Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Sensational She-Hulk 17: It Gets Sillier

The grand finale of "The Cosmic Squish Principle" gets even sillier (it also somehow stretched back to four issues long, of which I missed the third).  Don't worry though, She-Hulk, Howard The Duck, The Blonde Phantom, and The Terror manage to get the universe back into shape.  17 is not quite as good as issue 15, but it is still a lot of fun.

Here are some random thoughts on this issue:

*Before comic shops commonly had UPC scanners, comics would drop the UPC code for the direct market and replace it with a little piece of artwork.  On this issue, that space is used to announce the story title.  The cover also has dialogue on it, something that became rarer and rarer in comics throughout the 1990s and beyond.

*Writer Steve Gerber has She-Hulk and the gang pass over St. Louis, his hometown, in their flying car.  He also mentions Henderson, Nevada, a suburb of Las Vegas, where he lived at the time (it's described in the story as one of "the dullest places in all of what currently comprise existence").  Underneath all the weirdness, Gerber did use a lot of autobiographical elements in his work.  It's probably safe to say that Howard is mostly a duck version of Gerber.

*She-Hulk passes through some zany universes on the way to saving the day including a universe populated solely by versions of dictator of Panama Manuel Noriega and then president of the USA George H. W. Bush.  Gerber satirizes a lot of late 1980s/early 1990s American culture here.

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