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She-Hulk Knew She Was in a Comic Before Deadpool | Screen Rant

While She-Hulk and Deadpool are wildly different superheroes, they both share a very rare power: the ability to break the fourth wall. While most comic book characters are content to stay within the boundaries of their medium, Jennifer Walters and Wade Wilson have made a name for themselves by becoming self-aware characters on the page. Deadpool might be better known for casually referencing the fact that he's aware he lives in a fictional universe, but She-Hulk did it first and, arguably, she did it better.

Deadpool wasn't always a fourth-wall-smashing, mentally-depraved comedic hero - when he first debuted in The New Mutants #98 in 1991, he was a simple humorless assassin with a design that strongly resembled DC's Deathstroke (another humorless assassin.) It wasn't until the 2000s that writers turned Wade Wilson into a parody of the edgy '90s stereotypical assassin, and fourth-wall-breaking adventures followed. But Jennifer Walters, a hotshot lawyer who received a transfusion of her cousin Bruce Banner's blood after an accident, has a history of comic-awareness since before Deadpool even existed.

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John Byrne's The Sensational She-Hulk was the first to make the character break the fourth wall in Sensational She-Hulk #3, when Jennifer discovered that an anonymous villain had set up a fight to test her. "I know how these things work! It'll be at least my third issue before I find out who it is!" Turning to the reader, she remarks, "Although, you readers will probably find out on the next page!" This was in 1989, two years before Deadpool's first appearance and well over a decade before he realized he was in a comic as well. But She-Hulk goes further than Deadpool's usual style, picking fights over the direction of her story even as it's being written.

Later issues, like She-Hulk: Sensational (a stand-alone series from Peter David and John Boy Myers) contain many moments like the one pictured above, where She-Hulk interacts with her editors and even tears down a caption in rage. She's been known to point out the fourth wall to other characters (but, like Deadpool's interactions, no-one seems to notice.) Unlike Bruce Banner, Jennifer typically retains her personality and intellect when she transforms into She-Hulk, although her anger does take the driver's seat from time to time. Admittedly, it would be difficult for a hero with a Hulk-like mentality to notice the fourth wall, let alone draw attention to it.

She-Hulk is a popular character in her own right, stepping out of her cousin's shadow to become a Marvel fan-favorite, but has become less and less likely to point out the comic world around her as Deadpool has slowly but steadily stolen her gimmick. Despite this, the upcoming She-Hulk series on Disney+ is heavily rumored to include several fourth wall-breaking moments, offering Jennifer the chance to claim this ability in the MCU. Deadpool might be better-known for meta-storytelling these days, but She-Hulk got there first, and she may just be about to reclaim her signature ability.

Next: She-Hulk is Officially Stronger AND Smarter Than Bruce Banner

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