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The Untold Truth Of She-Hulk's Law Firm GLK&H

The law firm of Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg & Holliway featured on the Disney+ show "She-Hulk: Attorney at Law" is closely based on the original comics. Featured in the Dan Slott written "She-Hulk" runs from 2004 and 2005, GLK&H explores just how the law becomes absurd in dealing with superpowers, magic, and cosmic forces. At the same time, it shows the frequently diabolical ingenuity of lawyers using the law as a both blunt force weapon and a finely-sharpened scalpel in serving their clients. 

The first three partners are only seen once in the comic, as they are named after Marvel's first publisher Martin Goodman, his nephew Stanley "Stan Lee" Lieber, and Marvel's artistic engine Jacob "Jack Kirby" Kurtzberg. The fourth partner, Holden Holliway, is an important character in his own right, as he is the one who hires Jennifer "She-Hulk" Walters to his firm for reasons that extend beyond her considerable skills as a lawyer. 

Of course, a firm like this is only as good as its employees. Other key lawyers include Mallory Book and Augustus "Pug" Pugliese, along with super-powered employees like the shape-changing process server Ditto, gofer Awesome Andy, and speedster messenger Whiz Kid. We'll explore the key cases that GLK&H pioneers, involving well-known characters like Spider-Man and the Leader but also far more obscure super-powered characters like Danger Man. Like most other legal cases, GLK&H covers subjects like defamation, illegal search and seizure, damages for industrial accidents, and unusual defenses for monstrous crimes. It's all about due process!

Holden Holliway's big secret

In both the comics and the show, Jennifer Walters is hired by GLK&H partner Holden Holliway after losing a big case. She's hired for many reasons, including her winning strategies. In the 2004 comic "She-Hulk" #1, Jen argues that a company storing Antarctic Vibranium (which destroys metal) is liable to harm people because of the iron in their blood. However, when she helps save the Earth with the Avengers, Mallory Book of GLK&H gets the case thrown out because the jury is prejudiced in favor of Walters — because she saved their lives. The same thing happens in the show, only here she saves them from a rampaging Titania. 

There is a significant divergence between comics and television, however. On the show, Holliway hires Jen but demands she be in She-Hulk form. In the comic, Holliway is interested in Jennifer Walters, not She-Hulk, and demands that she stay in her human form while at work. In the show, Jen views the She-Hulk as a nuisance, while in the comic, she prefers her green frame. 

In "She-Hulk" #7, it's revealed that the entire reason why Holliway opens up a superpower-related branch for GLK&H is because his beloved granddaughter, Sasha, is a teenage super-villain named Southpaw. Her oversized energy glove makes her a formidable opponent. He also arranges things such that Southpaw is remanded in Jen's custody, as he wants She-Hulk to act as a positive influence on her. No one is happy with this arrangement. 

Danger Man vs. the Roxxon Corporation

One of Jennifer Walters' first cases for GLK&H comes in "She-Hulk" #2 and involves securing a settlement for Dan "Danger Man" Jermain from the sinister Roxxon Corporation. As a safety inspector, he was installing "Danger" signs for the vats of "hard atomic water" below and then, of course, got knocked into one of the said vats. He transforms into an "atomic superman" but has no interest in having powers or being a superhero. In fact, it wreaks havoc in his regular life. The insurance company cancels his family's policy. His teenage daughter resents him for her friends ogling her now super-hunk dad. He accidentally rolls over on his wife while asleep and breaks her arm. 

However, Roxxon refuses to settle, asking the question: who wouldn't want to have superpowers? When Jen gives them what she claims is hard atomic water, the greedy Roxxon lawyers can't get enough. So that approach doesn't work. 

Eventually, she hits on the winning strategy: using the "Jean Grey precedent." Jean Grey died and was reincarnated as the Phoenix, an entirely different being in the same body. Her argument is that when "Danger Man" was born, Dan Germain died — and his family is entitled to compensation. She takes Roxxon to the cleaners with that argument, raking in $85 million for German and his family, which includes treatment and family therapy. Walters brings in a cool $30 million for GLK&H. 

Stu Cicero and the long box library

Every good law firm has a well-organized reference library. GLK&H has a conventional library for conventional cases, but for super-power involvement, the lawyers turn to Stu Cicero. Instead of a conventional library, this comics nerd has a library filled with comic long boxes. In the Marvel Universe, it's been established that Marvel produces licensed versions of the true adventures of its superheroes. As Stu points out, any comic published is admissible in court as evidence because it is a legal record thanks to its seal of approval from the Comics Code of America, making it a government-approved document. 

In "She-Hulk" #9, Stu aids Jennifer Walters in defending Hercules against the Constrictor, pointing out how Constrictor deliberately goes up against more powerful opponents, like the Hulk in "Incredible Hulk" #212. Later, when Titania attacks GLK&H's offices in Timely Plaza to get at She-Hulk but only manages to hurt Mallory Book, Jen realizes that Titania is wielding the Power Gem of the Infinity Gems. She turns to Stu to figure out a strategy, and they turn to their local comic shop in "She-Hulk" #12

After being berated by continuity nerds, Stu claps back and tells them that real fans would try to figure out how seeming continuity problems could be reconciled, earning a valued No-Prize. The chastened fanboys help She-Hulk by fooling Titania into thinking she's killed her, loosening her grip on the Gem. This allows She-Hulk to grab it and knock her out. 

Pug: bouncer turned lawyer

Augustus "Pug" Pugliese is a stand-up guy and self-made man. He puts himself through NYU law school by working as a bouncer at a hip New York club called the Velvet Morgue. At one point, he gets attacked by four Maggia thugs, but Spider-Man saves him. He dedicates his career to helping out superheroes. His working-class background makes him methodical and hard-working, and he's a real team player who understands the worth of everyone in the law firm. 

While he has an immediate crush on Jennifer Walters, he puts it aside for the sake of both their friendship and working relationship. That crush doesn't affect how highly he thinks of Mallory Book as a lawyer, despite Jen being frustrated with her. Pug is also friends with everyone in the firm, from the top lawyers to researcher Stu Cicero and Awesome Andy the gofer. 

Jen helps him meet Spider-Man and pushes Pug to first chair in his defamation case against the Daily Bugle in "She-Hulk" #4. He absolutely roasts Jameson on the stand. When Jameson dares suggest that Spider-Man encourages villains, Pug rattles off a long list of Bugle employees who were either criminals or connected with criminals. He pushes Jen to defend Eros because she's the only one who can negotiate the complexities of the case. Eventually, he realizes that he has no future with Jen, so he magically has his attraction to her removed in "She-Hulk" #13 – just as she finally responds. 

Spider-Man vs. the Daily Bugle

Pug tells Jen that he's always admired Spider-Man since the web-slinger saved his life and wants to do something to help him by suing J. Jonah Jameson and the Daily Bugle for defamation in "She-Hulk" #4. Of course, suing Jameson as Spider-Man means that Peter Parker won't see any money, but he tells Mary Jane that he'll just buy another Spider-Mobile. Pug has a very strong case, lining up Jonah's son John as a witness for when Spider-Man saved him. He gets direct statements from Bugle employees Joe Robertson and Betty Brant that Jonah claims he started his vendetta to sell newspapers. 

When Spidey takes the stand, he first debunks a number of Bugle headlines, then claims that Jonah hates him because he's Black. Jameson sputters over that one until Spider-Man lets him off the hook and tells him he's joking. When Jonah's lawyer tells Spider-Man he's responsible for the death of Gwen Stacy and bringing over a dangerous symbiote, the trial is interrupted by a vengeful Scorpion. She-Hulk tells him to stop because Jonah is about to lose a lot of money. 

Pug points out how many villains Jonah had a direct hand in funding, like the Scorpion, and then rattles off various Bugle employees tied to crimes. However, Pug implicates Peter Parker as complicit in Jameson's schemes and adds him to the lawsuit. Spidey quickly backtracks, and the settlement reached involves him and Jameson wearing chicken suits outside the Daily Bugle offices.

Mallory Book: the face that only lost one case

Jennifer Walters' greatest foe has no superpowers, but that doesn't make Mallory Book, a former pageant winner known as "the face who's never lost a case," any less dangerous. Book views She-Hulk as a joke but is intimidated by Jen's prowess as a lawyer. Book's fearlessness is her greatest strength, as she's willing to face down the most powerful superbeings. When a thief who steals Dr. Strange's Wand of Watoomb is arrested in "She-Hulk" #2, he is released because Book argues he's under the influence of Doc's truth-forcing Eye of Agamotto. When Southpaw is shrunk down and imprisoned, Book uses various comics as evidence that Pym Particles are harmful to get her freed. 

Book maintains peace with She-Hulk until Jen interferes with one of Mallory's cases. In "She-Hulk" #9, the Constrictor sues Hercules for $18 million and while super-villains never win such cases, Hercules proves to be a difficult client for Book. He wallops the Constrictor again after getting angry at him, but Book calms things down, showing how Hercules managed to save the Constrictor's mother once. The Constrictor is about to settle when Herc playfully slaps him on the back, hurting him further. As Book considers other ways to win, Jen tells him to pay the full amount — ending Book's winning streak. 

Book gets back at Jen by defending super-villains in "She-Hulk" #1 and then orchestrating a campaign to ruin her life in "She-Hulk" #30. Don't mess with lawyers!

New York vs. Eros of Titan

Eros of Titan was always an unlikely Avenger. The brother of Thanos, the heroic Eros represents love and pleasure, righting wrongs and wooing women. He becomes an Avenger in a fit of boredom and serves valiantly, but Eros possesses a special power beyond super strength and flight. He has a psychic pleasure power that can cause anyone to not only feel good but to express affection in a very specific kind of mind control. 

The problem comes when Christina Garvey, a married woman with three children, has a one-night fling with Eros. She not only immediately regrets her actions but files a sexual assault case in "She-Hulk" #6, accusing him of using his powers. A genuinely baffled Eros says that she initiated the whole thing. Jen agrees to defend her fellow Avenger, but she begins to have doubts about her own one-time fling with Eros years earlier. While at court in "She-Hulk" #7, his mere presence causes people to rescind their testimony, and the judge orders him removed from the courtroom. 

Jen builds a case against Garvey as someone obsessed with superheroes who initiates her encounter with Eros when she sees him at a bar. Garvey tearfully acknowledges this but says she could feel her mind was not her own. A horrified Jen confronts Eros about their own encounter, and he is reluctant to answer. Eros' father Mentor whisks him off Earth. Much later, Eros agrees to have this ability removed from his mind. 

Awesome Andy exceeds his programming

He's 15 feet tall, has gray skin, and a box-shaped head with no facial features. He's also the best gofer a law office can have. He's Awesome Andy, also known as the Mad Thinker's Awesome Android. The Thinker created him based on plans originally designed by Reed Richards. Of course, the Thinker always fails to defeat whatever superheroes he fights and tends to blame his poor Android. The Android, in addition to being monstrously large and powerful, can absorb the powers, appearances, and abilities of others. 

The Thinker makes an adjustment so his Android can absorb other qualities. In "She-Hulk" #14, during a fight with Thor, the Android absorbs the thunder god's nobility. He decides to turn against his maker, convinced he is worthy. He hires Holden Holliway to clear his record, and Holliway successfully argues that the Android is a living being. The Android can't pay Holliway since he has no money, so Holliway gives him a job as a gofer.

Rechristened Awesome Andy, he becomes a beloved figure in the office and is even given a board worn around his neck to express his thoughts. When the Thinker reemerges in "She-Hulk" #6 and orders Andy to destroy his foes, he weighs his options. Obey a guy who's constantly yelling at him, or go back to his job where everyone is nice to him? He destroys the Thinker's robotic body and keeps his head for old times' sake.

New York vs. the Leader

Samuel "The Leader" Sterns may be the deadliest of all the Hulk's many foes. He's pitted his twisted genius against the Hulk's invincible brawn on many occasions, and while he's often come up short, he always manages to get away. When he's captured by a Hulkbusters team, Mallory Book of GLK&H decides to defend him in "She-Hulk" #19. While defending a cackling super-fiend who has murdered thousands of people seems like an impossible task, Book has a winning strategy that centers around her greatest rival: Jennifer Walters. 

During the trial, the prosecution brings a line-up of the Leader's victims. Book has no questions for them. She calls on Dr. Leonard Samson, who testifies that the accident that created the Leader changed him from an average high-school drop-out into an antisocial terrorist. Book then calls Jen to the stand, grilling her on her more uninhibited behavior as She-Hulk than in her human form. Jen is forced to rattle off her many lovers as She-Hulk but denies that one of them was the Juggernaut, despite comic book evidence. 

Book concludes that Jen is addicted to being the She-Hulk, without inhibitions, control, or accountability. She ascribes this to Gamma Radiation poisoning. The Leader is so impressed by her argument that he calls off a rescue attempt from his army of plastic humanoids. This becomes a landmark case so significant that Book replaces Holden Holliway as a partner when he leaves the firm. 

Artie Zix for the record

In "She-Hulk" #7, the Living Tribunal taps Jen Walters to be a temporary member of the Magistrati – judges hearing cases related to cosmic subjects. She is assigned to a Rigellian Recorder named Rigel Type Zeta-9, or RT Z9 for short. He acts as a bailiff and court recorder, presenting each case. In one case, an alien race called the Recluses brings suit against the Watcher named Qyre for violating their cosmic privacy. Jen's solution is to allow Qyre to watch them but to prevent him from relaying any information to the rest of his race. The Recluses accept this solution, but they fear a reversal. Thus, they hire RT Z9 to watch Jennifer Walters and gather pertinent data.

When Holden Holliway steps away from the firm, RT Z9 steps in, with a human disguise and the name Artie Zix. Things get weird around him, as he allows Mallory Book to start defending super-villains. When the firm defends Eros, he has a direct line to ISAAC, the super-computer on Titan. When Stu Cicero finds this out, Artie sends him to Duckworld, the original home of Howard the Duck

Later, In "She-Hulk" #20, the Recluses give him a deadline to depower Jen, ensure that her ex-fiance John Jameson is no longer the Stargod, and remove her as a member of the Magistrati. RT Z9 leaves Earth to make his report, but it's revealed that this is Wrath, setting up the eventual Reckoning War

New York vs. Boomerang & the Ox

When Holden Holliway leaves the firm, his successor, Artie Zix, agrees with Mallory Book's idea to start representing super-villains in "She-Hulk" #1. After all, they are entitled to due process, too! Book's first case is defending long-time miscreants Boomerang and the Ox against district attorney Blake Tower. Stature and the Vision of the Young Avengers catch them red-handed selling illegal arms from a warehouse, but Book points out that they didn't have permission nor the right to search the premises. 

Tower disagrees, noting that Stature said that the weapons were clearly in her line of sight. Book counters that this is because Stature had shrunk to ant-size at the time — an unreasonable definition of "line of sight." She goes on the offensive, planning to charge the heroes with harassment. The Vision is baffled at the idea of forced entry since he phased through the wall, "leaving it quite unharmed." Stature is indignant, as the villains were selling guns to kids. A smirking Ox makes a crack about a "guns-to-tots" program until Boomerang corrects his grammar. That sets Stature off and a fight starts that She-Hulk continues until Book stops it. 

The two sides go back to the negotiating table, with the villains getting their weapons confiscated and the heroes receiving a restraining order. Book tells Jen that the whole reason she's doing this is that Jen's interference with her case against Hercules opened up heroes to damages from villains. 

Other faces in GLK&H

It takes a lot of people to keep a law firm running, and GLK&H is no exception. When issuing subpoenas, it's important to have a process server that can slip by the most cautious and paranoid targets. For a firm dealing with super-powered clients, having a shape-changing process server is an ideal solution. GLK&H's is Ditto, who can instantly mimic any form. For example, he pretended to be Clint Eastwood to get J. Jonah Jameson to take a subpoena. Ditto became Dottie when Artie Zix was acting head of the firm and later had to take Stu Cicero's job when Artie zaps Stu off to Duckworld. 

Getting messages delivered quickly is a priority, especially in 2004 when smartphones weren't a thing. GLK&H hired an entire mail room's worth of speedsters to deliver inter-office memos. When the building is attacked by Titania in "She-Hulk" #11, the speedsters Whiz Kid, Momenta, and Zig-Zag help evacuate it. Per the details of their contract with the Speedster's Union, they then bow out of the battle, as they do not agree to be put in harm's way. 

The most unexpected employee of GLK&H is a lawyer. Not just any lawyer, but one from the 19th century named Matt Hawk, aka the Two-Gun Kid. A former Avenger and occasional time-traveler, the TVA remands him into Jen's custody. He takes up bounty hunting after he struggles with modern law in "She-Hulk" #5