Monday, September 17, 2012

The Sensational Weezi 48: She-Hulk Gets Replaced

In this issue, She-Hulk suffers an existential crisis as her sidekick, Weezi, unconsciously refuses to relinquish She-Hulk's powers.  The issue is most notable for creator John Byrne's funny use of a fill in the blank villain wherein he asks the reader to imagine Weezi fighting the reader's favorite villain.  After some lackluster issues, Byrne seems to be ending his run on the series with some stronger efforts (no pun intended).  Here are some random thoughts on this issue:

*The Fantastic Four gueststar.  It's always a treat to see Byrne handle those characters.  Though I haven't read every run of the FF, my two favorite ones are the original by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and the one by Byrne where he both wrote and drew the series.

*Byrne wastes about three pages recapping how Weezi and She-Hulk exchanged body forms.  He's still padding the stories a bit.  He also gets pretty minimal with his backgrounds.  Early Byrne art had a lot of detailed and well-executed settings; it was partly what fueled his popularity.  Later Byrne art gets more expressionistic and focuses on the characters.  Sometimes the backgrounds are just a solid color outlining the characters.  These could be seen as a natural evolution of his art, a way to crank out more pages, or an emulation of the popular comics artists of the time, many of whom barely detailed the characters.

*Marvel started putting out the Bullpen Bulletins interior hype page weekly instead of monthly.  It looks like they were producing 25 products a week.  With that frenzy of activity, it's not surprising that the quality dropped.  A couple of years later the comics market would crash when speculators realized that many of the comics that they were buying multiple copies of were worthless and readers realized that many of the comics they were reading were crappy.  To some extent, the industry has never recovered from this last boom time.  Comics might be more critically acclaimed these days, but they probably don't make as much cash as they did then.

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