She-Hulk

She-Hulk 12 (April 2015)

She-Hulk #12Well, there’s quite a bit to the last issue of She-Hulk, where Soule reveals the great conspiracy but not the paralegal’s secret. The conspiracy has to do with magic and some other stuff and Soule assumes the reader remembers small details from eight issues ago. Not enough expository reminding and it affects how the issue reads.

Of course, Pulido’s art also affects the issue’s reading experience, simply because he’s not doing very much. Most of the issue takes place in the middle of nowhere North Dakota. Even when Pulido does have scenery, he doesn’t do much with it. The whole thing–even if Soule and Pulido intentionally wanted to focus on the characters–feels rushed.

And the resolution isn’t much of a pay-off. It answers all the questions, but it’s a pat resolution.

Soule and Pulido close genially enough. She-Hulk’s been mostly amusing and occasionally awesome.

CREDITS

Final Verdict; writer, Charles Soule; artist, Javier Pulido; colorist, Muntsa Vicente; letterer, Clayton Cowles; editor, Jeanine Schaefer; publisher, Marvel Comics.

She-Hulk 11 (February 2015)

She-Hulk #11Well. A She-Hulk versus Titania issue. With Volcana thrown in for good measure. It’s sort of fun, seeing Pulido do a huge fight sequence. He uses double-page spreads, half double-page spreads; it all looks pretty great.

Unfortunately, even though Soule likes writing Titania’s banter, there’s nothing to the issue. It’s an all action issue without a gimmick. Pulido drawing the fight is fine, but they end up in the middle of nowhere, which is safer for collateral damage… and visually boring. Pulido’s looking at how the fight mechanics work between the two of them. And it just makes the whole thing a little tired.

Of course the mystery bad guy is going to hire Titiana. Who else would he hire?

And there’s no real pay-off with the final reveal because Soule takes the moment away from the regular cast. It’s amusing, but thin. It’s all thin.

B- 

CREDITS

Titanium Blues; writer, Charles Soule; artist, Javier Pulido; colorist, Muntsa Vicente; letterer, Clayton Cowles; editor, Jeanine Schaefer; publisher, Marvel Comics.

She-Hulk 10 (January 2015)

She-Hulk #10Soule wraps up the Captain America story rather nicely. The story doesn’t really belong in a She-Hulk comic, just because it doesn’t have anything to do with Jen (not the explanation of the past nor the current lawsuit, which is just a red herring) but it’s a good Marvel universe story. Soule manages to correct the story arc’s trajectory; it helps he’s sincere.

Even though trial scenes–along with the explanatory flashback–take up the majority of the issue, Soule gets in a rather good postscript (or two) to the courtroom stuff. It almost reads like Soule thanking the reader for enjoying the story with he and Pulido. It’s a good finish, even though it gets a little cute as far as the composition flourishes.

Unfortunately, the cliffhanger suggests Soule’s returning to his–and the series’s–least successful plot line. Who knows, maybe he’ll pull it off after all.

B 

CREDITS

The Good Old Days, Conclusion; writer, Charles Soule; artist, Javier Pulido; colorist, Muntsa Vicente; letterer, Gus Pillsbury; editor, Jeanine Schaefer; publisher, Marvel Comics.

She-Hulk 4 (July 2014)

She-Hulk #4Soule kind of rushes things and gloriously so. She-Hulk is fast, surprisingly deep and gently funny. Soule doesn’t go for the laughs, which is good. It wouldn’t work with Pulido’s art style. It might turn the comic into a parody, actually.

For example, Pulido and Soule at one point having Jennifer jumping from rooftop to rooftop. Why would she do such a thing? Well, she’s She-Hulk. It’s a family tradition. But to draw attention to it would bring the reader out of the comic. Soule would never do such a thing, especially since he and Pulido work very hard to get the comic to exist about a full ten percent entirely in the reader’s imagination.

There’s a double page spread of She-Hulk and guest star Daredevil in a fight, with narration succinctly explaining it’s their night out. No fisticuffs, just establishing shot. It’s awesome.

The whole issue’s awesome.

A- 

CREDITS

The Zealous Advocate; writer, Charles Soule; artist, Javier Pulido; colorist, Muntsa Vicente; letterer, Clayton Cowles; editors, Frankie Johnson, Jeanine Schaefer and Tom Brennan; publisher, Marvel Comics.

She-Hulk 3 (June 2014)

She-Hulk #3There's nothing off about this issue of She-Hulk; its problems aren't a mistake. Soule is very deliberate in how he paces out the action, then humor, the set pieces. I assume his scripts are similarly deliberate, so it's not like Pulido chose to stage a lot of big action in small settings.

And–just to be clear–Pulido's composition is fantastic. He's got a lot of double page panels and they do a great job moving the story quickly and visually.

So what's the problem?

Well, with the continuing buildups from page to page, Soule needs something extraordinary for the finish. Instead, he goes for a rushed cliffhanger with so little drama I didn't believe the story had actually ended. I thought She-Hulk would be on the next page winking at me.

A lot of this comic could be an example of near perfect comics storytelling. Soule just can't write cliffhangers apparently.

B 

CREDITS

He Who Wouldn’t Be King; writer, Charles Soule; artist, Javier Pulido; colorist, Muntsa Vicente; letterer, Clayton Cowles; editors, Frankie Johnson, Jeanine Schaefer and Tom Brennan; publisher, Marvel Comics.

She-Hulk 2 (May 2014)

297656 20140305124726 largeI wanted two more pages of content in this book. There’s a double-page spread for effect and it and really good effect but I still wanted two more pages. Pulido does this tour of Jennifer’s new offices where he has her and her landlord walking through a long panel… backwards, actually. They walk backwards, getting the reader to the starting point for the bottom row of panels.

In other words, even though I want two more pages, everything in the book is excellent. Pulido does an outstanding job.

And Soule does a great job writing the issue. But a lot of it goes to Patsy Walker, which is fine. Soule seems to be setting up a supporting cast for the comic and he sets up two supporting members this issue. Unfortunately it’s instead of really developing Jennifer’s currently situation.

It’s a small quibble. The comic’s skillful, outstanding and fun.

B+ 

CREDITS

…And?; writer, Charles Soule; artist, Javier Pulido; colorist, Muntsa Vicente; letterer, Clayton Cowles; editors, Frankie Johnson, Jeanine Schaefer and Tom Brennan; publisher, Marvel Comics.

She-Hulk 1 (April 2014)

Sh1Who’s this Charles Soule guy writing She-Hulk and why is a Jennifer Walters series the one thing Marvel does right much more often than not? Or, if they don’t do it right more often, why do they do it so well when they do it right?

Soule’s approach is simple. Pretend the Marvel Universe is real and wink (a lot) at the absurdity of that idea. He paces the comic like an extended sitcom. Some great scenes, a relatively lengthy present action–the issue doesn’t leave one hungry, except for future issues. It’s kind of a pilot, actually. Soule sets up Jennifer’s new story, sets up the tone for the series. Hopefully he’ll deliver.

It’s delightful because he allows for some cynicism. Jennifer’s client is sort of a jerk. The first scene crushes some idealistic ideas too.

But pleasantly, because there’s gorgeous Javier Pulido.

Hurray, She-Hulk’s back.

A 

CREDITS

Motion; writer, Charles Soule; artist, Javier Pulido; colorist, Muntsa Vicente; letterer, Clayton Cowles; editors, Frankie Johnson, Jeanine Schaefer and Tom Brennan; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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