Or – “You Know You’re Tough When You Can Fight A Wendigo In Your Underwear…”


She-Hulk is one of those series that tends to avoid most people’s radar, with only the occasional mention by the fan press or internet to remind the non-readers that it’s still out there, and that’s really too bad. In any given month, one issue of She-Hulk will give you more for your entertainment value than many of the top ten “Hot Books.” I’ve never walked away from an issue of Dan Slott’s take on the green giantess wondering why I was looking forward to it, horrified by a garish Alex Ross/Michael Turner cover, or beating my head against a radiator at ridiculous plot developments, something I can’t say about a lot of books… *coughCivilWarTheReturncough* This month is no exception, as we see Jenny dealing with another of her lost cousin’s old-school foes, we remember one of the effects of gamma radiation, and we’re once again confronted with the fact that Cain Marko is a big fat liar. Confused? Read on , MacDuff…

she1.jpgThe basic gist of the situation is simple: When Reed Richards and Tony Stark first turned into fascist pigs, before they destroyed the lives of their friends and family, they decided to rocket one of their dearest friends into deep space on the premise that he’d be safer there. The main problem with this theory was the fact that The Hulk had a dozen or so enemies that required someone of his power level to keep in check, and now, a Hulk-less world has turned to little Jenny Walters (who doubles as the seven-foot gamma powered dynamo called She-Hulk) for help. In clear violation of her civil rights, Jennifer has been forcibly co-opted into SHIELD, and thrust into situations where she could easily be killed, because Tony’s busy fitting all the superheroes for jackboots and little hats. Last time around, she defeated The Abomination (with a psychological helping hand from Doc Samson), but this one may be a little more complicated.

We start out in the wilds of Canada, a vast frozen wasteland, with a hero on the trail of a Hulk-level menace. But what menace hangs out in the tundras of Hudson Bay? Why, none other that the big fuzzy Wendigo, the only Marvel supervillain that sounds like a question that a drunken frat girl would ask when her girlfriend ditches her at a bar… “Hey, wheerre’d Wendigo? Wendi? Where arrre yooou?” Sorry, it’s just what pops into my head when I see the character. The big white rat is being chased through the woods, and since Wendigos eat human flesh, the person tracking him knows enough to stay upwind. Did She-Hulk learn how to track prey? Not exactly…


We’re off by two full feet, and about 800 pounds. I feel like we should know this character from someplace, but he needs to be overexposed more before I recall his name. Woofer something, I believe. In a really funny scene (or as funny as a monster attacking an innocent woman can be) the camper is singing “There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name-o… B! I!,” but the leaping creature finishes the verse for her “WEN-DI-GO!” Sing it out loud, you’ll get it. Logan leaps down, but his senses give him the scent of syntha-derm, the artifical skin that SHIELD uses for their android LMD’s. Wendigo snatches up the woman and drags her towards his mouth, as the other shoe drops…


The two Avengers take on the Wendigo together, as elsewhere, their support teams meet up. Clay Quatermain of SHIELD finds his perimeter invaded by a group of Sarcee shamans, led by Elizabeth Twoyoungmen, someone we all know in another guise. When Clay throws his weight around, ‘Beth responds by not-so-subtlely transforming herself into the mystical Talisman, once of Alpha Flight, soon of Omega Flight. Clay tells her she’ll still have to stay outside the perimeter, with the practiced assclownery of a seasoned DMV worker moving you to another line. Talisman gapes at him as though he were throwing his own feces, and responds, “You’re kidding, right?” Back at the battle, Wolverine is thrown bodily into She-Hulk, who comments on how tough his skull feels. “It’s the adamantium, darlin’. hardest substance on Earth… and every bone in my body’s laced with the stuff.” She-Hulk gets a very salacious look on her face, responding, “EVERY bone?” C’mon, Jennifer, even *I* know that isn’t a bone! Distracted by her naughty double entendre, she doesn’t see Wendigo leaping in for the kill…


Oh, ouch. I suppose that’s what you get for trying to combine flirting and fighting, especially while half-naked. Wolverine leaps in to cover her, as Jennifer loses consciousness and collapses into a snowbank. Back in Manhattan, at the law firm of Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzburg, & Holliway, Mallory Book finds that ANOTHER client has dropped her services, and goes to talk to her boss about it, unaware that her boss is actually an alien Recorder, sent to Earth to monitor She-Hulk. He shoos her away, and returns to conferring with his bosses.


“Unacceptable!” screams the mysterious voice, apparently tearing the Recorder apart. That ain’t good. As Mallory Book starts to leave, she’s grabbed by Matthew Hawk, the Two-Gun Kid, who wants to take her out to Shakespeare in the park. More on that later… Meanwhile, lying disemboweled in a snowbank, our main character is having an existential dilemms of her own.


She-Hulk argues with herself for a few moments more, until her alter ego reminds her that Hulks have a healing factor. I really hate that term, by the way, and it gets a really big workout this issue. She wakes up in a pool of emerald blood, but pretty much good as new, leaping back into the battle with a snide, “I’m okay. I’ve got a healing factor.” Wolverine snorts, pointing to his own healing wounds, and then makes the observation that Wendigo is ALSO doing the Claire Bennett on his multiple lacerations and stab wounds. This “Oh, Crap” moment is brought to you by Marvel Comics, where everybody heals, ’cause it’s just quicker that way. Meanwhile, with Talisman in his face, Clay Quatermain calls up his own mystical support, an idiot who calls himself “Crimson,” and a magic slap-fight starts. Unfortunately, the mystics were SUPPOSED to be back-stopping Logan an’ Jenny, who now have to figure it out all by themselves. How can they stop a rampaging monster that heals as quickly as they do, asks She-Hulk? “Two words: Fastball Special.”


Heh. Even though the Fight Club joke is totally played, I still enjoyed that bit. Logan rips through Wendigo’s chest, literally ripping his big fuzzy white heart out. Wendi falls, and Shorty and Greenie celebrate their rather gruesome win. Back in Manhattan, Mallory and Two-Gun are at the theatre, when Miss Book is suddenly reminded of her own recent past…


Ouch. If you missed an issue or two, Mallory was accidentally under the thrall of Awesome Andy (best character ever) who mimicked Starfox’s love-powers to make Mallory his girl. Worst of all, as they leave the theatre, Mallory finds out the hard way why people are dropping her lawyerly services: her picture is all over the tabloids, kissing an android. Ouch… Speaking of bad hookups, back in Canada, the mystical types have finally called it quits long enough to capture Wendigo. In the afterglow of battle, Jenny puts the moves on Wolverine (EWWW!), saying “From what I hear, you’re the best there is at what you do, and what you do is pretty NICE.” EWW EWW EWW EWWW EWWW! Please make it stop, it’s so horribly uncomfortable! Logan is as grossed out as me, for a different reason…


I’m hoping that this plotline leads to Jen confronted Juggernaut about his claims that he bagged her. That’d be kinda funny, actually. And notice Clay, there, talking to a shadowy figure? It seems that SHIELD has more than just protection in mind when they’re taking down the Hulk’s old foes. “Good job, Quatermain. And keep ’em coming. If this is going to work, we’ll need every specimen we can get for Project: Achilles!”

Dum dum daaaah! This issue pushed some plotlines forward, giving us yet another dark and mysterious conspiracy within SHIELD, and also once again addressed Juggernaut’s mouthiness. I have to say that Toyfare had the best idea of how to deal with this Chuck-Austen-born-stupid-concept, with a judge striking all of Chuck’s writing from the Marvel Universe. (Nightcrawler was heard to shout “Voo hoo! I don’t SUCK anymore!”) And at the risk of sounding like a giant horndog, She-Hulk fighting in a sportsbra and panties didn’t hurt my appreciation of the book, either. The art team of Burchett and Rathburn did some nice work this issue. The art is clear, expressive, and clean, and really works for the dual nature of the character. She-Hulk’s need for order and routine to keep from turning into a big green Paris Hilton has been referenced before, and I think that it will be the impetus for a return to her attorney gig soon enough. This issue hit all the right notes, and kept up my interest in the “Agent of SHIELD” storyline, but I’m still wanting more of the Lieber, Kurtzman law firm. After all, hitting on Logan is pretty much the bottom of the barrel for leading men. Pretty soon, she’ll be macking on Jarvis, and I, for one, don’t EVER need to see that. Gyaaah.


The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. March 7, 2007 at 1:10 pm — Reply

    Even before I got down to the Empire Strikes back reference, I was thinking the Windingo looked an awful lot like an ice monster from Hoth. Then a page downs later, I see Wolvie making with the movie quotes.

    Looked like a fun issue to read but it begs the question “Are comics better when making pop culture references?” Does it make the “world” more or less believable or do those kinds of references cause the comic characters to make fun of themselves? My guess is many will say they like the references because it makes the stories more in line with the “real world”.


  2. March 7, 2007 at 1:39 pm — Reply

    Well, obviously, I like it when characters reference pop culture, but it does create for some odd moments. Like, f’rinstance, when someone in the Marvel Universe refers to Clark Kent… Are we to assume, then, that DC Comics prints books in the Marvel U? And if so, on those rare crossover occasions, why hasn’t this been mentioned, as it was when DC crossed over with Milestone comics back in the day.

    I don’t mind so much when characters make light of themselves. I mean, when I get together with my friends, it isn’t all sturm und drang, it’s mostly sex jokes, drug jokes, more sex jokes, mocking each other, and a few more sex jokes. For superheroes to do the same (WHEN WRITTEN WELL, I emphasize) can make the characters more relatable. See also, Birds of Prey.

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