As one of the company’s most iconic characters, Jennifer Walters, the original She-Hulk, has been relatively successful at sustaining a fanbase, by proving that she’s both capable of starring in her own series, as well as being part of a team book.
In recent months, she has been both a part of the recently ended FF, and the recently begun Mighty Avengers. The new She-Hulk title, along with Ms. Marvel, Black Widow, the upcoming Captain Marvel and Elektra, are a very strong sign of of All-New Marvel NOW!’s commitment to have more of Marvel Comics’ female superheroes getting the chance to star in their own solo series.
The question is, however, does the new She-Hulk #1 by the creative team of Charles Soule, Javier Pulido and Muntsa Vincente add to her enduring legacy, or detract from it?
The discovery that the issue had a self-contained story called “Motion” was a pleasant surprise. In this day and age, writers often take any excuse they can to drag out an often simple story into five or six issues, with the knowledge that it will come out in a collected edition or trade paperback within months of the story ending. Having a story that doesn’t have the reader feeling somewhat frustrated due to a cliffhanger ending and/or limited exposition to move the plot forward is a truly welcome change.
“Motion” is a pretty straightforward story, but it is the way it is told and resolved that elevates it beyond the cliché. Indeed, the reader gets a very satisfied feeling at the end of the story that this adventure could only happen in a She-Hulk book. Kudos therefore go to writer Charles Soule for truly “getting” the Jade Giantess and for writing a story that truly captures the essence of Jennifer Walters.
The other wonderful thing is the way the writer weaves in all these comic book trivia without a second thought – it reveals his affinity for continuity, but not at the expense of a new reader. Instead, little things that would entertain long-time fans, like expressing the entire convoluted history of Tony Stark’s commercial empire, is instead used as a tool to emphasise the annoying behaviour of the story’s antagonist. It does not feel extraneous at all.
Throughout the book, the combined talents of artist Javier Pulido and colour artist Muntsa Vincente set the tone for a quirky, lighthearted yet heartfelt story. Pulido’s wonderfully minimalist art and brilliant use of panels is complemented strongly by the deft hand of Vincente, who dabbles in such subtle changes in shading that it looks deceptively simple.
As Dan Slott did for the character back in 2004, Charles Soule seems to be toying around with a tried and tested formula for She-Hulk, that is, focusing on her legal career but never forgetting that she is still a superhero. What has yet to be revealed, however, is whether this recipe for success is going to be a long-term concept, or if Soule has the intention of changing things up. Honestly, I have no problems if he sticks to what has worked in the past. After all, he has already proven that he isn’t the second coming of Slott, so it probably won’t be feel like a rehash or a rerun.
In summary, if you like strong characters, figuratively and literally in this case, and/or legal adventures, She-Hulk is the title for you. Also, at $2.99 each month, it won’t do much damage to your wallet.