She-Hulk loves JuggernautPosted: 07/12/2012
She doesn’t. I’m lying. But in 2004, hidden deep in Uncanny X-Men #435, this happened:
And this single panel has sparked years of controversy, lots of retcons, and enormous amounts of jokes. I’ll explain in a bit.
Jennifer Walters, also known as She-Hulk, happens to be Bruce Banner’s (the Hulk) cousin. During a mafia-related attack, Walters gets shot and the only compatible blood donor is her big, green cousin. Also, it allowed her to turn into an angry Hulk and thus her adventures began.
Cain Marko, the stepbrother of Professor X, finds a secret temple of the mystical Cyttorak, who gives Marko his Juggernaut powers. He was a lackey of Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil, and not really much of a finely-tuned mind. I’m saying he’s dumb. With his supervillain history, his lack of charm, and his absence of respect in the Marvel universe, you can imagine that readers weren’t too happy with the She-Hulk/Juggernaut one-night stand. Though, it is hilarious.
As for She-Hulk, how does Marvel distinguish her from being just a female Hulk? Mainly, she retains all of her intelligence and self-awareness in her Hulk form, can pretty much transform and back at will, and has a successful career as a lawyer. But most importantly, the timid, unadventurous Jennifer Walters in her She-Hulk form becomes brave, fun, sexy, powerful, and everything Walters has always wanted to be. Like an overnight celebrity, just with only benefits. And as we see in the genius Dan Slott’s She-Hulk series, she uses her uninhibited, unafraid green figure to let go a little bit.
So with her promiscuity firmly established in the comic book world (and I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that), let’s start with a quick few panels from her team up with Wolverine.
The superheroines love Wolverine. I don’t know why. He’s hairy, short, and probably smells terrible. But I guess you can’t deny that rugged masculinity, though he did just spend the previous page plummeting through a yeti’s chest. Except Wolverine ain’t having any of She-Hulk’s advances.
Which creates a running joke throughout her series and among the fans. So much so that a silly four page mini at the back of She-Hulk #25 had her break the fourth wall by barging into the Marvel offices about the Juggernaut claim.
Look, every woman has that one person they regret sleeping with, I know because I’ve been to college. But comic books are a creative business, aimed at retaining old fans and courting new ones. When writers make unpopular decisions, the company has to create stories that return the status quo or eliminate the decision entirely. Or simply leave it in and the readers will deal.
When Spider-Man and Mary Jane sacrificed their marriage to the devil (seriously), it was with the belief at giving the newly single Peter Parker a dating life would give writers more story options. As you can imagine, this decision was crazily unpopular. And yes, Peter Parker will one day marry Mary Jane again, because they’re meant to be. But despite fan outcries, Spider-Man is still single, and I think it turned out to be a wonderful choice. Plus, we can watch the two fall in love again. Eventually. While She-Hulk shacking up with Juggernaut isn’t anywhere near life-changing, the writers have it in their arsenal. And Dan Slott used the love incident perfectly for delightful comic effect.
It was brought up for story purposes:
And it was brought up for breaks in action:
In a world where the only limit is the imagination of the writer and artist, how does She-Hulk prove she didn’t sleep with Juggernaut? Did you say Walters should be transported to an alternative dimension to talk to an alternative She-Hulk? You’re absolutely right.
Y’see, this She-Hulk slept with Juggernaut, not the She-Hulk we know and love. But a She-Hulk definitely slept with the Juggernaut. And you know why this is an okay story device? Because it’s entertaining, and comic books are first and foremost entertainment.
We wrap this up with a happy ending for everybody!
Well, maybe not everybody: