She-Hulk, also known as Jennifer Walters, first appeared in the Marvel comics in 1979. She was supposed to be a counterpart to Hulk, nothing major. However, as time passed, She-Hulk became a prominent member of the most notable superhero teams – Avengers, Fantastic Four, and more. Her “womanness” has been displayed much more in the later issues, and now we see her character being in the newest Disney+ show called She-Hulk: The Attorney at Law, a proud woman who is not afraid to display her sexuality and preferences. In this article, we will talk about She-Hulk’s sexuality, and what is the current Marvel canon.
She-Hulk is straight. Even though she looks stereotypically like someone whose creators would make her queer, Jennifer Walters was never with other women or gender. She is actually known as a “men’s lady”, whose liberation and relationships with men got more and more renowned – according to Marvel’s canon, She-Hulk has a list of men with whom she was, and there are a lot of them.
We will discuss She-Hulk’s sexuality more and even mention her origins since it is strongly connected to her characterization and relationships today. If you are interested in this topic, stay with us until the end of the article.
She-Hulk’s Relationships and Origins In the Comics and MCU
With the release of the most recent Disney+ TV series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, a lot of people were either pleased or unpleasantly surprised at how She-Hulk’s sexuality is so expressed in the show. Having Tatiana Maslany play Jennifer Walters was great casting, however, some fans criticized the writers of the show and their tendencies to show her sexual liberation and women empowerment in such an aggressive way. Her fourth-wall breaking is also an important part of her character that we will see more often in the TV show.
She-Hulk’s character was mostly like that from the beginning, and Jen’s struggles as a woman in men’s society who is also a green monster prompted a lot of ways on how to tell a story about this struggling character. Her first release in Marvel Comics commemorated the seemingly same Hulk character but this time, the character will be a woman. However, at first glance, seemingly the same story as her cousin Bruce Banner, Jennifer Walters was different than her more notable counterpart.
Even though Jen was always presented as a smart person who is an amazing lawyer, she was a really insecure character. The factor “being a woman” also influenced that characterization, and her insecurities started affecting her life more often. However, one accident changed Jen’s life forever – after being attacked by the mobsters threatening her father’s life, Jennifer Walters almost died. Thankfully, her cousin Bruce Banner was visiting her and saved her life with his gamma-irradiated blood which turned her into the Hulk.
What was really interesting is that, even though she was less powerful than her cousin, she was still really strong, and an insecure woman, became a strong, tall and powerful green-skinned monster lady who could use her stature to intimidate but also convince other individuals about certain things.
Besides her powers, She-Hulk controlled her anger differently – she still has her intelligence and emotional control during She-Hulk form. Why is this important? Well, unlike Bruce, Jen realized that she had so much more freedom in She-Hulk form than her being in Jen form, the fear of expressing her feelings to other people and pursuing relationships, was so much easier for her as the She-Hulk.
This is why she embraced She-Hulk so quickly – she gave Jennifer Walters confidence we barely saw from her ever. This is why She-Hulk’s relationships were defined by her seeking independence and acceptance. Her father Sherriff Morris Walters, was overprotective of Jen during her childhood, especially when his wife and Jen’s mother died.
Her first two canonical relationships in Marvel Comics happened in the 1980s when she pursued Zapper, her childhood friend, and Richard Rory, a man who was taking care of disc collections in the local radio station. She was first involved with Rory, whom she eventually left for her friend Zapper. In the end, both of the relationships ended pretty fast, but these two men hinted at She-Hulk’s future romantic endeavors.
One of the more odd relationships was with Starfox, Thanos’s brother. Their story revolved around Eros, known as Starfox who infiltrated the Avengers and influenced She-Hulk’s decision for her to sleep with him after she represented him as a lawyer in court. In the end, it was revealed that she willingly slept with Thanos’s brother.
However, Starfox influenced She-Hulk’s decision-making by making her fall in love with John Jameson, whom she married during the events of the Civil War storyline. He was the only man she married, and when Jameson became Stargod, their relationship failed after she found out what Starfox had done to her.
She-Hulk also had a stint of dating a member of the Defenders and other notable superhero groups, Luke Cage. Before being married and having a child with Jessica Jones, Cage and Iron Fist were part of the Heroes for Hire group during which he met She-Hulk. She was very impressed with the former Power Man that they continued dating.
In the She-Hulk #17. Jen hooks up with no other than Marvel’s biggest playboy, Tony Stark. In this issue, there is a whole arc of She-Hulk and her dating habits which are looked differently upon in comparison to the man in this story, Tony Stark. She questions Tony on how he can be called a “player” after sleeping with many people, but when she does it she is a “skank”.
After pointing out the double standard of the society, Tony being Tony says that she is already powerful and that he needs to wear an Iron Man suit for him to become a “man”.
They’ve become great friends after the initial hook-up. Other relationships include Hercules, for who She-Hulk had fantasies but promptly rejects after realizing that he is a chauvinist, and Wyatt Wingfoot, the best friend of Johnny Storm, and consequently of one of the most normal She-Hulk relationships.
In the MCU, or more specifically Disney+ show, Jennifer is seen as a woman trying to find herself and accept her other persona in which she feels really powerful. The scenes in the show include her swiping left or right on Tinder and hooking up with various men, while still trying to find a perfect balance of liberating sexuality and life as this newfound heroine.
She also has an odd fascination for Captain America’s backside.
Is She-Hulk Gay, Bisexual or Straight?
After scrolling through She-Hulk’s comics and canon relationships in the comics, Marvel canon states that She-Hulk is straight. Her relationships with men are a huge part of her characterization – she is trying to liberate herself from the shackles of her traumatizing childhood while still being an empowered heroine people can count on.
She is a certified “playboy” or “playgirl” whatever you want to call it, and each man she was with marked her character development. Social stigma and reluctance of presenting a woman as being free in her sexuality are still deeply present today, and with She-Hulk, and most recently, the Disney+ TV series, Marvel is trying to promote that female sexual liberation to wide audiences.
Therefore, even if that one particular scene in the show, where She-Hulk is twerking in her office, is a lot on the nose, and awkwardly executed, it still shows parts of her character that inspired a lot of women around the world.
She-Hulk was the product of its time, and a sexualized version of the female Hulk, seems for today’s standards in bad taste, but we can with certainty say that She-Hulk sleeping with a lot of men is widely recognized by comic book fans, and after the show ends, hopefully, more people will accept that. Sleeping with men is part of the She-Hulk’s empowerment, and that is not a bad thing at all.