‘She-Hulk’: Episode 1 — Jennifer Walters vs. Bruce Banner
Weird stuff just kind of finds you when you’re a Hulk.
“What is the responsibility of those with power?” Jennifer Walters says to her colleagues who stand in her office, listening to her practice her closing arguments for an upcoming Big Case. As she drones on with legal jargon, she ends with the killer, “Because those with the most power have the most to answer for.”
But let’s be honest, and Jen knows it too. You’re not going to be able to focus on this “fun lawyer show” — Jen’s own words — until you know all about the Hulk thing looming over her. So, let’s quickly get up to speed with a flashback to a few months ago when Jen went on a road trip with her cousin Bruce, ok?
Yes, that Bruce.
Bruce Banner sits next to Jen in the passenger seat, telling her all about the device he’s created, an inhibitor, to heal his broken arm — a device that stops him from turning into the Hulk and speeds up the recovery process. Jen, though, couldn’t be bothered with this and instead turns back to her own pressing augment: was Steve Rogers a virgin?
Their cousin back and forth banter is interrupted when an unidentified spaceship comes out of nowhere, causing Jen to swerve off the road and send the car tumbling down a nearby hill. Jen climbs out of the car in one piece, but she’s cut up and bleeding all down her arm. She crawls back into the car and frees Bruce from his seatbelt, but he’s more worried about other things. The collision destroyed the inhibitor on his arm and he’s bleeding out Hulk blood everywhere.
However, it’s too late. Some of Bruce’s Hulk blood drips into Jen’s open would and before she can register what is happening she’s transformed into a Hulk herself. Which is, TBH, pretty shocking for her.
Eventually, Jen passes out and wakes up sometime later, now transformed back to Jen. She wanders to a nearby bar and sneaks in the back (where she’s aided by a gaggle of friendly girls who are more than happy to help clean her up). Jen uses one of their phones to call Bruce and heads outside to wait for him when a group of guys starts catcalling her. Jen tries to move away from them but the men follow, and before she realizes what’s happening she’s transformed into the Hulk, again, raging at them — when some green blur knocks her out.
Once again waking up in a strange place, Jen finds herself in some tropical location. Wandering around the house she hears music and heads into the basement to find Hulk down there — sorry, Smart Hulk (he didn’t come up with this name, he swears). Hulk explains to Jen that she’s in Mexico at his hideout where he spent the Blip merging both his Bruce and Hulk identities together. Tony (that’s Tony Stark) built the location for Bruce a while ago, joking that it was only a loner and he might take it back at any time.
There’s so much to process, but Jen has another thing on her mind. Did they hit a spaceship?? According to Hulk, yes they did — a Sakarrian Class A Currier Craft. Hulk thinks they’re trying to deliver a message and he’ll get to the bottom of it eventually. But first, they’ve got to deal with Jen…
Hulk calmly tries to explain to her that during the accident, she got a lethal dose of gamma radiation — IS JEN GOING TO DIE? No no, Hulk just didn’t finish his sentence, and he’s been busy synthesizing Jen’s blood. Weirdly, her body is okay with the gamma radiation. He actually even used some of her blood to completely heal his arm.
Jen wants to go back to normal, now. She demands that Hulk make her one of those devices he had on his arm to she won’t turn into a Hulk again, but he can’t do that. Hulk has spent years trying to figure this out, and maybe after a few years in the lab, he could figure out how to integrate Jen and her own Hulk version, too.
It’s too much for Jen, who starts hyperventilating thinking about how she just got her own lawyer office and business cards…thankfully, that’s fixed with pancakes.
Over pancakes, Hulk tries to explain to his cousin that she’s going to have to change her entire life: avoid stressful situations, stay away from people — BUT JEN HAS TO GO BACK TO HER JOB! She can’t do either of these things working as a lawyer and Hulk drops a thick binder on the table. She is now on a multi-year journey and will have to come to terms with being a Hulk.
Hulk sets up some tests to see what makes Jen turn into a Hulk, with the main triggers being anger and fear (which Jen points out is the baseline of being a woman). When a bunch of bone-crushing saws come at her, she freaks out and turns into a Hulk, smashing the device, destroying a door, and then throwing it at Hulk.
Jen, now as a Hulk, rages around the room as Bruce tries to calm her down. She immediately asks why he’s talking to her like a stray horse and this startles Hulk. Even though she’s a Hulk, she’s maintained her Jen personality — which for him took years. Ok, but now that she’s turned into Hulk, how does she turn back into Jen?
Hulk doesn’t have the best examples, telling her that usually he falls out of a jet, or is knocked out by a robot, or Natasha for a while told him a lullaby (don’t question it). Jen is pretty flippant at these suggestions, and Hulk tries to reason with her, knowing that her regular anger is only heightened by being a Hulk, and one wrong move could mean death and destruction.
Realizing she’s not getting out of here anytime soon, Jen gives in. Hulk can teach her how to be a Hulk.
So, how do you learn how to be a Hulk? Meditation? Check. Being startled awake by an air horn? Check. Spandex? Check. Bolder tossing? Check. Balance? She’s got it. While the training montage goes surprisingly well, Jen is still frustrated. WHEN is she ever going to use these useless Hulk-things practicing law?
Realizing that all he’s done is show her the downsides to being a Hulk, Hulk decides it’s time to cut loose — one of the upsides of turning green is super-fast metabolism meaning that all drinks are simply long buzzes. Sitting at Hulk’s beachside bar, he reminisces about building it with Tony, musing “It was a good time during a hard time.”
While Hulk training might be all fun and games for Hulk, Jen’s getting restless. Hulk tries to reason with Jen, explaining that it takes a lot to control anger, but she’s been doing it her whole life already — isn’t that what it’s like to be a woman, anyway?
With this, Jen decides to go home. She has had enough of the meditations and mantras, she’s been dealing with controlling her anger response her whole life, and besides, she doesn’t want to save the world. She doesn’t want to be a Super Hero! She just wants to be a regular lawyer!
This is just enough to send both of them over the edge, emotions reeling, and soon, the two Hulks are battling it out. They’re throwing punches, rocks, trees, surfboards literally anything they can get their hands on. Unfortunately, it spills onto the beach, and Jen and Hulk crash into the bar. Now they’ve gotta fix it.
Licking their wounds, Hulk concedes and tells his cousin that if she wants to go back to her job as a lawyer he respects that.
“He doesn’t mean that,” she says to us — you and me and everyone else watching — startling herself in the process.
And well, that’s the story of how Jen Walters became her own Hulk! Now we know, and her family knows, and her best friend Nikki knows, and she’s gone back to her lawyer life as if nothing has happened. It’s time to get back to the fun lawyer show!
In court, Jen stands to give her closing argument when suddenly someone, dressed impeccably, crashes through the wall sending everyone in the room into a panic. As the super-strong and fashionably dressed woman resists arrest, Nikki goes rushing over to Jen suggesting, “do your thing.” You know the Hulk thing. Jen, less than thrilled about this considering she really likes the outfit she’s wearing, agrees. Ok, Hulk time it is.
In front of everyone in the courtroom, Jen transforms into the Hulk, and when the super-strong and chic woman asks, “Who are you?” Jen responds with the only thing she knows: Jennifer Walters, attorney at law.
The two battle and Jen manages to get the upper hand, knocking this super strong woman out. And then, as if nothing happened, she turns back into regular Jen and turns back to the court, ready to give her closing arguments.
THE FUN TAG:
Back at Bruce’s Bar, Jen — through hiccups — laments that it’s so sad that Steve Rogers died a virgin. She goes on and on about this, crying into her drink when finally Hulk can’t take it anymore. Fine Jen, here’s the truth. Steve Rogers did not die a virgin and immediately Jen snaps out of it. She’s not drunk. She just needed to know. And with that she screams, “CAPTIAN AMERICA F—”. Cue the credits.
The Hype Box
Can’t-miss news and updates from across the Marvel Universe!