Marvel’s She-Hulk #9 sees the most tragic member of the Avengers once again coming face-to-face with a terrifying death.
This article contains spoilers for She-Hulk #9, available now from Marvel Comics.
While he may not have been a very active member of the Avengers in the last few years, Jack of Hearts’ latest death proves the character can’t seem to catch a break. Throughout the character’s history, Marvel has kept him dead longer than they’ve kept him alive.
Jack of Hearts, whose birth name is Johnathan ‘Jack’ Hart, was a teenager exposed to a vast amount of zero energy fluid hiding in his father’s laboratory while they were being attacked by The Corporation. Throughout the years, Jack’s most notable adventurers were in his time as an Avenger. And while they served on the team together, Jack and She-Hulk grew quite attached to one another, becoming very close allies and eventually romantic interests. Unfortunately, She-Hulk #9 (by Rainbow Rowell, Takeshi Miyazawa, Rico Renzi, and VC’s Joe Caramagna) confirms Jack was destined for tragedy and could never shake death.
Jack’s First Death Was A Sacrifice For The Avengers
Jack’s journey with the Avengers started when they saved him from a space encounter with the mutant armies of Apocolaypse known as the Infinites. The Avengers helped restore Jack’s armor, which helps him control the zero energy and prevent disastrous explosions. In return, Jack helped the Avengers on many missions and remained with the team when they were individually recognized as their own nation by the United Nations.
On one of the first Avengers missions post-recognition, Jack of Hearts accidentally absorbs She-Hulk’s gamma radiation when trying to protect her from a gaseous bioweapon. This causes She-Hulk to not only revert to her human form but also to lose control over her powers. Several Avengers members are injured and a whole town in Idaho is damaged as a result of She-Hulk’s rampage, but Jack was ultimately able to rebalance her gamma radiation levels. Not long after, Jack gave his life to protect the Avengers by launching himself into space in Avengers #76 (by Geoff Johns and Steve Sadowski), to prevent any of them from being injured in a combustion of his zero energy.
Jack’s Latest Death Labels Him ‘Permanently Expendable’
In She-Hulk #9, after being resurrected Jack of Hearts breaks into a capsule stored by two scientists Mark and April, trying to copy She-Hulk’s DNA and gamma radiation. Giving his life once again to protect others from the harmful effects of exposed zero-energy fluid, She-Hulk takes a pause to tell off her readers for re-introducing Jack only to take him away again. The saddest part of this sacrifice is that Jack didn’t even have his powers anymore. Jack of Hearts was ready to give up being a superhero and just live his normal life, and thus wasn’t wearing the suit.
Jack died the same way he did when he was a superhero, protecting everyone else around him. It’s unfair, but Jack’s unstable powers and strong relationships with major characters like She-Hulk, make him an easy emotional kill for writers. While Jack of Hearts didn’t have an expansive history within the Marvel Universe, mostly working solo or briefly with the Avengers, his life and ultimately his many deaths affected a lot of our favorite characters. And his most recent sacrifice certainly has impacted She-Hulk, as it seems She-Hulk #10 set to come out in February, is all about her dealing with the aftermath of Jack’s death.