As a kid growing up in the late 70’s, early 80’s, I fondly remember an abundance of exposure to Marvel comic book characters on a variety of media. My favourite by far was the Hulk. The appeal of the lean green rage machine was his ability to change into something monstrous whenever someone ticked him off, in order to blatantly smash everything up in a childish rage just to let off steam, and to teach those responsible not to mess with him ever again. There were many moments in my life when I could have done with a bit of that, even in recent times.
I loved watching the TV series with our old chums Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno, which was often repeated at regular intervals. I now have the whole set on DVD and I indulge an episode or two now and then.
I sometimes wondered what it would be like if there was a female version stomping about, bursting out of her clothes in a manner more like a RIP-tease than a striptease. It turns out that the creator of the Hulk was pondering the same idea and in 1980, the Savage SHE-HULK comic was launched.
Some years later I’m watching the TV movie, Death of the Incredible Hulk, and as the film came to an end with the Hulk taking some rather unsuccessful flying lessons; I had an idea of how the story could have continued. Just before that fatal flight, David Banner managed to get his leg over with the pretty young woman who caused all the trouble in the first place. To my mind, she avoids her captors and uses the skills they forced her to learn to make a new life for herself, only to discover she had fallen pregnant with David’s child.
The result was a not so little girl she named, Davina.
What follows is a short glimpse into what I imagine could have been the continuing story of the Hulk, as his daughter inherits the mutation that will give her a double identity not to be reckoned with.
(Image by https://ramartwork.deviantart.com/art/She-Hulk-TV-605805160)
She waited impatiently for the lift to stop, trying to keep calm, trying to keep control, hoping to god she’d managed to lose the two X-government agents hot on her trail, determined to stop her investigations with the F.B.I. The door finally opened and she rushed out and stopped dead in her tracks. At the other end of the corridor, waiting outside her apartment was Jake Magee. Somehow he’d managed to locate her address. She panicked. The open plan corridor meant that there was nowhere to hide then Jake casually glanced in her direction. For a moment they made eye contact, the lift had closed and was on its way down with the other already on its way up. She shot down the elevator staircase. “Hay, stop!” shouted Jake and hurried after her.
Once out of sight, the lift opened and two tall, darkly dressed men with long coats strode out and headed straight for her apartment, pulling a handgun each, both with silencer.
She almost flew down the long winding stares keeping as much distance as possible from Jake. Once at the bottom she lunged at the doors making them swing open then quickly hid behind the stares. She breathed deeply to calm herself down as a headache had begun to form; she then noticed that the front of her white shirt was covered with speckles of blood. Her nose was bleeding, a sure sign she was beginning to lose control.
Jake reached the bottom and headed straight out the door, thinking she had gone that way. He stopped, looked around, no sign of her in the large lobby area, and glanced back through the doors just in time to see her dodge round a corner behind the stares.
She ran down another set of steps and punched a code in a security lock. A door slid open before her and she shot through. As the door was about to close Jake just managed to slip past and enter the room. He pulled out a handgun and looked around. It was a large room filled with a maze like structure of computer walls used to power the modern building. It was a good place to hide. Cautiously, gun at the ready, he moved forward watching all around like a hawk, sneaking up to corners and quickly stepping round. No sign of her, just one computer wall after another. “Davina!” he called, “you can’t hide any more. Come out. You hear me!”
“Leave me alone,” she cried. He swung himself in the direction of her voice. She was crouched down behind the wall between them, her arms wrapped round her head and her nose bleeding badly.
“Where is he Davina, I know your hiding him somewhere.”
“I don’t know what you mean, please just leave me alone.”
“Oh you know what I mean alright, I’m talking about David Banner, or should I say, the Hulk.” He crept up to another corner. “My father wasted his life chasing that man, now I’m going to bring him to justice.” He dived round the corner. No Davina, but he did find a few drops of blood, which to his delight formed a trail. “Come out Davina. I know you’re his daughter. I know he’s here. Where ever the Hulk shows up, David Banner is always close by.”
“My father’s dead, for gods sake leave me alone.”
“That’s bull shit!” through the corner of his eye he thought he saw her. He turned and fired. The bullet hit a circuit board, which exploded with sparks and smoke.
The two men leave her apartment looking far unhappier than before. They hide their guns and take the lift back to ground level.
She half staggered half crawled to hide from Jake struggling with her blurring vision
“The Hulk is wanted for the murder of two people.”
“That’s not true!”
“Your father becomes the Hulk! My father saw it happen on many occasions.”
Her headache was becoming intense and she began to cry under the pressure. “Please, please go away.”
“My father lost everything in pursuit of that story, I am not gonna allow your father to get away with it.”
“My dads dead please believe me.”
“You don’t understand what your doing.”
“Oh yes I do, taking a murderer to justice and cashing in on ten thousand dollars, I know exactly what I’m doing.”
“I can prove what I’m saying,” she cried, the pain in her head becoming more intense. Jake thought for a moment, after all, she is David’s daughter. “If it isn’t him… then it must be you.” The thought consumed him for a moment. He’d never considered the possibility. “Well, well, well, how about that.”
The two men emerge from the lift and stride out. They stop and look around. One looks behind him and sees the stars door slightly open. He taps the other on the shoulder and points. They both go through the door.
Following the trail of blood to the far side of the room, he saw a piece of her shirt from behind another wall. He had her trapped. He quietly crept up to the corner and readied himself. “Come out of that corner. You’ve got no where else to hide.” She stood still yet shaking, her face screwed up in pain. “Come on!” he commanded, and slowly, unwillingly, she stepped out into view. The lights were flickering due to the circuit board he damaged, and he was surprised to see the illusive Davina in person for the first time.
She was tall, six foot one or two; she was broad and stocky yet slim and feminine. Long thick black hair, and her arms around her head with a profound nose bleed covering her face and neck nearly drenching the front of her white shirt. Her blue jeans were also splattered with blood. She was obviously in great distress and he was puzzled as to why she was bleeding; yet he kept his mind focused. “Now. You’re coming with me.”
Somehow the two men managed to open the door and they entered with guns at the ready.
Davina’s headache was affecting her balance. As she stepped forward the circuit board behind her exploded and she fell to the ground in shock. Thick smoke poured from the resulting fire, and Jake feared she might use it to escape yet again. The small fires died down and the smoke thinned. He was pleased to see her still lying there. He was about to lean forward to help her up, when she suddenly gasped in pain.
Still with shock, he looked into her eyes on her fear-ridden face. They were pure white, nothing but a pupil framed with a thin black ring. She reached out her arms towards him as though pleading for help; then she curled herself up in pure agony. After a moment she through her head back and screamed. The scream made him jump, and what he saw made him shake. A human being changing size and shape. Before his eyes Davina’s clothing tightened, then ripped and split in all directions. Her voice lowered to a deep grunt, her skin darkened to a shade of dark green, and as every part of her body emerged from her clothes it swelled like a balloon with muscle. In no time at all she was naked and unrecognizable. The thing she had become continued to grow as it tried to stand up.
The two men were creeping up to Jake, who was unaware of their presence. Peering from behind two walls they waited, guns pointing.
Jake couldn’t move as he watched the creature rise to its full height and stretch with shredded items of clothing falling to the ground, the tattered remains of her shirt hung from its bulging shoulders. Eight feet tall at least with far more muscles than it needed. Davina’s soft thick hair was now thicker and matted. Her pretty face was now bulberous and hideous with Neanderthal like features. It stretched its enormous arms and legs pumping its veins with blood almost till they burst. It breathed in a deep refreshing gulp of air, expanding its incredible torso pushing every muscular detail to its fullest. There was nothing left of Davina’s feminine figure. Jake tried to move but his legs were numb. His heart pounded as the creature let out a deep animal groan and fixed its gigantic white eyes firmly on him. It clenched its fists and snarled.
“DROP YOUR WEAPON AND DON’T MOVE!” came a voice. Jake swung round to see who it was in an action that made them think he was going to fire, and one of the men shot Jake.
The creature was puzzled to see Jake suddenly fall in pain, and went up to him.
The two men strode towards Jake, but stopped when they saw the creature kneel down beside him. The creature saw that he’d been shot in the chest; then focused its rage on the two men. It raised and stood before them snarling and growling. With their jaws on the ground they tried to fire at it, both missing entirely. The creature reached out and grabbed the closest one with its enormous hand around his throat, and held him high. He was too petrified to do anything, to scared to scream. The creature held the man face-to-face, glaring with its enormous eyes, until the man wet himself, and passed out. Unimpressed, the creature simply dropped him to the ground. The other man took another shot, missed again, and then ran for his life.
He desperately tried to remember the way they came, forgetting all about the trail of blood they found. The creature simply grabbed the walls and threw them aside, sending them crashing into each other.
The man finally found the door and tried to punch the code in to open it with his convulsing hands, pressing all the wrong buttons. Suddenly, the computer wall behind him shifted, standing in its place was the creature. He turned round to take another desperate shot, but the creature grabbed his hand and slowly squeezed. The man screamed as the creatures grip came tighter, bending the gun and crushing his hand around it. Along with the scream came the sound of cracking bones, and blood oozed from the creatures fist. Once don’t it simply slapped the man to one side, sending him flying till he hit the far wall, knocking him clean out and breaking more bones. The creature gave a grunt of victory then the air was filled with more screams. The room was by now on fire, and Jake was in danger.
It dashed through the thick smoke to find Jakes pants in flames. Terrified to see the creature again he begged it to go away. It simply reached down and with one swift movement, ripped his pants from his body. It then reached down and carefully picked him up. He was ridden with pain and deathly afraid, yet it carried him to the door protectively. With the room now full of thick smoke, the creature simply kicked the door clean off it’s holding, then squeezed its way through. With another swift kick it removed the stair doors and struggled through without hurting Jake.
The lobby area was alive with hundreds of panicked people trying to leave the building, fire alarms blazing. The sudden appearance of the creature panicked them even more. Everyone dived out of its way as it ran to the reception desk and gently laid Jake on it. To his amazement it looked at him, with an expression as though to say, ‘you’ll be alright now,’ then backed away to leave. Jake quickly touched its arm, “Davina?” he asked. The creature frowned. Then left him there.
Again he tried to stop it leaving but only managed to grab the remains of Davina’s shirt from its shoulders. He watched the creature leave the building then ran into the city, no doubt looking for a place to hide. Gripping the shirt tightly in his hand, he passed out.
“Mr. Magee, you have a visitor,” said the nurse.
“What, oh, err, thank you.” he put the book he was reading down and struggled himself to sit up. The tight bandages around his chest and the pain from his operation to remove the bullet was restricting some of his movement. He recovered for a moment then froze with shock to see Davina stood there by his bed, tall and proud in her office uniform and her F.B.I. badge resting on her breast. He went for the nurse bell but she swiped it out of his reach and leant over him, almost face to face.
Fixing her ocean blue eyes on his, holding him in place. “This is precisely the problem my father had, people like you, people who wouldn’t leave him alone, people who cause trouble. I tried to warn you but you wouldn’t listen. You keep quiet about what you know about me, and I will leave you alone. My life is complicated enough trying to keep my condition a secret without people like you making it worse,” she backed off keeping her eyes fixed, and dropped a card on his lap. “Besides, I saved your life, remember that.” She left. He panted with relief holding his chest. He looked at the card. With a frown he picked it up. ‘To Jake.’ It said on the back in neat handwriting. Inside was a get well soon card. ‘I tried to warn you, but you wouldn’t listen. I’m sorry for what happened, maybe now you’ll know to leave me alone and I beg you to keep my secret. Get well soon, Davina Louise Banner.” He put the card down and began to cry. It was time to seriously re-think his career, and life.