Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Sensational She-Hulk 12: A Fabulous Fill-In!

This issue is a fill-in issue by writer Peter David, and it's actually better than a number of issues by the regular creators.  David apparently had an affinity for the character (which is probably not surprising since he was the regular writer of her cousin The Hulk at the time); in fact, he would be the last ongoing writer of She-Hulk when her title was brought back in the 2000s (yes, this title gets canceled, but not for another fifty issues or so).  The plot of the issue concerns She-Hulk being invited to Hollywood to visit the set of a movie about her.  David keeps the metafiction approach of earlier writer John Byrne and the result is an entertaining and funny story.

Here are some random thoughts on the issue:

*The joke use of X-Men on the cover was probably an attempt to boost sales, but it did tie into the story (Hollywood, as usual, takes license with the truth and has She-Hulk join the X-Men in her bio movie, though she never actually did that).  According to John Byrne, the sales declined from 300,000 copies per month when he left to 40,000 at the time he returned to the title a couple of years later (one would think that Steve Gerber's first ongoing title in a decade would have had better sales, but terrible stories such as the two previous issues apparently made for a quick honeymoon), so the title probably needed all the help it could get to halt the slide.  The X-Men were red-hot at the time and Marvel was slapping "X" on everything to cash in.  The following year, 1991, the first issue of an X-Men comic would sell over eight million copies, likely the bestselling single comic book of all time.

*With Bobbie Chase as editor and Trina Robbins and Glynis Oliver as part of the art team, She-Hulk probably came the closest to an all-female creative team as she ever would in her regular title.  I don't believe that She-Hulk's ever had a female writer as her ongoing writer.  That would have been interesting.

*David makes fun of the terrible Marvel Comics movies of the times such as Fantastic Four, Captain America, and Punisher, albeit subtly.  At the time, movies of Marvel characters were terrible while DC's Batman movie was not only good, but the biggest film of the year (1989).

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