She-Hulk #2 Review

Reviewer: Kevin S. Mahoney
Story Title: Cause and Effect

Written by: Dan Slott
Penciled by: Juan Bobillo
Inked by: Marcelo Sosa
Colored by: Avalon’s Dave Kemp
Lettered by: Dave Sharpe
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics

This book totally follows its own rules. The types of stories that appear here are inventive, comical, human, and borderline goofy. The Marvel Universe serves the interests of the title, not the other way around (see: M, House of and Crisis, Infinite) and that results in a great deal more freedom for this book than many of its higher profile mainstays (Uncanny X-Men, Amazing Spider-Man, New Avengers). The sidestep of the conventional hero/secret identity stressor in favor of legal adventures for the long underwear set continues to bear fruit in terms of innovative plots and meaty twists for the title’s cast. Few books deserve a second chance to succeed; this one not only merited a second chance, it actually received one and then ran with it.

The second second issue of this book hurtles forward on its madcap trajectory with a very uncommon guest star: Hawkeye the Blond Bowman! Longtime readers will note two things very amiss here. First, the second issue guest star of a Marvel title should be Wolverine or Spider-Man; it’s an unwritten rule. Second, Clint was murdered at the onset of the mega-event House of M. He couldn’t possibly be back so soon, or his death would mean nothing to readers! (Insert scathing laughter about Marvel’s former dead-is-dead policy here.) Luckily, Hawkeye wasn’t resurrected. Instead, he was transported forward in time from the year his death occurred to serve as a juror on a murder trial that possesses time travel elements. If that sentence made any sense to you, one of us was probably mistaken.

Anyhow, the two major movements of the issue, the resolution of the case and the attempt to warn Hawkeye of his impending demise, are resolved well enough to justify the two issues spent on them. Consider the cliffhanger ending and its zany seriousness a bonus. The ongoing subplots of Jen’s emerging insecurities as She-Hulk as well as Augustus Pugliese’s attraction to her are touched upon briefly, if not built on. That seems perfectly acceptable for the second issue of a series, if only because there might be readers out there who don’t yet know that the Pug has been hot for her since the second or third issue of the previous series. Anyone who read an arc or two of the previous run knows Slott and his merry men are going somewhere with everything, and the journey itself will probably be a hoot.

And now, a word about the art: superb. Many people might have enjoyed the latter half of the previous run of She-Hulk which featured a very mainstream penciller (Pelletier), but the book’s original artist Juan Bobillo makes the humorous aspect a more integral part of the book while portraying the supporting characters (from Jen to Pug) in a more heartwarming, if exaggerated fashion. There is certainly a stylistic trade off involved, but having already had it both ways… there’s something to be said about a cohesive effort on this loveable if offbeat title. The colors and letters don’t get in the way of this airy and involving story, and that’s just as well. Anything too fancy would be gilding the lily.