Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Javier Pulido
Colorist: Muntsa Vicente
Solicitation: JENNIFER WALTERS IS…THE SHE-HULK! A stalwart Avenger, valued member of the FF, savior of the world on more than one occasion, she’s also a killer attorney with a pile of degrees and professional respect. A 7-foot-tall drink of cool, emerald water, she’s tough enough to knock out Galactus with one punch (possibly?) and has a heart bigger than the moon. But juggling cases and kicking bad guy butt is starting to be a little more complicated than she anticipated. With a new practice, a new paralegal and a mounting number of super villains she’s racking up as personal enemies, She Hulk might have bitten off a little more than she can chew…but she just calls that that Tuesday.
She-Hulk is a bit of an odd character for the Marvel Universe since they never really seem to know what to do with her. One of the defining characteristics of her cousin, the Hulk, is that he generally portrayed as the mindless force of destruction to contrast Bruce Banner’s nerdy ways, but She-Hulk is almost always just as intelligent in her Hulk form as in her human form, Jennifer Walters. And she is pretty intelligent, at that. Although she has always been a lawyer it has not been until recent years that this side of her has been explored in any real depth, but it has been the drive behind her most recent books for some time. That is also the case with this new series, although there is a little bit of punching (if not superheroing) in the first issue.
The conceit this time around is that Jennifer has been working for a major firm for the past year now, and is up for her annual review which she expects to go well since she has been busy with her cases. It turns out, however, that she was not hired for her lawyer skills so much as her connections to the superhero community (which includes financial heavyweights like Tony Stark and Reed Richards), which the firm is sad to note she has not utilized. She quits in a huff and strikes out on her own. I found it to be a good touch that once she learns why she was hired she does not have a crisis of conscience or anxiety about her skill as a lawyer, she just realizes she is being used and that she deserves better than that. It is a nice change of pace from the stories where the protagonist has to go through a self-discovery process to realize that they are more valuable than their former employers understood. She spends some time drinking, but I do not believe she can actually get drunk so it is more like she is going through the motions of it.
As is the norm for stories of this nature she is approached by a client who no one will touch because she wants to sue Tony Stark for stealing some ideas from her late husband. Jennifer, being friends with Tony, agrees to help. What follows is an amusing sequence of events with Jennifer’s attempts to see Tony stymied at every turn, until she decides to just smash her way through all the obstacles (rather literally). It is fun and entertaining, but does not hold up to much critical thinking (Jennifer and Tony are both Avengers, surely she has someway of contacting him directly through those channels).
Art comes from Javier Pulido who does his usual good, clean work. His style has never been a favorite of mine, but it fits the story well and strikes a good balance between the serious side of the lawyer business and the cartoonish excesses of the superhero genre. Jennifer is significantly less Hulkish in this issue than her normally gargantuan self, but it works for the tone of this series. The panels flow easily and everything is easy to read, the way a book like this should. It is not a particularly pretty book in my view, but there is little to complain about here, and plenty to enjoy.
She-Hulk has certainly had her fair share of solo series over the years, and has been a consistent mainstay of the Avengers and Fantastic Four books, but she never seems to have much luck with the books lasting terribly long. Maybe this will be the book to change that, I do not know, but it is certainly off to a good start.