The twelve days of She-Hulk is a celebration of Charles Soule’s She-Hulk run in which we’re supposed to read 1 issue a day, ending with tomorrow’s final issue. Part of the fun behind this event is that Soule himself wrote daily blog posts, giving commentary on the making of the series one issue at a time. You can check them out on his blog here. I figured, why not make a special post celebrating what a uniquely brilliant series this is.
Jennifer Walters has always been known as a lawyer; in fact her very first appearance showed her as a lawyer in Los Angeles before becoming a Hulk. Yet despite that, her lawyer half is often ignored by writers who’d rather focus on her superhero life. John Byrne did some brilliant work with her, re-inventing her as a light-hearted character through both his Fantastic Four run and Sensational She-Hulk. Dan Slott’s run involved her legal side, but that started to fade to the background during and after the Civil War event.
Soule’s run on the other hand focuses more on Jennifer’s lawyer life than it does her superhero life, and that’s what makes his run so special. It’s not a superhero comic with a legal drama side-story; it’s a legal drama with a superhero side-story. The series is about Jennifer finally opening up her own legal business after being dropped by numerous law firms for various reasons in the past. The legal drama also feels authentic, no doubt helped by the fact that Soule is also a lawyer.
It’s sad to see this series go, but at the same time it feels like it was meant to be a 12-issue series. Re-reading Soule’s She-Hulk so close together shows how well everything is foreshadowed. Every minor character appearance leads to something, whether it’s visiting Daredevil in San Francisco in issue 4 before fighting against him in court in issues 8-10 or the major reveal in issue 11 regarding the Blue File and a character who appeared in issue 6. Even the blue file is teased from the start, building slowly as the series moves on.
Despite the tight storytelling, each issue has something different to offer. The first issue makes fun of big corporate legal teams, the second issue is all about new beginnings and the third issue brings some great Dr. Doom-like moments from his son, Kristoff. I could go on, but each issue brings a unique feel. The supporting cast of Hellcat, Patsy and her monkey, and all the cameos and one-issue appearances all bring extra life to the series.
Javier Pulido’s art might be part of the reason the series didn’t sell better than it did. His art usually appears flat, and characters’ faces might be off-putting for some. That said, it’s one of the highlights for me. The action always flows smooth with creative use of panel arrangement. There are all sorts of Easter Eggs hidden in the background, my favourite is in issue 3 when Jennifer and Kristoff are in the coffee shop and everyone else is typing on a smartphone – including one of the workers. Ron Wimberly took over art duties in issue 5 and 6, and while I’m not a fan, it also has its merits. Wimberly makes great use of creative angles and captures facial expressions well.
Pretty much every issue of She-Hulk has been my favourite issue of its respective release week, which is why She Hulk 12 is my most anticipated comic release of tomorrow. Dan Slott’s She-Hulk run was the first non X-Men series I read in full, and ever since, she’s been my favourite of the Hulk characters. I’ve also read the original series (Savage She-Hulk), Sensational She-Hulk and Peter David’s run, and Soule’s run might actually be my favourite. If a legal drama featuring a superhero sounds interesting, pick this series up. The art might turn you off at first, but the writing is more than worth it.