Weeks ago, in New York City…
Jennifer and some of her hero friends: Doc Samson, Mr. Fantastic, Iron Man, Ms. Marvel, Tigra and Yellowjacket are locked in combat against a thirty-foot Doombot, tearing up the streets. Leading the charge, Iron Man proclaims to his teammates that this is their one chance to show people what registered and trained heroes can do! As Doc Sampson pulls wires from the robot’s shoulder, Reed wraps his body around the robot, causing him to get out of balance. He begins to ask Jennifer to topple it, but she is already way ahead of him. She-Hulk gives the Doombot several hard punches to its leg, which crumples like tinfoil. A moment later, the Doombot takes a nosedive into the street’s concrete.
Jennifer Walter considers these as good times. She means, this is what being She-Hulk is all about, right? Regarding the fallen robot, she notes one would think she’d feel pretty pleased with herself. But, no, she has to go rushing into battle… with her shrink!
While Ms. Marvel regards the fallen machine, her hands on her hips, Jennifer explains to Doc Samson that there is no need for her to go back into therapy. She’s feeling great. In fact, she adds, she never felt better. Samson thinks it’s because Jennifer is spending all her time as She-Hulk. Jennifer doesn’t want to talk about this again. She doesn’t think she needs to change back into “Jen.” She is Jen Walters and She-Hulk.
Nearby, Reed and Tony are in their own conversation, even as they eye She-Hulk from afar. Reed tells Tony to trust him, as he’s sure Jennifer will be up for it. Tony sure hopes so, because after what they… Tony stops himself there, and corrects himself by saying that after what he did to Jennifer’s cousin, it won’t take long for others to realize this that they’re living in a world without a Hulk. Reed doesn’t think they need to worry about that. He’s certain Jennifer will step up, and that She-Hulk will fill the vacuum. Reed excuses himself and walks over to Jennifer, and gives her a high-five, congratulating her for a job well done. Jennifer smiles this is just like old times.
In celebration of their victory, the heroes climb atop the defeated robot and wave to the watching crowd. Hank can’t believe it: the people are actually cheering for them. Tony helps Ms. Marvel up on the robot, and Carol tells Tony she can’t believe it either. People haven’t cheered for them since… before the Stamford disaster. Tony remarks that Carol had better get used to it, because that is the sound of people starting to believe in super heroes again. Still at street level, She-Hulk asks if they’ll technically still be super heroes after all this, or will they just be SHIELD agents when they’re all on federal payroll. Iron Man just says “no.”
Today, at the SHIELD carrier…
The red alert at the SHIELD headquarters goes off. Jennifer puts on her SHIELD uniform, and mocks Iron Man for denying they won’t be SHIELD agents. She runs into action, followed by other, human SHIELD agents, who are also preparing for battle, their guns at the ready.
As she takes an elevator up, Jennifer contacts Clay Quartermain over her headset, asking about the situation. Clay, who is already on the flight deck, is waiting for Jen in his flying car. Other hover-cars have already taken flight. He explains they’re already in range of the threat and are currently mobilizing all their units. Clay orders all of his men to move out. They need to focus on evacuation and should expect heavy casualties. Agent Cake, who is waiting besides Clay, asks about fatalities. Clay orders her to belay that. He has never lost a civilian on a Hulkbuster tour and won’t start now. To this, Cake replies with an obedient, “Yes, sir!”
A moment later, Jennifer meets up with Clay and says she is good to go. She asks if they’re sure it’s not… Clay interrupts Jen by confirming it’s not Bruce, but the Abomination this time. He jokes Jen should feel free to pound the living heck out of the monster. “Okay,” Jennifer responds. Quietly admitting to herself, Jennifer hopes every time it will be Bruce, but it never is. Just another one of his old foes, and she is left cleaning up the mess. And she sure is no Hulk. She’s more like Hulk-lite with half the calories. Jennifer seriously thinks she’s in way over her head!
Racing to the edge of the helicarrier as she thinks this, Jennifer jumps off the edge and opens the glider strapped on her back. She glides to the city below.
Meanwhile, at Reno, Nevada, 5.000 feet below…
The Abomination has taken a dining place called “Horndogs” hostage. Surrounded with lots of food and beautiful and scantily clad, yet scared waitresses, Blonsky has his feet up on a a mass of remains of food dishes he has consumed. In his hand is not a glass or mug, but a pitcher of beer. Craning his neck upwards, he is watching an ice skating competition on a mounted television. Snarling, he says he can’t believe the skaters only received a “5.2” and believes the American judge to be responsible for that. He mocks that Americans will never understand the aesthetics of this sport. The grace, the beauty, the poetry. He orders the girls to bring him more of their Buffalo wings or he’ll crush their skulls.
Suddenly, the show is interrupted for an emergency announcement, which sports the SHIELF emblem. It speaks to all the citizens of Reno, and says they regret to inform that a citywide evacuation is in effect and that SHIELD agents will assist them. The Abomination angrily gets up and hurls the table he’s sitting at out of his way. He mocks that if people wish to disturb him, they can be his guest – for as long as the Hulk hides himself away, there is no force on Earth that can stop him! Blonsky walks outside and looks at the already destroyed area around himself. He shouts that this is his planet now! He dares SHIELD to take their best shot at him.
He looks at the sky and sees something coming towards him – fast. Thinking the object to be a missile, Abomination laughs at it, believing it won’t harm him. However, he quickly realizes that it’s actually She-Hulk, who quips “Candygram” a split moment before slamming into the Abomination so hard that he falls back, plowing through the road with his back. Rising first, She-Hulk immediately informs the Abomination that she places him under arrest,. However, the Abomination says he doesn’t recognize her authority over him. He gets up and tries to hit Jennifer, mocking that she and everyone else is beneath him. As long as her cousin is away, he says, he is the strongest there is. With that, he lands and a blow against Jennifer, knocking her into a building.
Not far away, Clay and his agents are trying to evacuate the area’s citizens. They all felt the vibration of the punch Abomination just delivered, and Agent Quartermain thinks they’d better hurry before they come his way. One of the agents wonders if they shouldn’t be giving the She-Hulk some backup, however Clay doesn’t think so. Not for as long as they’ve got a job to do, that is. It may not be a glamorous one nor may it get a headline, but it’s got to be done – each and every time there is a Hulk-level threat. He watches how some agents rescue citizens out of a building and compliments them on a good job. Clay uses his headset to contact Agent Cake and asks her how things are going on her end.
Receiving him, Agent Cake asks for a moment, as she is dealing with some looters who are trying to rob an electronics store. Calling to them, she instructs the looters to drop what they’re holding and place their hands above their heads. She then introduces herself as Agent Cheesecake of SHIELD and informs them that she’s placing them under arrest. Though indeed dropping their merchandise, the looters begin to converge upon Agent Cheesecake, with the lead asking, “Are you serious, doll?” In response, Cheesecake delivers a kick to the lead looter’s chin. As she then begins to take them out, one by one, with hand-to-hand combat, she corrects that she isn’t a doll, but… a Life Model Decoy. Programmed for seduction, combat… and retrieval. Her task completed, she reports back to Clay that her location has been secured, and will be sure to have the area swept before it becomes part of their green zone.
At the same time, She-Hulk does her best to dodge Abomination’s many punches by leaping high into the air. Abomination laughs and recalls Jennifer never faced him before all by herself. Honestly, he doesn’t know how she thinks she’ll make it through this alive. After all, Blonsky mocks, Jennifer is no Hulk. Jennifer smiles Abomination is right: she is no Hulk. The Hulk is a mindless brawler, while she on the other hand has been trained to fight… by Captain America! Demonstrating this, she sweeps the Abomination’s legs with a kick, knocking him down. She then follows this with a punch to the torso, knocking him again off his feet. As she continues punching, she adds that she also received training lessons from Gamora, the deadliest woman in the universe! In fact, she believes she’s probably the only foe Abomination ever faced with both fighting skills and the strength to penetrate his armored hide!
Abomination again tries to hit her, but She-Hulk simply dodges it by once more jumping beyond his reach. Showing teeth, Abomination admits this was amusing. A novelty at best. Because, he thinks, with his great strength, all he has to do is really connect, just once, and all this will be over. In that case, Jennifer replies, she’d better take him on from a distance. Pulling up a lamppost from the sidewalk, she begins twirling it above her head. The Abomination isn’t impressed by it and begins to close in. Jennifer, however, smiles she’d like Abomination to think of the post as a quarterstaff that weighs a quarter-ton. She hits the Abomination with the post a couple of times real hard to the side, head and lower back .
Incensed, the Abomination angrily shouts out he’s had enough! Though he prefers taking Jennifer down with his own two hands, he’ll still take great pleasure in burying her under a mountain of steel! He begins throwing several cars at her at the same time, but Jennifer effortlessly parries all away with the lamppost. As he is stunned dumb at the display, Jennifer jokes that she believes nobody ever told Abomination that her Shulk-Fu is stronger. She gestures with her hand she’s ready for more. This greatly enrages the Abomination, who growls in rage and runs towards her.
Jennifer panics a bit. She admits to herself that all she wanted to do is get under Emil’s skin, thinking it would give her an edge. But now she’s face-to-face with a rampaging Abomination, she realizes she’s going to need help on this one. Professional help.
New York, Doc Samson’s office…
Leonard is busy with a therapy session with Hank Pym, who’s sitting in costume in the coach in front of him, when the phone rings. Samson apologizes for the interruption, but since it’s the emergency line that’s ringing. He has to take this. He answers the phone politely, but Jen interrupts, begging for help. Samson thinks she needs a therapy session but she quickly denies that. She has used the phone in her headset to ask for help concerning the Abomination and asks what the effect of gamma rays are on the human mind.
Samson confirms that is his specialty, then realizing that she is asking for a psychological edge over the Abomination. He suggests that, first, Jennifer study his outer form, as gamma-being’s outer shell can give her insight into their inner self. For example, the Hulk is an expression of Bruce Banner’s rage. Samson concludes that his own form relates to his love towards heroes.
Miles away, Jennifer dodges another punch from the Abomination, who instead hits his fist into a wall, shattering it. She tells Samson to speak faster!
When he then asks about Blonsky’s form, Jennifer describes it as hideous and repulsive. Samson confirms that, explaining Blonsky’s form is an expression of his self-hatred. He’s a man who believes that he’s ugly on the inside. That he’s unworthy of true love, affection and companionship. Jennifer understands and thanks Samson for the help. She kicks Abomination in his stomach, and asks him how the Buffalo wings tasted.
Stunned, Abomination asks Jennifer what she means. She wants to know why Emil was hanging out at a Horndogs store, while he had a whole city to choose from. She mocks that’s perhaps the only way a freak like Abomination can get to a cute girl. Abomination shouts at Jennifer to stop, and not to make him… Jennifer interrupts, thinking he’s planning to kill her, but she knows he won’t do that. She knows because this fight, her hitting him, is the closest he’ll ever come to a woman wanting to touch him again. With an uncertain tone in his voice, Abomination slowly says that’s not true.
That’s the window She-Hulk was waiting for to open. She hits Abomination hard into his stomach again, and next in his neck. Each strike is into a major nerve cluster, but they’re cheap shots. Jennifer isn’t proud of them, but she had to bring him down. She gives Abomination a final kick, which defeats him and renders the villain unconscious. Jennifer admits to herself she had to do this, because in the end she is no Hulk. She’s She-Hulk. And she’s not ashamed to use it.
A while later, Clay and other SHIELD agents arrive and imprison Abomination into a huge containment device resembling a mummy’s sarcophagus. The SHIELD agent asks Clay if they’re shipping the villain off to the big house, or to the Negative Zone prison, but Quartermain replies neither. They’ve just received new orders from their new director. Blonsky will come back with them to the Helicarrier.
Nearby, Jennifer uses her headset to contact Samson again, and apologizes to him for being so short on him earlier. Samson, now alone in his office, says he’s always glad to help. But, he says, it’s like he’s been telling her for a while now: they should examine what her own gamma form says about her psyche. He wants to ask to make an appointment but Jennifer has already hung up on him.
Clay walks over to Jennifer and congratulates “Agent Jameson” on another job well done. As they walk, Jennifer corrects that she’s going by her “Walters” name again. When Clay mentions their SHIELD files still list her as married, Jennifer explains that she and her husband separated. Clay is sorry to hear that, but Jennifer isn’t. “Really,” Clay smiles upon hearing that.
Later that night…
In Clay’s room at SHIELD, a display on the door reads, “do not disturb.” Jennifer and Clay have just made love together. Clay is already asleep, but Jen isn’t. She smiles and gets up, and reminds herself she’s both She-Hulk and Jennifer. Only, Jennifer never would have done this. She gets dressed, telling herself that when she She-Hulk, she does what she wants, when she wants. And with who she wants. She has fun. She has adventures. She has it all. So, Jennifer wonders… “Why don’t I feel grounded anymore?”
In Clay’s room at SHIELD, a display on the door reads, “do not disturb.” Inside, Jennifer sits at the edge of the bed she has just shared with Clay Quartermain, regarding his still-sleeping form out of the corner of her eye. Lost in thought, she tells herself she’s Jen Walters and she’s She-Hulk. Only, Jennifer never would have done this. Rising silently, she places a robe over her naked body. She tells herself that, when she’s She-Hulk, she does what she wants, when she wants. And with who she wants. She has fun. She has adventures. She has it all. So, Jennifer wonders as she peers out the porthole of the SHIELD helicarrier currently orbiting the Earth… “Why don’t I feel grounded anymore?”