Back Issue Reviews: She-Hulk #1-4 (2014) Today we look at She-Hulk #s 1-4, the recent series featuring our Jade Giantess by writer Charles Soule and artist Javier Pulido. This series began in 2014 and is the third individual She-Hulk series put out by Marvel. The first four issues of this She-Hulk comic focus on our heroine's attempts to blend her normal (such as it is) everyday life and career with her side-job and acquaintances as a super-hero. Charles Soule is a superior writer, and he is able to take She-Hulk's problems and make them seem real. Jennifer Walters has been publicly known as the real name of She-Hulk for quite some time, and this has both helped and hindered her career as a lawyer. As She-Hulk #1 opens, Jennifer (who spends most of her time as the green-skinned version of herself), is awaiting a large monetary bonus from the law firm for whom she works. However, her bosses do not give her the bonus because their (unspoken) expectation on hiring her was that she bring over clients from the superhero world, like Tony Stark, Reed Richards, and Danny Rand. Incensed at her treatment by these law partners, Jennifer quits in a rather spectacular show of ire, and leaves. As she storms out, they remind her that the only thing she can take with her is "The Blue File." As we shall see as the series progresses, the Blue File will remain a constant sub-plot in Jennifer's life. Without giving a blow-by-blow description of each of the four issues we cover here, a brief summary (with some spoilers thrown in), basically goes like this: Jennifer takes on a widowed client (her late hubby was a supervillain scientist-type), who is seeking to sue Tony Stark for stealing her husband's invention. Jennifer takes on the job and expects a quick talk with Tony will fix it all, but instead she encounters the voicemail routine from hell and does (legal) brief battle with Stark's 18th-Floor attorney. She then battles Stark's lobby-guard robots (robots form a large part of her battle buddies in these issues as well), and then gets to have her nice talk with Tony, and at the end of the day, she gets a nice check from the widow and sets herself up in her own law office. This first issue is all about showing the reader what Jennifer's life is like and how she is willing to help those in needs (in this case, widows and orphans), and how she strikes out on her own to be in charge of her life and her business. The second issue is all about how She-Hulk acquires her posse, as it were. The building she sets her shingle up in is owned by a former mutant (remember M-Day?) who rents out office space to people with powers. So She-Hulk fits right in. Jennifer hires a para-legal who apparently can do Jedi mind tricks, and her monkey (Angie Huang and Hei Hei, respectively). And what is an aspiring superhero without a sidekick? After a night of partying and drunken AIM-smashing (the drunks are the superheroes, not the AIM bad guys), Jennifer offers her old buddy Patsy Walker (Hellcat), a job as her investigator. Let's see: she has an office, a para-legal, a mascot monkey, and an investigator/sidekick. All that is missing are clients. At the end of issue #2, Jennifer gets one of those as well. Kristoff Vernard, the son of Dr. Doom, hires Jennifer to secure political asylum for him in the United States. In a hilarious adventure that takes them from the New York courts to Doom's kingdom of Latveria, She-Hulk battles Doombots and the arrogant presumptions of a father who believes he knows what is best for his son. The Vernard/Asylum storyline consumes the third and fourth issues, and again highlights the ridiculous situations that Jennifer finds herself in constantly. A nice little side-trip that Jennifer makes before heading to Latveria features her relationship with the other main super-powered legal eagle, Matt Murdock, AKA Daredevil. In a bit of (we assume) foreshadowing, they discuss the fact that they have never been on opposite sides in court. Gee, what do you think may happen in future issues? The fourth issue ends with Jennifer and her legal team in her office, sans paying clients, contemplating the mysterious Blue File. Several interesting points need to be examined about these first four issues. For a superhero book, it is striking that (except for the AIM guys that Jennifer and Patsy beat up and some street punks that Jen and Matt drop in on) there are no real villains in these stories. Well, maybe Tony Stark's soulless attorney in issue #1, but even Doom comes off more as a misguided father than as an actual bad guy. This series is all about relationships. Jennifer's relationships with Tony Stark, Patsy Walker, Matt Murdock and the relationship between Doom and his son, all are the real heart and soul of these She-Hulk books. Charles Soule is a great story-teller, and he injects a great deal of humor in these books. The art by Javier Pulido is, in our opinion, perfect for a She-Hulk book. Pulido is clearly of the Kirbyesque school of Marvel art, and this style captures the emotions, moods, and humor of the characters that populate these early She-Hulk issues. Who should read She-Hulk #s 1-4? Fans of She-Hulk and her history of humorous stories and situations and anyone who enjoys the writing of Soule and/or the art of Pulido. This reviewer thoroughly enjoyed reading these She-Hulk books. Back Issue Reviews is an occasional series where Superheroreviews.com looks back to older comics, where we review an entire story arc or a limited-issue mini-series, or just a cool older book. Let us know what you think in our Comments section below.
About the Author
Roger Lee is a life-long comic book and sci-fi aficionado. As such, he fell into the habit of writing about the superheroes and sci-fi scenarios that he reads in the comics and books and sees on screen. Since writings on superheroes need to be shared, he has written for web audiences for years. His writings have appeared on www.comicshistoryguy.com, www.comicbookmovie.com, www.bamsmackpow.com, and now in superheroreviews.com.