Pick of the Week

03.22.2006 – She-Hulk #6

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Writer – Dan Slott
Artist – Will Conrad
Colors – Avalon’s Dave Kemp
Letters – Dave Sharpe

Marvel Comics – $2.99

It may or may not come as a big surprise to you, faithful reader, that in addition to comics I watch a lot of TV. I’ve received some wonderful compliments about how I’ve evolved watching TV to a fine art. Scrutinizing and evaluating each season’s offering of new and returning shows, expertly pledging allegiance and investing my precious time to what is, some would call, a healthy dose of comedy and drama. There are a lot of similiarities in how I pick what TV shows to watch and how I pick what comics I read. Some are long-lasting traditions, at one point in history I had more time invested in Beverly Hills, 90210 than I did in Uncanny X-Men. Some I discover myself and they’re my own personal gem of a find, until everyone else realizes it exists. And some for some TV shows, I am, admittedly, a latecomer to and have relied on people recommending before I have taken the plunge – like the late, great Arrested Development, of which I spent a frantic 2 weeks in September catching up with the past 2 seasons. She-Hulk could be said to be my Arrested Development.

I knew She-Hulk was out there, I didn’t really care though. But then I started hearing people discuss it on podcasts and read about it online and it seemed to have an honest under the radar buzz to it. So when it was relaunched recently, I decided to pick it up. It was ok; it didn’t wow me, though. In fact, after the last issue, I was prepared to drop it, not really buying into the hype that I heard. But for some reason, I picked it up today. I don’t know why, it could have been because it featured Starfox, another fantastic B-list Marvel character, on the cover. But the cover is godawful, another one of those photo realistic art covers by Greg Horn that creep me out. And yet, I bought it and am I glad I did.

If I had to compare She-Hulk to a TV show, its obvious that I would compare it to another one of my secret, guilty pleasure TV shows, Boston Legal starring the great actors William Shatner and James Spader. I never watched The Practice. I don’t really care for law shows anymore after binging on Law & Order when it aired 4 times a day on A&E in college in the late 90’s. But when they cancelled The Practice and relaunched it as Boston Legal (Ever notice how similar the TV industry is to the comics industry?) and focused on Shatner and Spader, I thought I’d give it a shot, being as I am very fond of the 2 of them. Again, I’m glad I did. No other hour gives me such television glee than that hour does. Between Shatner’s overdoing it and Spader’s unique Spaderness, it’s just a fun watch. She-Hulk obviously is similar to it in that the premise is She-Hulk is a lawyer and represents super-heroes in various wacky litigations. While that’s a good premise, it takes a lot to be able to pull it off, and Dan Slott does. He’s woven a witty and engaging legal drama, complete with court cases, office romances and big personalities.

The first 5 issues of the series that didn’t really wow me seemed to be bogged down in prior continuity, but this issue marked a new story arc where Starfox, who is known for wooing the ladies, is being sued for sexual assault by a woman with whom he had “relations”. Apparently the fact that he’s an alien from the moon of Titan doesn’t seem to bother the New York District Attorney’s office. But this is just the “A” plot and really only fills maybe 1/4 of the book. There are various subplots throughout the issue, such as the fact that She-Hulk’s law firm has taken on representing villains as well as heroes and the problems that would cause, as well as various love triangles such as She-Hulk, her boyfriend John Jameson and her co-worker/lawyer “Pug” or the Two-Gun Kid, another lawyer Mallory Book and “Awesome Andy,” formerly the evil Awesome Android, who is now reformed and working at the law office. I know, it sounds completely weird and you don’t get it. But if you knew Marvel history, you’d be laughing as hard as I was when I saw the Awesome Android in a suit working in a law office.

Is She-Hulk’s a super hero? Yes, but this isn’t a super-hero book. Its a law dramedy. It’s the Boston Legal of comics and after this issue, I’m hooked (at leasy until it sucks). And that’s saying a lot, especially this week when both Daredevil and Amazing Spider-Man kicked ass. But how often do we talk about them? This week, let’s give it up for She-Hulk.

Ron Richards
Longing for Spader
ron@ifanboy.com

Did you read She-Hulk #6?
Add a comment and tell everyone what you think about this week’s comics!
It may or may not come as a big surprise to you, faithful reader, that in addition to comics, I watch a lot of TV. I’ve recieved some wonderful compliments about how I’ve evolved watching TV to a fine art…

(Yes, I eventually write about comics)

Comments

  1. Dan Slott took a minute to talk about

  2. It’s a hell of a striking cover. I did notice that in the store. But it must be said that Starfox seems about as dated a character as there is. He screams that he was designed in the 70’s.

  3. Yeah, Starfox does seem a little dated…and I wish they woulda named him something different, I keep confusing him with one of the all time greatest N64 games ever. (Starfox 64).

    She-Hulk #6? Wow. I thought I might’ve been one of the only people who read this comic. I picked it up with the first issue of this volume…I can’t remember why exactly. It was She-Hulk…and I’ve never really been a fan of any Hulk, really. But as soon as I read it, I was glad I had bought it. This is what a comic should be…Fun! It’s a great break from all this Crisis and Road to Civil War stuff (Which is probably soon to change with She-Hulk #8)

    And of course Starfox was designed in the 70s…Look at him! Last time I remember seeing him in any reasonable, prominent role was ‘The Death of Captain Marvel’…

  4. I didn’t think I’d like She-hulk, though it was recommended to me by one of my good friends who has pretty good taste in comics, so decided to read it in the bookstore, just to see if I dug it.

    It’s great. It has a lot of personality and puts a new and interesting twist on the superhero concept. Slott is a very funny man.

    I use this as one of my hook books, a book that I use to get non-comic readers to give comics a chance. It’s a good mix of action, comedy and drama that I think is easy for non-comic readers to enjoy.

  5. Call off the rampage – I got my hands on a copy of Robin #148!

    Whew, that was a close one.

  6. Was it worth the hunt?

  7. Just listened to the latest episode and I gotta correct you guys on a couple things. Loveless isn’t a mini. It’s an ongoing. It has been advertised as an ongoing since the beginning and currently is solicited through issue 7 (or 8 – I can’t remember) in the latest Previews. Azzarello spoke at the NY Con and said the next couple issues are stand-alones focusing on some of the individual characters’ backstories, then another big multi-issue arc comes afterwards. He has said that he expects the series to last 50 issues or so. I understand your concerns if it was just a mini, but I think if you look at it as an ongoing, it is quite good as an opening arc.

    Also, Testament is an ongoing, not a mini (and I am enjoying it as well, although it is a very dense read).

    Just to pimp for the new Vertigo titles a little more – DMZ and American Virgin are looking great so far, and the jury is still out for me on The Exterminators. Y and Fables still rock.

    p.s. love the show

  8. I think you’re the first person to ever come on here who likes Vertigo besides me. It’s so strange.

    But that’s good to know Loveless isn’t completely useless.

    Testament has potential, but I think the writer really needs to work on the way his ideas are put on the page, because I think his expertise of the medium isn’t quite good enough to pull off what he’s trying.

    American Virgin has me sort of excited, and I hope it’s good. I stopped reading Fables long ago, but lately, I’ve been thinking about getting back in. I just really like Bill Willingham for some reason.

    Thanks much for the kind words, and please don’t ever be shy about correcting us. There certainly won’t be a lack of things to correct.

  9. I feel that same way about Exterminators.
    I maaaaaaay want to keep reading it.
    I maaaaaaaaaaay wait for a trade.

    The Ocean graphic novel really kind of blew.

  10. Someone mentioned Chuck Klosterman in one of the podcasts, and I was just typing this out for a friend of mine, so I will put it here, too:

    “Slow Ride” opens with a repetetive bass drum that (momentarily) creats an atmosphere of utter doom; it is as if we are all enslaved in the belly of a pirate ship and Foghat drummer Roger Earl is going to force us to methodically row until we reach the end of a pre-Copernican earth. However, this is ultimately not the case. In truth, we are about to take a “slow ride” and we are implored to “take it easy.”
    -Klosterman

  11. I think you’re the first person to ever come on here who likes Vertigo besides me. It’s so strange.
    You two aren’t alone. I regularly pick up DMZ, and I read every issue of Y the Last Man. I really like vertigo because it deals with stuff that’s you know, a little deeper and darker then the mainstream DCU or Marvel stuff. I really wanted to read American Virgin, but the clerk at the counter wouldn’t sell ‘AN ADULT COMIC’ to me.

  12. Yeah I am a Vertigo fan from way back. Sandman is my favorite book period. Also loved Preacher, and Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing. For some reason I never got into Hellblazer even though I tried a few times. It seemed good, but I always felt like I was jumping in the middle. Any recommendations on which trade I should try as an intro to Hellblazer?

    As for Exterminators, it is 3 issues in and I like some of what they are doing, but it just isn’t grabbing me for some reason. The art is great and the dialog is pretty good too, but there is just something missing, I don’t know what. I will give it to the end of this arc at least and decide then.

    Fables has been outstanding the last year or so. The “Homelands” arc where Boy Blue fought his way to the Adversary was my favorite of the series. The following arc about the fables from the middle east was great too. I recommend this book to everyone who is even slightly interested in comics.

    By the way, I am not just a Vertigo guy. I love the capes and tights too. I am totally with you guys on Daredevil. Brubaker and Lark’s run (all 2 issues of it so far) has been my favorite read each week it comes out.

    Derek

  13. Oh no, we’re talking about Vertigo?

    Quick Change the subject! Soooo…Spider-armor? How about that?

  14. Looks like Ron won’t be able to duck that Vertigo podcast discussion for much longer…

  15. no idea what you’re talking about 😉

    well maybe if a Vertigo book was *ever* picked as a POW….

  16. I can’t believe they actually enforce that age restriction thing. And I’m actually all for it, sorry Smav. It’s actually not that dirty of a book, and I’m sure you can handle it, but I hate seeing comic shops persecuted for selling material to minors. I know you’ll just get it off the web or whatever.

    I suggest you take Gabe’s advice:

    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2006/03/20

    I really like Hellblazer, but it does go in fits and starts. The end of Carey’s run was excellent, and it really got me back into the book. Azzarello’s first run in prison was good, but after that, I didn’t really like it. The Garth Ennis/Steve Dillon collections are great, as is the first Garth Ennis book where John gets lung cancer. I have no idea of the names of any of these stories.

    The artist on Exterminators is one of my favorites, but I didn’t feel like buying it for some reason.

    I think I’m totally going to pick up some more Fables. I just have to figure out where I left off.

    Finally, that Klosterman quote is brilliant.

  17. I was actually surprised they did it, but then again, the fact that they’re selling adult comics has also helped prevent me from getting a job at any of the local stores. And I know it’s not that dirty of a book. Hell if I could handle reading all 12 parts of “Spider-Man: The Other”, then I could sure as hell handle this. I mean, these type of books rarely (if ever) are all that graphic and extreme, but the clerks rarely, if ever, read them. And even if they read them, the higher ups just feel like busting our balls.

    As per Hellblazer, I’ve got the means to read it, but I just never did. I know about John’s backstory and everything, but the fact that it’s so far down the road makes it a hard book for me pick up. I did, however, read the banned issue entitled ‘Shoot’, (Hellblazer #141) Which was pulled because it dealt with school shootings. By the way, check it out: http://www.compsoc.man.ac.uk/~jp/comics/shoot/
    The ending dialouge is probably one of my favorites.

    SPIDER-ARMOR! I don’t know how many of you agree, but I like the Spider-Armor. It’s symbiote-like deployment, it’s look, it’s use of Peter’s new powers (yes yes, I know the dagger is a little dumb, but whatever). It also looks really good too. I think it was just about time for him to have a small change…it’s too bad he’ll be losing it sometime soon (Most likely post-civil war). I think he should keep it, simply for the fact that A) It Operates like the black costume (at his thoughts command)
    B) Can become ANY costume he wants, including the red and blue classic, or even the black one.

    Gabe’s advice, would work, but I don’t have any problems with getting M video games from relatives or friends…but I think I’d feel a tad akward having them buy me a comic book called ‘American Virgin’…

  18. Spidermav:

    Your shop will sell you DMZ and YTLM but not American Virgin? Having read them all, I would say that Virgin probably has the least “mature” content of the 3. Definitely more language and violence in the other two, and the sex content is probably about the same as Y (at least so far). I am guessing your LCS employees haven’t read the book themselves… Anyway, try and find the book if you can – it is good, and if you can appreciate DMZ and Y, you can definitely appreciate American Virgin.

    so let’s see…spider armor…the only book I have read with the new armor is the latest New Avengers. Gotta be honest, going strictly on looks (I don’t know all of the special powers it gives him) I think it blows. Maybe I just like the classic red and blue too much, but he didn’t even look like Spider Man to me. Luckily Bendis writes some great Spidey dialog so he sounded good, but that look has got to go. He looks like Iron Man lite…

    Derek

  19. I have a DVD club now, dudes

  20. agreed with Derek on the armor, on every point he made.

    And yes, Y is the most naughty of the bunch. That guy throws tits in panels like they’re going out of style.

  21. That guy throws tits in panels like they’re going out of style.
    Ya know…there is a growing rise of homosexuality in america…

    As per the Spider Armor: Sure, it doesn’t LOOK like Spidey. It’s kinda like when someone gets a haircut that’s totally different, maybe from a long hair cut to a shaven head, you look at them and go ‘That doesn’t look like soandso.’, but it’s only a temporary thing and if they keep it for long enough, it kind of grows on you. And dude, the ‘Iron Man’ lite thing is the entire purpose of the armor. If you read Amazing Spider-Man, you’d know it’s entire intent and purpose. He’s given this armor made by Tony Stark because Tony is taking Peter under his wing as his new protege. And…well, you should probably at least READ the issue in the comic shop, for it’s quite a mouthful to explain EVERYTHING.

  22. I get why, and it even makes sense, but ugly’s still ugly.

  23. Yeah, I know the basic story beind why he is getting the armor, and I am cool with all of that. And you are right in that sometimes things take a while to grow on you. This could very well be one of those things, but right now I just don’t like how it looks. Ask me again in a couple months and I’ll let you know if I’ve changed my mind 😉

  24. I, for one, like how 2 issues into it, they made it so that he could change the look, so he could keep the armor but make it look the same…talk about baking in an “out”…it’s like they’re going to go for the best of both worlds.

  25. She Hulk just doesnt interest me at all.

  26. Darrel, you’re hard to please. I just bought this issue, so I’ll see what I think of it. As far as I’m concerned, a good writer can make anything interesting, so then making She-Hulk more interesting is a challenge. I for one have never read a Hulk (man-hulk) story I liked though, so who am I to talk?

  27. I thought the extras on the Daredevil DVD were killer. On netflix, you can rent just the extras dvd, so that’s what I did.

  28. I like the new art in issue 8 but hate the writing and the fact that Shulkie has to transform again in this series in order to be considered an ‘interesting’ character by some. I liked her best when she stayed as She-Hulk. Also, the soap opera love triangle is seriously leaving me cold. I’d probably buy the book if they switched writers or opted for a different approach to this.

  29. Sorry about that. I meant to say issue 6. Maybe things will improve by issue 8. If not, hey, best to all of you who choose to slog it out.

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