Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Sensational She-Hulk 50: John Byrne Departs With A Flourish

This doublesized issue is creator John Byrne's finale, and he goes out in grand style by inviting other notable comics artists such as Frank Miller to join in.  The storyline basically concerns She-Hulk picking a new creative team since Byrne is departing.  Here are some random thoughts on this issue:

*The cover is one of those fancy covers from this period of comics.  It's cardstock and shiny on the green bit.  It was also a pain to get a good scan or photo of.  I finally had to resort to not using a flash during daylight hours, and it still isn't a very good photo.  Nevertheless, it's a nifty cover with She-Hulk's cleavage vaguely resembling the S on Byrne's iconic Superman Man Of Steel cover.  However, a feminist critic might find it a tasteless bit of treating women like an object since it basically is a bust of She-Hulk in more ways than one.  I think Byrne was going for a lady justice bit (She-Hulk is a lawyer after all) with her logo being the blindfold.  In any case, it's striking.

*The story is Byrne's best She-Hulk story.  It's lots of fun.  In addition to Miller, other guest artists submitting proposals to be the new artist on She-Hulk include Wendy Pini, Dave Gibbons, Walt Simonson, and Howard Chaykin.  I hope they didn't mind Byrne, through She-Hulk's comments, making fun of their work.

*The story also features the first work by the actual new creative team of Michael Eury and Todd Britton.  Unfortunately, it's the worst part of the story, so I doubt many readers were convinced to stay on the title after Byrne's departure.  Indeed, the title folded after a few more issues.  Poor She-Hulk wouldn't appear again in her own title until 2004.

*In the letters page, Byrne basically admits that his last few issues sucked and that's why he's leaving (see, I wasn't the only one who thought they were bad).  Fortunately, he seems to have given his all this time and ended his run with his best issue.

*Byrne arguably remains She-Hulk's best artist.  Fortunately for She-Hulk, her best writer was still to come in Dan Slott.  The result was her best series yet.

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