SHE-HULK #2/ Written by CHARLES SOULE/ Art by JAVIER PULIDO/ Colors by MUNTSA VICENTE/ Letters by VC’s CLAYTON COWLES/ Published by MARVEL COMICS
Guys, something weird happened between issues one and two of She-Hulk. Not much has changed in aesthetics, tone, or writing grade, but everything that didn’t work last issue works wonderfully here! In just a few weeks everything in this book somehow clicked. Even Javier Pulido’s flat art gets the seal of approval. I’m not complaining, really–but what is up!
Whatever it is, keep it coming because issue #2 of She-Hulk is a delight. Charles Soule has the ball rolling on Jen and her cast’s lives and conflicts. His script is simple but straightforward and impressive, with a recurring theme of life’s disappointments. Perpetual D-Lister Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat, has superpowers but no job and no love life. Sharon King, the building owner, is an M-Day depowered mutant. Jen strikes out on her own, only to find herself in a client-less free fall. (Turns out her former bosses did to her reputation what she did to their expensive table.)
Together they commiserate and go on a rowdy girls’ night out, but what’s really uplifting about She-Hulk #2 is that while there is loss, disappointment, and frustration, there is also moving forward. Sharon doesn’t have her mutant abilities, but she does have a successful building. Jen’s career is in a tough spot, but she has her business and her friends. Patsy, thanks to Jen, now has a job and companionship.
Another aspect of this issue Soule handles impressively-well is that of normalcy around the fantastical. It’s always really fun to see how our modern, recognizable culture can normalize the bizarre in these incredible universes, and it’s great to see Soule play around with it. Jen has to lease an office under the Manhattan Bridge because other buildings in busier areas won’t let her: their insurance rates would go through the roof. The building is especially for super-powered folks, because Jen’s problem isn’t an isolated one.
Pulido’s art job was a point of heavy criticism last time. As stated above, nothing much has really changed in his technique or style or anything. And yet, mystifyingly, it just works in She-Hulk #2. Pulido must be settling into a groove; either that, or his artwork takes an issue or two really appreciate. The work he doles out this time is fun and pleasant to look at. The action sequence with Hellcat is especially impressive, and Jen’s long tour of her new building is tremendous. Kudos as well on the extreme close up on Jen’s rage eyes: you can feel her anger, and it’s fantastic.
(As an aside, the last issue recap page was so charming and creative. Bravo to whomever thought that one up!)
Altogether, She-Hulk #2 is a welcome surprise and a definite buy. It has a good script, good art, with an intriguing ending leading to the next issue. There’s some interesting stuff ahead for Jen, and if Soule keeps it up, there’s no doubt it’ll be worth checking out.