Marvel Graphic Novel #18: Sensational She-Hulk (1985)

Lots of nudity in this terrific OGN.

Man did John Byrne love to draw Shulkie!

At this point, She-Hulk didn’t have her own comic yet—but I bet John Byrne was already floating the idea, since it’s the reason he left the Thing solo comic, and he’d done a solo story for her in Fantastic Four that, to this day, is a fan favorite (and is one of the best comics of the ’80s). 

I’m not sure what Byrne’s fetish was here. Green chicks? Girls with muscles? He loved to draw She-Hulk topless.

He even showed a little nipple.

Ahem. It’s not all nudity, but honestly that was a big selling point in 1985–when comics were still just beginning to approach sexuality as a topic. But there is a story…

S.H.I.E.L.D. decides it would be a good idea to kidnap She-Hulk and see if they can duplicate her.  (Nick Fury doesn’t participate.)  Obviously, this doesn’t go well for SHIELD.  She-Hulk beats up Mandroids, gets teleported to a secret base, fights a monster made up of cockroaches (pretty gruesome), and, of course, crashes the Helicarrier.  Because without that, no SHIELD story can be complete.

As for character development, her relationship with Wyatt continues to be one of the healthiest, kindest, and most loving portrayed in comics up to this point.

There’s one lasting effect of the story: She-Hulk loses the ability to change into Jennifer Walters.  Here is her reaction:

She doesn’t care.  Because really, why would she?  She’s super strong and still hot.

2 thoughts on “Marvel Graphic Novel #18: Sensational She-Hulk (1985)”

  1. Great post. I remember the whole “nip slip”, too. Shield was always getting a bad rap around this time… I remember the “Nick Fury vs. Shield” prestige format mini–a nicely drawn but confusing plot involving the LMDs and the infinity formula. Poor Nick has gotten a raw deal in his retirement–replaced by the MCU version, exiled to the moon, etc. I miss the action Nick of the 70’s and 80’s.

  2. So do I, Mr. John. I am a huge fan of Sam L. Jackson, and his portrayal of Nick Fury is intense, and worthy of an Oscar. There is nothing wrong with his attitude about it, either. He told Jennifer Hudson ( and hence, the world ) earlier this year that he would be highly honored to play the part as long as Marvel will hire him to do so. That’s the appropriate attitude for any actor. I am so sick of all these actors ( who shall remain unidentified here, in the interest of maintaining the peace ) who ride an iconic role all the way into superstardom, only to decide after the part has made them decadently wealthy that they are now “too big” for the part. Just sick. It is the career goal of any actor to find the role that they were born to play, and give that performance to the world as long as they are physically and mentally able to deliver it, not to give up on it when they become bored with it. ( yes, I’m talking to you, McLean Stevenson ) However, in spite of Sam L. Jackson playing the role of Colonel Fury to delicious perfection, I am still annoyed by the political correctness of his casting. The whole world knows that Colonel Nick Fury is a white man of the mid-Twentieth Century. Over the past thirty years or so, Marvel Entertainment has totally surrendered to political correctness, in a misguided and wasted effort to expand their readership base to other races and cultures. This effort has been a colossal waste of effort due to the fact that is it a proven fact of comic-book market demographics that comic-books simply do not sell to minorities and other cultures, at least not anywhere enough to make the effort commercially viable. Power Man, Black Goliath, Black Lightning- where are they now-?? I read all these comics in the Seventies, and it struck me even at the time that the problem with all these black super-jocks is that NONE of them act even the remotest bit like any black man or boy that I had encountered up to that point in life. Power Man came the closest, but even he came across as a little “white”, most of the time. I get it, though- he was trying to establish a successful business as a hero for hire, and he realized that he could not accomplish that by acting like a ghetto gangbanger. ( or a rapper ) This was all because, back in the last century, 100% of all comics starring black superjocks were all being written by young-to-middle-aged, heavily-educated white writers who simply did not have the necessary cultural experiences to be trying to write comic-book series about black superheroes! In recent years, we have had a new wave of black writers writing black superhero series, to the expected limited success, because of the Leftist politics of the writerships. ( again, names will be omitted in the interest of avoiding litigation ) I was willing to accept Sam L. Jackson as Colonel Fury, simply because his performance in the role was, and remains simply, well, Marvelous!! But in 2015, the late Stan Lee himself gave the greenlight to a tragically ill-conceived ‘Fantastic Four’ movie featuring Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch! Why-??? Why, why, why, why, why-???!!! EVERYBODY knows that Johnny Storm is a slight, short little blond-headed, blue-eyed white fellow, not a tall, strapping athletic black guy! No, the wishes of Stan Lee notwithstanding, ( who also did not see any problem with turning Iceman into a homosexual, as a concession to Marvel’s considerably homosexual readership, but which ALSO went over like a turd in a punchbowl to Marvel’s hardcore readership ) this idea was so infamously bad, that the 2015 ‘Fantastic Four’ movie is universally reviled as one of the worst superhero movies of all time! Mr. Jordan has retaliated by founding a film production company whose chief aim is to develop movies about black superheroes, as he reported on the ‘Jimmy Kimmel Show’, on ABC. I don’t have any objection to that, as long as the properties are characters who have already been previously established as black- ( I personally would LOVE to see a VERY well-done movie about ‘Black Vulcan’- one of my personal favorite of the Super Friends- just, PLEASE, Jordan- in the name of GOD- PLEASE put the guy in full, leg-length tights!! I get that the man has beautiful, athletic legs, but I am not gay, and I really don’t want to spend two hours looking at BV’s bare legs!!!! Thank you!!! ) Something tells me that an equally well-done film about the ( unfortunately ) late ‘Black Goliath’ would also be a………….BIG…………….hit. ( sorry ) But I liked this guy. I liked Dr. Bill Foster, and even though he typifies the “white-acting” black superhero, his personal backstory demands it. Dr. Foster is a product of EXTREMELY higher education- how else could he have eventually gotten close enough to Pym-Particle creator Dr. Henry Pym to eventually ( through a series of extremely fortuitous events ) become ‘Black Goliath’, and later on, ‘Giant-Man’-? ( the name “Giant-Man” sucks, regardless of who is using it- if Foster wanted to drop the word ‘black’ from his sobriquet, why didn’t he simply “bill” himself ( see what I did with that-??? ) as, simply, ‘Goliath’, as both Dr. Pym and Hawkeye did-?? I guess it made too much sense, I dunno! But, in conclusion, I would like to see political correctness purged out of Marvel and DC Comics, even if it DOES alienate a certain ( apparently very small ) percentage of it’s readership. As several Internet web-sites have pointed out many times, comic-book superheroes are primarily, commercially-speaking, a “white-boy” thing, just as ‘Hip-Hop’ and the NBA are primarily a “black-boy” thing. Please do not get upset with me for feeling this way, and for pointing this out- simply research the commercial and racial demographics for all of these various products! Thank you for your time!


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