This Week’s Finest: She-Hulk #3 4/2/14

Another week, another batch of great comics to choose from. I was stumped trying to pick the best of the week until I fell back on my motto; “Which one did I enjoy the most?” That ended up being Charles Soule’s She-Hulk.

This book should not exist. No, it should not exist. It’s too good, it doesn’t belong in this decade. Classic Marvel storytelling with phenomenal art at the low price of $2.99? Madness, this book is impossible!

See, back in the day comics used to be fun. Not SOME comics, or a FEW comics; COMICS used to be fun. Nowadays only some of them are, and that is an even bigger travesty. Anyway; Marvel way back when was producing some lighthearted, luscious literary comics that were a joy to read and look at. The quantity and quality were unparalleled and may never be seen again, except in this book.

Each issue has been a one-and-done romp with Jennifer Walters dealing with her life as a Superhero lawyer. This issue sees her trying to help Kristoff Vernard, the son of Victor Von Doom, get political asylum in the US of A. Mr.Vernard being a smug, rich, brat is able to convince the cash-strapped Walters to take his case. Although it doesn’t seem that way he actually enjoys the freedom the US offers and wants to live here instead of a cog to his father’s machinations (why hasn’t Latveria gone through several mass exoduses?). With only a brief window She-Hulk has to get him to the courthouse in time to get his asylum granted and fight off the forces of Dr.Doom to do it.

I think what I like most about Soule’s stories (aside from the Mighty Marvel Manner they follow) is the way they subvert my expectations. She-Hulk has a lawsuit to handle? It’s against Tony Stark. She gets an apartment? It’s full of metahumans trying to live normal lives. There is an energy here that never dissipates and always surprises. Add to that Soule’s actual experience as a lawyer and you get this realism, this verisimilitude, that I don’t get very often from prevalent TV dramas on the same subject.

And lest I forget the art; it is gorgeous.   Javier Pulido’s art is stunning in this issue as in the previous two. He draws the characters which such simplicity but makes them move in dynamic ways. Not like Neal Adams, more like old school illustration drawings. The panel composition is inventive and the characters are wonderfully expressive in their faces and postures. I feel like colorist Munista Vicente deserves a shout-out here as I’m sure he helps elevate the ’60s Marvel aesthetic the book exudes on every page.

All in all another great installment of Shulkie.  If you enjoyed the previous issues, this one won’t disappoint. And if you haven’t checked it out already pick this up. Three issues in and it’s still new reader friendly.

Runner-up is Warren Ellis’ second issue of Moon Knight. So far it seems like each issue will be a different kind of story. This issue saw a group of people dying suddenly in quick succession while leaving their office buildings.  While last issue seemed like a gritty crime procedural, this one feels more like an urban murder mystery. It reminded me a lot of what Ales Kot’s Zero series is described as,which isn’t meant as a detractor to either Ellis or Kot. Moon Knight shows up in the middle of the story to investigate, and yes he is back in tights. So anyone who hated the all-white suit needs to buy this issue; buy it before it gets canceled for being too good! Like issue 1, this issue also strongly reminds me of classic Moon Knight; specifically the Doug Monech and Bill Sienkiewicz’s run. Certain issues of the original run would be off-beat crime dramas where Moon Knight was more of a force than character creating some really intriguing reads. I should make a list of them some day…Anyway, this issue features a new costume that honors the old while still being kick-ass. Again, heavy use of white in this issue as negative space. It’s striking and enhances the story.  The reason it was only a runner-up is the last pages read as abrupt, as though the creative team just got everything in before running out of pages. The issue seems to want a little more resolution. Regardless Ellis, Shelvey, and Bellarie (another colorist who deserves credit) made another awesome issue of Moon Knight that is well worth your money. I’m hooked into this series, and can’t wait to see what the next one delivers.

Many great books came out this week and I think these two are among the best. Look for reviews from my cohorts for some of the other quality titles and let me know in the comments what caught your fancy this week.

7 thoughts on “This Week’s Finest: She-Hulk #3 4/2/14”

  1. “…anyone who hated the all white suit needs to buy this issue.”

    That would be me then. I enjoyed the first issue a lot, but yeah, back in the spandex! That’s what I’m looking for. Glad to hear this is another great issue of the new Moon Knight series. Can’t wait to read this issue now.

  2. I love Pulido’s art. It’s my favorite, both in terms of draftsmanship and layout, in any comic right now.

  3. Doom is one of my all-time favorite villains. It’s interesting to see him involved in a She-Hulk comic.
    It’s always seemed strange to me that Doom wasn’t an arch nemesis of Iron Man. Sounds like a match made in Hell to me. 😉

    1. Maybe all the time Tony’s spent in the Mandarian’s castle just convinced him Latveria is a no-fly zone. How can he star in 12 comics if he’s always trapped in castles? If they ever do the match up tho Marvel should call it “Heavy Metal”. Interestingly, Dr. Strange and Doom have teamed up before a few times…

  4. Great pick Itho. I’ve really enjoyed this series so far, for all the reasons you cited in the review. Until Fraction’s FF run I was only familiar with Jen from a few of the Byrne F4 issues I’d read with her guesting. I thought the idea of a girl Hulk was goofy, but I’m a confirmed Jen fan now, and I’m excited to see where Soule and Pulido go with this title.

  5. “Add to that Soule’s actual experience as a lawyer and you get this realism,” I didn’t know that, has he also been an avatar of the green at some point?

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