(Spoiler Alert: Also picked up X-Factor Vol. 3 #3….and it’ll be the last I read of the series for the foreseeable future.)
Sometimes I’m not sure why I pick up a certain comic book. Most often it’s because I’ve heard great things from sites like IGN or The A.V. Club about specific creators that convince me to give their work a chance, and on some occasions it’s because a friend has recommended it to me. At the moment, I don’t have anyone other than the people over at Matt’s to recommend me current books, and so I’ve come to rely even more so on the interwebs to tell me what comic is worth the price of a beer (you can get a domestic for about 3 bucks outside of happy hour in Corvallis). However, in the case of She-Hulk a.k.a Jennifer Walters, I’ve wanted to read a comic that explored the character since the last volume, which garnered a lot of critical acclaim for its humor and super-legal stories. Having already decided to pick this up once I had seen the announcement that current wunderkind Charles Soule, whose gained heaps of praise for his DC work on Superman and Wonderwoman, Swamp Thing and The Red Lanterns, I was further nudged into the purchase thanks to the A.V. Club, and once again my trust in the folks over there paid off.
For starters, this first issue is a marvel of an intro into the world of She-Hulk, summarizing her most recent superhero escapades as well as her origin story in the first two pages for those ignorant of the Hulk’s cousin’s storied herstory. It’s from that first page that Javier Pulido and Charles Soule tell you all you need to know about the type of hero she is, mashing images of She-Hulk scaring and beat the shit out of villains, getting zapped by rays, downing drinks with Thor and Tony Stark, and talking to a young fan.
Acknowledging the superheroics first and foremost leaves the reader in an interesting place once that world is abandoned and we see She-Hulk on the next page in her role as a lawyer, working as an associate for a prestigious firm and waiting for a meeting with the firm’s partners. With the impression that first page gives us, we’re then privy to an interesting scene where the super strong hero is in a subordinate to two douchey lawyer guys, the meeting ending poorly for both She-Hulk and a very nice table.
Pulido does great work with his poses, imbuing She-Hulk with all the confidence a strong, smart and green character like herself oughta have. She-Hulk walks like a woman unafraid of the world because she’s not only capable of crushing things with her gamma blood super strength, but her intelligence allow her to put even geniuses like Tony Stark in his place. Munsta Vincete of the great The Private Eye lends her coloring talents to this issue, making She-Hulk a great contrast in every panel she’s in by giving her a monopoly on green. Whether she’s breaking a table with a single finger or standing in a courtroom, Vincete’s colors never make us forget who we’re supposed to be rooting for.
The issue ends with She-Hulk earning the money necessary to start her own firm, the issue having shown us readers new to the character just how exciting the legal procedural drama with an infusion of superheroics can be when done right. In the spoiler section I said I would no longer be reading Peter David’s X-Factor, and I wasn’t sure why I didn’t like it until I thought about that comic in comparison with this one. I’m three issues into X-Factor and I still feel no reason to care about the characters’ current predicament while Soule and company have already proven in their first issue though that She-Hulk is someone who’s stories I’d like to read about for the foreseeable future. Between this and Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye, it’ll be interesting if the ‘What does X do when not superheroing genre’ keep growing. Here’s hoping we get an off duty Doop series.