Marvel Comics: How Did She-Hulk Get Her Powers?

The not-so-mean, but still-totally-green fighting machine known as She-Hulk is about to make her MCU debut. Marvel’s She-Hulk: Attorney at Law television series premieres on the streaming service Disney+ on August 17, 2022.

Before you tune in, there is lots to learn about the character lovingly referred to as “Shulkie.” That’s why we are breaking down Jennifer Walter’s origin, powers, and her relationship with the Hulk. So crack open the fourth wall (Shulkie did it first!) and join us below for a deep-dive into She-Hulk’s sensational story!

Early Life and Law School

Jennifer Walters’ life begins in sunny, star-studded Los Angeles, California. As a child Jen spends much of her time reading in the library with her cousin Bruce Banner. Jen also dreams of becoming a dancer, a career path which Morris — her sheriff father — thoroughly disapproves. Yet her mother Elaine encourages Jen’s passion. One day while driving to Jen’s rehearsal, Mrs. Walters dies in a car crash. It is pretty clear that the crime boss Nicholas Trask orchestrated this hit to punish Sheriff Walters, but no arrests are made.

The mysteries and missing details surrounding the “accident” inspire Jen to pursue life as a lawyer. A brilliant student, Jen is accepted into the Harvard Law program. She also attends UCLA, and soon receives her law degree summa cum laude. After school, Jennifer Walters works as a skilled and successful lawyer in Los Angeles. She even defends a gangster who once worked for Trask.

Blood Transfusion from Bruce Banner

Jennifer Walter’s relationship with Bruce Banner is always solid, but the two part ways in their youth because of their family circumstances. Years later as adults they are able to reunite, and Bruce reveals that he is the incredible Hulk, a famous and feared Avenger. Jen expresses interest in learning more about her super hero cousin.

However, their information session is cut short when Nicholas Trask’s hitmen shoot Jen. Bruce fends off the attackers while Jen’s condition worsens. Thus with no other options available, Bruce breaks into a doctor’s office. Although it is at least a sterile environment, there aren’t any special supplies, so Bruce is forced to perform a blood transfusion using his own gamma-radiation exposed blood.

The Below-Place and the Green Door

Despite Bruce’s best efforts, Jen dies on the table. However, due to her cousin’s blood now flowing through her veins, her consciousness arrives in the Below-Place — a pit described as the “bedrock of Hell.” There she is able to enter the metaphysical barrier known as the Green Door. This is the lowest layer of the Multiverse, and where gamma mutates pass through after life.

Another Green Door manifests for Jen. She chooses to walk through it and resurrect herself. Relieved that she’s alive and stable, Bruce takes her to a hospital while he flees because he’s now a suspect in her attack. With the Hulk no longer an obstacle, Trask’s team tries again. During this second hit, the gamma particles activate, turning her into a tall, muscular, green-skinned being.

Sensational She-Hulk and Her Powers

She-Hulk defeats Jen’s attackers. Once the situation is de-escalated, Jennifer reverts to her normal size and strength. At first her transformations and emotions, especially rage, are out of control. But Jen learns to harness her abilities. Not only can Jennifer maintain her intelligence and speech while transformed, but she can control her transformations and rarely even returns to her standard human form.

Following these incidents, She-Hulk emerges as a new adventurer and crimefighter in L.A. She even continues her legal duties. Eventually she grows more comfortable in her Hulk form and lives daily life, as well as appears in court, as She-Hulk. As She-Hulk, Jen has increased agility and speed, super strength, extreme endurance, and near invulnerability. No wonder Jen doesn’t want to transform back!

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