Or – “Wrapping Up About A Dozen Plotlines In Two Dozen Pages Ain’t Easy…”


I’m saddened to hear that Dan Slott will be leaving She-Hulk in the near future. In fact, the only thing that mitigates my disappointment is the fact that his replacement will be the superlative Peter David. I don’t know what Slott has planned for his last issue, but I can tell you that the setup to it is interesting… To make sure that the stories he wanted to make sure were told get told, he’s going to tell them ALL in this issue. Buckle up, ladles and jellyspoons, ’cause it’s about to get a mite noisy in here.

Previously, on She-Hulk: After a long tenure at the law firm of Lieber, Kurtzberg, Goodman and Holliway, She-Hulk was forcibly drafted into SHIELD to deal with menaces She1.jpgthat her cousin used to take care of. She clashed with Abomination, the U-Foes, Zzzax and more, and each defeat gave Iron Man and his technoes more information on the super-powered (specifically GAMMA powered) physiology. This ‘Project: Achilles,’ unbeknownst to Jen, was designed to create a counter to the abilities of the Hulk. When Jennifer discovered the truth (that Tony Stark and the Illuminazis fired her favorite cousin into space and nearly killed him by accident) she confronted Tony, who responded like a true sociopath, immediately attacking. He underestimated She-Hulk’s resolve, and was forced to used his anti-Hulk serum on her, taking away her superhuman powers. The events of World War Hulk temporarily returned those powers, but She-Hulk is now in the process of suing Stark for removing her powers, citing a violation of her civil liberties. Meanwhile, her law firm has successfully defended the Leader from charges, claiming his Gamma exposure makes him technically insane, her boss has been replaced by an alien recorder robot, and her quickie marriage to John Jameson (the former Man-Wolf/Stargod, and son of J. Jonah Jameson) has dissolved…


As the players enter the office, they find several GLK&H employees already in the conference room, bound by energy fields and gagged. Mr. Zix quickly enables a forcefield, and magnetically divests the Two-Gun Kid of his twin Colts (which I’m quite surprised that he’s allowed to carry in New York City) before revealing his true nature. “My designation is Rige Type Zeta Nine.” Jennifer remembers him as the court reporter of the Magistrati, an intergalactic court, and he explains that a previous case has returned to haunt her. As he sets his self-destruct, the Recorder tells her they have 2 hours to collect all the data he needs, or they all die in an explosion. When Mallory expresses doubt that he’ll do it, Ditto the shapeshifting errand boy tells her that he’s already zapped Stu from the records room… But what no one knows is Stu’s actual destination.


A quick check of the “records room” as Stately Spoilers Manor East reveals that, indeed, Ducktor Strange did appear in that issue, did use his powers to sent Howard The Duck back to Earth, and I applaud Stu (and Dan Slott) for remembering it. Landing in the Florida swamps, Stu encounters the Man-Thing, and is saved by Richard Rory (a Marvel supporting character beloved by Steve Gerber, appearing during his runs on Defenders, Omega the Unknown, and Sensational She-Hulk.) When Stu finds out that Rich used to date Jennifer Walters, he snatches the man’s keys and drives for home… “Could this day GET more complicated?” Heh… Back in the courtroom, The Recorder explains that he has been sent by the Recluses, a race of aliens who were so paranoid of discovery that they petitioned the Magistrati to remove a Watcher from their sector. She-Hulk herself presided over the case, and her verdict allowed the Watcher to stay and record, but magically kept him from speaking anything he had seen in the sector…


The Recorder reveals that he has been recording She-Hulk’s every move (including her consummation of the marriage with Jameson) and John responds with anger. He fails to hurt the Recorder, and reveals that he has lost his Stargod powers. Recorder begins his cross-examination, asking She-Hulk if it is true that she tried to alter the timestream to save Hawkeye. She replies that it doesn’t matter one way or the other, as Hawkeye is still dead. “Actually, ma’am,” interjects Two-Gun, “that ain’t the case.” He reveals that not only is Hawkeye back, that he and Hawkeye undertook a special mission together…


One of Clint’s video messages is missing, however, having already been delivered to She-Hulk herself. Hawkeye was so mortified that his final message got delivered (a message in which he reveals that he’s loved Jenny for years) and swore Two-Gun to secrecy on his return. She-Hulk is thrilled that her plan worked, but Two-Gun explains that it was actually “somethin’ called ‘Th’ House of M.” Jennifer has a hilarious line (that may be channeling the writer) replying, “I swear, it’s like NOTHING I do here has any effect on the rest of the world.” Heh. Mallory snaps at her, and starts to reveal her own “Master Plan,” but the Recroder informs her that he knows about it, and couldn’t care less. John Jameson, on the other hand, DOES concern him. Since the Recorder wasn’t present for all the events that happened on Titan after the trial of Starfox, John fills in the blanks… Jennifer is angry to discover the marriage is based on Starfox’s love powers, but even more angry when John tries to convince her to give up being She-Hulk.


“No,” says Jennifer. “You haven’t. You can’t miss something you never got. And you never got ME, John.” Oh, man… That’s harsh. After that rejection, the Stargod went back into space, had a series of adventures that we don’t get to see much of, and eventually came to believe it was time to go home. Shedding his Stargod powers, John came home to find that Jen, too, had lost her powers and he had hoped they could reconcile. While John signs the divorce papers, finally convinced that their marriage is over, Stu Cicero tries to make his way home, caling the super-fast mailroom girl to pick him up. As they race home, they pass Awesome Andy, stalking through the Everglades. Andy was last seen throwing himself off a building when his relationship with Mallory Book was revealed to be a sham (he had duplicated Starfox’s love-whammy powers.) This recap is exhausting! Andy knocks on a door, and it’s opened by the missing Southpaw…


“…must be answered.” Whatever the Thinker is up to is going to have to wait, as we return to the offices of GLK&H, as the Recorder explains to She-Hulk that even IF her powers are gone, the Recluses are still troubled by her Magistrati powers. Jennifer shocks him by revealing that those powers, too, are gone. “It literally happened between seconds,” she reveals. “I was plucked out of time and space…”


Heh. An Ultimate Universe, eh? I think calling the Ultimate world the equivalent of a “hot trophy wife” is a scathingly accurate assessment. She-Hulk’s revelation leads the Recorder to judge in their favor, deactivating his destruct sequence, satisfied that she pses not threat. Suddenly, outside, a commotion arises, and the long-lost Stu Cicero breaks in, yelling “EVERYONE! THAT IS ARTIE ZIX!! A.K.A. RIGEL TYPE ZETA 9! AN EVIL ROBOT FROM BEYOND THE STARS!!!” Pausing to catch his breath, Stu waits for a response… “Um. We know,” says Jennifer. Heh. The Recorder flies off into space, and radios the recluses to deactivate his destruct sequence.


The mysterious armored man turns, revealing that even the Watcher of this sector is in his power, and since She-Hulk removed his ability to communicate, he can’t even call for help. The cliffhanger ending may tie into next issue, which has been heralded as “the one that will the issue that fixes 90% of Marvel’s continuity problems– from NOW ON!” I don’t know how they intend to pull that off, but it sounds intriguing.

In fact, most of this is is very intriguing, but the delivery left me a bit shell-shocked. Any one of the plots (Stu’s return from Duckworld, Hawkeye finding his old pal Two-Gun, Jennifer’s defense of Marvel Earth, even the breakup with Jameson) could have easily filled an issue in and of themselves. I’m sure that Dan just wanted to make sure that all his loose ends got tied, and I appreciate that, but the breakneck pacing of it all made the issue less enjoyable than it could have been. Rick Burchett’s art is very clean, and laid out very well (as always) and I enjoyed the use of the somewhat shopworn “countdown” cliche, only to have it turned on it’s head when they finished with plenty of time to spare, but the Recorder blew up anyway. All in all, there’s a ton of potential in the issue, but so much of it is stuffed in one story that the whole thing suffers. As bright and shiny as the ideas are, they’re too tightly packed for me, making the issue a solid average 2.5 stars out of 5.



About Author

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.


  1. Thanks for the review. Just as I can be complimentary of Bendis great characterization, which usually takes months, I can be happy with Slotts pacing and his accelerated plot development. I’m a big fan of Paul Dini’s Detective Comic’s run because he can tell intriguing Batman stories in one or two issues. That being said, I think Slott’s pacing is intentionally ubnoxious, and does serve as a parody/commentary on the doings in the 616 universe the past couple of years. Just my thoughts on a lazy Saturday:)

  2. Maximus Rift on

    Damn. Too much info in one sitting for me to process. Loosing Awesome Andy for me is sad and makes Mallory more of a *&(%$ in my eyes. Next issue has me interested though.

    One point about the whole Shulkie/Juggs fiasco. Does anybody think that the whole treatment of the subject is a bit sexist?

  3. If there is a Dukter Doom, he needs his own action figure and mini series:” Dukter Doom vs. The Fandukstic Four”. I really like saying Dukter Doom.

  4. Matthew Peterson on

    One point about the whole Shulkie/Juggs fiasco. Does anybody think that the whole treatment of the subject is a bit sexist?

    I can certainly see that aspect of it, in that Juggernaut (presumably) was supposed to be a hero for bagging She-Hulk, but people would think less of her for bagging HIM.

    Of course, I think the underlying joke is that Juggernaut is a jerk rather than the assertion that She-Hulk is a trollop. Either way, it’s a question that really needs a definitive answer…

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