She-Hulk #8 review

Well, this could be a short one. After another gloriously glam cover from Jen Bartel we get a flashback issue, showing the backstory of Mark, the pale brute who beat She-Hulk up last issue, and wife April, she of the bulbous bonce.

Once upon a time there were two young scientists who fell in love.

They shared a Hulk fixation.

Green with envy, they injected themselves with Jen Walters’ blood, stolen from a Stark Industries lab.

The results proved unstable.

While Mark’s mind became childlike, April retained access to her intellect, and realised what had gone wrong. To fix it, they would need to capture She-Hulk, which they did last issue.

Writer Rainbow Rowell’s decision to stretch out what is a very simple origin for our bad guys does leave room for expansive art. Unfortunately, fill-in artist Takeshi Miyazawa’s work doesn’t benefit from having so much space. I’ve seen Miyazawa’s elsewhere and it’s looked better; here, I suspect, he’s trying to match regular artist Luca Maresca’s style, which is commendable, but not to the success of the issue. I also suspect a super-tight deadline. Some pages, such as the reveal of Dr & Dr Hulk, are pretty decent, but others are stiff and scratchy, reminding me of fanzine work I grew up with in the Eighties.

But the main reason for the failure of this comic is Rowell’s choice to focus on two people who have so far been bit players in the book. Giving them the issue fills in blanks, but the thing readers have been responding to is the chemistry between Jen and new fella Jack of Hearts; the mystery surrounding his return from death seems to have been dropped in favour of eat/cute. No one buys a book entitled ‘She-Hulk’ to see the title character only in photographs in the villains’ lair. The Booths’ story should have been three pages, tops.

I don’t enjoy writing reviews that are this negative, I do believe that if you can’t say something nice you should probably say nothing. So I will say something nice. The creators of this comic can do a lot better. And that’s what the readers deserve.

One thought on “She-Hulk #8 review

  1. You think Rowell’s experiences writing picture free books accounts for this? I’ve only read (and loved) one series of hers but it feels like what she’d do. And it’s not a bad comic. It’s just a bad issue of She-Hulk.

    Liked by 1 person

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