Ben Grimm is in Jen Walters’ corner on Jen Bartel’s attractive cover and that’s the case inside the book too. Unfortunately, our favourite gamma-irradiated attorney doesn’t actually need the Thing to do any clobberin’ on her behalf.
The fist belongs to Titania, recovering super-villain and frenemy of She-Hulk. The pair recently decided that their own fight club would be a great way to let off steam, and Titania’s bestie, Volcana, has decided she wants to play too.
Ben has a lunch date with Jen to get a spot of legal advice – nothing serious, just a bit of business involving Inhuman dog Lockjaw being ticketed. As it turns out, Ben has spread the word about Jen being a practising lawyer again, meaning her office is suddenly very busy.
While everyone else leaves, Reed Richards stays at Jen’s request and checks her radiation levels – old Avengers ally Jack of Hearts recently returned from outer space/death and has been affecting her gamma power. Given the all-clear, she joins Jack to check his radiation – for years he was so dangerous to everyone around him that he went into exile in outer space. Jack tells Jen about something he heard when he was woken from apparent death at the hands of… someone.
More than half of this issue is Jen and Jack talking, and it’s wonderful. Writer Rainbow Rowell is very, very good at capturing the rhythm of conversation, and she’s giving Jack the personality he’s not had since, well, forever. His penchant for poetry isn’t new, it goes right back to his origin in the Seventies, and Rowell uses it here to push the plot forward. Rowell’s Jen is wonderful – smart, funny and empathetic.
A heroes and villains fight club is a great idea, these are people who need to cut loose, so why not pair up somewhere that doesn’t risk people and property?
While Jack looks dreadful in borrowed clothes – you wouldn’t think he came from a wealthy family – Jen looks great in long purple skirt, crisp blouse and ascot.
Hmm, that outfit reminds me of something…
Am I imagining it, or is illustrator Luca Maresca paying tribute to Jen’s debut?
The art throughout is lovely, with the characters full of charm and warmth – even the bad gals. Maresca does a fine job of providing backgrounds that give a sense of place, and colourist Rico Renzi’s choices add that summery feel. Joe Caramagna doesn’t put a font wrong with his lettering choices.
I don’t know how long this Nick Lowe and Lindsey Cohick-edited series is planned to run – I suspect it’s a mini – but issues this good make me hope it’s an ongoing. Go to it, Marvel!