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She-Hulk #1

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by Charles Soule, Javier Pulido and Muntsa Vicente

It’s been a few years since She-Hulk had her series, but she’s been bouncing around between various Marvel titles since her initial introduction in 1980.  She’s gone through a few different cancelled titles, and most recently appeared in FF (unless you want to include the paperback novel, The She-Hulk Diaries, which came out in 2013), so she’s never really fallen off the comic book radar – however, it’s still nice to see her back on the cover of her own series.  Jennifer Walters, Bruce Banner’s cousin, has always been good for a bit of a comedic twist, which can easily be credited to John Byrne, who wrote a really great She-Hulk back in the eighties.  The new She-Hulk series doesn’t stray from that sense of humour, despite not having the tie between “Shulkie” and John Byrne for many years.  This series doesn’t seem to come from anything from previous years, though – it’s a new story all its own.  She-Hulk is working at a law firm and is about to get her one-year review – and then disaster strikes!

Writer Charles Soule carries on Jennifer Walters’ witty attitude quite well.  Yet it seems as though his She-Hulk has yet to find her place – she’s not as quick-witted as she should be, and the story left something to be desired.  It didn’t seem to be about She-Hulk as much as it was about Tony Stark, but it has the potential to become a good back story for what’s to happen next, as long as things pick up a bit.  She-Hulk has always been a bit of a supporting character in the Marvel universe, but she should be the centre of the story in her own series!  She-Hulk only said a couple “typical” She-Hulk lines, and the characters in general were a little bit dull (the exception, perhaps, being Tony Stark’s lawyer, “Legal”, who provided a good snicker).  Charles Soule deserves the benefit of a doubt, though, so hopefully future issues will start to fall into place.

The art, done by Javier Pulido and Muntsa Vicente, leaves even more to be desired.  She-Hulk has never boasted incredible, out-of-this-world art – it’s always been more simplistic, and went really well with the more simple, humorous stories.  This, however, seems as though it was done in a rush, and wasn’t impressive in the least.  Most of it was good, but there were a handful of panels that just seemed… off.  On top of that, She-Hulks face didn’t seem right either.  She-Hulk is supposed to be shockingly beautiful (since she’s, you know, green), but it didn’t seem as though that’s what the artist was going for here.  There were a few panels that featured a very thin silhouette of She-Hulk, and in those, she didn’t look as though she was even clothed!  Jennifer Walters is a svelte, muscular woman – not a scrawny nude model.  The cover by Kevin Wada, though, was fantastic!  It felt a bit like the recent Black Widow issues – She-Hulk would’ve been amazing if the entire book had art similar to the cover!

It’s impossible to tell how good a series is going to be when it’s only the first issue.  It’s like a pilot of a new TV show that looks awesome on the commercials, but then fails to impress when you watch it – you can’t count on that first episode to tell you how the rest of it is going to be, and you shouldn’t just take it off of your DVR (or in this case, your pull list) just because it didn’t impress you!  You’ve just got to hope that what comes next makes more sense, and sadly, She-Hulk has a lot to improve upon.  None of this issue was terrible – it just seemed as though it was thrown together, but doesn’t She-Hulk deserve more? Hopefully in issue #2, things will start to settle together a little bit better and there will be another good (much-needed) She-Hulk series that will last awhile!

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