In The Immortal Hulk #22, we find out that one of Bruce Banner’s alter egos, Sunshine Joe, is a supporter of transgender rights. This unfolds in a conversation Joe has with reporter Jacqueline McGee. How did they get to this point?
Hulk/Banner in California with Betty Ross
Well, in this issue of Immortal Hulk, Banner is in California with Betty Ross. They are held up because of the latest Harpy incident. They’re keeping a low profile and hiding from the Shadow Base team. During this series of stressful events, one of Bruce’s alter egos takes over in an attempt to restore a bit of sanity to the situation. Cue Sunshine Joe.
For those who don’t know, Sunshine Joe is one of Banner’s newer personas that developed from Joe Fixit. Sunshine Joe is the latest iteration of a Fixit persona that allows Fixit to occupy Banner’s body during the day.
As his name would suggest, Joe is a much more laid back and cheerful persona.
Sunshine Joe and Jacqueline McGee
Joe pops in to see reporter Jacqueline McGee. McGee has been documenting the group’s less than successful journey so far. As he speaks to her he opens up and informs her that she’s safer with them. This is because at that point she is thinking of running away.
To ease her fear, Joe informs her that The Hulk trusts her and believes her to be genuine in her work. Because of that, she’ll be protected by him.
In the first panel, you can see the Joe begin his conversation with Jacqueline. She wants to know outright where she stands with the group. Her fears for her own personal safety weighs heavily on her mind. Joe admits that for a week that he had control and he read a few of her opinion pieces while online.
Those pieces are the basis of Banner’s trust. You can see the first panel below:
In the next panel, Joe expresses his opinion on her pieces on transgender rights. He calls it “Real Good.” He goes on to tell her that he respects her a great deal for that.
Joe explains that he connects with the story because of the concept of “the other.” This led to him having a positive view of Jacqueline.
Joe takes it another step further as he explains that he and the other personals just want to be themselves also. Something they’re able to relate to.
Now I’d like to get your take. Do Joe’s views make sense for his character as well as other personas occupying Bruce Banner’s body? Or is this just another example of comic books injecting social justice narratives wherever they can in their stories? Let me know!