Reviews She-Hulk Sensational #1

She-Hulk Sensational #1Erica gives this comic three starsComic book review for Marvel’s She-Hulk Sensational #1 by Peter David and Brian Reed

She-Hulk turns 30 this year. And of course, since her character’s off playing dead in the current Fall of Hulks saga and Marvel marketing wanted a story, editorial decided to give us some flashback tales. The first is done by David, She-Hulk’s last writer, and the second by Reed, who’s last endeavor was the recently canceled Ms. Marvel.

The issue also reprints Sensational She-Hulk #40 written and drawn by John Byrne. While I’m glad they didn’t reprint Savage She-Hulk #1 again, I think this story was a poor choice. Mostly because no one will get anything but the infamous jumping rope scene if they haven’t read the previous issues of Byrne’s She-Hulk as it’s all a bunch of references backwards. It needed a stand alone story.

Anyway, onto the new stories, which both get a 3-star rating for different reasons…

“The She-Hulk Story that’s a riff on Christmas Carol”

Okay, first, we all remember when I swore off reading David’s comics. Obviously, I’m a liar, who lies, when it comes to new stories about my favorite character. However, this does not mean I’ve forgiven him. But I do have to give him some props for writing a story about her anniversary, and it being relevant to the celebration.

David-ian ways this comic annoys me:

1) Stereotypical woman worrying about turning 30 and growing older. Almost forgivable in that She-Hulk does have her shallow moments. However, it’d be nice to have a story about a woman embracing her age rather than freaking out about it.

2) The title. Hanging a lampshade on that fact that this is a cheap version of A Christmas Carol is not cool. Want to see an awesome re-imagining of A Christmas Carol, try the Catherine Tate Show’s “Nan’s Christmas Carol.” Fucking brilliant. She-Hulk’s tale, on the other hand, completely overused.

3) Creator appearances. Just a pet peeve of mine to have have Stan “The Man” Lee and Dan Slott appear. Perhaps a better question is, why didn’t Slott write a story for this?

4) Where was Pug?

5) The Misstro! More lazy writing from David. Bad enough Mark Millar wrote crazy insect fanfiction between Jen and her cousin in “Old Man Logan.” But David gets to reference his own tragic crap Marvel passes off as a Hulk classic. If we’re making a Maestro equivalent, why doesn’t the Misstro make her sex slaves that look like Pug rape Jen? Though I do have to say that’s some better use of hero parts than Rick Jones’ creepy collection.

6) Resolution, what’s that? Moral in a morality tale, what’s that? Apparently, She-Hulk hopping out of her own birthday cake — like a stripper — is the moral? (Yes, feminists have no humor. Why do you even ask?)

I thought Meyers’ art was hit or miss here. Sometimes I found it fun — though I’m not sure he knows how to draw a woman with muscles — and other times it looked unfinished. Especially in the parts lacking backgrounds.

“Ladies’ Night”

This felt like an issue of Ms. Marvel, and it would’ve made for a fine, mildly entertaining Ms. Marvel story. However, as part of an all She-Hulk all the time collection, it feels off. Carol and Jessica are more the stars of this tale, and Jen’s just kind of along for the ride. And some punching. Sure, she’s pals with Carol, but even the friendship focus was more Carol-Jessica.

Part of the problem is that Reed’s not suited to write She-Hulk. Which is okay, not every writer is. She-Hulk tales are quirky, break the fourth wall, use out-dated characters. They aren’t the type of stories Reed writes. And this was definitely a Reed-story.

The other part was it was rather boring.

Carol stops a bank robbery. Discovers it’s Jessica leading the robbers. Jen gets information about a Hydra cell and how it’s related to a bank robber. She goes on a stake out and mistakes Carol for the bad guy. Cat fight. Then Jessica sorts it all out by revealing her double-agent status. (And of course, this isn’t the real Jessica; it’s actually the Skrull Queen, which is why she doesn’t care about your puny human laws or want Carol’s (and Jen’s) help.)

They then bust a Hydra cell, which is surprised when these women turn out to have superpowers. Comic ends with bad guys being hauled away and Jessica and Carol hugging before all three head home.

Yeah, what did Jen do again?

Overall, what’s wrong with She-Hulk Sensational #1 is the lack of true stand alone stories about Jen. The David story references She-Hulk’s past continually and when David tries to be most amusing, are it’s most referential points. And Reed’s story, besides it’s off point-of-view, also doesn’t seem as layered without knowledge of who She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, and Spider-Woman are, including their backstory relationships with each other. This issue is not for new readers. And that makes me sad considering how many times I’ve rec’d She-Hulk to people.

Not to mention the — *gulp* — $4.99 price tag.

0 Replies to “Reviews She-Hulk Sensational #1”

  1. I found the first story entertaining with the humorous facial expressions and witty dialogue, while Pug’s absence was a glaring omission.

    The second story was also enjoyable, but it felt like Jen was a guest star in what should have been her own story. She also seemed too eager to punch first and ask questions later.

    While I liked the one page panel where Jen, Carol, and Jessica transform in front of the Hydra agents, one thing bothered me. When She-Hulk was in her Jen Walters form in the club, it didn’t appear she was wearing anything under her blue top, but when she hulks out, her purple and white top (that covers everything from her waist to her neck) magically appears.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Sensational She-Hulk #40 was selected because of Jen jumping rope. If you had the opportunity to select a She-Hulk issue from Byrne’s run, what would you have chosen Erica?

    I agree this issue was not for new readers, because I didn’t know who the Maestro was, or why Jen punched Carol and Jessica on sight. An additional story written by Dan Slott, an updated history, and a gallery of She Hulk art drawn by Marvel’s top artists *COUGH* Terry Dodson *COUGH* would have improved this anniversary issue.

  2. @Gene — Oh, yes, the amazing way costumes fit so well under any clothing, no matter if your costume has a high neck and your shirt’s low cut. Jen’s outfit change was almost on-par with something Spider-Man would do. (It always amazes me just how he can wear a full body suit, including booties, under all his clothing.)

    Out of Byrne’s issues, I would’ve reprinted #4. Because it’s one of the few stand-alone stories he did and it’s very introductory She-Hulk. It’s the first real time, Jen has adventures (with Weezi’s help) with the fourth wall. I think it gives a good taste of what She-Hulk comics are like without being overwhelming and too self-referential.

    I would’ve never know who the Maestro was, except that my sweetie just happened to be reading those comics last month. And really, I wouldn’t except many comic fans to know either.

    You are so right that an updated history would’ve been an excellent inclusion. (As long as Marvel editorial starts giving Jen a higher intelligence rating than 3.) Art would’ve been fun as well. I too would love to see the Dodsons and perhaps another Amanda Conner and maybe give Aaron Lopresti a page. Collen Coover would draw an adorable She-Hulk.

    If they couldn’t get Slott for whatever reasons, they also could’ve reprinted She-Hulk #1 from his first run.

    Also, Marvel should’ve printed something like “Do you like She-Hulk here? Check her out in these other trade-collected titles. And here some other titles you might also enjoy.” Which they should do more regularly like DC did post-Watchmen. It’s all about hooking the new readers and reminding older ones why they keep coming back.

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