She-Hulk #4

Story Title: Back to Bone
Reviewer: Paul Sebert

Writer: Dan Slott
Guest Artist: Scott Kolins
Colors Art: Wil Quintana
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Editors: Tom Brevoort, Joe Quesada
Publisher: The Merry Marvel Marching Society

Having wrapped up the time traveling Hawkeye saga and the trial of the century in last month’s issue, Dan Slott now decides to take us the reader all the way back in time to 2003. A simpler more naïve time when readers basked in the variety and quality of the Tsunami imprint. They then responded to some of the most creative new titles in recent memory with complete and total apathy. It was a time when we all enjoyed the nonstop hilarity of Bill Jemas, wasted a vast amount of time on Epic submissions, and breathed sighs of relief as George W. Bush had only halfway run the country into the ground. It was also a time when Geoff Johns had a run on Avengers. I also started reviewing comics on a weekly basis.

This story covers the period of time in between the last issue of She Hulk’s prior series and the beginning of the current one. It also deals with the fallout of the “The Search for She Hulk” story arch from Johns’ Avengers run which I believe revolved around Shulkie going crazy and the other Avengers having to search for her. I haven’t read it, but it’s reportedly not Geoff’s best work. During Jen’s “Savage” regression she royally trashed a town named Bone, Idaho and now our heroine has finally decided to take responsibility. For an added retro-2003 feel, Scott Kolins who did the art on the “Search of She-Hulk” guest-stars this issue alongside regular writer Dan Slott.

Which brings us to the problem with this issue. While Dan Slott is great at straight-forward superhero stories, slapstick, and the occasional dark comedy, this is at it’s heart it’s human interest story. While a writer like Brian Michael Bendis or Sean McKeever could make a very memorable story out of this material Slott’s script lacks an emotional impact and just seems to be treading water in this issue. Furthermore Kolins proves to be a poor choice for the guest-artist as the nature of the script doesn’t play well to his strengths. Kolins’ best work such as his run on The Flash relies on splashy loud action scenes, which this issue only provides in flashback. His art style isn’t well suited for people standing around and talking when more subtle facial expressions come into play.

This issue on the bright side does have some good dialog, and we are introduced to an interesting concept of a charity organization dedicated to cleaning after the rampages of Jen’s cousin. There’s also a little new light shed on The Hulk’s history, however I would have rather seen that plot twist occur in an issue of “Incredible Hulk.” All in all a serviceable, but disappointing issue.