returns in grand fashion as an ongoing title, in the hands of Charles Soule (Thunderbolts
) and Javier Pulido (Amazing Spider-Man
). The first issue gets things re-established for Jen Walters, emphasizing character over action, and if this first issue is of any indication, the book is in good hands and might well become a favourite. This is ideal, since She-Hulk is one of my favourite Marvel characters.
We find Jen confident about her impending performance review at her firm. She's taken aback by her results, however; the firm partners would have preferred that her connections to superheroes- particularly those of wealth- would have benefitted the firm. She quits on principle, and leaves the partners with a well deserved shattered conference table for good measure. She then meets Holly Harrow, the widow of perennial Spider-Man villain Jonas Harrow, who asks her to take her case, one for compensation from someone Jen knows well: Tony Stark.
Soule wisely starts his run on the book with Jen at a professional crossroads, and he seems to get what makes her tick. As with Dan Slott and Peter David, who wrote the last run of Jen's solo title, he starts out from the core of who she is. Yes, she's a superhero, but first and foremost she's a lawyer, a smart person, and most importantly a human being. She's got a good sense of humor and a lot of compassion. Soule gets that, and it comes across in the fact that she freely takes Holly's case. Soule interjects a strong contrast between the kind of lawyer she is- one of integrity- and the vile kind of lawyer her former firm's partners are, as well as the lawyer who handles all things legal for Tony Stark. The latter is, for lack of an alternative, her antagonist this time out, a bookish little man with an encycopediac knowledge and a willingness to drive another attorney into submission by simply overwhelming them with legal motions and paperwork. The first issue moves along briskly, and while there's a great deal of dialogue, it never seems to drag down the story. Soule instead gives us a solid sense that he knows what makes this character work, and that he respects continuity.
She-Hulk ends her annual review
The art by Javier Pulido has a somewhat cartoonish quality to it, but not overly so. There are influences of Mike Allred here, not too much though, a good thing, since Allred's style has never particularly suited me. While it doesn't drive me nuts like a Bachalo or a Ramos do, it always seemed to me that Allred was drawing people who looked like heroin addicts. Pulido's style reminds me somewhat of that, but he restrains himself from following too much in the footsteps of Allred. He moves beyond conventional panel storytelling, and has a dynamic style that particularly suits Jen. There are a couple of glitches here and there that stood out for me, but these are minor things. First is Tony Stark's facial hair. Since the late nineties, he's had the stylized beard, and yet here we see him with just the mustache. It's an oversight that could have been easily corrected. Second is the last page, and it might be nothing. Pulido essentially repeats the same panel three times by stepping back, in essence. As long as this doesn't become a habit, I don't mind, but it reminded me of the painfully annoying habit Bendis had of making his artist repeat panels over and over again in the pages of books like Daredevil.
All in all, Pulido's pencils work nicely. His Jen is radiant and strong, and he gets the basics of how the human body's supposed to look (a lesson completely lost on the previously mentioned Bachalo and Ramos). The colors by Vicente are particularly bright. Green of course must be the starting point for a She-Hulk comic, and the colors work beautifully.
It is a fine start to the series. It appears Soule will be grounding this series in strong characterization, which is a good thing. The title deserves some serious attention, because I'd like to see it around for a good long time.