Second Opinion: She – Hulk #1
Charles Soule is at it again. He somehow has found the time to give us another great series, this time with Marvel and with a character who despite being close to 35 years old, has never really found her place. She’s always been just the female version of Hulk but with two Red Hulks and a movie making Bruce Banner popular again, Soule is finding a way to make her stand on her own and be interesting.
She-Hulk #1 opens up by showing us Jennifer at work waiting for her performance review. This performance review is going to decide her bonus and in typical “hulk” fashion, there is no sign of nerves. As it turns out she will receive no bonus because she’s a great lawyer but was brought in to get some of her superhero friends as clients of the firm. The line about Reed Richards was particularly funny. Jennifer then quits the firm and thus is our set up for the series. She gets a new client and after some fun shenanigans with Tony Stark, Jen opens up her own firm.
Issue #1 was all setup for this series. It’s clear that Charles Soule is having some fun with this character. Unlike some of his other work, this series seems like he’ll draw on his own experiences more than anything else. For those who don’t know, Soule is a still working attorney. It’s where his education and work background lies and I wholeheartedly expected him to bring some of that experience into this story. He does it so well and makes me laugh all the way through. He uses plenty of ‘lawyer talk’ but makes it humorous. Particularly with the ‘villian’ in this issue, Legal…simply legal. If you’ve ever worked for a big company or even a non profit organization like I do, you can’t help but laugh at the villain being legal. Soule’s joking around about being a lawyer but not in a mean way. It clearly comes from a place of love and that makes it all the better.
Most importantly here is the complete real characterization of She-Hulk. This is not going to be about her beating people up or flexing her physical strength. The series is clearly going to focus on who she is as a person and I truly feel that’s something that has been needed for her. This is going to be similar to Hawkeye in the sense that she’s been around for so long but we really don’t have a firm grasp of who she is. I’m not saying this is “Hawkeye with a female lead” but it seems like this will have that same tone and mission.
What also works here is that the basic premise of the series opens the door for there to be appearances by different characters. As superheroes, which one of them can honestly say they will never need legal help? This series will be tricky to sell though because it feels like there will not be a central villain. However, I think if people can gravitate towards police and court procedurals on television then what stops them from not liking it in comic form? At least Soule is making an effort to include some humor here unlike the television shows.
Javier Pulido’s art is something I’m not so used to yet. It’s very cartoony which is not necessarily a bad thing. It works for this story but it’s definitely something I’ll have to get used to. He’s not making Jennifer into this drop dead gorgeous pin up like other comics tend to do to women. He humanizes her but also accentuates her muscular physique.
She – Hulk really is a comic that is delightful and charming in every way. Soule himself writes “No one is only one thing” and that’s the case with this comic. We have to always remember that while the “bang em up” kind of stories are fun, the ones that take the time to tell the story of a person are always the most memorable. She – Hulk is not exactly a comic I was asking for but I’m glad I got it.