It is truly rare when a story enters your life that changes the way you approach storytelling as a whole. As a fan of Byrne’s, I knew about his run on Sensational She-Hulk, but didn’t give it much thought until one dreaded night—overcome with boredom—when the book just called to me. It was truly—hang on, this is embarrassing. Do you hear that noise? Sounds like it’s coming from—
All right, hold your applause!
She-Hulk?! For the love of—I knew something was up when I saw I was in italics! How’d you get in here?
We only have 800 words in this article, and you want to write about THAT?
Ah, right, I get it. When you were relaunched, Byrne wrote your series with the unique twist that you were aware you were in a comic book. But Shulkie, this isn’t a comic book! Why are you here?
To give you an exclusive interview, of course! It’s been a while since someone has talked about my Byrne days. You really should be reading something a bit more…contemporary.
W-Well… I’m flattered! But quite frankly, this was supposed to be an article, not an interview. I don’t… really know where to begin. Also, what’s wrong with the classics? The late ’80s/early ’90s were a great time.
Ouch. I’m still young, you know. Don’t call me “classic”.
Oh, right. You don’t age as long as you’re in print. How has that been going for you?
Well, after I killed Byrne—
HANG ON! You can’t just SPOIL the last issue of Byrne’s run in my article talking about Byrne’s run! What about the people who want to read it? And HEY! GET THAT PAGE SCAN OUT OF HERE!
Do people really want to read the things you’re writing about? Looking at your analytics…
W-Whoa! Come on now, you can’t just look at a man’s analytics…!
Y’know, now that I think about it, I don’t even know why I agreed to this interview at all. You’re barely even qualified to call yourself a writer.
Hang on a sec—
And you own an entire longbox worth of my comics? I mean, talk about obsessed…
HEY! First of all, that’s PERSONAL. BUSINESS. What I read is sacred! Second of all, of course I have a bunch of your comics: I’m writing this article about you, after all! Third, I NEVER WANTED TO INTERVIEW YOU. You just popped in with your bold font and took over my article! You spoiled the ending to Byrne’s run and you insulted me for being a loyal fan! That hurts, Jen.
Don’t call me Jen!
But that’s your name! You’re Jennifer Walters—you were a regular old lawyer until a car hit you and your cousin Bruce Banner gave you a blood transfusion. Everyone knows that.
You don’t just expose a girl’s entire tragic backstory after calling her by her former pet-name.
Oh right, sorry. I forgot that you and Wyatt Wingfoot—your boyfriend in Byrne’s run—haven’t really been…a thing recently. Your relationship history as of late has been interesting. Speaking of relationships, how are you and Byrne doing?
Well, killing him didn’t stick. Something to do with him being a Life Model Decoy. Typical. So we mutually agreed to part ways.
I’m sorry to hear that. I really enjoyed what you two managed to do together.
Nothing good ever lasts.
Like your good characterization.
And besides, he’s a bit of a jerk from what I’ve heard. It’s a good thing for my brand to distance itself from…wait. What do you mean by my “good characterization?”
Well, you haven’t been breaking the fourth wall recently for starters. We’ve missed the Snarky She-Hulk! You were breaking the fourth wall before Dead-
-before Deadpool. Right. You and everyone who’s ever read a cheap clickbait comic book news article says that. Well you know what? A girl just wanted to have fun. Is that too much to ask?! I’ve been stuck in Jason Aaron’s Avengers book for YEARS, and I knew that he didn’t really get me. He took away my smarts, my looks, my legacy. All because he wanted Hulk in his comic. But what could I do? Marvel Editorial no longer took my calls, and I’m not even sure if they even exist anymore. The Comics Code Authority has long since been abandoned, so I couldn’t complain to THEM about MY IMAGE being RUINED.
Shulkie, the Comics Code Authority wasn’t established for-
LET ME FINISH! Then I come to find that Byrne is neck-deep in controversy, so I can’t even go back to him. Peter David’s busy writing for Cousin Bruce, so I can’t work with HIM anymore. Sure, being in Dan Slott’s recent Fantastic Four book was fine and all, but I wouldn’t call that book anything special. I haven’t been…me for a while. They haven’t…Marvel hasn’t let me be…me. So I just…went into autopilot. Put on a smile…
Are you…are you okay She-Hulk? …do you want a hug?
Ugh…what? No…It’s…It’s fine. I’m fine. I just, I just need a minute. Let’s not lose the readers, you go on talking about me.
Okay…if you say so. We are a bit short on words so I’ll make this quick: Byrne’s She-Hulk was so good that it built the foundation for what would be many more years of brilliant She-Hulk stories. The run brought in an amazing amount of female readers, old and new. It was a pretty great comedy comic for its time, and it’s now considered a fan favorite. Jennifer Walters—She-Hulk—is more than just a female version of Hulk. She’s one of comics’ feminist icons, going so far as to-
Well, yeah! You fought against Byrne’s odd obsession to sexualize you, and with Weezi’s help, you gave yourself a good life.
Can I really be a feminist icon in comics when the internet keeps showing out-of-context pictures of the…“jump rope issue?”
Ah… the jump rope issue. Where you told readers of Byrne’s Sensational She-Hulk that you’d jump rope naked if that’s what it took to get sales. To be fair, you started that. But you also ended it. You were poking fun at how comics were using sex appeal to sell issues at the time, I thought it was a pretty clever stunt. That sounds like feminism in comics to me. You did that a lot in Byrne’s run, and you continued to do that with other writers.
Huh…I never thought about it like that before. I was just being…y’know, me.
Like Daisy Miller?
Like Daisy Miller!
Except you’re a much more intelligent, deliberate Daisy Miller who knows that promiscuity makes men uncomfortable. You just…own who you are. It’s inspiring. Truly. And I’m excited for your show.
Oh that’s right—I have a show coming out! Well if your readers like my old “feminist” Byrne comic then they’d love to check out my show! I didn’t even think to talk about that…
Well, we can’t. We’re way over my word-limit for this article.
Oh…I didn’t even realize.
Eh, neither did the readers. Unless they’ve been counting every word. That would be…obsessive.
Said the pot to the kettle.
Ouch! Alright She-Hulk, this has been a pleasure, but I think I’ll call the interview off here. This has truly been a dream of mine, and I’m glad my readers have had a chance to get to know the real you.
And they can continue to get to know the real me by watching my upcoming Disney+ show and reading my new She-Hulk series—written by Rainbow Rowell—coming to your local comic shop this January, 2022!
Alright alright, I’m not getting paid for any of these endorsements. Get out of here!
Phew…she’s gone. Oh…hey! The italics are gone too! I’m free! I’m…lonely…Well, at least I have you, my loyal readers! Right?