Marvel’s New Replacement for “HULK SMASH!” Is Way Cooler

Summary

  • “Hulk smash!” has evolved in The Amazing Spider-Man #39 with She-Hulk’s new ‘Tank’ battle strategy, showing off her tactical superiority.
  • She-Hulk acts as a tank, strategically protecting her team and distracting enemies while allowing her allies to defeat opponents.
  • She-Hulk’s new version of “Hulk smash!” is a cool addition to Marvel Comics, emphasizing teamwork and versatility over sheer destruction.


Warning! This article contains spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man #39Hulk smash!” is more than just a catchphrase or a battlecry, it’s an immediate identifier of the Avenger who says it: Hulk. It’s become synonymous with the character, and succinctly tells fans exactly what to expect from the Jade Giant during any given battle. And now, Marvel Comics has allowed “Hulk smash!” to evolve along with the very ‘Hulk’ title itself, as She-Hulk’s replacement for “Hulk smash!” is actually way cooler (and much more tactically sound).

In a preview for The Amazing Spider-Man #39 by Zeb Wells and John Romita, Jr., Spider-Man and his team of vigilante heroes (including Miles Morales’ Spider-Man, Jessica Drew’s Spider-Woman, Elektra’s Daredevil, and Jennifer Walker’s She-Hulk) are right in the thick of Marvel’s newest street-level crossover event: Gang War.

Amazing Spider-Man #39 Preview page 2.

Amazing Spider-Man #39 Preview page 3.

Amazing Spider-Man #39 Preview page 4.

Amazing Spider-Man #39 Preview page 5.

Perched atop a building, the heroes come up with a plan of attack, at which point Spider-Man says to She-Hulk, “Jen, could you –” to which She-Hulk interrupts, “Tank?”, and Spider-Man confirms, “Tank”.

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She-Hulk Uses Her Strength To Assist Her Allies, Not Just Demolish Her Enemies

She-Hulk and the heroes of Gang War.

She-Hulk does more than simply destroy the enemy on the ground with her brute strength and near invulnerability. She’s soaking up damage as the team’s protection and muscle, taking the initial strike’s of the enemy’s assault, and allowing her more vulnerable allies to swing through the crowd and take their opponents down one by one.

While Hulk would plow through these foes with the singular thought of ‘Hulk smash’ on his mind, She-Hulk truly does act as a tank, in that she’s a tactical weapon used for warfare. Jen is absolutely doing major damage, but she’s doing so with deliberate purpose, and in a way that distracts the enemy just as much as it demolishes them.

She-Hulk Reimagines Hulk’s Most Iconic MCU Scene

The MCU Avengers teaming up for the first time.

In nearly every conceivable way, this scene in Amazing Spider-Man plays exactly like a similar one in the MCU’s Avengers. When Loki and the Chitauri attack New York City in the 2012 film, Captain America lays out a game plan for the Avengers, including the Hulk, who he looks at and simply says, “Hulk, smash”. That worked well in the film, as the Chitauri needed to be met by immediate and brutal action in response to their assault on the city, and the Hulk delivered that brilliantly. In Gang War, however, She-Hulk couldn’t just tear through the city, killing every enemy soldier she sees. Not only were there civilians around, but She-Hulk isn’t charging into battle with the likes of super-soldiers, armored heroes, and literal gods, she’s primarily fighting alongside the Spider-Family, whose powers are notably less geared towards all-out warfare when compared with the Avengers. Therefore, She-Hulk needed to do more than just ‘smash’ with her Hulk powers, she needed to be a more tactical weapon than that, to compliment the more agility-based power sets of her teammates – she needed to be a ‘tank’.

Not only is this development a fun play on the Hulk’s classic “Hulk smash!”, but it also allows She-Hulk to have her own version of the iconic battlecry, and in a way that’s better suited to her character – especially given the situation surrounding her during Gang War. Overall, She-Hulk’s new version of “Hulk smash!” is a really cool addition to Marvel Comics lore, and is arguably even cooler, given its implication of tactical superiority and a more versatile application of Hulk-level strength that’s more about teamwork than sheer obliteration.

The Amazing Spider-Man #39 by Marvel Comics is available December 6, 2023.