- —Betty Ross[src]
- 1 History
- 2 Personality
- 3 Powers and Abilities
- 4 Paraphernalia
- 5 Notes
- 6 Trivia
- 7 See Also
- 8 Links and References
Born in California, Betty was the only child of Air Force General Thaddeus Ross and his wife Karen Lee. Karen died when Betty was a teenager, and Ross shut Betty out of his life, claiming that a military base was no place for a young woman. Betty went off to boarding school.
She returned to Thaddeus' home after finishing school but then as for much of her life she was dominated by Thaddeus. By now Thaddeus was in charge of the top secret Gamma Bomb Project at Desert Base in New Mexico. Betty greeted the bomb's creator, Dr. Robert Bruce Banner, when he arrived at the base. A strong attraction grew between Bruce and Betty. However, Thaddeus held resentment for the quiet, slender, nuclear physicist thinking him a physical and emotional weakling. Thaddeus' dislike of Bruce intensified when he realized that Betty was falling in love with him.
Exposure to intense gamma radiation caused Bruce to transform repeatedly from then on into the monstrous Hulk. When Ross began to realize that his daughter was falling in love with Bruce Banner, he tried to dissuade her from following those feelings, not liking the secrets that Banner was obviously keeping. Later Betty was kidnapped by Tyrannus a long lived Grecian ruler who controlled the underground domain of Subterranea. Tyrannus ordered Ross to not impeded his coming invasion of the surface world in order to ensure the safety of his daughter. Ross complied, but Betty was eventually rescued by the Hulk. Although Bruce managed at first to keep his identity a secret his activities as the Hulk led to circumstances that caused Thaddeus and his security chief Major Glenn Talbot to suspect Bruce of being a traitor. Glenn fell in love with Betty himself. However, Betty remained devoted to Bruce through all of his trouble even when it became known that Bruce was the Hulk.
At one point Bruce's condition changed so that he could now control his changes into Hulk and could maintain his normal personality and intelligence when he was in the Hulk's form. Reluctantly, Thaddeus consented to the wedding of Banner with his daughter, which was held in the house in which she had been born. However, during the ceremony, just before Bruce and Betty could be pronounced husband and wife, the Hulk's archenemy the Leader, seeking vengeance, fired radiation that returned Bruce to his previous condition as the savage Hulk. The Hulk tore the house apart, and hopes for the wedding to occur were no more.
Marrying Glenn Talbot
Betty remained in love with Bruce, but she eventually learned that Bruce also loved Jarella, a queen from the sub-atomic world of K'ai. Believing she had lost Bruce to another woman, Betty finally allowed herself to fall in love with Glenn, and they were soon married.
While Betty and Glenn were on their honeymoon, Thaddeus continued his pursuit of the Hulk, only to be captured by the Soviet scientist known as the Gremlin and sent to a Soviet prison. Glenn joined a mission to rescue Thaddeus and was successful, but Glenn himself was captured. Ross and the other Americans on the mission incorrectly believed that Talbot had been killed. When Betty learned of her husband's supposed death, she suffered a nervous breakdown.
M.O.D.O.K., who was at the time the leader of the subversive organization called A.I.M, discovered Betty's condition and decided to take advantage of it. In order to create a creature powerful enough to defeat the Hulk, he infused an incredible amount of gamma radiation into her, making her the monstrous and insane Harpy. The dreadful creature broke out of a special shell, immediately wanting to know where the Hulk was so that she could kill him.
M.O.D.O.K told Harpy where to find the Hulk, and she flew off to find him. The Harpy soon found the Hulk, ambushing him and engaging in combat. The two fought each other without hesitation, but before the Hulk landed the killing blow, the Harpy told him she was Betty. The Hulk, shocked and confused by her statement, is blasted unconscious by the Harpy.
General Ross saw the Harpy and the Hulk fighting on TV and recognized his daughter. He made his way as quickly as possible to the battle-site, running to talk to her right before she blasts and tries to kill the Hulk. Ross tried to convince her that she was a gentle human being, but still under the influence of M.O.D.O.K.'s brainwashing. Thinking his words to be a poor trick, the Harpy flew away with the Hulk in her clutches.
When the military sent out fighter jets to try and stop her, she shot one out of the sky before she and the Hulk were swept up in a strange tornado that pulled them into a giant cloud mass. They soon found themselves in a strange city hidden in the clouds. As the Hulk revived, they were confronted by a two-headed creature calling itself the "Bi-Beast". When it grabbed the Harpy out of interest, she lashed out with gamma ray blasts, and the Hulk, wanting to protect Betty, attacked the creature as well. The Harpy was easily knocked out with a single blow, but the Hulk proved to be more of a challenge. Despite the fight the Hulk put up, however, the thin air in the upper-atmosphere brought him to defeat. He collapsed from a lack of oxygen and reverted back to Bruce Banner.
When Banner revived he explained to the Bi-Beast that he was a scientist, leading the creature to believe that destiny had brought him to the floating island. It told Banner that the island was created by the "Bird People" and the Bi-Beast was created to be a living monument of their achievements once they passed on. It explained that the machines holding the city in the air were starting to break down and that they had no knowledge on how to repair them. It asked Bruce to use his skills to save the city, with the predicament now known. Additionally, it explained that it captured the Harpy because they yearned for the company of someone that resembled their creators. The Harpy fit that description.
Bruce, not knowing how Betty's transformation occurred, figured he could use the advanced equipment to try and help her. He went looking for the Bi-Beast, finding it trying to communicate with the reluctant, caged Harpy. Bruce said he would help repair the equipment if the Bi-Beast let him take the Harpy with him, to which the Bi-Beast agreed. Bruce gathered equipment together he suspected would cure Betty. Unbeknownst to him, M.O.D.O.K came to the island looking for both him and the Harpy. He tricked the Bi-Beast into thinking Bruce was going to betray him. The Bi-Beast, fooled, attacked Bruce just as he hit the switch to start the equipment. A fight ensued, angering Bruce and turning him into the Hulk. The successful M.O.D.O.K double-crossed the Bi-Beast and attacked it. As the Bi-Beast hit the self-destruct button, the Hulk became Bruce once more and went to search for Betty. He found her in the device still as the Harpy. He was devastated due to the apparent failure of the machine. Nevertheless, he grabbed her, became the Hulk, and made a run for it as the island fell apart. As the Hulk ran in attempt to bring them both to safety, parts of a building from the island fell on top of the Harpy. When the dust cleared, the Harpy had reverted back to Betty Ross.
Betty's transformation was reversed permanently after the encounter with the Bi-Beast. She regained both her normal form and her sanity, showing that Bruce's machine was successful.
Glenn was finally rescued, but Betty realized that she was still in love with Bruce, and the marriage of Betty and Glenn soon ended in divorce. For a time Betty lived on her own. Ultimately, she returned to Bruce. As for Glenn, he blamed his divorce on Bruce and died trying to destroy the Hulk.
Again Bruce achieved a state in which he could control his transformations and maintain his normal personality and intelligence while in the form of the Hulk. This time, however, Betty was upset because she wanted Bruce to be rid of the Hulk, not to control him. When Betty learned that Thaddeus conspired with M.O.D.O.K to kill the Hulk, Betty accused him of treason. Realizing Betty was right, Thaddeus nearly committed suicide and then disappeared.
The Hulk disappeared from Earth for an extended period, and Betty began dating a man named Ramón. Upon learning that the Hulk had been sighted on Earth again, Betty left Ramón and returned to Gamma Base, where the Hulk was subjected to a process that split Bruce and the Hulk into separate entities. Believing himself cured, Bruce proposed to Betty, and she accepted. Thaddeus appeared at the wedding, armed with a gun and demanding that the marriage not take place before shooting Rick Jones. Courageously, Betty confronted her father, accused him of tyrannizing her throughout her life, and cowered him into surrendering the gun. Then finally, Bruce and Betty were pronounced husband and wife.
However, Bruce began dying as a result of being physically separated from the Hulk. Bruce and the Hulk were secretly merged together once more and Betty soon discovered this.
Thaddeus died before his daughter's eyes when he sacrificed his life to destroy an unnamed mutant that nearly killed both Betty and Bruce seeking a strong host to be parasitically linked to.
Betty was distraught on learning that Bruce had sometimes consciously triggered his transformation in the past and was even now willing to become the Hulk in order to deal with very menacing threats. She left Bruce and returned to Ramón, but then changed her mind and abandoned Ramón as well. She was then captured by the Leader, who set her free after learning that she was pregnant with Bruce's child. She was eventually reunited with Bruce, but soon afterward the Hulk seemingly perished in a tremendous explosion at Gammatown. Believing the Hulk dead, Betty left for New York City, where she eventually began training to become a nun.
The Hulk, meanwhile, had found a way to prevent Bruce from ever surfacing again while in the sub-atomic world of Jarella. Returning to Earth, the Hulk adopted the identity of Joe Fixit, and began a romantic relationship with Marlo Chandler, although Bruce was still married to Betty. Marlo later ended the relationship, growing uncomfortable with the secrets Joe Fixit kept from her.
After many months, Bruce learned of Betty's whereabouts during the Hulk's encounter with the villain Madman, and was soon reunited with her, but not before the savage Hulk reappeared as well, in an encounter with the hero Prometheus. Bruce and Betty searched for Rick and were similarly reunited, as was the Hulk with Rick's new girlfriend Marlo.
Soon afterwards, the various personalities of the Hulk were fused in one whole personality, and the Hulk was contacted by the enigmatic leader Agamemnon to join his clandestine hero team the Pantheon to which the Hulk served with the Pantheon for a long time. During this time, his relationship with Betty became strained. She was not comfortable with the merged persona nor did she agree to live at the Pantheon's headquarters with the Hulk. With time and effort the Hulk and Betty's relationship improved.
After many months, the Pantheon had a falling out with their former leader and in the subsequent battle the Pantheon's headquarters was destroyed and Betty was fatally wounded. The Hulk lost control over his form and the savage Hulk re-assumed control but physically in Bruce's form. Bruce came into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody and Betty was hospitalized.
At some point, the Hulk sneaked Betty out of the hospital that she was in and Betty and the Hulk began living as fugitives. Betty and the Hulk eventually settled down in Sunville, Florida under assumed identities. The Hulk managed to keep their identities secret despite several adventures in Florida and New York. Eventually however, Betty was captured by the U.S. Army's Matt Talbot who succeeded in capturing the Hulk despite the re-emergence of the Hulk's fractured personalities.
Betty was freed by the Leader's former creations, collectively known as the Headshop. Betty and the Headshop in turn freed the Hulk but in the process the Hulk still in Bruce's body jumped on a live grenade which left him with shrapnel in his brain and a subsequent penchant for turning into a physical alter ego of the Maestro. After helping the heroes save the world from Onslaught the Hulk left to begin a series of adventures ultimately leading to Leonard and the U.S. Army hunting the Hulk once more.
As Bruce returned from Counter Earth and continued his life as the Hulk, Betty learned that her long association with the Hulk had left her dying from gamma radiation poisoning. The Hulk's archenemy the Abomination out of revenge for his brutal defeat by the Hulk learned of this and then somehow used a transfusion of his own gamma-irradiated blood to poison her and Betty died.
However she mysteriously reappeared with a new face and began to provide the Hulk with information under the code-name of Mr. Blue. Betty did not seem to want a relationship although she felt obliged to continue helping Bruce.
However some of the mysterious events surrounding the Hulk had been revealed to have been illusions made by Nightmare. Betty washed up on the same beach where the Hulk learned of this manipulation. Nightmare seemed to have taken a particular interest in Betty, and his daughter Daydream seemed to have taken an appearance similar to hers.
Once again Betty was mysteriously resurrected and was present at her father's funeral in tears over his death. She was seen with Glenn, distraught over Bruce due to his recent marriage to Caiera on Sakaar and his subsequent attack on Manhattan. However, it's unknown if there was any sincerity behind her motives or if it was only to help locate and help her husband.
Resurrection and Red She-Hulk
Red Hulk's team of mercenaries Code Red found Domino in a bar located in the heart of Hell's Kitchen. However Domino had been waiting for them and ambushed Code Red with X-Force. All the various team members paired off and began their individual battles with Wolverine facing Red Hulk. Wolverine slashed his claws across Red Hulk's eyes blinding him until his healing factor restored his eyesight. Wolverine was about to deliver the killing blow to Red Hulk and Red She-Hulk appeared blindsiding him. Red She-Hulk protected Red Hulk long enough in challenging Wolverine.
Red Hulk had no idea who had come to his aid and Thundra was forced to explain that it was a female counterpart who looked just like him. While Red She-Hulk and Wolverine battled she proudly boasted that she had stolen Elektra's sai and Domino's automatic firearm and clothes after killing them. Enraged Wolverine plunged his claws into a power line and electrocuted them both. Having forced Red She-Hulk away, Wolverine went to search for Domino but Red She-Hulk pulled herself to her feet and lunged at Wolverine once more. When Wolverine stabbed Red She-Hulk with his claws she distracted him by spitting acid saliva on his face. Punisher distracted Wolverine long enough for Red She-Hulk to drag Red-Hulk away from the fight. She dragged him down into the sewers to escape. Down there Red Hulk slowly followed Red She-Hulk around while Red She-Hulk evaded his questioning. There was a moment of silence after Red Hulk told the story of a blind man and an elephant and she screamed that the last person who told her that story was dead to her.
However just as Red Hulk began to trust Red She-Hulk she double crossed him and plunged Elektra's stolen sai into his neck. Code Red were gathered in the sewers and awaiting the orders of Samson. Their encounter ended with Red She-Hulk kicking Red Hulk off the Empire State Building. She was next seen capturing Hank Pym for the Intelligencia. Her identity was finally revealed when she was stabbed with a sword by Skaar and reverted to her human form revealing her to be Betty.
Betty told Bruce how she came back to life, and asked that Bruce leave her to die, but as soon as Doc Samson showed up, Betty's anger at his betrayal transformed her back into Red She-Hulk, healing her injuries; this time in control of her own mind, Betty helped Bruce reconcile with his son Skaar.
When Bruce gained the upper hand in the fight against General Ross, Betty worried for her father, which, combined with her heightened aggression as the Red She-Hulk lead to a conflict with the original She-Hulk, Betty fought hard as Red She-Hulk but ultimately lost. After General Ross himself was defeated as Red Hulk and locked up, Betty managed to convince Bruce to give her father the opportunity to redeem himself.
After the Leader's attempted takeover, Betty had difficulty coping with being resurrected, brainwashed, and turned into Red She-Hulk all at once, and while talking to Bruce, she reasoned that they were no longer married, as she had been declared legally dead and that everyone else knew that Bruce married Caiera while he was the Green Scar Hulk, they should just go their separate ways. Even though Bruce tried to argue, it only served to stress Betty and she transformed into Red She-Hulk again.
Betty again went on the run, pursued by Bruce, who had discovered that her gamma levels were unstable, and that transforming only few more times could lead to her permanently stuck in her Red She-Hulk form. After finally catching up with her in Rome, he found that she had teamed up with his old nemesis Tyrannus to steal Pandora's box, framing the Hulk for its theft. When Bruce confronted Betty and Tyrannus with the help of the museum curator, Dr. Sofia di Cosimo (an expert on artifacts of antiquity) - who planned to use Pandora's box to form a new Roman empire - they were attacked by a pair of men in armor claiming to be the "Knights of Rome", who disappeared with Tyrannus, Dr. di Cosimo, and Pandora's box, forcing Betty and Bruce to team up as Hulk and Red She-Hulk. Bruce and Betty were able to track down and defeat the Knights of Rome but Tyrannus used the opportunity to transform their magical floating fortress into a giant impregnable stone golem while keeping Dr. di Cosimo captive.
He immediately flung Hulk away, while Betty followed after him as Red She-Hulk, to Tyrannus' obvious dismay as he had feelings for her. She arrived to find the Hulk unhurt and both reverted to their human forms, giving her the opportunity to tell Bruce about her struggle to keep the Red She-Hulk at bay. They returned to the Colosseum, with Bruce turning back into the Hulk but Betty still human. Tyrannus gathered thousands of locals to witness the opening of Pandora's Box; but with Amadeus Cho having disabled the mystical defenses of the fortress, Hulk was able to rescue Dr. di Cosimo and Pandora's Box. Tyrannus and Hulk fought with Tyrannus having the upper hand, prompting Dr. di Cosimo to ask Betty to become Red She-Hulk again to help Hulk. Both Amadeus and the Hulk told her not to, and the Hulk threw Pandora's Box to her so she could keep it away from Tyrannus. Tyrannus exited the golem to shoot Pandora's Box, unleashing the corrupted spirit of hope contained within which took possession of Betty. The Hulk was able to absorb and overcome it, freeing Betty from its hold while returning to human form as Bruce. The two embraced, but Betty realized that she and Bruce would never be able to have a normal life together and gave in to her Red She-Hulk persona, who telling Hulk she didn't care, fleeing with Tyrannus.
Betty and Bruce eventually reconciled and decided to make a life. The two were in Brazil when the Serpent began his invasion of Earth. They were enjoying their time together when the Hammer of Nul landed next to them. Hulk, entranced, picked it up and became Nul, Breaker of Worlds. Betty struggled to stop him and rescued the civilians caught in the path of his rampage.
Iron Man returned from Svartalfheim with Uru weaponry. One of these items, a sword, was given to Betty. Unlike the other heroes gifted Uru weaponry, she refused to return it afterwards.
After Hulk and Banner were split asunder, Betty and Banner left to a tropical island together. When she found out however that Bruce had been working on turning himself back into the Hulk, despite promising that he would do nothing but spend his time with her, she turned into Red She-Hulk and remarked that after seeing him without the Hulk, she wasn't sure who she fell in love with, the man or the monster. She then left in disgust feeling betrayed. After Hulk seemingly killed Banner by holding him pointblank in the explosion of a gamma bomb, she sensed that something had happened to Banner and left to find whoever is responsible.
When the Order of the Shield's Terranometer determined Bruce was going to be responsible for an extinction-level event, she reluctantly enlisted Bruce's assistant Melinda Leucenstern to kill him. After being shot, the Order of the Shield took Banner and attempted to implant a device to control him, but they failed when Bruce Hulked-out in the middle of the surgery.
Bruce was later cured from his brain damage by Arno Stark with the use of a new version of Extremis, however, this procedure unleashed a new personality for Banner, the super-intelligent, determined, and arrogant Doc Green.
When Doc Green began work on depowering every Gamma mutate on the Earth, he enlisted the help of Rick Jones, who had been the first Gamma-powered hero to be reverted back to normal, to depower Red She-Hulk. Rick visited Betty to inform her that the Hulk was coming for her to take her powers, and slipped the cure into her food. Doc Green appeared in Betty's house and fought her until the effects of the serum took effect. Doc Green then confronted her about the shooting of Bruce Banner, thanking her for causing his emergence, and telling her that Bruce Banner was now dead. After Doc Green left the scene, Betty realized with dismay that she made the same mistake as Bruce, she had created a monster.
Betty later confronted Doc Green to ask for forgiveness from Bruce for shooting him and answered her plea by choosing to be Bruce Banner once more. Betty apologized to Bruce who ignored the apology in favor of data that Betty was carrying on her tablet device. Happy at Bruce being back to normal, she happily kissed him before he went off on his next adventure.
The Red Harpy
Following Bruce Banner's assisted suicide at the hands of Hawkeye during the second superhuman civil war, Betty attended his funeral and later visited her father in prison to convince him to help her in plan to avenge Bruce, but was refused. She rescinded any plans once she listened to a pre-recorded message left by Bruce for her and his friends. Not long afterwards, Bruce returned to life. Since he hadn't contacted any of his allies since then due to emotional turmoil, Betty was conflicted whether to believe or not the rumors of the return of the Hulk. Bruce eventually made contact with Betty and met up with her at her house. They were watched by Shadow Base agent Bushwacker, who shot at Betty in an attempt to take over Banner.
Due to the newly-discovered immortality of gamma mutates, Betty quickly returned to life, mutated into a new red form of her Harpy identity, which manifested her buried spite and resentment for the world and for Bruce. The Harpy fled from the scene while the Hulk was fighting Bushwacker, and resurfaced days later when reporter Jackie McGee investigated Betty's house. As the Harpy, Betty tracked down the Hulk and took McGee to a motel in Reno, Nevada, where he was being attacked by a mutated Rick Jones who was being controled by Shadow Base. Harpy helped fight Rick, and escaped with McGee and the Hulk after he dug out Jones' body from the Gamma-Activated Tissue which had mutated him. During this time, Harpy was cooperative with the Hulk, but remained scornful of Bruce, refusing to change back to her human form in his presence.
Hulk and his allies retaliated against Shadow Base and raided their base, resulting in the Hulk seizing control of their operations from their leader, General Fortean. As the Harpy, Betty aided the Hulk on several occasions, including his plot to fight humankind for the destruction of the environment, fight off monsters sent by Roxxon when the Hulk declared war on the company, and fight Roxxon one last time to stop Xemnu's mind control. Eventually, Betty grew tired of living in the cramped Shadow Base Site G, and left against Bruce's wishes.
Initially, Betty was a milquetoast of a girl who wanted to do what her father said yet felt drawn by Bruce, and later she became more independent and showed a vindictive side when she attacked the Hulk as the Harpy. Lately, she is now more of a bitter and vengeful woman and addicted to the Gamma Power afforded to her that allows her to transform into the Red She-Hulk. She is usually sweet and devoted to Bruce.
Powers and Abilities
As herself, Betty has the regular strength, speed and endurance of the average human being with normal exercise.
- Superhuman Strength: As the Harpy, Betty had superhuman strength which was enough to take on the Hulk, but she couldn't get stronger as she got angrier. The exact limit of her strength as the Harpy was unknown.
- Flight: She could also fly at high speeds with big bird-like wings on her back, which she could use to perform aerial attacks from above.
- Superhuman Durability: While Betty was the Harpy she could withstand powerful impacts from both The Hulk and the Bi-Beast, and she had the stamina and endurance to back it up.
- Superhuman Stamina: Harpy had an advanced muscular structure which produced less fatigue and toxins during physical activity than the muscular stature of an ordinary human. which gave her energy reserves which could keep her alert, moving and still hold her own whether she fighting or flying.
- Superhuman Speed: Harpy was fast on the ground and especially in the air, which gave her the advantage during her fight with hulk, because of her great muscular strength, along with the development of her leg and wing muscles, combined with her wing span; she was capable of moving, running and flying at up to speeds that are beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete or jet-plane.
- Superhuman Agility: When Betty was Harpy, her natural agility increased ten-fold, which was especially useful when performing her aerial attacks from above on her opponents. The Harpy's agility, balance and bodily coordination were enhanced beyond that of an ordinary human, not even the worlds finest non-powered humans could match them.
- Energy Blasts: Harpy could also fire powerful concussion blasts from her hands; which were so powerful that she hurt and knocked-out the Hulk when they fought.
- Claws and Talons: She also had razor-sharp claws and talons on her hands and feet, which could easy cut through Hulk's flesh.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: After the return of her Harpy transformation, Betty developed an incredible healing ability, allowing her to survive a head wound that normally be fatal.
- Enhanced Sense of Smell: Betty was able to track Bruce through smell alone.
Since being trained as Mr. Blue, Betty is skilled in espionage, armed and unarmed combat and marksmanship, notably in the use of small firearms and bladed weaponry.
As Betty, she possesses the normal human strength of a female that does regular exercise. As Harpy and Red She-Hulk, Betty possessed superhuman strength and able to lift 75 tons. She had superhuman strength as the Harpy which made her strong enough to fight and even hurt the Hulk when they clashed; which was useful for one on one combat even though she couldn't increase her strength as she got angrier.
Sharp-Talons: As the Harpy she had razor sharp talons which cut and tear through materials such as rock and metal, as well as carrying heavy objects such as the Hulk himself when they fought; they were also useful as weapons when fighting in close combat against her enemies when she fought Hulk and tangled with the Bi-Beast.
- Betty's face was used on Harpy robots to ensure Bruce Banner did not escape from Gamma Base after being captured post-World War Hulk.
- When Red She-Hulk was first revealed, one of the few details provided was that she had some sort of connection to Domino. Yet she was seen wielding Elektra's weapon of choice (the sai) and had Thundra's large muscular physique. These three characters all featured in the first issue where Red She-Hulk first appeared, and therefore added to the mystery and debate.
- Doc Samson has noted that, as the Red Harpy, Betty never speaks more than five or six words at a time.
- 446 appearance(s) of Elizabeth Ross (Earth-616)
- 65 minor appearance(s) of Elizabeth Ross (Earth-616)
- 31 mention(s) of Elizabeth Ross (Earth-616)
- 209 image(s) of Elizabeth Ross (Earth-616)
- 19 quotation(s) by or about Elizabeth Ross (Earth-616)
- 1 item(s) used/owned by Elizabeth Ross (Earth-616)