IN SUPERHERO BATTLES
SHE-HULK’S AND TITANIA’S BRIEF ORIGIN STORIES
SHE-HULK’S SOLO DEBUT
In ‘Savage She-Hulk’ (1980) #1, She-Hulk makes her first sensational debut. To begin, Bruce Banner is on the run from the police. In the issue, he has come to seek Jennifer Walters’ help. Fearfully, Bruce confides his secret to his cousin. Learning he is the Hulk, she decides to take him home. Jennifer tells Bruce she is working on a criminal law case. In fact, she is defending a hood called Monkton accused of killing Trask’s bodyguard.
JENNIFER WALTERS BECOMES SHE-HULK
On the way, Jennifer is shot by Trask’s men. Frantically, he takes her to a doctor’s office. Unfortunately, there is no one available at the door and Bruce breaks in. Quickly, he performs a blood transfusion since they are the same blood type. Later, at the hospital, Jennifer is attacked by three of Trask’s henchmen. Overcoming chloroform intoxication, Jennifer transforms into… She-Hulk. Then, she is in hot pursuit of Trask’s men later capturing them.
TITANIA’S BACK STORY
In ‘She-Hulk’ (2005) #10, we learn about Titania’s back story. In space, an alien visits the Watcher named Zoma. Strangely, he wants information on Titania. In fact, he requires it in order to destroy their common enemy: She-Hulk.
BORN MARY MACPHERRAN
Surely, Zoma tells him Titania was born prematurely in Denver, Colorado. As a result, she was born tiny with stunted development. Indeed, her real name is Mary McPherran. Over the years, Mary developed fantasies about prince charming and fairy tales. Entering the public school system, her classmates rejected her for being small and “puny.”1 Only Marsha Rosenberg accepted her who was made fun of because of her weight.
MARY MACPHERRAN BECOMES TITANIA
As an adult, Mary fantasized about her friends’ successful lives. When she discovered comic books, she fantasized about gaining superpowers and getting revenge on her enemies. In ‘Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars’ (1984) #3, Mary and Marsha were transported to Battleworld by Beyonder. There, they were granted super powers by Doctor Doom. To sum, Mary became Titania and Marsha became Volcana.
ON BATTLEWORLD, THE RIVALRY BEGINS
In ‘Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars’ (1984) #3, the Wrecking Crew bring an ominous present to the heroes. More to the point, it is the near-lifeless body of the Wasp. Frantically, She-Hulk brings her to Zsaji for healing. Despite her gifts, Zsaji is unable to heal Wasp. Horrified, Hawkeye pronounces her dead.
As the heroes contemplate fighting back, Captain America warns them of a Galactus attack. On her own, She-Hulk goes to seek revenge. At Doombase, She-Hulk makes short work of the Wrecking Crew. Then, the Avenger meets Titania. Defiantly, Titania believes herself a Titan and the strongest. When she meets She-Hulk for the first time, she tests her super strength against her match.
EXHIBIT A: MAYHEM AND “CUDDLES” (FLIRTATIOUS)
In ‘Solo Avengers’ (1989) #14, Jennifer Walters is at the Supreme Court arguing aginst the Mutant Registration Act. Suddenly, she is interrupted by a man who tells her she is urgently needed. Recognizing Avenger business, Court goes into recess.
While she changes into costume in a phone booth, a police officer holds off a crowd of onlookers. Excited, the officer takes a peek. To this, she reacts by noting that all men are pigs. Outside, She-Hulk finds her playmate, Titania. Angrily, Titania is thrashing a car and spelling her name.
“Hi, Cuddles.”2 To begin, She-Hulk greets the powerhouse with a tap on her right shoulder. Indeed, She-Hulk/Titania matches are plenty of playful banter. In some sense, the two powerhouses flirt in order to size up one another.
Next, as the pair exchanges a question and answer, She-Hulk lands a punch that sends Titania flying before she can finish her sentence. Really, the punch packed a wallop landing the villain across the Potomic in Virginia.
“FIRST TIME WE MET, BABYCAKES...”2 In Round Three of the match, Titania references the first battle on Battleworld. Chaotically, she slams a car onto She-Hulk.
To end the match, She-Hulk reminds Titania of a truism: The madder Hulk gets, the stronger he gets. After an explosion, She-Hulk holds Titania by the throat. Angry, she convinces the criminal to turn herself in and reform.
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EXHIBIT B: “GREENIE” AND REVENGE (FEISTY)
In ‘She-Hulk’ (2005) #11, the She-Hulk/Titania rivalry plays for keeps. In the issue, the former Champion of the Universe has bestowed Titania with the Power Gem. Chiefly, it is for the purpose of revenge on She-Hulk. When the villain sees Champion can no longer re-claim the Power Gem, she drops a rock on him.
Then, she’s off to revenge. After thrashing the Excelsior Apartments, Titania destroys Timely Plaza. There, the powerhouse meets She-Hulk and Doc Samson. At the time, She-Hulk wore a Jupiter Suit in order to control her super powers. During the fight, Doc Samson is knocked out. “Really? From love taps like that?”3 Jennifer’s first thumping attack creates a bounce back. Once again, Titania starts a fight.
“Ha. Trust me, honey, today I’m just full of possibilities.“3 After a punch that rocked an explosion, Titania caught it full-on with ease. The phrase, perhaps an innuendo presaged Titania’s superiority and the dark turn of their rivalry.
Certainly, given their history, we can wonder whether the She-Hulk/Titania rivalry is a relationship. Particularly, we address this in Exhibit C. In many respects, She-Hulk and Titania play off each other very well.
“face it, Greenie.” These are Titania’s words before landing the final blow. With a stomp, She-Hulk loses consciousness and reverts to her human form.
Definitely, the rivalry is feisty. Here, Titania plays for keeps and with the Power Gem she has infinite super strength. In this battle, She-Hulk likely does not survive.
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EXHIBIT C: EMPLOYMENT AND “GIRL” (FLIRTATIOUS)
In ‘Sensational She-Hulk’ (1993) #52, Titania seeks redemption from her criminal career. To begin, Mister Fantastic needs to examine She-Hulk. During a battle with War Zone, She-Hulk was sprayed with a gas. To this end, Reed sends Thing to collect Jennifer at Libido’s Boutique.
There, Mary MacPherran is applying for a job. However, she loses her temper when she is turned down due to her criminal past. When Titania starts destroying the place, Jennifer comes out of the fitting room to fight her. Then let’s get busy, shall we?4
“You’re such a pushover today, girl.”4 Here, the She-Hulk/Titania relationship gets more personal. In fact, dare we say more romantic? At Nerdist, Eric Diaz states later in their history, Jennifer even helped Titania set up a pawn shop. Though, it didn’t last. Of course, the two ladies are fighting in a lingerie shop.
On her first punch, She-Hulk comments that Titania may have gotten tougher. In fact, Titania even punches the heroine into Thing. Then, she throws her onto the streets of New York. When Titania has gained the upper hand, she stops and smells roses. Definitely, this is a flirtatious move by the powerhouse. In the end, it turns out She-Hulk has been losing her strength due to the gas.
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- ‘She-Hulk’ #10.
- ‘Solo Avengers’ #14.
- ‘She-Hulk’ #11.
- ‘Sensational She-Hulk’ #52.