ADVANCE REVIEW: ‘She-Hulk,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

She-Hulk #1 - But Why Tho

Kicking off a brand new adventure for the powerhouse lawyer and fighter, She-Hulk #1 is written by Rainbow Rowell, drawn by Rogê Antônio, colored by Rico Renzi, and lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna. She-Hulk #1 is published by Marvel Comics.

Jennifer Walters is in a bad place. As She-Hulk, she’s no longer part of any superhero teams, and as Jennifer, she’s got no place to call her own and she’s starting all over at a new law firm. And then, she runs into supervillain Titania (Mary MacPherran), who wants to square up with She-Hulk.

Having Jen starting from square one is a seemingly great jumping-off place for a brand new She-Hulk solo series because it doesn’t require readers to have extensive knowledge of the character. She-Hulk #1 contains the basic elements of a #1 issue, including a quick overview of who the character is, the introduction of supporting characters, and the setup for the first major conflict. But Rowell fails at putting these pieces together into an interesting story. The story suffers from poor pacing as the plot drags along until the inevitable cliffhanger.

In She-Hulk #1, Rowell begins to set up the plot threads that will turn into the conflict for the first arc. Jennifer’s unstable financial situation and her new job are set up as stressors in her civilian life. But the superhero aspect of her life is less emphasized and seemingly less important. Her fight with Titania feels so low stakes that it might as well not have happened. The only real stakes are Jen potentially ruining her only suit.

There’s definitely a place for the civilian lives of heroes in their books; it humanizes them and adds conflict, especially when their superhero lives directly conflict with their civilian lives. Unfortunately, Rowell wasn’t able to strike a good balance within She-Hulk #1 and the comic would feel more accurate if titled Jennifer Walters #1.

Another unfortunate aspect of Rowell’s portrayal of Jennifer is that her voice feels off. In most of this comic, she feels like a very toned-down, timid version of herself. One character even calls her “mousey.” With only four issues left in this miniseries, Rowell doesn’t have much time to spare in figuring out how to write She-Hulk.

She-Hulk #1’s saving grace is Antônio and Renzi’s artistic contributions. This book is beautifully drawn and colored. Renzi’s colors perfectly complement Antônio’s drawing, and the art flows well from panel to panel. With the story being as slow as it is, the artwork has to do twice the work in keeping the reader’s attention, and this does so masterfully.

In addition, Caramagna has a handle on quality lettering both in how well the words fit within speech bubbles, but also in how easy it is to follow dialogue across the page. All of the artistic elements of She-Hulk #1 are stellar, and the team is very talented. Truly, the only part of this book that didn’t work was the writing.

With She-Hulk having an upcoming Disney+ show, this is the perfect time for her to star in a new comic series. This could have been an amazing place for new fans to jump in, and old fans to fall more in love with She-Hulk. But were it not for the art, this book would have been a total dud.

She-Hulk #1 will be available 1/19 wherever comics are sold and online through ComiXology using our affiliate link.


She-Hulk #1
2.5

TL;DR

This could have been an amazing place for new fans to jump in, and old fans to fall more in love with She-Hulk. But were it not for the art, this book would have been a total dud.

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