Jennifer Walters possesses amazing powers as the gamma mutate she hulk, but over the years she’s also displayed a surprising range of special abilities not entirely tied to her gamma mutation. Like her cousin Bruce Banner – who accidentally empowered her via blood transfusion – Jennifer has resistance to radiation and the ability to turn into an alternate, green-skinned form. However, after years as an Avenger and member of the Fantastic Four, she can do many things even the Hulk can’t without drawing on her gamma.
She-Hulk first appeared in 1980’s Savage She-Hulk #1, created by Stan Lee and John Buscema. After she is injured, Jennifer Walters receives an emergency blood transfusion from Bruce, turning her into She-Hulk. Unlike her cousin, She-Hulk retains her intelligence when she transforms. She has gone on to become a top lawyer in the Marvel Universe, regularly sought out by superhumans needing legal representation. A number of comics’ greatest creators, including John Byrne, Dan Slott, Charles Soule and Rainbow Rowell have left their mark on She-Hulk, and this fan-favorite character will soon make the leap into the mainstream with her own television show on Disney + later this year, played by Tatiana Maslany.
While comic fans know She-Hulk possesses great strength and endurance in her Hulk form, she also possesses other, lesser-known abilities, some of which are genuinely stunning, giving her outlandish superhuman abilities no-one would expect.
Like her cousin Bruce, She-Hulk has a genius-level intellect, which she has parlayed into a successful legal career. Thanks to her experiences in both the courtroom and the battlefield, she is often called upon to represent her fellow superhumans in court. However, She-Hulk is a “good laywer” in the same way that Mister Fantastic is a “good scientist.” In 2004’s She-Hulk #7, the Living Tribunal, a being so powerful it makes Galactus look like an ant, appoints She-Hulk to be a member of the Magistrati. This group, empowered by the Tribunal, enforces justice throughout creation.
The Living Tribunal gives She-Hulk the authority to argue cases on a universal scale, such as in 2005’s She-Hulk #20, where she had to defend her reality from being replaced by Marvel’s Ultimate Universe. She-Hulk is no longer in the Magistrati, but while she was, she was empowered to make decrees even the Watchers had to follow. Since quitting was her idea, it’s likely Jennifer would be welcomed back if she so chose. avengers also recently revealed the Celestials trust She-Hulk with enhanced powers, suggesting she’s generally respected by Marvel’s cosmic beings and can call on their help, whatever form she’s in.
Psychic & Psychological Resistance
She-Hulk’s great intellect allows her to solve legal problems almost no-one else on the planet could, but it also manifests in other advantages. In the recently concluded “World War She-Hulk” storyline running through avengers, the Red Widow attempted to brainwash She-Hulk’s with all the resources of the Red Room. There, she was subjected to intense physical and psychological torture, as well as being fed upon by vampires. When the Avengers arrived to rescue their teammate, it seemed She-Hulk had been successfully brainwashed, yet it was revealed she had been able to resist – thanks in part to her legal training, which Jennifer used to occupy her mind and resist control via deep concentration.
Jennifer Walters is also able to resist telepaths. In Civil War: Warzones!, Jennifer reveals that because her legal work requires her to believe some things she suspects aren’t true (like a client’s innocence), she is able to construct a false perception of events such that she can hide her true thoughts from telepaths. She does note that highly skilled telepaths would be able to see through this, but in this alternate reality it’s enough to trick a past-his-best Charles Xavier (albeit one who may be a Skrull.) While Jennifer hasn’t used this ability in the mainstream reality, she already possesses all the necessary skills as described in this story.
Comic Awareness and Chronic Sensitivity
Long before Deadpool and Harley Quinn began their fourth-wall breaking antics, She-Hulk was regularly addressing audiences and creators. In 1989, legendary writer/artist John Byrne launched The Sensational She-Hulk. Starting with issue three, She-Hulk began breaking the fourth wall, talking not only to readers but to creators as well. She-Hulk would regularly provide commentary on tropes and characters, and this is an ability that has stuck with the character over the years (there are rumors She-Hulk’s MCU show will do this as well.) While not all writers and artists depict She -Hulk as knowing she’s in a comic all the time, the meta comments have become integral with the character, and she’s even been able to interact with the physical page when needed.
Chronal sensitivity, or the ability to detect changes in the time stream, is one of She-Hulk’s newest powers, and it is one only a handful of other Marvel characters possess. Like the other abilities on this list, it does not derive from her gamma mutation, but rather from her adventures. During Fantastic Four: Reckoning War Alpha, She-Hulk learned she has become “chronally sensitive,” thanks to having previously been brought to the same moment in the future by the Time Variance Authority. Heroes with this ability, such as Moon Knight and X-Men’s Beast, can sense when something is incongruous with the timeline, allowing them to sense hidden time travelers and remember altered events.
Alien Combat Skills and Physique Shifting
In 2005’s She Hulk #1, She-Hulk, in her human form, takes out two thieves who try to rob her, dismantling them with martial arts. Captain America is impressed, and She-Hulk informs him that she has been training with Gamora, learning fighting techniques from across the universe. While not a superpower in the strictest sense, this unlikely set of expertise make Jennifer almost unique on Earth in knowing Badoon and Centaurian techniques, allowing her to literally freeze an attacker in place with a blow from her thumb.
But She-Hulk’s weirdest non-gamma ability comes from 1992’s Sensational She-Hulk #45. There, she gained the bizarre power to switch physics with another individual. While being held prisoner, She-Hulk befriends members of the Ovoid race, who are imprisoned along with her. These aliens alter She-Hulk’s brain such that she’s supposed to be able to switch bodies with another person, but because her green skin makes her look like a Skrull, the alterations don’t go quite as intended, and she instead gains the ability to physical swaps. In her She-Hulk form, this means she can give someone else her superhuman muscles while she shrinks down to their proportions. However, as Jennifer, this forgotten and ignored ability could allow her to develop superstrength or other abilities totally separate to her ability to transform.
When She-Hulk makes her MCU debut later this year, mainstream audiences will learn what comic fans already know – that Jennifer is more than just another gamma mutate. she hulk has powers that do not derive from her mutation, and set her above other heroes and Hulks alike.
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