In my review of Ms. Marvel #1 my overall opinion was that the book, while well written, relied heavily on cliches and an up-to-date knowledge of the Marvel Universe, and didn’t really provide a compelling glimpse of where the series was going due to being written for the trade.
I also said that She-Hulk #1 was my favorite out of the female led first issues from Marvel. Hopefully someone was curious as to why.
Be careful, spoilers lurk below.
writer: Charles Soule
artist: Javier Pulido
Jennifer Walters, She-Hulk, is an established character. Kind of. She has been around since 1980 and in that has stared in five solo books including this new offering. However, I have to say that each series (except for the two penned by Dan Slott) have felt drastically different. Whenever I see She-Hulk in a comic I never quite know which character I will be presented with. The character we see here is much more similar to what we saw with Slott than thethe fourth wall break Jennifer brought to us by Byrne.
I enjoyed this. I thought Walters was portrayed as a smart, capable, powerful woman. Even better, she was shown as having a world outside super-heroics. The issue begins with her working in a large law firm and ends with her starting her own practice. In that regard it does fit a certain lawyer show cliche. In fact, I think that was the plot of David E. Kelly’s fairly recent show Harry’s Law.
However, even if Soule’s basic plot is a fairly standard one, he does a great job of dressing it up to feel fresh and new. I don’t think any TV law drama has ever had a scene of robot fighting. Soule also seems to be following Slott in having Walters deal with super-hero related cases. However, while Slott focused on how zany such law would be, Soule brings the superness into a more real world setting. How does super-science tech fit into patent law. Soule, himself a lawyer, doesn’t rely on jargon or show us how much he knows about law. In this issue he made us care about the case by attaching it to a relatable character.
I also like that it was a done-in-one issue that nicely set up the world we should expect to see and I would imagine that this issue also lets us know what type of stories we should expect. To again bring it back to TV, this issue felt like a full pilot episode rather than just showing up to the first commercial break. Also, I have a feeling that the opening pages are a wonderful of quickly giving new readers an understanding of where She-Hulk fits in to the larger Marvel Universe.
Pulido’s art is spectacular. I especially liked how he walked that line of making She-Hulk powerful and feminine, but never crossed into cheesecake. Even the image of her in
post-fight shredded clothes was, dare I say, tasteful. Almost every other time that situation presented itself it has been an excuse for large green titillation. My only mark about the art is Pulido’s faces sometimes look a bit plastic. I’m hoping this is something that either grows on me or that when I look back think I was being foolish, but that is my current reaction.
I would suggest this book be picked up, especially if you are looking for a light-hearted character piece with solid pacing and strong art. Extra points for having a strong female lead and for being new reader friendly.