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She-Hulk Vol. 1: Single Green Female Paperback – November 14, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Jennifer Walters, She-Hulk's civilian identity, is hired by a law firm to work on cases dealing with super-powered beings. There's a fairly silly bit where research is conducted by looking at old comic books rather than old case law, but dealing with the legal ramifications of a super-powered world gives the Marvel Universe just a little more richness. Jennifer's first case involves a man accidentally given super-powers in an industrial accident. His normal life has been ruined, and he sues the company-but has a hard time convincing people that having superpowers could be a bad thing. Another case has Spider-Man suing J. Jonah Jameson for libel. The supporting characters include a shape-changing process server and the firm's gopher, the formerly mindless Awesome Android, now known as Awesome Andy. Slott's dialogue is witty, and the stories are never too serious. Unfortunately, the change in the art team halfway through this volume damages the story's unity. Juan Bobillo has a stylized, clear-lined, somewhat cartoony style; while Paul Pelletier has more of a classic mainstream superhero comics style. Each is talented, but their art is too dissimilar to work together. That's unfortunate, because this is otherwise an interesting and clever comic.
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Marvel Comics' SHE-HULK: SINGLE GREEN FEMALE reprints the first six fabulous issues of our jade giantess's 2004 series. The first issue isn't very kind to our girl. It reveals how She-Hulk's endless partying finally causes her to be kicked out of the Avengers' mansion and also how her superhero lifestyle gets her terminated from her law firm. But, in her bleakest moment, Jennifer is offered a place in the most prestigious firm on the east coast, Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg, & Holliway. The caveat presented to her is that, in the offices of the firm, she must, at all times, be in her civilian guise. Jennifer, who always prefers to be in her She-Hulk form, nevertheless, accepts.
The following issues go on to reveal that Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg, & Holliway isn't your average law firm but, rather, one which specializes in "superhuman law" and boasts the credo: "When the laws of reality are broken, we shall find solutions thru the laws of man." Jennifer is initially concerned (she wanted to work in a "respectable" firm) but gradually comes to appreciate the odd and unpredictable intricacies of her new job.
The cases themselves are decidedly not of the run-of-the-mill variety. Plenty of guest stars here as Jennifer finds herself hobnobbing with Dr. Strange, the Thing, Dr. Pym, and the Avengers. Her work cases number, among others, a ghost who demands his day in court and Danger Man, a disgruntled radioactive man who wants to file a class action suit against the company that gave him his superpowers. The funniest story here is when Spidey decides to sue J. Jonah Jameson for libel - this issue cracked me up all way through. And I'll tell you what, when the last two issues of SINGLE GREEN FEMALE decided to focus more on a massive supervillain prison breakout instead of the litigating aspects, it actually disappointed me.
In the course of these six issues, She-Hulk gathers about her a cast of eccentric supporting characters: Ditto, the jokey resident shapeshifter; Stu Cicero, nerdy master of the long boxes (more on that later); fellow attorney Augustus "Pug" Pugliese; and the very cool Awesome Andy (formerly super baddie, the Awesome Android). On the romantic side, a certain man-wolf/astronaut enters the picture while a hunky co-worker harbors a secret crush. Of course, Jennifer only sees the co-worker as a friend. Figures.
But it ain't all roses for She-Hulk. Sure, she now has job satisfaction and has even become more accepting of her drab, non-powered identity, but saddled with that is her ongoing rivalry with Mallory Book, the "barracuda lawyer with supermodel looks." Additionally, it turns out that Jen may not have been hired solely for her ability to make an argument. When the firm's boss's super villain granddaughter, Southpaw, is finally brought into custody, Jen learns the underlying reason.
Now, about those "long boxes." This is a pretty neat conceit thought up by writer Dan Slott and, in a way, is consistent with the She-Hulk's past habit of breaking down the fourth wall. The attorneys of the "superhuman law" branch of the firm rely greatly on research done via comic books, which are kept in long boxes. Apparently, most of the superheroes have licensed Marvel Comics to narrate their exploits in comic book format. Now, Marvel comic books before 2002 carry the seal of the Comics Code of America, which is a federal agency. Thus, Marvel comics are admissable in any court of law.
I haven't read She-Hulk's prior series incarnations, so I can't compare writer Dan Slott's superb work here with any of her other chroniclers. With regards to Mr. Slott, the man has a deft and light storytelling touch; he makes his court room scenes as much fun as his pages depicting the supervillain beat downs. He takes the time to delve into Jennifer's psyche and shows the reader that there's so much more beyond our heroine's shallow party girl image. Here, it's clear early on that She-Hulk's normal alter ego, Jennifer Walters, will play a very key role and that the big focus of the series will be on her vocation of attorney. Mr. Slott maintains a nice balance in shifting back and forth between Jennifer's more human side and her more extroverted, super strong persona.
Juan Bobillo's delicate and distinctive artistic style perfectly complements the breezy touch of the narrative; sadly, Paul Pelletier comes in for pencilling duties for the last two issues and gums up the works with his heavier handed artwork. Paul's art doesn't exactly suck but his style proves to be too jarring in the wake of Bobillo's finesse work. But never mind Paul Pelletier. Overall, the end result is that the She-Hulk has now become, for me, one of the most interesting characters in comic books and her series definitely one of the most readable and most FUN out there. So give this one a try, why don't you? Me, I've already ordered the next three She-Hulk volumes.
Mainly, She-Hulk is a fun-loving, smart, down-to-earth character, someone completely loveable. This new take on her being a more Jenifer Walters superhuman attorney is inspired; when she represents Spider-Man in a case against the Daily Bugle for slander, for instance, I was tickled to death. She-Hulk also manages to work her way through cases and conflicts in the most creative, clever ways, especially for someone whose sole power is essentially super strength. In anyone else's hands, she'd be punching her way through every panel of every issue, but here we see legitimately entertaining, funny, creative story telling.
Don't expect TOO much--it's a light comic--but I give it five stars because it gives you what you want from a light comic: a great time. Also, the art is quite good in that it FITS that light tone so well. Somewhere between Byrne's "every woman looks like a man" brawniness and an Image-style soft-porn, pin-up girl, we see a stylized, sexy, but respectfully sassy She-Hulk. Have a good time and check this one out.
Give it a shot! I also recommend getting the Omnibus if possible as this trade is the only one not severely over-priced. The others are out of print and it'd be better in the long run, something I wish I knew before I bought this on its own.
Most recent customer reviews
Some parts of the story felt like they were dragging, but it was such a fun, creative version of She-Hulk, that I have to...Read more