Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Sensational She-Hulk 39: A Literal Battle Of The Sexes

This issue was pretty forgettable.  It's a continuation of the previous story of She-Hulk fighting Mahkizmo, but the novelty of making fun of mindless comics has worn off and there isn't much else here.  On the bright side, The Thing shows up, and he's always fun.  Here are some random thoughts on this issue:

*Creator John Byrne wrote a Thing spinoff series for a couple of years and has always had a fondness for the character.  In fact, The Thing's solo series was how She-Hulk ended up in The Fantastic Four.  She replaced him while he was off adventuring in his solo series.

*Mahkizmo is from a future Earth where men and women battle one another for supremacy, but peace is reigning at the beginning of the story.  In this issue, the battle breaks out again.

*She-Hulk teaches Mahkizmo about the birds and the bees, but not in the way you probably think.  It's unstated what happens to him after that, but one can imagine him joining a drum circle and becoming a sensitive male (to quote songwriter Steve Blunt, "I'm so goshdarned sensitive that I score every time"--or something like that, since Steve sings children's music now, I doubt he breaks out "Sensitive Guy" much anymore, so I couldn't doublecheck the exact line anywhere online).

*At this point, Byrne was wrapping up his Namor series for Marvel and starting to focus on his creator-owned series, Next Men.  This issue feels "phoned in".  He was probably continuing on She-Hulk until Next Men proved it had legs or not.  It did, so She-Hulk was the last ongoing corporate series he did for a couple of years.  In the middle of the decade, when the speculator market of the 1990s collapsed, nearly taking the comics industry with it, Byrne returned to another ongoing corporate comic, and it featured another strong, female character:  Wonder Woman.     

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