Elizabeth Ross (later Talbot and then Banner) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and made her first appearance in Incredible Hulk #1 (1962) as a romantic interest of the Hulk (Dr. Bruce Banner), and is the daughter of General Thaddeus E. “Thunderbolt” Ross. Over the years, the character has undergone multiple transformations, including the Harpy and Red She-Hulk (or She-Rulk).

Betty Ross debuted in The Incredible Hulk #1 (May 1962) by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby. She was an on-and-off again supporting character in the Hulk‘s various series for decades, serving as his longest-running love interest. In 1989, Betty Ross Banner received an entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update ’89 #1.

Stan Lee originally portrayed Betty Ross as a strong willed and independent-minded, yet conventionally polite woman. Mid-1980s Incredible Hulk writer/artist John Byrne portrayed her as more wilful and confrontational, characterizations which would remain in place during Peter David‘s long run as the series’ writer. Betty has a miscarriage in The Incredible Hulk vol.2, #360. Though this occurred during David’s run on the series, the issue was instead written by editor Bob Harras. David recalled, “The reason I refused to do it was because Betty was really losing her child to editorial fiat. It was decided by the powers-that-be that Betty and Bruce were not to become parents because that would make the characters seem ‘too old’ to the younger readers. My run on the book almost ended with that issue; I nearly walked over it. But there were so many stories I still wanted to tell that ultimately I stayed with it, even though I fumed about it for quite a while.”

FIRST APPEARANCES

Betty Ross debuted in The Incredible Hulk #1 (May 1962) by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby. She was an on-and-off again supporting character in the Hulk’s various series for decades, serving as his longest-running love interest. In Hulk vol. 2 #15 (September 2009), she appears for the first time as Red She-Hulk, who was created by writer Jeph Loeb and artist Ed McGuinness.

POWER and ABILITIES

As the Red She-Hulk, Betty has enormous superhuman strength, speed, stamina, and durability, and a healing factor that allows her to easily survive what would normally be fatal injuries to humans, such as stab wounds to the leg and abdomen by Wolverine’s claws. Similar to her ex-husband, Betty’s strength level is so vast that it warps the laws of physics even further than standard for other characters in the same fictional continuity, for example allowing her to punch her way through dimensional barriers between different universes.

ORIGIN STORY

The only daughter of General Thaddeus E. “Thunderbolt” Ross, Betty spent her formative years firmly under her father’s strict supervision. After her mother died during Betty’s teenage years, she was sent away to boarding school. During the “Fall of the Hulks” storyline, Betty Ross is revealed to have been resurrected by the Leader and MODOK at the urgings of their new ally, her father Thunderbolt Ross, who had previously kept her body in cryonic stasis. She also underwent the same process that had turned her father into the Red Hulk, which granted her superhuman physical power. The now-villainous Doc Samson also helps Leader brainwash Betty into an extremely confused and aggressive state.

ENEMIES & ROGUES

Red She-Hulk is the archenemy of She-Hulk.

ALLIES

Thunderbolt Ross, Doc Samson, MODOK, The Abomination

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