Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Sensational She-Hulk 35: Marvel Zombies Attack!

The title of this story is "Hail, Hail The Gang's All Dead."  Creator John Byrne certainly knows how to rework a cliche, eh?  This zombie-infested issue continues the story from the previous one where Byrne appears to be satirizing the idea of Marvel Zombies, comics fans who buy crap comics just because they're published by Marvel.  Keep in mind that Byrne is making fun of the company he works for.  Little wonder then that in a couple of years he would leave to work on his own creator-owned material for a smaller company, Dark Horse.  As for the story, the plot pretty much goes:  She-Hulk fights zombies.

Here are some random thoughts on this issue:

*Aside from Garth, Black Talon's personal assistant who would go on to play a similar role for She-Hulk, the zombies whom (that?  With zombies, word choice gets tricky) She-Hulk fights are all deceased characters associated with the X-Men ("The X-Humed").  Byrne appears to resent the fact that crappy X-Men comics are outselling his own stuff.  Former partner Chris Claremont was selling a million copies of X-Men 1, while Byrne was not.  Worse, probably from Byrne's point of view, was that while he could count on 50,000 fans following his work from title to title, younger artists such as Jim Lee and Todd McFarlane would have hundreds of thousands of fans follow them from title to title.  Little wonder then that Byrne pretty much detested Image Comics, which would soon be formed by those same younger artists.  To Byrne's credit, he was right that many of those early Image comics were pretty bad.  Though arguably the younger artists could draw as well as Byrne, none could write as well as him.  Unfortunately for Byrne, writers such as Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman made John Byrne's writing look like Todd McFarlane's writing.  Poor Byrne.  It wasn't the 1980s anymore. 

*Byrne has She-Hulk get ticked off about having zombie dragon goop get on her so she complains to the Comics Code.  For those not familiar with the Code, it was an industry-regulated organization that made sure the publishers who belonged to it followed certain guidelines, and the Code was formed in response to the hysteria in the 1950s that arose after some people claimed that comics were corrupting the youth of America.

*Byrne leaves a loose end in that the zombies who terrorized The Simpsons in a previous issue appear to still be on the loose.  Of course, if one reads the story favoring the Marvel Zombies satirical interpretation, the zombies would still be on the loose, wouldn't they?  That's who is buying all those awful comics instead of the fine John Byrne comics they should be buying.

*Byrne has a funny gag where some of his black art gets jostled to the last page of the book and She-Hulk has to climb around it.  What a wonderfully weird book!       

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