She-Hulk #2 Review

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Jennifer Walters leads two lives: One as hotshot attorney, the other as the Sensational She-Hulk.  Thanks to a recent windfall, she’s making a solo go of the first career, but I don’t expect she’ll ever give up the second.  Your Major Spoilers review of She-Hulk #2 awaits!

SheHulk2CoverSHE-HULK #2
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Javier Pulido
Colorist: Muntsa Vicente
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Editor: Jeanine Schaefer & Tom Brennan
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously in She-Hulk:  Jennifer Walters was saved by an emergency transfusion of blood from her heroic cousin after an accident.  Of course, that cousin being Bruce Banner, The Incredible Hulk, Jen discovered a few minor side-effects: super-strength, invulnerability, jade-colored skin.  She’s been an integral part of the Avengers, the Defenders, the Fantastic Four and Heroes For Hire, and is nonetheless a force to be reckoned with in the courtroom as well.  Last issue, she managed to wrap up what might have been a damaging lawsuit against Tony Stark himself with the use of both her skillsets, leading to a large commission check that allowed her to open her own firm in New York.  What havoc will that raise?  Time to find out!

WHAT TO DO, WHAT TO DO?

Having left her old firm last issue, Jennifer Walters has set up her new practice in a part of town known as ‘DUMBO’ (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), but quickly finds that being on her own isn’t quite as easy as it seems.  Worse than that, the only case she managed to take away was one where she herself is the defendant (along with several other heroes and villains, several of which I thought were dead).  Fortunately, her new landlord makes an appearance to give her a pep talk and also establish a setting.  It’s a nice bit of exposition, reminiscent of Fraction’s take on Hawkeye, where the landlady explains that she used to be a mutant, and as such has no problem renting to powered individuals.  The only real problem for me is that the “building full of misfits who might form the hero’s surrogate family” may be a little bit TOO reminiscent of Hawkeye, but it’s a lesser concern for me, as I love that book.  She hires her new paralegal (complete with helper monkey), and has a VERY frustrating first day, ending with a night on the town with old friend Patsy “Hellcat” Walker.  I really enjoy their gal pal interplay here, especially when a frustrated-and-tipsy Hellcat insists that they go out and punch some people to get over their respective funks…

A UNIQUE TAKE ON THE ART

Nearly all the feedback that I can recall about issue #1 was about the unusual take on the art, somewhere between Darwyn Cooke and Michael Oeming, with a vivid pastel color palette (another page that feels like it’s out of the ‘Hawkeye’ playbook).  For me, I enjoy it, even as I acknowledge the issues that others have with it.  Hellcat’s costumed appearance is very thick-limbed and Kirby-esque, while She-Hulk herself has some facial close-ups that remind me of the old days of the 80s independent comics boom, but all in all, I really like the unique voice that Pulido is using in these pages.  I have a little bit less love for the coloring, as it reminds me a bit too much of the “girl toys” aisle at the Wal-Mart, which leaves me worried that the book is targeting a female market a little bit too hard.  Still, She-Hulk is a great character with great relationships, and her new modus operandi has the potential for some fun stuff.  I also want to know what in the hell is the story of the super-battle that involved Vibro and The Shocker, because the potential for innuendo there is massive…

THE BOTTOM LINE: A FUN BOOK THAT I HOPE WILL LAST

In the late 1990s, my boss at Gatekeeper Hobbies (Huntoon & Gage, TOPEKA!) used to joke that any book I was super-enthusiastic about was guaranteed not to break 18 issues, an accusation that had more than just a grain of truth at the center, which makes me worry about this comic’s longevity.  Then again, in Marvel’s new “2 years then relaunch a new volume” world, perhaps that’s no longer a concern?  Either way, I enjoyed this issue even more than #1 (which, as you might have surmised, was a fun read too), and I want to read more, if only to see Pulido’s new style evolve.  She-Hulk #2 is clearly not meant to be everybody’s cup of tea, but it’s a good read with some lovely character interactions and art that wants to push boundaries while having fun, leaving it with a very impressive 4 out of 5 stars overall.