Released in 2004 and written by Dan Slott with art provided by Juan Bobillo this incarnation of ‘She Hulk’ took her back into the courtroom. The series was full of humour as well as exploring the legal ramifications of the Marvel Universe, helped immensely by the writers knowledge of Marvel trivia.
Central to the plot was Jennifer coming to terms with her relationship with She-Hulk. Her green skinned alter-ego allowed her to hide from real life, to avoid feeling vulnerable. Things come to a head when the Avengers kick her out of the mansion and an underwear model calls her shallow. Now she has to be Jen again.
Starting a new career with Goodman, Lieber & Kurtzberg she found she could do more good as Jennifer than she could as She-Hulk. This didn’t mean that her life was any less crazy.
I’ve chosen to look at She-Hulk because of the wealth of information it provides about a little explored area of the Marvel universe, not to mention the trivia. I’d originally planned to do 6 issue but there was so much material in the first 2 issues I’ve decided to expand this into several articles.
So here is our first look at She Hulk.
Goodman, Lieber & Kurtzberg
They announced to the world that they would expand their legal services to include all aspects of the superhuman law. Even if the laws of reality were broken the law firm would find solutions through the laws of man.
Any heroes who get into legal trouble could find themselves involved with Goodman, Lieber & Kurtzberg during this period of Marvel history. They might go to the law firm to represent them or find a villain taking them to court for using excessive force.
Located in Timley Plaza, near the New York Supreme Court, conference rooms could be set for specific environmental conditions. Within minutes a room set for subterranean conditions could be pumped full of sea water to host a meeting with an Atlantean client.
Case files on normal cases are kept in the Attic. Those regarding superhuman law are kept in the Basement. The files are actually comic books, published by Marvel Comics within the Marvel Universe. Technically, because they bear the seal of the comics code of America, they are legal documents.
Not only did the firm employ She-Hulk they also hired a shapeshifter named Ditto and one of the Mad Thinker’s androids Awesome Andy.
Count Tupo and the Bermuda Triangle
This Atlantean is visiting Goodman, Lieber & Kurtzberg regarding salvage rights on a spaceship that went down in the Bermuda Triangle. This suggests that Count Tupo considers this region to be his territory.
Who does the spaceship belong to? What caused it to crash? What does Count Tupo hope to salvage from the ship itself? If this becomes a court case will he be opposed by the race that created the spaceship or an Earth government?
All of these questions have the potential to lead to further adventures. Heroes might be involved in the crash of the spaceship (did they cause it?) or the consequences of the court case. If the ship belonged to the Skrull it might have information about the upcoming ‘Secret Invasion’.
The Bermuda Triangle is an exotic location form an adventure, notorious for supernatural events. This makes it perfect for heroes, especially explorers like the Fantastic Four.
During issue 1 She-Hulk is called away from a court case by an Avenger emergency. AIM, led once again by Modok, have established an orbital space platform in order to fire a cryo-cannon. They plan to freeze the Earth and then plunder its technology.
In addition to She-Hulk the team consists of Captain America, Wasp, Iron Man, Thor, Hercules, Scarlet Witch and Vision. Together they have already destroyed the orbital station but Modok has erected a force field around himself and the cannon.
She-Hulk is strong enough to breach the force field and discover that the cannon is being powered by Blizzard, who in turn is having his powers boosted by Modok. Using her strength she is able to separate them and force AIM to flee.
This whole adventure takes place in the space of a double page spread but there is material here for a whole adventure. We’re presented with a wide range of Avenger characters for players to choose from and an exciting space based climax to the adventure.
The games master has the freedom to design the early parts of the plot. Just how did the Avengers learn about Modok’s plan. What means did they use to locate the orbital space platform and get into space themselves?
Their attack on the space platform could have been overt or they might have used stealth. Members of the Avengers might have been captured and held on the platform, leading to a rescue attempt. Or this could have been a ruse in order for members of the Avengers to get inside and shut down the security system to allow the rest of the team to attack.
What happened after this adventure? Was this just one stage of Modok’s plan? He may have planned to augment the powers of other villains to fuel different weapons. Did the Avengers really let him get away or are they planning on chasing after him later?
The Cryo-cannon might return in a future adventure, possibly without a super villain powering it. Captain America notes that the weapon’s beam is harmless in the vacuum of space but should it enter the Earth’s atmosphere….
Since AIM are primarily mercenaries we can assume they didn’t intend to leave the Earth frozen forever. This means they must have had a means to thaw the planet out. Heroes could capitalise on this by finding out how they planned to do this so they can undo the cannon’s effects themselves.
In issue 1 Jennifer Walters is involved in a case involving Antarctic Vibranium. A Mr Paxton who was improperly storing the so called ‘anti-metal’ in a warehouse. This particular kind of Vibranium breaks down the molecules in all metals.
This resulted in the collapse of the warehouse, damage to the surrounding properties and, Jennifer would argue, physical harm to those in vicinity when the iron in their blood was disintegrated.
Issue 1 concerns itself with the consequences but an adventure could be built around the event itself. Heroes could arrive on the scene to find buildings collapsing, placing people in danger. Once they identify the source of the disturbance as vibranium how do they neutralise it?
Some heroes might be especially vulnerable to the effects of the vibranium, particularly characters like Iron Man or Colossus. Characters could find themselves without their gadgets as the metal in them is destroyed, for example Spider-Man could find himself without his web shooters.
This highlights the fact that the Marvel universe has a lot of dangerous substances in it that could be stored within a busy city. What happens when things go wrong? Would there be a push to outlaw such materials? Could heroes have to trace where the substance is coming from?
Danger Man vs Roxxon
Jennifer’s first major case for Goodman, Lieber & Kurtzberg is claiming damages against Roxxon on behalf of Dan Jermain. Once a safety inspector for Roxxon he fell into a vat of chemicals that transformed him into Danger Man.
He gained uncontrollable super strength, energy beams, underwater breathing and an atomic punch. He was constantly surrounded by an energy aura and could go into meltdown when upset.
The transformation was not a blessing for Danger Man. He hurt his wife, damaged his house and found his insurance cancelled. He’d lost the life he’d once known. With Jennifer’s help he won a $85 million dollar settlement, treatment, therapy and family counselling.
What does the future hold for Danger Man? Would he be able to remain as Dan Jermain or would he inevitably find himself taking the role of hero or villain? He would make an interesting player character, an ordinary man blessed with extraordinary powers.
There is also the question of what happened to the vat of chemicals that Dan fell into. It is possible that they might try to duplicate the effect, creating their own super-powered employee.
It could be that something unique in Dan Jermain was responsible for the transformation. The same chemicals might prove lethal to others. It could also create monsters or villains that PC superheroes will need to stop.
Scarlet Witches’ Cloaking Spell
Jennifer Walter is concerned that she’ll be vulnerable since her identity is public knowledge. To quell her fears the Scarlet Witch casts a very powerful spell. While it is in place no one who wishes She-Hulk harm will recognise Jen Walters as being the same person.
Wanda is very casual in the way that she casts the spell, suggesting that it isn’t difficult. It does raise questions about why she doesn’t use the spell more often. Since it only affects those who wish a super hero harm it seems perfect for everyone.
For characters who can transform between two forms it acts as a great way to escape trouble. Jen would only have to change to her human form to escape her opponents by blending into a crowd.
It would also seem a preferable alternative for Peter Parker in the wake of the Civil War. Rather than making a deal with the devil he need only have sought out Wanda. This wouldn’t have been without its difficulties but would mean that his loved ones would be safe while still allowing him to have a public identity.
Adventures could be built around this in two ways. Firstly heroes could seek out Scarlet Witch in order to have the same spell placed upon them, especially if their secret identity has been revealed.
Secondly Wanda could be forced to cast a similar spell on a villain. The heroes would then have to hunt for someone who they magically can’t recognise when that villain is in their civilian identity.
This also makes a good distinction or power set for heroes to spend their XP on, as long as they can justify why the Scarlet Witch would do this for them.