By Marc Strom
The new She-Hulk doesn't have time for culture shock.
Since she journeyed back to the modern day Marvel Universe from her own future, Lyra has faced the Dark Avengers, Jennifer Walters and enough teched-out soldiers to slow even her father, the original Hulk, down. Now, on July 22, writer Fred Van Lente and artists Peter Vale and Michael Ryan up the ante as Lyra runs the final gauntlet to save her native civilization from extinction in ALL-NEW SAVAGE SHE-HULK #4.
According to Van Lente, Lyra's desire to help the very people who have rejected and tried to kill her comes from a variety of factors:
"Guilt. A sense of duty that has been ingrained in her from birth. Don't forget a lot of oppressed minorities are brainwashed through the dominant culture to identify with the ruling class. But if she ever breaks free of her programming-look out! An epic throw down between two
She-Hulks and the Dark Avengers may be forthcoming-Jennifer Walters and Lyra fighting side-by-side!"
Van Lente also confirmed that, though she's only spent a little time in the present Marvel Universe, Lyra has already developed some doubts about whether she wants to return home.
"But I'm afraid you'll have to read the thrilling final issue to learn how that pans out," the writer adds.
In that short period, Lyra has also seen enough of the present day to make some comparisons between it and the future world she comes from.
"I think Lyra sees the flaws of both," says Van Lente. "As we've seen, she despises both the rampant, violent sexism of her era and what she sees as the mindless 'hero worship' of our own. She is truly a tragic figure-a woman without a home. But perhaps she will find that home, or at least a purpose, by the last page of the last issue."
Before that, however, Van Lente will have to follow up on the last page of the third issue, containing the revelation that Lyra came to the present not to kill Norman Osborn, but rather to engage in more procreation-related activities with the notorious villain, something that he will respond to in at least two ways.
"First, as an opportunity for pleasure," lists Van Lente. "Then, as a perfect opportunity for business
-Osborn is always looking for ways to turn circumstances to his optimum advantage. And yes, that is as creepy as it sounds."
Once Lyra's limited series ends, however, fans can continue to follow the new She-Hulk's exploits in an all-new backup feature beginning in INCREDIBLE HULK #600 on July 15, also written by Van Lente.
"I'm always drawn to displaced heroes, and Lyra is definitely that," says Van Lente of his desire to tell more of the fledgling She-Hulk's adventures. "When we sold out of the first issue of ALL-NEW SAVAGE SHE-HULK and the orders for the third issue come in higher than the second, Marvel asked me if I wanted to continue the series, and since so many ideas came to me while I was working on Lyra's initial adventure for future tales it was hard to say no."
Of those many ideas, Van Lente couldn't help but rattle off a number of cryptic hints as to where Lyra's future will take her.
"Lyra has crossed Norman Osborn, and in the world of Dark Reign that is not a prescription for an easy life," he warns. "We answer the questions: What is Gamma Corps: Black? What are the ultimate goals of the Origins Corporation? What long-time Hulk villain has Osborn hired to lead it? And after the events of INCREDIBLE HULK #600, Jennifer Walters' status is...well, that would be telling."
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