Thursday, October 16, 2014

Review # 140: "She-Hulk by Dan Slott - The Complete Collection Vol. 2"

For such a lighthearted book, Dan Slott's "She-Hulk" sure does run the gamut of emotions. It's cheerful, it's sad and - in one case - pretty damn uncomfortable to read.

The story I'm referring to for the latter is the trial of former Avenger Starfox. It raises an important question: is the use of his ability to induce positive emotions in others, provoking feelings of love before whisking them away a form of sexual assault? That's a very delicate piece of subject matter. Starfox makes matters worse for himself by influencing the witnesses with his power, then leaving the planet when the heat gets turned up. That hits pretty close to home when it comes to these types of cases, many of which have ended the same way. Only Eros is whisked away to his own planet instead of another country. The fact that this issue was never resolved does not help matters.

This volume has one of the most depressing comics I've ever read. Andy - the Mad Thinker's "Awesome Android" - goes too far in his romantic pursuit of attorney Mallory Book and makes an incredibly sad personal decision. Slott had done such a great job building up this obscure character in this book, that to see him torn down completely is a devastating. A true credit to the author.

There's also an intriguing take on what the gamma bomb that created the Hulk actually did to him, and how it's affected the personalities of others with similar stories. Why does the Leader act the way he does? Why does Doc Samson? And, of course... why does She-Hulk? Slott's theory on Jennifer Walters completely changes your impression of the character.

But enough about the heavy stuff. This collection is still a blast and damn is it funny, particularly Shulkie's growing relationship with J. Jonah Jameson's son. Her dinner with the Jameson family and the later reaction to the news that Jennifer and John Jameson have been married are moments of comedy gold. There are also some great inside jokes, including about Star Trek and incoming writer Peter David. It's brilliant.

And what a closing issue! Jennifer, with her powers gone, is shocked to see a copy of her fighting in the streets in She-Hulk form. It turns out this is a She-Hulk from another dimension who is taking a vacation. In a masterstroke, Slott uses this plot device to patch up holes in Marvel continuity, including a running joke about who Jennifer may or may not have slept with.

Slott left She-Hulk on an incredible high, handing her over to the capable hands of Peter David. But, of course, it was not to be. As has happened so many times, Shulkie found herself in the cancellation pile. Forget Titania: Once again, Jennifer's greatest enemy was low sales.

Rating: 9/10

No comments:

Post a Comment