Of all Marvel's many heroes, few have such fascinating love lives as our girl Jennifer Walters. This is a woman whose whole first series was pretty much about terrible romantic choices, but that wasn't even close to the last word for JWal's World of Dating. This is someone who got out there and enjoyed her life as a single lady, and three cheers to her for that.
She-Hulk is often teased in comics and by critics for exactly the same thing we praise her for: the willingness to go for what she wants in the realm of love, and the unwillingness to settle on a guy who isn't on her level. As such, here is our ode — to She-Hulk and her love life.
We're just going to get this out of the way from jump: This? This She-Hulk and the Juggernaut thing? It happened in Uncanny X-Men #435. That's right, this was smack dab in the middle of the Chuck Austen run of X-Men, which is now regarded as one of the worst runs of anything, ever. Of course, that is subjective (but also correct). Either way, parts of that run have been seared into our brains whether we liked it or not, and here we are. One of those is when Jennifer Walters represents the Juggernaut in a court of law, they hook up, and then she asks him about his dreams.
This choice was so unpopular for She-Hulk fans that it was quickly retconned out of existence. In the She-Hulk solo series, an ongoing joke was made about people saying She-Hulk had slept with the Juggernaut, and her adamantly denying it. Well, guess what? It was actually the alternate reality She-Hulk of Earth 717 who slept with the Juggernaut.
Here’s the thing: why go to so much trouble to retcon this? Out of everything, why is it She-Hulk's weird one-night stand with the Juggernaut a thing people focused on so intensely? It wasn't even that terribly out of character for her to hook up with Juggernaut, though it was definitely out of character for her to sleep with her client and to care about his dreams. Even the retcon still posits Jennifer as the butt of the joke, so it's not exactly doing her any favors.
In short, some men disregarded She-Hulk's potential as a character in her own right, and then some other men jumped in to defend her honor, and we ended up with a whole lot of comics and articles about the subject that maybe most female She-Hulk fans can just kind of skip reading.
That's odd. Our list of strange loves seems to have gotten mixed in with our list of perfectly reasonable loves, because Jennifer Walters plus Wyatt Wingfoot was pretty much a no-brainer. If there’s any guy on Earth 616 who can meet Jen on her level, it's got to be the tall, handsome, bizarrely overly talented man known as Wyatt.
Wyatt made his first appearance as Johnny Storm's bestie in the Silver Age, helping that blond bisexual icon get over his break-up with Alicia Masters. Once Johnny started dating again and no longer needed a wing-footed wingman in his corner, Wyatt made himself scarce for, you know, about a decade.
When Shulkie joined the Fantastic Four, Wyatt was immediately drawn to her, and the two quickly began dating. He would be her primary partner for much of the '80s. While most of the Marvel Universe was busy trying to "just-one-of-the-guys" She-Hulk, Wyatt was at least cool enough to realize he'd hit the jackpot, tiger. Though he did not always stay on an even-keel and eventually, foolishly, bafflingly broke up with Jen, this ship remains a fan favorite.
Tony and Jennifer were individually single at the same time so often that they just went ahead and gave love a try. 'Love' in this instance was pretty much just a few one-night stands, one of which ended with Tony putting his foot right into his mouth. Jennifer angrily walked off, only to come back and beat the heck out of him for some unrelated stuff with her cousin. Good times! Fortunately, Jennifer isn't one to hold a grudge, except for that one time when she was written by Peter David for 20+ issues. Tony and Jen have managed to stay friends and enjoy a casual relationship despite Jen remaining, at all times, 1000% out of Tony's league.
Rory and Zapper
Today, comic fans know She-Hulk as a strong, professional woman with a great sense of humor and charisma to spare. This wasn't always the case. The first set of She-Hulk issues struggled to define the character, and when the original series ended, we were pretty much left with 25 issues of Jennifer Walters acting like Bruce Banner Lite.
Though there were some good parts, we're here to focus on the worst parts, which were Jen's boyfriends Rory and Zapper. Rory is a nerd with no job who loved calling Jen "babe" while sitting on her couch. Meanwhile, Zapper was an obnoxious 'nice guy' who inserted himself into every aspect of her life until he finally succeeded in gaslighting her into a relationship. Yikes! So much concern about the Juggernaut, yet nobody retconned these two. At least Cain Marko was gainfully employed.
Did you know that J. Jonah Jameson has a son who is more annoying than him and who actually calls himself Stargod? Well, Jennifer sure knows it, because she straight-up married that guy. She-Hulk was going through A Time and feeling unfulfilled in most aspects of her life, so she decided, oh, why not just marry a judgey half-wolf guy who can't accept her for who she is and has shown little to no interest in trying to understand her? Both parties almost immediately realized that this was a huge mistake, and lickety-split, that marriage was annulled.
Listen, we've all made mistakes.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's, and do not necessarily reflect those of SYFY WIRE, SYFY, or NBC Universal.