Monday, October 1, 2012

She-Hulk 1: The Fourth Time's The Charm!

She-Hulk got her fourth series in 2005.  Like the others, it wouldn't last, but it ran the second longest of her series, and it might be her best, thanks to writer Dan Slott (the third series was by Slott as well, but he wrote more issues of this one).  This first issue is a bit slice-of-lifeish, which is nice, but it also sets up the following issue, which concerns She-Hulk attempting to bring her dead friend Hawkeye back to life through the wonder of time travel.  Here are some random thoughts on this issue:

*The cover envisions She-Hulk as Lady Justice, which is the second time this has been done.  John Byrne on issue 50 of The Sensational She-Hulk also used this idea for a cover.  Unlike Byrne's cover, more than just She-Hulk's breasts appear here, so I suppose some progress on the don't only treat women as sexual objects front has been made since 1993.  Then again, look at She-Hulk's ridiculous costume . . .

*I'm not quite sure why they didn't add another word to the title to distinguish it from the 2004 series.  Why not The Stupendous She-HulkThe Savvy She-HulkThe Supreme She-HulkThe Suing She-Hulk (she is a lawyer, after all)?  The series is basically a continuation of the previous one since it has the same creative team, so perhaps that's why the same title was kept.  It should have been #13 though instead of another #1.  Supposedly, comics sales drop after every issue these days until the series is ended and then rebooted to start the process again.  This is quite bizarre.  One would think a good series would pick up readers while bad series would lose readers.  Apparently in today's comics industry they all lose readers, but the bad series just lose readers faster.

*The issue begins with Jen Walters listening to Chumbawamba's "Tubthumping," a song Slott used to great effect in the first issue of the previous series.  That band is finally disbanding after three decades.  Their last release will be an ep commemorating former U.K. prime minister Margaret Thatcher's death (she and the Chumbas didn't get along) to be released when she dies.  I rather like Chumbawamba so I'll be sorry to see them go, but obviously, aside from She-Hulk and myself, the rest of the world stopped listening to them long ago.  Someday, when civilization collapses, humanity will construct shelters using old 1990s cds such as Tubthumper and mud.  What else can be done with all the Alanis Morissette and Stone Temple Pilots cds piling up in the remaining used record stores today?

*Rocket Raccoon  appears in a cameo, but Slott doesn't use him otherwise.  This is probably meant as a tribute to the Byrne run.  I'm glad Slott included him as well, so I could finally learn how to spell his name properly (I prefer the one c racoon spelling since that's closer to how I pronounce the word). 

*Through the character Stu Cicero, who administers the comics library at the law firm (don't ask, just read the comic), Slott complains about comics readers waiting for trade paperbacks instead of supporting single issues.  He also pokes fun at the six-issue story arc pattern of comics today.

*The letters page returns!  Hooray!

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