It seems like just yesterday you and I met. It was 1983. I was on a road trip to Louisville, Kentucky. we pulled over at a gas station and I bought Avengers #236. It was the first comic I’d ever bought with my own money. And, there you were running alongside Captain America and the Scarlet Witch, blissfully ignorant of how gaudy you looked in that orange leotard and white scrunched down legwarmers. You looked like the flag of Ireland. And, I loved you at first sight. I was 10 years old.
Over the next few years, I hunted for you in every 25 cent box in Nashville, Tennessee from The Great Escape to the flea markets and garage sales. And, with every issue of The Savage She-Hulk I found, I cursed the careless person who had the temerity to cast you aside and sell you for less than your cover price. The fools!
Our relationship hit a brief snag when my mother, knowing only that I liked to “draw superheroes a lot” decided to proudly display my many artistic works (taped to the back of my door ) to my visiting grandmother. Thankfully, you were, as always, tastefully attired in your fetching, shredded white dress. But you and I were forced to cool it for a while as the ensuing embarrassment died down. But, soon, I smuggled you back into the house in the form of a copy of the Sensational She-Hulk graphic novel . By that time, you were in the Fantastic Four and dating Wyatt Wingfoot. I forgave you. (But, not him –the rat bastard!)
I confess, seeing you covered in dead, mutant insects at the end of that graphic novel forced me to re-evaluate my feelings for you. I began to admire your wit, intelligence, verve and style. Okay, not your style. You wear purple WAY too much, girl.
But, it was time to give up comics and go to high school and be cool (FAIL!) and date a real girl (EPIC FAIL!). But, by the time I was about to turn 30, I realized all that “giving up childish things” stuff was bullshit. That being a kid even when you’re not a kid really is cool. And, being okay with who you are and what you like puts you on the road to finding someone who likes the real you. So, I got back to the business of reading comics. And, there you were. Looking fabulous as ever (except for that purple crap with the weight lifting gloves … Jen, really!?!?) and twice as spunky. Thanks for keepin’ the fire burning, Dan!
I’m not 10 anymore. I’m 36. And, you’re just 30. (Damn, wibbly wobbly… time-y wimey… stuff!) I am married now with two little girls . They know who you are. And, they think you’re a total badass. Which, of course, you are.
Happy birthday, Shulkie!
P.S. My life ambition now is to become a writer for Marvel so I can retcon out the suggestion that you or any alternate reality version of you would sleep with the Juggernaut … because that’s just ew.