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Spotlight on ‘She-Hulk’ Marvel Comics. Writer Dan Slott, Artist Rich Burchett

Posted by Adrian on July 27, 2007

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Marvel has been putting out some solid publications of late, the company has been able to fuse the fantasy storyline of superheros aspect to general adult themes. I have been critical of Marvel in the past, only because they seemed intent on over commercializing aspects of their titles, which means they have dumbed down publications and aimed them at kids. Recently this doesn’t seem to be the case, She-Hulk is one of those titles. The quality of the comic comes from Dan Slott’s ability to write a mature story about a woman called Jennifer Walters, i.e She-Hulk. It’s the skills of a good writer who can create a complex and interesting female character who is career ambitious, quirky yet paradoxical.

She-Hulk is definitely a comic for adults, in fact I don’t know many teens that would get this, maybe late teenagers. But generally the situations in Slott’s She-Hulk pretty much relate to the relationships in her life. Slott brings in a lot of style similar to Candace Bushnell‘s Sex and The City, Alley Mcbeal and even Boston Legal. As far as quirky legal interaction within the firm Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg & Holliway (GLK&H) which Walters/She Hulk works as a lawyer. The Sex and The City influence is Walters/She-Hulk sex life and her dilemma with various men she encounters as She-Hulk and Jennifer Walters.

Up until recently She-Hulk has been conscripted to S.H.I.E.L.D as part of a the ‘Hulk Buster unit’, oblivious to the reason her cousin The Hulk is not on earth. Slott’s humour with the character and generally feel of the comic keeps the reader curious of where this is heading, with Jennifer Walters nowhere to be seen and a full representation of She-Hulk seems to have taken precedence over her appearance. Under the She-Hulk alta ego , Jennifer Walters is able to have sex with the guys she likes, kick arse and generally have a feeling of power over the male sex and her own sex. Slott seems to try and create a balance with the two characters, but you ask, are they the same person? In someways Slott’s skill of a writer emerges, as he does create not two different characters, but an extension of the original one – Jen Walters. The extension is of course She-Hulk. It’s nice mix, both characters compliment each other well, both seem relaxed in control (as much as human an superhumanly possible).

She-Hulk compliantly goes about her missions with the ‘Hulk Buster’ unit, has sex with two of the main honchos of S.H.I.E.L.D and Clay Quartermain and Tony Stark (Ironman), I mean she has needs, so I guess the guy’s oblige. Why not?

Is the strong willed, physically strong and desirable She-Hulk Slott’s observation of what a women would like to be? As far as the promiscuous, ‘won’t fall in love’ independent She-Hulk (with out the obvious physical appearance). The interesting aspect of She Hulk and in her human form as Jennifer Walters is that they are the same character. Not like the Hulk who losers the human side of Bruce Banner’s (Hulk) self control and turns into a raging maniacal destroyer. Although with She-Hulk, even though Walters and her are the same character their personalities don’t change much. She-Hulk can turn off that human emotion of anxiety that may hinder Walters from being as a female cavalier with her lovers. Where Walters has that human sentimental attachment, or falls in love. Can She-Hulk fall in love? Slott smartly addresses some paradoxes there with both characters .

Like I said earlier, you can see the influences from the Sex and The City themes and the quirkiness of the Boston Legal television show set up. But Slott’s She-Hulk is distinctively his comic, and his creation. Slott has taken the old She-Hulk formula, and reworked, modernized and made a very updated character that a lot of Gen X’s and even Gen Y’s would relate too.

Jennifer Walter is a smart lawyer and of course she is focused and in control as She-Hulk. She learns that she was some what manipulated by Tony Stark/ Ironman to be part of the S.H.I.E.L.D directive in capturing former Hulk villains. She also learns that Ironman, Dr Strange and Mr Fantastic shot her cousin (The Hulk) into space. Because of The Hulk’s ‘out of control’ destructive behavior on earth. She-Hulk learns of this and attacks Ironman, who somewhat overpowers her and injects her with a nano particle that temporary takes her power away.

Resuming back to her Jennifer Walters form, she gives a good line by saying ‘I may have knocked you around being She- Hulk, but I will destroy you as the lawyer Jennifer Walters’. Such a good line courtesy of Slott delving into the strength of her character – with or with out her She-Hulk altar ego.

The art is very cartoonish with clean lines almost like an animated television cartoon. But don’t be fooled, this comic if Marvel would allow it, could tip over into the R rated realm (art and story). That is in it’s present form (Marvel’s T+ rating – teens and up), however you do see the after effects of She-Hulk’s hearty F*** sessions with her various lovers.

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2 Responses to “Spotlight on ‘She-Hulk’ Marvel Comics. Writer Dan Slott, Artist Rich Burchett”

  1. Comics

    Marvel Comics and DC Comics profiled, reviewed and illustrated along with additional […]

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