kick you off his lawn if he had one, which he doesn’t, because he lives in Red Hook, Brooklyn and almost no one down there has lawns – but still, old.

I chose Cap because I wanted to do something momentous for the story, something worthy of the idea that Marvel’s two legal titans were doing battle for the first time. Generally speaking, Steve Rogers is morally unimpeachable, so putting him in a position where he was defending himself against a heinous accusation seemed like it would have some real juice. Of course, it brought up another problem:

-Steve Rogers must be heroic.

She-Hulk (2014) #9

She-Hulk (2014) #9

  • Published: October 22, 2014
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 27, 2015
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Writer: Charles Soule
  • Cover Artist: Kevin P. Wada
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SHE-HULK #9

The experience of litigation can be very different depending on which level of the judicial system you’re talking about, or area of law, but I chose to make the Steve Rogers case we look at in issues #8-10 a real meatgrinder. In issue #9, we start to see more of what Cap is actually being accused of, through “dying declaration” testimony from a childhood acquaintance of Steve’s. I heard from some attorneys on this one – the way I use dying declaration here maybe isn’t the way it’s always used in California, but I based it on Rule 804(b)(2) in the Federal Rules of Evidence, which states that a witness statement relayed to someone else just prior to death can be admissible in court if it is:

(2) Statement Under the Belief of Imminent Death. In a prosecution for homicide or in a civil case, a statement that the declarant, while believing the declarant’s death to be imminent, made about its cause or circumstances.

She-Hulk (2014) #9 art by Javier Pulido

She-Hulk (2014) #9 art by Javier Pulido

I always thought that was a fascinating rule – I mean, like people can’t lie when they think they’re about to die? It seems very based in what the framers of that law believed about human nature – or wanted to be true. This rule comes from the “common law,” which is a set of laws or rules that existed before law was formally codified – almost like very binding rules of thumb that society (especially English society, since that’s where much of our legal system comes from) used to handle disputes.

She-Hulk (2014) #10

She-Hulk (2014) #10

  • Published: November 12, 2014
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: May 11, 2015
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Writer: Charles Soule
  • Cover Artist: Kevin P. Wada
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SHE-HULK #10

let’s move on to this issue, the third and final part of the She-Hulk/Daredevil trial, with Steve Rogers in the midst of a wrongful death suit related to events back in 1940, before he became Captain America. We’ve already heard the other side’s version of events, and it doesn’t look great for Cap. In fact, it looks like he might have significantly contributed to the death of someone, and then fled to the Army to escape responsibility. In fact, when Matt Murdock puts him on the stand, he actually says that the entire story is true. Uh-oh.

But maybe he’ll be okay after all. Why?

She-Hulk (2014) #10 art by Javier Pulido

She-Hulk (2014) #10 art by Javier Pulido

Oh, all right then. Phew.

When we get Cap’s version of events, we learn that the bad guys in the story were actually Nazi Fifth Columnists, and Steve was trying to help out a young man to save his brother from them. While Steve absolutely did antagonize them, and one could say that his actions resulted in the death of that young man, the legal question here revolves more about whether he could have reasonably known that would happen, whether there were mitigating factors, and so on. Actually, Jen and Matt lay it out pretty well in their closing arguments, and you can make your own call. You’ve got the issues itself if you want to read about the case.

She-Hulk (2014) #11

She-Hulk (2014) #11

  • Published: December 24, 2014
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: June 22, 2015
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Writer: Charles Soule
  • Penciller: Javier Pulido
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SHE-HULK #11: “Titanium Blues”

I wanted to check off two boxes with this issue, both of which I suspect were pretty obvious. First, I wanted to write a big fight between Titania and She-Hulk. Second, I wanted to write a big fight. And that’s Issue #11!

Titania is a very cool character – she’s pretty much She-Hulk’s big bad. They’ve had some truly epic battles over the years, and in much the way it’s almost mandatory for a Batman writer to eventually write a Joker story, I think She-Hulk writers tend to find their way to Titania eventually.

She-Hulk (2014) #11 art by Javier Pulido

She-Hulk (2014) #11 art by Javier Pulido

The lady’s real name is Mary MacPherran, and she has an interesting history. She was powered up by Dr. Doom in the original Secret Wars miniseries back in the 80s, along with her best bud Volcana (who we also see in this issue.) The thing about Titania that most interested me was that she’s always been something of a blue collar character.  Some writers have hit that harder than others, but I thought it could make her a good stand-in for general anti-lawyer bias.

I mean, let’s face it – some folks think lawyers are just greedy scum, using the system to their own advantage. And let’s also face it – some lawyers are exactly like that. Many, many more are not, of course, but one bad apple…

She-Hulk (2014) #12

She-Hulk (2014) #12

  • Published: February 18, 2015
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: July 27, 2015
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Writer: Charles Soule
  • Cover Artist: Kevin P. Wada
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SHE-HULK #12

Favorite character: Jen Walters.

She is the best.

She-Hulk (2014) #12 art by Javier Pulido

She-Hulk (2014) #12 art by Javier Pulido

And that, as they say… is that. I will miss working on this series immensely – everything I said in the little note that ends the physical copy of this issue is completely true. Will we do more? I can’t announce anything – there’s nothing to announce – but the door remains open. If my schedule permits and Marvel’s schedule permits, then hopefully we’ll get that season 2. In the meantime… I’d say keep your eyes on WOLVERINES, the weekly series I’m writing. Especially around the beginning of April.

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Check out some of Jennifer Walters' most intense legal struggles!

Anyone that knows She-Hulk knows that she’s more than just muscle. When she’s not playing the heavy for the Avengers or Fantastic Four, Jen Walters flexes her mental might as one of the best lawyers in the Marvel Universe. While her super peers spend their spare time relaxing or working in low stress jobs, She-Hulk steps into the courtroom, continuing her one-woman fight for justice. Whether she’s wearing her purple and white tights or a well-cut power suit, Jennifer spends pretty much all of her time defending the defenseless.

When her chosen profession and extracurricular activities collide, fantastically offbeat stories tend to be told. Enjoy five issues, presented in chronological order, that show off the kind of conflicts that take place when you become a super hero lawyer.

1. SAVAGE SHE-HULK (1980) #1

Savage She-Hulk (1980) #1

Savage She-Hulk (1980) #1

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Even before she became the jade giantess, Jen Walters took on some pretty intense court cases. In her first appearance, the proto-She-Hulk acted as the defense for a man that the mob framed for murder. This put her squarely in a mob hitman’s crosshairs. Only a quick blood transfusion from her cousin Bruce Banner saved her following the hitman’s attack, thus turning the lawyer into She-Hulk. So remember: Jennifer Walters only became She-Hulk because she stood up against the mob. She became a super hero because of her already super heroic deeds.

2. SHE-HULK (2004) #2

She-Hulk (2004) #2

She-Hulk (2004) #2

  • Published: April 14, 2004
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Rating: MARVEL PSR
  • Writer: Dan Slott
  • Penciller: Juan Bobillo
  • Cover Artist: Adi Granov
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Walters eventually became a hotshot attorney for the Super Human Law division of Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg & Holliway. Her first job involved representing Dan Jermain – nicknamed Danger Man – in his lawsuit against the Roxxon Corporation after their chemicals had given him unwanted super powers.

3. CIVIL WAR: FRONT LINE #6

Civil War: Front Line (2006) #6

Civil War: Front Line (2006) #6

  • Published: September 27, 2006
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
  • Rating: T
  • Writer: Paul Jenkins
  • Penciller: Ramon Bachs
What is Marvel Unlimited?

In the aftermath of a battle between the New Warriors and the villain known as Nitro that caused a horrible explosion in Stamford, Connecticut, She-Hulk took on the assignment of representing Speedball – the only surviving Warrior – in court. The incident had taken the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians, making Speedball the most hated man in the country and making his trial the most controversial one Jennifer had even been involved with.

4. SHE-HULK #19

She-Hulk (2005) #19

She-Hulk (2005) #19

What is Marvel Unlimited?

She-Hulk squared off against her own moral code after being subpoenaed to appear in court to defend the Leader, one of the most dangerous super villains on the planet. Walters’ colleague Mallory Book argued that exposure to gamma radiation had altered the Leader’s personality, thus excusing all of his evil deeds as actions committed under the influence. As a fellow gamma irradiated being, She-Hulk had her own character called into question during a very stressful stint on the witness stand. Thankfully Walters’ hulk outs aren’t stress activated like her cousin’s, otherwise that courtroom would have been trashed.

5. SHE-HULK #3

She-Hulk (2014) #3

She-Hulk (2014) #3

  • Published: April 02, 2014
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: October 06, 2014
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Writer: Charles Soule
  • Cover Artist: Kevin P. Wada
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Now operating out of her own private practice in Brooklyn, Jennifer’s wasted no time getting into the deep end of super human law. She recently assisted Doctor Doom’s son in obtaining political asylum in the United States. Crossing Doom’s path always causes headaches, among various other kinds of aches, but She-Hulk did not back down from helping her client. She even went the extra mile, literally, by traveling to Latveria to confront Doom head-on.

Follow Jennifer Walter’s courtroom heroism in SHE-HULK #5, on sale June 4!

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