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Synopsis for "Reason and Rage!"

Jennifer Walters is still sitting in the same position on the floor dying from a rare blood disease that only the great scientist Michael Morbius, also known as the living vampire, can cure her of. The same cure can also stabilize Michael's condition and rid him of the urge to drink another human being's blood. Because of this, he was reluctant to give She-Hulk the serum at first but then relented. But the serum apparently has had no effect. Morbius has finally figured out what is wrong. His serum actually has worked in stabilizing She-Hulk's condition and preventing it from getting worse. But the gamma radiation in her system is keeping the serum from fully healing her. The only thing that can be done is for She-Hulk to revert to her human identity, Jennifer Walters, but she is going to have to make the change herself. But She-Hulk is so exhausted from her ordeal, that she does not think she can do it. Attempting to force the transformation is very painful, and in frustration the She-Hulk tears out a heavy piece of machinery from the floor in frustration, crying "I can't change into Jen Walters!" Morbius then says the one thing that stops her: "Then stay the She-Hulk forever!" Just as Morbius has suffered from a struggle of dual identity and won, so can the She-Hulk. He tells her to change… now! Giving orders to the She-Hulk is very dangerous, as her friend and neighbor Danny "Zapper" Ridge points out, but this is no time for sugarcoating the truth. She-Hulk agrees to try once more.

Once more, the She-Hulk attempts to change, little expecting any good to come out of it. But this time, she realizes that she can change back to Jen Walters. The transformation is extremely painful, but she is determined that this time she will change and become Jen Walters once again. For several long minutes, there is no apparent change that either Zapper or Dr. Morbius can see. Then the She-Hulk's body suddenly begins to collapse, rapidly changing its physical structure and skin color. Within moments, where once there was a raging She-Hulk was now an exhausted Jen Walters in white tattered clothing. The first thing she says is that she hopes that she never has to undergo that same type of effort again. Morbius says that she will not have to… unless she wishes to become the She-Hulk again. Not only has the serum cured her of the blood disease and saved her life, it has also rid her of the nightmare of unexpected transformations. She can still be the She-Hulk if she wishes, as long as she is concentrates and is prepared to endure the pain. Jen asks Morbius how she could ever repay him, and he says that the occasion may arise when she can return the favor.

The phone on the wall unexpectedly rings, and Morbius is surprised since it is an unlisted number. He picks it up and says it is "Buck" Bukowski asking for Jennifer. She wonders how he knew where to call since no one save Zapper was supposed to know she was here. Jen asks Buck where he got the phone number, and he tells her that she left her legal briefcase behind after she fled the courtroom. Jennifer is angry that Buck would look through her papers, and he tells her that her father is worried sick about her. She tells him to let the sheriff know that she is alright and tells him to mind his own business next time.

But Buck isn't the type of person to mind his own business, especially when his curiosity is aroused. He traces the phone number and discovers that it comes from the lab where Michael Morbius is being held prisoner. Buck can think of only one reason why an ambitious lawyer like Jennifer would see a man about to go on trial for capital murder charges, and he thinks this will ruin her career. Since experience has shown that Jen does not want to listen to him, he decides to leak this story to the press in hopes that she will come to her senses. The next day, Zapper drops Jennifer off at her father's office. She is looking forward to seeing him and telling him in person how much she missed and loves him. But when she sees Sheriff Morris Walters, Jen finds that her father is furious. "Thank the Lord your mother is not alive to see what you have done to yourself!" "I thought I raised you to respect the law, not abuse it!" "What hurts me most is that you didn't have the guts to tell me!" Jennifer thinks that only one thing could possibly make her father this upset… he must have found out that she is really the She-Hulk. She begins to confess, "Dad, please… you must believe me...I just didn't know how to tell you I'm…" when her father waves a newspaper in front of her face… "MORBIUS DEFENSE NAMED: Sheriff Walter's Daughter Picked By Mass Murderer." Half-surprised, Jennifer finishes her sentence, "defending a mass murderer?" She knows that the story is not true, but she doesn't know how to explain the truth to her father after her "confession." The best she can say is that "it's not what it seems" but he orders her out, saying she's a "monster he doesn't recognize anymore." In the hallway, Buck tells Jen that he let slip her "secret" hoping it would shock her to her senses, and that one day she would thank him for his "help." Silently, Jennifer "thanks" Buck for ruining her life. Just when she finally has won control over the She-Hulk, she loses control over her own life. At home, she wishes that there was somebody else she could confide in and share her burden. Zapper may know her secret, but to Jennifer he is too young and immature to consider as a romantic attachment. She falls asleep in her easy chair before she can brood anymore on the subject.

Early the next morning around six o'clock, she is awakened by a phone call. It is Morbius and he demands to meet her right away. When Jen asks what this is about, he says that she should know. Jennifer thinks he is going to blackmail her into defending him after all. Later at UCLA, she tells Morbius that she won't do it, but it turns out that Morbius doesn't want her to "do it" either, and that she will never be his attorney. He thinks she contacted the press claiming to be his counsel as a way of bribing him to keep his silence. Jennifer then explains what really happened and that they both were victims of a terrible misunderstanding. Since Morbius was not trying to blackmail Jennifer after all, defending him does not sound like a bad idea after all. Morbius agrees, and accepts her as his counsel.

After several weeks of preparation, the trial begins. Buck is the prosecutor, and in his opening arguments he details Morbus' crimes as a vampire in excruciating detail, disgusting and horrifying the jurors. In her opening arguments, Jennifer does not deny Morbius' guilt and says that her client insists on pleading guilty. The only thing in dispute is that Jennifer and Morbius maintain that his crimes were unpremeditated and that in each case, there were extenuating circumstances involved. To demonstrate these cirumstances, Jennifer introduces a veterinarian as an expert witness. He shows the jury a cage with two docile rabbits, then carefully injects one with the same virus that transformed Morbius into the Living Vampire. In moments, the rabbit is filled with bloodlust and kills its companion, draining its lifeblood. The experiment sways the jury, and they find him guilty of involuntary manslaughter rather than first degree murder. Angela, a mother of one of Morbius' victims, reacts violently and accuses Jennifer of tricking the jury. For her, only death is a fitting punishment for Michael. Her husband Thomas restrains her and tells her to leave, since there is clearly no room in a courthouse for honest people. That does not upset Jennifer as much as the appearance of her father, who tells her he wishes that she had never been born. They words hurt her worse than any blow the She-Hulk ever had to endure from any super-villain. Jen's father has disowned her, but she had to do what she felt was right, didn't she?

The next day, on the Sunset Strip, a strange gentleman is walking the streets soaking in the eclectic atmosphere. For the first time since he has left New Jersey, Gemini finally feels at home amongst the "West Coast weirdos." He is an android created by Scorpio who believed that human nature was perverse, and thus tried to take over the world to make it a better place. The Defenders battled Scorpio, and in the course of this fight, Gemini switched allegiances and helped them defeat his former master. Afterwards, SHIELD attempted to deactivate Gemini, but failed. The Defenders vouched for Gemini, so SHIELD decided to let him go. So now Gemini is exploring the world on his own, soaking up the emotions around him and seeing everything around him with emphatic eyes. He also is getting a thirst for some beer, but unfortunately Gemini does not have any money. Fortunately for his taste buds, an opportunity presents itself when he sees a mugger in the alley rob a man and a woman of their life savings. The couple are Angela and Thomas who were protesting at the courthouse after the verdict. The mugger tells them if they go to the cops, he'll tell them they were trying to hire him as a hit man. As a consolation, he tells them to think that they are helping him get through college… the school of hard knocks! At this point, Gemini steps forward and suggests that he settle his disagreement with the couple with arbitration. The mugger tells him to beat it since it's none of his business. Gemini agrees that it is none of his business, but the mugger is not returning any of the money, either. The punk think this is ridiculous and warns, "I said scram, Sam!" Sam is not Gemini's name and he introduces himself. "I am yin and yang! I am both black and white, yes and no. In short, I am Gemini." The mugger is getting tired of Gemini's interference, and tries to tear off his metal "mask", unaware that Gemini is a robot and that is in fact his face. This prompts Gemini to act… two selves emerge from the host body and confront the mugger. The white Gemini is a being of pure reason and suggests they be reasonable, especially since Gemini outnumbers him. The black Gemini is a being of pure emotion. He's mad as hell and wants to pound the crook into a pulp. The two beings help Gemini in times of crisis help him see things from two different viewpoints. Totally freaked out, the mugger flees, leaving behind the wallet. Now Gemini argues amongst himself over what to do with the money. Black Gemini wants to keep the money for themselves and spend it on beer. White Gemini wants to return it to Angela and Thomas. They tell him that the money was intended to hire an avenger who would right a great wrong, and ask him if he would kill Morbius for them. Gemini returns to his host body to make a decision. Reunited, he says that he will provisionally accept their offer and keep half of the funds as a fee. He does not promise that he will definitely kill Morbius, only that he will see for himselves.

Back at UCLA, Jennifer helps a weak Dr. Morbius return to his lab. The cops are still incredulous that he got off with a three to five year sentence for multiple capital murder charges. Jennifer knows, but can say nothing, that Morbius sacrificed the serum that would have cured him completely to save her life. She tells the cops that the courts have suspended his sentence until he is healthy enough to serve his sentence. The cops are do not believe her claims that Morbius is very sick, and reserve their sympathies for his victims. Inside, Morbius tells her that she did not have to defend him against the cops. Jen says she could not stand by and say nothing, because she owes him her life. They are interrupted by Gemini, who bursts through the doors. He says that he has come in the name of Morbius' victims, and that he wants him dead or alive. Jennifer and Morbius run in different directions, hoping that at least one of them can get away and call the police. This strategy would work against almost every other superhero except Gemini. Once again, he divides in two. Black Gemini runs after Jen while White Gemini goes after Morbius. White easily captures the weak doctor, and Black grabs Jen only seconds later. It used to be that the mere stress of this situation would cause Jennifer to change into her heroic alter ego whether she wanted or not. But now there is no time to make the transformation, and soon Angela knocks her out with a chlorophorm-filled bag. She holds Jennifer equally as guilty as Morbius since she was responsible for him receiving his light sentence.

A few hours later, Jennifer and Morbius awaken on a deserted beach north of L.A. They are amazed to see White and Black Gemini arguing amongst themselves. White Gemini is unsure that they are doing the right thing and that it may be best to free them. Black Gemini is furious and thinks they should be shot dead on the spot. Angela agrees with Black Gemini. Jen says, "You act as if you're arguing with yourself." And the Geminis explain that divided viewpoints was part of his design and that they never agree on anything! Morbius is trying to think of some plan to save Jennifer at the very least since he does not believe that she deserves the fate they have reserved for him. Thomas brandishes his gun and demands that they end this farce right now, but Gemini insists that he see for himself before making his judgment. The emphatic sensors in his eyes are capable of absorbing the memories directly from the brains that he scans. White Gemini's eyes sense everything through the cold light of reason, while Black Gemini senses everything through the red-hot light of emotion. After a few seconds, the two beings reunite in their host body to make a decision. The outlook is not good for Jen and Morbius… Gemini thinks that the court's decision was just, but the LeClerk's rage is so intense that he feels that emotion has the edge and that the two must die. Jennifer is in anguish because while she wants to become the She-Hulk to save her life and Morbius, but she does not want to give up her secret identity and there is no place for her to hide. Thomas aims his gun and tells Jen and Morbius to say their prayers. At this point, Morbius plays his ace card. In a desperate attempt to save Jennifer's life, Michael leaps off the cliff into the sea, hoping that once he is dead the LeClerks will let Jennifer go. Thomas and Angela order Gemini to save Morbius' life so that they can kill him, and all three run down to the beach, finally leaving Jennifer alone. For the first time since receiving Morbius' serum, Jennifer attempts to change into the She-Hulk voluntarily. The change is very hard and painful. For several long seconds, Jennifer fears that nothing is happening. As a greenish tint begins to slowly appear in her skin, Jennifer cannot help but appreciate the irony, "The She-Hulk always appeared so unbidden, before… always came out when I least wanted her. But now, just when I need her the most… I'M HERE!!!" She has become the She-Hulk once more and is now ready to kick some serious butt.

Down at the beach, Gemini is dragging Morbius up to the LeClerks, where Angela wants to see his eyes when he dies. They almost don't notice the savage green amazon in white tatters watching them furiously. She orders Gemini to release Morbius, or face her wrath. Gemini divides again to attack She-Hulk. White Gemini hopes that She-Hulk's anger will counter the rage of the bereaved parents. Shulkie responds that if he wants equal time for rage, they came to the right woman as she clobbers them with one blow. But the fight is far from over, and Gemini demonstrates other unique talents. White Gemini grabs She-Hulk's leg and absorbs her energy, sapping her strength away. She kicks him away, but Black Gemini hits her with a power blast since he has the power to emit energy. She knocks him away with a punch, only to face White Gemini again, who is back up again. Soon he grabs her by the wrist and absorbs even more energy from her. She-Hulk knocks him away just as Black Gemini zaps her again. Frustrated, She-Hulk charges toward the two Geminis, intending to knock their heads together, but when she grabs their two arms, she inadvertently completes an electrical circuit, and thousands of volts pass through her body. She collapses on the ground, and Gemini immediately assumes that she is dead. They do not see her body change back to Jen Walters as a result of the shock. But She-Hulk's efforts were not in vain. Her rage did indeed counter the emotion of the parents, so when Gemini reunites, his emotional and rational sides have now equalled. He will not interfere with the LeClerk's decision, but Gemini will not act as their avenger. Thomas levels his gun at Michael Morbius who is now at his mercy. He does not plead for his own life, but rather for Jennifer's. "She never understood that she fought a losing battle from the start… that you had long ago closed your minds to all reason!" But now that sufficient time has passed, time which the She-Hulk has gained through her battle with Gemini, Jennifer's arguments in court have finally begun to sink in. Tearfully, Thomas says he now knows that what Jennifer said was right, and that they cannot become as monstrous as Morbius in their desire for revenge. He throws his gun into the sea and he takes his wife back up to the van. "We lived for our daughter. She's dead. It is time we started living for ourselves again." Morbius asks Gemini to take him back to his lab unless he wants to rescind his client's verdict, since he is long overdue for the stabilization serum that prevents him from becoming the Living Vampire. Gemini picks him up and says he will get there in double time. The doctor asks if Morbius is alright, and she calls out that she is fine. Nobody else has noticed she was there or the state of her clothing.

Many hours later, an exhausted Jennifer arrives at her house. She is surprised to see that the light is on, and to her surprise Zapper is in the living room. He sees her white tattered blouse and knows she has had some adventure as the She-Hulk but decides not to press. Instead, he cracks a joke: "Say, that's some outfit… the latest from Saks?" But Jennifer is not in the mood for jokes. She says she is in no mood for his childish jokes, and that it is time for him to leave. Zapper bursts into tears and says that he was trying to cheer her up because she had a tough time lately. But even though he was the one who got her the treatment that saved her life, she still treats him like a kid. Jennifer may be the She-Hulk, but she's not the only one with problem… or feelings! He slams the door behind him as he leaves. Jennifer tries to tell him she's sorry, but he is already gone. As she sits down in her chair wearing her red bathrobe, Jennifer congratulates herself on losing the last friend she had left. With the type of problems she has now, not even a She-Hulk can hope to solve them.


Continuity Notes

  • Gemini recounts his battle with the Defenders which took place in Defenders #48-50. Gemini states that the leader of his Zodiac team was the Jacob Fury. However as later revealed in Secret Warriors #26, whenever "Jacob Fury" operated as Scorpio, this was actually a Life Model Decoy, and all part of a more complex plot orchistrated by his brother Nick Fury.

Chronology Notes

This story features a flashback that features flashback of Michael Morbius during the period in which he is still Morbius the Living Vampire. The events of this story are a new revelation that affect the chronology of the following characters:

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