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She-Hulk #1 Review: The Lawyering is in the Conversation
How many of us can say that our lawyer has helped save the world numerous times over from all kinds evil baddies? The answer, none of us. This is the real world and we have yet to be invaded by an alien army so our lawyers haven’t had the need to grow big and green to defend us from our wannabe alien overlords. But it’s a different story in the Marvel Universe were one such lawyer seemingly does it on a daily basis. I’m talking about Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk. When she’s not out saving the world, she’s lawyering for her clients and serving out justice in the courtroom.
Coming from the creative team of writer Charles Soule, an actuall lawyer, and artist Javiar Pulido is the new on-going She-Hulk series simply titled She-Hulk. Here’s my review for the opening issue.
Not Getting Her Way
Jennifer’s first year as an associate at Paine & Luckberg, LLP. has come to a close and that means it is time for her yearly review from the bosses.
Going into it Jen’s full of confidence, as any great lawyer should be when they’ve worked 2800 billable hours in a single year, and just knows that she is going to get positive marks and a raise. Those hopes, however, are quickly dashed. While her bosses “appreciate” the work Jen has done for them, turns out they were merely using her to try to gain legal access to Jen’s superhero friends, like Reed Richards and Tony Stark. Upon learning this, Jen quits P&L, LLP, but not before leaving her mark on her old firm.
Like any good lawyer though, Jen isn’t out of a job for long as she is approached by a woman named Holly Harrow at the bar who is in desperate need of a lawyer to take her case. If the name sounds familiar to you, it’s because Mrs. Harrow is the widow of classic Marvel villain Dr. Jonas Harrow. She’s looking to file suit against the man she believes stole her husband’s tech and put it to use himself, making him millions in the process while using the tech to fly around and save the world from various super villains. Jen takes up the case pro bono because she personally knows the man Mrs. Harrow is wanting to sue, Tony Stark.
Seeing Tony Stark, however, proves to be a much harder task than anticipated by Jennifer, initially that is. Going about it the lawyer way, Jen is looking at having to face off against Stark’s legal team rather than getting a face to face with Tony himself. It is in these scenes where Soule’s writing ability and expertise as a lawyer blend together seamlessly. Some may be turned off by the heavy amounts of dialogue, I however was not. I found the seriousness of Stark’s team of lawyers and their antics to be hysterical and fitting of a multibillion dollar company, even if our heroine wasn’t as amused.
After finding a buried piece of evidence that could help her win the case, Jen decides to do things the non-lawyer way in order to see Tony Stark, with much better results. Jen and Tony’s verbal encounter once again highlights Soule’s spectacular writing ability in an exchange that feels very natural between two Avengers who are both incredibly smart and have a history with one another. Tony writes a check for Mrs. Harrow and that’s all she wrote for Jen’s first case sans Paine & Luckberg.
As I’ve said before, Soule’s writing in this first issue is amazing and it’s clear that his experience as a lawyer helped to shape this story and the many, many speech bubbles throughout the issue. Issue one of She-Hulk is very dense with dialogue, so those looking for action will be left disappointed as there is none to speak of. Don’t let that deter you though as Soule has written a great first issue that showcases the life of Jennifer Walters outside of being an Avenger and helper to the Fantastic Four. Pulido’s art is sound; it’s nothing amazing, but it’s not terrible either. An abundance of color, the expressionless faces of Jen’s former bosses as well as Stark’s legal team, and the naturalness to the settings/locales are all positives for Pulido’s art. Marvel has some incredibly talented art teams and though Pulido may not be at their best, he gets the job done and his art doesn’t distract you from Soule’s story.
Great writing and a fun first story is what She-Hulk issue #1 brings to the table. Looks like I’ll be adding another Marvel book to my monthly pull list at my local comic book store, please forgive me wallet.