By Mariko Tamaki, Nico Leon, Matt Milla, and Cory Petit
Jennifer Walters has always been She-Hulk, cousin to Bruce Banner, and a lawyer by day and hero when necessary. Well, things have changed. Do not call her She-Hulk, now she truly is Hulk. Now Marvel has introduced a new Hulk title with Jennifer Walter headlining in Hulk #1. This issue picks up right after the events of Civil War II, and she is a little worse for wear. Civil War II realty took a toll on the Hulks, both Bruce Banner and Jennifer Walters. The events that took place, no spoilers here, left Jennifer recovering from a coma. We get to see how Jennifer is going to pick up the pieces as The Hulk after not only coming out of a coma, but also experiencing some devastating emotional loss as well.
This issue really gets the readers’ buy in through the beautiful use of color and emotional context that play throughout the entire issue. Hulk #1 covers Jen’s first day back at work as a lawyer. We get to follow Jen on her commute from the subway all the way to the doors of her law firm. The story written by Tamaki is a powerful yet understated tale. You see as a reader Jen struggling just to open her door to leave, and then experience her anxiety as all the staff at the law firm receives her. Her story is only complimented by the art in the issue with lines by Leon, color from Milla, and letters by Petit. The colors from Milla in this issue are just gorgeous, the hues of green, grey, and yellow to show the growing anger and looming hulk bursting inside Jen to come out.
Full disclosure, and possible spoiler, Jen is no longer green and in Hulk Form 24/7. She has her pre-gamma exposure appearance back and when she gets upset she undergoes the Hulk-Out. This change in appearance is handled so beautifully by Tamaki, like it is never really expressed, but people keep referring to her as looking “Well”. This adds to the understated nature of writing we can expect from Tamaki in this series. There are some looming possible bad guys or alliance brewing in this issue that keep the reader interested and curious what is to come. Jen’s first client back at work is a Mrs. Brewn, who appears to be a possible super powered individual or inhuman, who solicits Jen Walter’s help when she learns she may be evicted from her apartment. Then, we also meet Florida Mayer, real name, an educated writer looking for a story or patient as he shows up at Jen’s apartment. These two wild cards can really shape this story of Jen as a victim coming to terms with loss. She has literally loss in many forms; as in death of a loved one, loss of sense of self, and also loss in her sense of justice from what happened in Civil War II.
This series has all the promise in the world to deliver and this first issue is proof. You could not ask for a better writer or creative team to give Jennifer Walters the credibility to wear the Hulk title. This is a story that is crafted with beautiful pages and emotional dense story that is sure to keep us invested for many issues to come.