How Jennifer Walters Changes When She Becomes She-Hulk, Explained
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has delighted fans with the introduction of Tatiana Maslany’s Jennifer Walters (a.k.a. She-Hulk). However, viewers will notice pretty quickly that Walters’ Hulk is very different from her cousin, Bruce Banner’s (Mark Ruffalo), Hulk. Banner’s difficulty to control his Hulk has been one of the longest-running storylines in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). For many years, his transformation into Hulk was involuntary and occurred whenever he got too angry. Meanwhile, there was no telling how long he would be in the Hulk state for.
By the time Thor: Ragnarok came around, it was revealed that he was stuck in Hulk form for years. Then, he dealt with the opposite for a period of time, where he couldn’t become Hulk at all. It was only in Avengers: Endgame that Banner finally succeeded in becoming Smart Hulk, which is the result of his Banner persona and his Hulk persona merging into one. So, considering Banner’s multi-year journey, viewers may have been a little surprised when Walters merged her persona and her Hulk persona flawlessly and immediately after becoming a Hulk.
Hence, Walters’ and Banner’s perceptions of their Hulks, and outlook on life, are also very different. While Banner seems more accepting of his Hulk than he was before, it’s clearly something he’s still working on. After all, we did see at the beginning of the episode that he created a gadget that could make him human again. Meanwhile, Walters doesn’t seem to deal with a lot of the torment that Banner experienced. While she’s not exactly happy about being a Hulk, she is confident she can go back to her life as a lawyer and work things out. She’s also pretty smug about being a better Hulk than Banner. However, what actually happens to Walters when she transforms into She-Hulk?
How Walters changes when she becomes She-Hulk, explained
The physical changes that Walters undergoes as She-Hulk are pretty easy to detect. She grows much stronger, taller, and greener as She-Hulk. More importantly, though, she retains her consciousness as She-Hulk. This means she is still Walters when she’s She-Hulk and Walters still has control, rather than the Hulk having control and completely taking over. However, Walters still does change personality-wise as She-Hulk. Just because she’s not turning into a raging monster, doesn’t mean she’s not different as She-Hulk than she is as Walters.
The major way that Walters changes when she becomes She-Hulk, is that she gains more confidence. It’s something we will definitely see more of as the series continues, but there were already hints in the pilot episode. The way that she fearlessly fights Smart Hulk and how she, at times, seems to be feeling or testing out her new body, point to a slow growth in confidence. In an interview with ComicBook.com, Maslany touched on Walters’ transformation as She-Hulk:
I think people receive Jen very differently when she’s She-Hulk than they do Jen Walters. And that’s something that Jen, I think feeds off of in a way that she does get, you know, a little hit of confidence. It’s fun to be looked at like that. But then at the same time, I feel like she also has a fraudulent sort of feeling around it. Or she doesn’t totally feel like she can own that and that people might not be looking at her, but looking at just She-Hulk.
What Maslany touched on is similar to how Walters transformed in the comics. The more comfortable she became with being She-Hulk, the more confident she became. At times, she chose to be in She-Hulk form all the time, and accepted the confidence and power being in that form gave her. Of course, there was always a little bit of self-doubt and a bit of a balancing act between being Walters and She-Hulk. However, being a Hulk and having that kind of power, understandably, makes her a bit more bold, and maybe, just a bit more like who she really is.
(featured image: Disney)
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