Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Sensational She-Hulk 36: Christmas With The She-Hulk

For a holiday issue, She-Hulk and Weezi visit She-Hulk's father in California for Christmas, and, though creator John Byrne provides extra helpings of corn and syrup, it's still a fun issue.  Here are some random thoughts on it:

*The cover features a pencil with "JB" on it.  I could imagine Byrne getting pencils made with his own initials on them.

*The phone numbers on the cover are real phone numbers.  I'm sure that whomever had them back in 1992 appreciated comics fans calling up and asking for She-Hulk.

*Wyatt Wingfoot, a Native American comic book character from The Fantastic Four, who dated She-Hulk when she was in the group, returns to the fold, and She-Hulk's bed (though not explicitly, due to the comics code).  Wyatt has no superpowers, so he is a brave man.  I'm not sure that most men would risk getting crushed to death just to have sex.  Well, maybe, some men wouldn't . . .

*She-Hulk, echoing some readers I'm sure, complains about Byrne starting too many subplots.

*When She-Hulk visits her father (her mother is deceased--hey, at least she has one more parent than Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man), she throws out a bunch of other relatives, claiming that she doesn't want Marvel to turn any more of her cousins into monsters (an occupational hazard for relatives of superheroes).

*The rejuvenated Weezi hits it off with She-Hulk's father, and they start a romance.  Even though Weezi is older than She-Hulk, that's still a creepy plotline, though Byrne plays it off as heartwarming.  How would you like to bring a pal home for the holidays though and then your divorced/widowed parent starts making out with her or him?

*Two minor characters from She-Hulk's first series, Zapper and Richard Rory, show up for dinner.  Byrne gives them both happy endings, by marrying one off and having the other inherit a large amount of money.  I'm surprised he didn't beat up on Richard since he is a Steve Gerber-created character and occasionally was a stand-in for Gerber himself.  Apparently, Byrne did not bear much ill-will towards Gerber for the Byrne-based company man satire, Booster Cogburn, from Gerber's Destroyer Duck.

*The heartwarming ending, where She-Hulk turns back into plain old Jen Walters (due to a present from Santa Claus way back in issue 8) because her father missed the old Jen is less heartwarming when you realize that Dad is basically ashamed of his daughter the freak. We won't psychoanalyze what this suggests about Byrne family holidays here.

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