She-Hulk #1 (ongoing)

Writer: Charles Soule

Artist: Javier Pulido

Publisher: Marvel Comics

FROM Sue Storm to Kitty Pryde, Carol Danvers to Jean Grey, the Marvel Universe has always had strong female characters. What’s been lacking so far, however, is a strong career woman. Sure, Kitty could beat a Sentinel all by herself (even if it was a very small Sentinel) and as Phoenix, Jean Grey could destroy entire planets, but would they be able to juggle being a superhero AND having a career at the same time?

Jennifer Walters can. Best known as the superhero She-Hulk, Jennifer is an Avenger, and was recently part of the replacement Fantastic Four that took down Doctor Doom himself (in the recently concluded and extremely excellent FF series). When she’s not in her superhero tights, she’s in power suits, earning her keep as a lawyer (the Avengers gig probably doesn’t pay very well).

She-Hulk, her new All-New Marvel Now ongoing series, is mostly about the lawyer-ly side of her. Well, for the first issue, at least. It starts off with her having to face one of the most dreaded of battles – a performance review with her bosses, which ends up with her being almost fired (she quits instead). Later, sitting all alone in a lawyer’s bar, she picks up a case, and goes up against one of her greatest challenges ever: Tony Stark’s lawyer, Legal (just “Legal” – no “department”).

If you’re a fan of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye, you’ll like this book. Like that seminal series, this is about She-Hulk when she is NOT being She-Hulk (OK, she does get into She-Hulk mode later on), and lets us be privy to a a more down-to-Earth, seldom-seen side of Jennifer Walters. Charles Soule is a practising lawyer himself, and clearly knows what he is writing about (he’s pretty good at writing punching bits as well, by the way). Artist Javier Pulido has also been a guest artist for Hawkeye before (on the two-issue The Tape arc), and that stint certainly seems to have rubbed off on him in terms of creative layouts and the way he draws both superhero-mode She-Hulk and lawyer-mode She-Hulk.

Of all the new All-New Marvel Now books that have been launched in the past few weeks, She-Hulk #1 and Ms. Marvel #1 are my favourites so far, with their focus on character development instead of action giving the books a much-needed dose of reality and fun. Here’s hoping the rest of the new books can live up to this great start.

She-Hulk and other All-New Marvel Now books can be ordered from virtual comic store Earth 638 (email: earth638@yahoo.com, tel: 012-663 1584, Facebook: facebook.com/earth638).

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