She-Hulk #4 Review
Unique art and coloring, and a wonderfully utilized guest star.
The two halves of the story feel remote of one another, and the issue moves a bit too fast for my tastes.
She-Hulk’s new law firm needed a big case to make its name, but crossing swords with Doctor Doom was not on the docket. Now, She-Hulk’s won her case, but LOST her client, and a battle with Victor Von Doom seems inevitable. Your Major Spoilers review of She-Hulk #4 awaits!
Previously in She-Hulk: Having re-established her own law firm in Manhattan, Jennifer Walters was a bit nervous that she wouldn’t get a big client… That’s when Kristoff Vernard, adoptive son of Doctor Doom arrived, seeking asylum. She-Hulk took the case, and even succeeded in getting the former tyrant (for those not in the know, Kristoff posed as Doctor Doom several times, and even fought the Fantastic Four in his stead) refuge in the United States, but didn’t count on Dear Ol’ Daddy Doom arriving to reclaim his “offspring”…
Hot on the heels of literally losing her client, She-Hulk is in a snit, and when her legal assistant informs her that the bank immediately seized their deposit (with Latverian francs being considered “conflict currency” and thus not legal tender), Jennifer informs her that she needs to seek out a legal consult. Smash-cut to the top of the Golden Gate Bridge, where Jennifer Walters meets with Matthew Murdock, recently outed as the man known as Daredevil. Their conversation about the difficult balance between superheroics and jurisprudence is the highlight not only of the issue but of the series to date (which is not to say that the previous three issues haven’t had their little moments of delightful whimsy), with Daredevil telling her the story of how he and Spider-Man broke into prison to save his client (The Black Cat) and how his own recent adventures have cast things in a whole new light. (If you haven’t been reading Daredevil, by the way, you’re missing some good stuff.) Best of all, Matt asks her if she’s staying overnight, and asks if she wants to “go out” with him that evening…
…leading to a double-page spread of She-Hulk and Daredevil in silhouette, taking on the criminals and thugs of San Francisco. I love the effect of the page, with both heroes looking super-cool, and giving us the impression of a whole night of battle and super-hero fighty-fighty.
THINGS GET WEIRD
From Daredevil’s stomping grounds, Jen catches the first flight to Doomstadt, capital city of Latveria, where she puts on a sneaky black ninja leotard and makes her way to Castle Doom, where she busts in and starts destroying Doombots left and right, but when a GIANT Doombot arrives and grabs her like a Barbie doll, things get weird. I’m both amazed and a little sad that the She-Hulk/Doom confrontation ends with a conversation between Doom & son, leaving Kristoff satisfied that his father/king has heard his concerns. He even agrees to pay She-Hulk her full retainer (although, once again, in Latverian money) and sends her back home with what has to be considered at least a technical win. With that under her belt, Jennifer heads home to gather her associates to finally look into the mysteirous “Blue File” from issue one, and figure out what in the world it’s all about. I really find myself enjoying the look of this book, from the stylish cover art to Pulido’s experimental work inside. There’s a little bit of classic Kirby to be found in these pages, as well as some influences of Frank Miller and others, and She-Hulk looks appropriate muscular and substantial without completely erasing her style and femininity. There’s something about Soule’s scripts that makes every issue feel like only a small look into a real person’s ongoing life (somewhat similar to Fractino’s take on ‘Hawkeye’ for me), and I very much like the slowly growing supporting cast of the book, especially Jen’s Sheldon-Cooper-like paralegal.
THE BOTTOM LINE: FEELS A BIT SKETCHY
All in all, though, this issue has some strong sequences, but doesn’t quite put it all together as a successful narrative for me, with the two halves of the story feeling a little bit underserved, and I’m troubled by the fact that Jennifer won her case, but still won’t get paid or get the credit for her role in the Von Doom family drama. As we transition into the story of why someone is suing She-Hulk and several other superhumans, I’m hoping that we can balance the charm and with of the quiet conversations with the superhero stuff a little bit more satisfactorily, as we’re leaning a bit more towards the interpersonal right now. All in all, though, She-Hulk #4 is a pretty good issue that looks really unique and amazing, with a perfect use of a guest star to move the story forward and help explain our character, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall. I still say that Vibro and the Shocker together on the list of defendants is significant, which I hope we see next ish…