Javier Pulido

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.

Hawkeye Annual 1 (September 2013)

278699 20130724125331 largeFraction and Javier Pulido give Kate the spotlight, setting her up on her own in Los Angeles. Fair warning, there’s an amazing Caddyshack reference and a cute “Rockford Files” one too. I saw the latter coming, but the Caddyshack thing? Fraction’s beautifully muted about it.

Speaking of beautiful, Pulido has a fantastic style for the annual. A lot of the panels are silhouettes, giving the story an almost comic strip feel, focusing the reader’s attention on the dialogue, but also the scenery. There’s great scenery here. There’s another device where Fraction tells Kate’s internal monologue in these little thought boxes, complete with Pulido illustrating her internal expression at the thoughts.

The story itself involves Madame Masque out for revenge and Kate having to grow up fast. The two women play quite well off each other.

It’s a shame Fraction’s experiments with the regular series aren’t as successful as this annual.

CREDITS

West Coast Avenger; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Javier Pulido; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Clayton Cowles; editors, Tom Brennan and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Hawkeye 5 (February 2013)

885770Pulido has a great panel of Clint getting shot. He splits it into three slivers and has the movement sort of turn in on itself. It’s very confusing, sure, but it’s also great artwork.

The wrap-up to the series’s first two parter isn’t as good as it should be. Fraction finally has a reveal, something he’s avoided until now, and it doesn’t pay off. The reader doesn’t have enough information for it to mean anything. However, thanks to Kate’s presence, it still works out.

Of course, since I don’t enough about Hawkeye I didn’t realize Kate’s supposed to be so young (like twenty). Does the age make Clint a big brother or father figure? It’s not clear and it doesn’t have to be clear… but her age does need clarifying.

And I’ve now read a comic with Black Nick Fury. He’s mad at his dad.

Good, not great, issue.

CREDITS

The Tape, 2 of 2; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Javier Pulido; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editor, Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Hawkeye 4 (January 2013)

884541I love the way Javier Pulido does superheroes. The issue’s mostly supervillains and not many costumes for them (except Madame Masque); Captain America does show up for a bit. Pulido somehow retains his style, which isn’t particularly realistic (at all), but makes the superheroes seem to be realistically visualized.

It’s very interesting to see.

The issue’s great, though Fraction assumes the reader is a lot more familiar with Hawkeye history than I am. Apparently he assassinated someone for SHIELD and there’s a tape of it. Pretty sure modern Marvel continuity starts after the death of VHS–especially for camcorders–but whatever. Fraction’s doing it retro. It’s a fine touch.

Clint keeps getting himself in trouble. Fraction delights at having a not too smart protagonist too. It’s not masochistic because Pulido’s art isn’t grim enough… but it’s close.

The soft cliffhanger is wonderful too. Fraction’s doing great work on this one.

CREDITS

The Tape, 1 of 2; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Javier Pulido; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editor, Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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