She-Hulks' top adversary is her most deplorable fan

She-Hulks' top adversary is her most deplorable fan ...

Everyone has the arch nemesis they deserve: the one who turns a dark mirror on their deepest motivations and forces them to confront their true intellectual equivalent, She-Hulk, the star of Marvel's new Disney Plus series, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.

Jadeela Jamils Titania was the focus of a courtroom confrontation with Tatiana Maslanys titular hero in the first season of the show. Let's look at how Mary Skeeter MacPherran rose from the ranks of the Marvel Comics many to become She-Hulks most trustworthy thorn-in-her-side.

First things first, for fans of Neil Gaimans Sandman or William Shakespeare's finer works, Titania is not the Faerie Queen from the beloved Elizabethan comedy A Midsummer Nights Dream (though, as it happens, both characters have a memorable romantic connection with a real ass). Rather, this Titania has her roots back in Marvel's second-ever crossover event, 1984s Secret Wars.

Mary Skeeter MacPherran, an unremarkable Denver woman sent off to the strange planet of Battleworld (its a long story) who volunteers to allow Doctor Doom to transform her into a superpowered bruiser codenamed Titania for the purpose of tussling with the assembled Marvel heroes, is first introduced in the series by Jim Shooter and designed by artist Mike Zeck.

Titania's background was given just a brief, efficient sketch in her first encounter: We know that she once had a reputation as a shrimpy, unremarkable person; we know that she has something of an inferiority complex; and we know that these two things give her a chip on her shoulder big enough to engage in fights with anyone she encounters. No sooner does Titania acquire her powers than she crushes Thor villain Crusher Creel, the Absorbing Man, who looks like the tough

Titania, a working-class kid, was engulfed in long-distance tales, even to the point of pretending to be Spider-Man to impress her classmates until a 2004 She-Hulk series by Dan Slott and artists Juan Bobillo and Paul Pelletier uncovered MacPherran's punchy personality.

Titania is a mirror image of Kamala Ms. Marvel Khan, another Marvel character who grew up admiring (and determined to reinterpret) the achievements of caped celebrities. The twist is that she never made a distinction between the two.

The key love-hate relationship in Titania's career is her persistent, unfavorable desire to prove herself against She-Hulk, her muscular counterpart among the superhero set. Titania would return time and again to pick pointless confrontations with an increasingly exasperated Jen Walters, who took little interest in being chosen as MacPhersons' nemesis of choice.

Titania is bound to despise She-Hulk for her childhood anxieties, because she must prove she is up to her standards, and that she is capable of doing so with a very specific and obnoxious promise to fight. By the time of 1989s Solo Avengers #14, a chastened Titania was forced to make a vow which, unfortunately, MacPherran couldt quite keep.

Titania had found the other lasting connection in her life, this one that was both helpful and dysfunctional in its own way. Throughout the decades, MacPherran and Crusher Creel have remained a crime-committing duo, despite Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenzs Mighty Thor's memorable and shocking encounter. Creel even sits down at a diner with Thor to stop her from giving up her law-abiding life and returning to prison.

Titania is a fascinating foil for Jen Walters due to her unashamed sexuality. During her original 1970s series, she kept two steady boyfriends in each of her identities, sleeping with her Avengers teammate Starfox in the 80s, and moving through boyfriends faster than Elaine from Seinfeld in the 2000s, she has rarely had a happy long-term relationship to call her own.

MacPherran has already made a full-on face-turn alongside Creel as a member of the heroic Gamma Flight team, thanks to the steadying effect of that relationship. So while Titania might be the last to notice it, she has already discovered a cure for her deep-seated self-loathing: a happy, strangely functional love life.

The televised version of Titania, which is based on She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, may very well resemble her toxically obscented comic counterpart, both on the actress's media persona (and thus potential fodder for She-Hulk's famous fourth-wall-breaking habits).

It's a shame she neglected to bring shoulder spikes.