Sean Maher's Quality Control

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

She-Hulk: The strongest Hulk series there is

Boy, I'm happy to have Dan Slott's She-Hulk coming back. I have to specify it's Slott's work on the character that I'm talking about - if you told me a couple years ago that I'd even be reading a She-Hulk comic, let alone loving it enough to scream it from the mountain tops, I'd have suckerpunched you and ran off.



But after hearing all this unbelievable hype from some messageboard friends, crying out how great this book was, I got kinda puzzled. What the hell's the matter with everyone? I thought. Why are they reading She-Hulk, for Christ's sake?

Well, it's all because Dan Slott is a very, very good super-hero writer. He's working in something of a Kurt Busiek / Mark Waid vein, very reverent towards the classic, idealized world of superheroes, and very thoughtful about what makes them work. His take on She-Hulk is one of the most human characterizations I've seen in the Marvel Universe, ever. Throughout the first "season" of the series, he had her wrestling a lot with her "weaker" identity as attorney Jen Walters. After all, if you could be powerful and muscular and sexy whenever you wanted, why would you ever revert back?

It made for a great arc - not just in terms of the character development, but also through the humor Slott found in the drama, and in some great cameos from Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, culminating in a three-issue brawl with Titannia, for whom Slott wrote the best super-villain origin story since Brubaker's first season of Sleeper.

Some argument has been made whether the series should bring back European artist Juan Bobillo, or continue with Paul Pelletier. Bobillo's style is, well, a bit more European, more impressionistic and silly, while Pelletier has a more conventional American super-hero style that put me off at first but won me over in later issues.

Frankly, I think this series will work just fine with either man. As long as Slott knows which of them he's writing for, it'll be great comics.

Bobillo's great at bringing out the silliness of the book, creating a more unique vibe and conveying a great sense of wobbling motion, almost a slapstick feel on the page that, considering the vaudvillean style of much of Slott's humor, fits the book like a glove.

Pelletier initially disappointed me when he took over for Bobillo, but by the time he'd done a few issues I started realizing that his style worked wonderfully; it was the straight man of the act, and when Slott adjusted the scripts to play to that different dynamic, it became a really crisp, clever matchup.

There are previews of the first issue of Season 2 up at IGN and Buzzscope, and both contain the same pages. I've copied them to my Photobucket account if you'd rather just read them from here.

Cover
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6

The promotional text reads as follows:

She-Hulk #1
32 full color pages
Written by Dan Slott
Art by Juan Bobillo
Release Date: October 19, 2005
Price: $2.99

In She-Hulk Vol.2 #1, Jennifer Walters deals with even more bizarre legal problems amidst a bevy of guest-stars. The first one is none other than Hawkeye and no, it is not a hoax or a dream. It's the one, true Clint Barton. And Hawkeye is far from the only guest-star in this sensational first issue as the New Avengers and Cassie Lang (Titan from Young Avengers) also make an appearance.

"Just try to find a more PACKED comic than SHE-HULK," dares Slott. "You get drama, comedy, action, and adventure! Three-part, two-part, and done-in-one stories! And all the Marvel U. guest stars and old-school continuity we can cram in-- and still have room left for the staples!"

In She-Hulk Vol.2 #1, the first issue of a new monthly ongoing series, Hawkeye's fate is somehow tied into Jen's latest case. So just why is he giving She-Hulk a hard time?

"Buy this monthly comic, and we'll give you a month's worth of entertainment!" says Slott. "You've heard the buzz about She-Hulk. Now is the perfect time to pick it up!"


So there you have it. If you're somehow still sitting this one out, you may as well at least take a minute or two and read some free comics. Issue #5 of the first season is online in its entirety here, and issue #8 is likewise all available right here.

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