Grumpy Bird Reviews: She Hulk #1

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.

Art by Kevin Wada
All Rights Marvel

She-Hulk #1
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

A rare non-cheesecake image of She-Hulk in torn clothing.
A rare non-cheesecake image of She-Hulk in torn clothing.

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.

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