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Part of the "Empyre" event

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Issue Details
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40
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Quote1.png I was never afraid to die. But then I died. Don't die again, Jen. Don't die again. Quote2.png
-- She-Hulk


Appearing in "The Three Deaths of Jennifer Walters"

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Synopsis for "The Three Deaths of Jennifer Walters"

In a flashback to her first death, Jen Walters remembers being being shot in the back, her cousin Bruce Banner's voice assuring her she was going to be alright, and then falling down a vertical shaft towards a Green Door. Waking up in Below-Place the hellish ruins of a city, Jen finds herself looking up at a monstrous face in the sky, which declares that she bares its mark. At the time, Jen had dismissed it as a strange vision brought on by her near-death experience and passing back through the Green Door had erased her memories about it. Upon awakening in a hospital bed, she'd learned the mob had tried to assassinate her, triggering her first transformation into She-Hulk.

In the present day, in the wake of Cotati invasion, Jen - now simply going by Hulk and sporting a bulky form - punches Tantrum in the face; mentally noting that the mutant grows more powerful by feeding off fear and that the chaos of the war is like a buffet to him. Wiping blood away from his broken nose, Tantrum boasts that he's just leeching off her rage to grow more powerful, but Hulk cuts him off by punching him in the face again. Before Tantrum can counterattack, Wolverine stabs him in the back with his claws, killing him. Apologizing for interrupting her fight, Logan says it didn't look like the brute force approach was working. Hulk replies that she didn't mind the help, but asks why he killed Tantrum. Smirking, Wolverine reteracts his claws and says they have special healers on Krakoa that can bring dead mutants back to life. Logan notes that while Tantrum broke mutant law and will face judgement for his crimes, he technically still has a place on Krakoa like any mutant. Hulk scoffs that it must be nice for those who get to live there, Wolverine retorting that mutants have been feared and hated for centuries and deserve a place where they can be safe; and that Jen - who has been loved and adored as a member of the Avengers - has no right to comment on that. Considering his words, Hulk asks if she can speak to him somewhere quiet; transforming back to her human form and saying she needs proper sentences and a beer.

Sitting at a table in a pub, Jen remarks that it's quiet. Getting some beer bottles from behind the bar, Logan says that it took a while for the joint to get on its feet and that the re-opening was supposed to happen the next day. As Logan says that he's friends with the owner, who gave him a key, Jen quips that she saw him pick the lock with his claws; Logan retorting that he never said he had the key on him. Popping the caps with his claws, Logan asks what she wanted to talk about, remarking that he's sick of hearing "The Hulk has it worse" speeches from her cousin. He's taken aback when Jen instead asks him what dying and coming back to life was like. Scowling, Logan says that's a more complicated question to answer than she has any way of comprehending, and a topic that it isn't a good idea to talk about. As Jen presses him for further information, Logan retorts that he doesn't want to tell her and she doesn't want to know. Jen tells Logan that the Cotati had killed her, but now she's obviously alive and well; adding that this is the third or fourth time she's died and come back. Jen states that she knows Logan's died numerous times - having been entombed in adamantium on one occasion and reduced to his metal skeleton by nukes multiple times - and says that while most attribute his survival to his healing factor, she wants to know if he can offer her any advice on how to cope. Pausing, Logan asks if she's still herself. Jen replies that she is, so Logan tells her to just attribute it to her own healing factor and stop overthinking things; warning her that looking too deeply into it risks making it impossible to do the work that needs doing.

Jennifer recalls that a couple of years ago a precognitive mutant named Ulysses had forseen Thanos destroying the world with a Cosmic Cube. Left with only three hours to stop him, the Avengers had taken him on at the cost of Col. James Rhodes' life, and that She-Hulk herself had taken an anti-Thanos missile to the chest, leaving her mortally wounded. She remembers waking up in a hospital bed to Iron Man vehemently arguing with Captain Marvel over the ethics of using Ulysses' powers to prevent crimes. Enraged by him essentially saying that they shouldn't have gotten the warning that had saved the planet - albeit at the cost of War Machine's life - Jen notes that had she been in any condition to act she would have taken Carol's side and broken Tony's jaw for letting his unbearable ego put innocent lives in danger and invalidate his own best friend's sacrifice. Jen remembers telling Carol to fight for her beliefs before her heart gave out from the anger she felt towards Tony... and that she doesn't remember what happened next.

Finding herself in the Below-Place a second time, Jen found herself confronted by Brian Banner, and remembered that when she was a child her parents had told her that he'd murdered his own wife. Asking Brian if she's in Hell, Jen was surprised when he said the realm they're in is much worse. Brian recalled that he'd gone to Hell after his death but managed to escape and return to the living world seeking to purge the Hulk from his son. Jen rebuked him, saying he earned his place in Hell and that his return involved transforming into a gigantic reptilian monster that she'd helped slay. Frowning, Brian said that he indeed recalls his second death, and that after it he'd fallen past Hell into their present location - the Below-Place. Quipping that Hell and its rulers seem quaint to him now, Brian jubilantly stated that the Below-Place underpins the Multiverse and is the bedrock of Hell; and that they and all other Gamma mutates bear its mark and contagion. Jen sarcastically asked if she's stuck here with him forever just because she got the wrong dose of radiation; Brian replying that she's not. As the Green Door started to open behind her, Brian replied that Leonard Samson had been there just before her, and that he had left through a Green Door and returned to life. Lamenting that the Green Doors don't open for him yet, Brian's pupils ominously glow green as he said he can look through them and is learning much. Pulled through her Green Door, Jen was returned to life and her memories of the encounter were erased.

In the present, Hulk works out at the Avengers' gym, brooding over the trauma of multiple deaths still haunts her, and that while as a Hulk she should always be in control she'd felt broken and tainted - causing her transformation into Grey She-Hulk. Spotting Thor walking past, Hulk asks if he wants to train with her. As they exercise, Hulk remarks that she likes his new costume but misses the beard; Thor stating he'd liked it too but that after he became the All-Father it was like looking at his own father in the mirror. As Thor laments that being the king isn't how he'd always imagined, Hulk comments that he has eternity to get used to it. Thor sombrely remarks that it must seem like eternity to mortals such as herself, but that he's ashamed of how little changing most gods seem to do. Hulk interrupts and tells him that she isn't mortal, leaving him confused. Hulk explains that whenever she dies she comes back to life, effectively rendering her immortal; then asks what immortality is like from the other end. Thor asks if she wouldn't rather discuss this as Jen, but Hulk replies that Jen is tired and the subject matter too heavy for her to withstand. Thor sadly tells her it will only get heavier, saying that she cannot yet see the endpoint; adding that he knows not whether his own fated end is written millennia hence or sooner than he'd like, it's written just the same. Recalling Galactus, Thor states that Galan had survived the end of his own iteration of the Multiverse, the birth of another, and billions of years after that; only to meet his end by Thor's own hand. Hulk is shocked that Thor killed Galactus, Thor saying that at the time it had felt like justice, but that regardless the deed is done. Thor morosely states that Galactus' death is proof that there is no such thing as immortality, and that eventually everything will end - even himself and her.

Jen recalls her third death at the hands of the Cotati - berating Tony Stark for having been arrogant and stupid enough to trust them. Jen admits that she hadn't seen the Cotati's betrayal coming either, and that while people assume she's stupid as the Hulk she isn't - she just finds it hard to put her thoughts into words - she'd been a fool then and paid the ultimate price for it. Ensnared by Centaurian Ironwood, she had been hollowed out and her corpse used as a puppet so that the Cotati could infiltrate the Avengers - or so she'd been told.

In the Below-Place, Jen was cheerfully greeted by the Leader, asking if this is some pocket dimension he's created and if he's in league with the Cotati. As her memories of her previous trips to the Below-Place start returning, she recalls that the Green Door will bring her back to life as it has Bruce, Leonard, and even Samuel himself. Gleeful, the Leader states that was how he discovered the Green Door in the first place, leading him to the One Below All. As the Leader boasts that his new plans span to the end of time, which he will witness as a gamma mutate, Jen reminds him that the other gamma mutates - herself included - don't like him very much. As she quips that she and the other heroic gamma mutates will be using his oversized head as a football until the end of time, the Leader grins wickedly and tells her she's wrong.

Waking up from a night terror, Jen transforms into the Hulk - recalling that after she came back she hadn't had time to question it until after the fighting ended. Recalling the advice that Wolverine and Thor had given her, Jen muses that they might be right because something happened the last time she died that has left her terrified of dying again.

In the Below-Place, the Leader smugly informs Jen that she won't even remember having this conversation, and that she and her allies aren't immortal either. Conjuring a Green Door - the size of a playing card - in his hand, the Leader says that they just have the key to it, but that locks can always be changed. Rotating the Green Door to reveal a Red Door, the Leader says that he now controls whether the Green Door opens or closes. Grinning wickedly, he says that he'll let Jen resurrect since she's caught him in a good mood, but warning her that if she ever dies again he won't be so magnanimous.

In the present, Hulk huddles on her bed thinking to herself that she mustn't ever die again - the Leader's shadow looming over her.

Solicit Synopsis

IN THE WAKE OF EMPYRE, JEN WALTERS GOES IMMORTAL!

The Cotati invasion has changed everything for Jennifer Walters. Now she seems to have a new lease on life…but things are never that simple for the gamma-powered. Al Ewing gives She-Hulk the “IMMORTAL” treatment with a horrifying stand-alone tale!

Notes

  • Jen's internal narration establishes that the events of Civil War II happened one or two years prior to the current story in-universe.

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