Jennifer Walters, the Sensational She-Hulk, is normally an upbeat character. She’s the original Hulk’s cousin, but unlike the Hulk, she’s got full control of her transformations, retains her full intelligence in Hulk form, and loves being a superhero. She’s had a bit of a traumatic year though. It started with her getting hit by a rocket mean for Thanos that sent her into a coma, waking up to find out that Hawkeye killed Bruce Banner without any legal consequences. Although we don’t know exactly how yet, something about her transformations has changed.
Written by Mariko Tamaki, Hulk 2 takes place the day after Jennifer returned to her job as a lawyer. The comic spends a lot of time building on her first client’s case – an Inhuman who’s supposedly facing wrongful eviction. The legal drama of the comic is written well, with a scumbag landlord who complains about a “weird” client. The middle of the comic gets really dramatic when kids in a playground trigger Jennifer’s post-traumatic stress, and she’s barely able to contain her Hulk form. This moment is probably the best part of the comic, retelling what happened to her cousin without the need for a direct flashback, and showing that when she’s stressed out, she can’t control her strength or emotions. Also, the end of the comic ends with both a creepy moment and a reveal, although I wouldn’t be surprised if the creepy moment ends up becoming an awesome guest star.
The art by Nico Leon is good. It’s a simple look, but with good visual storytelling behind it. For example, there’s a brief coffee shop moment that’s told entirely through the art and a single line of dialogue by an unnamed character. Meanwhile, Jennifer is looking at the pastry selection and pointing to something while on the phone. There’s a staff member watching her with a friendly smile, the menu in the background, and bricks on the wall with varying degrees of cracks and scratched out colour. There’s also the landlord’s office, complete with a messy desk with papers all over the place, a dead plant on top of a shelf, and the landlord himself in a variety of lazy poses. Facial expressions perfectly capture Jennifer’s emotions when her stress is triggered, starting with a blank look, followed by a calm anger while she’s trying to retreat to the privacy of her office, and then her silhouette as she tears apart her briefcase. Matt Milla’s colouring further assists in the storytelling. Most of the comic is bright and colourful, but everything shifts green when she notices what the kids are playing, her eyes start glowing green, and the silhouette is complete with an increasingly bright green background in each successive panel. It’s brilliantly done.
So far this is a great series about a character trying to recover from traumatic events and trying to go about a normal life. Despite her problems, Jennifer still feels like herself, and there are touches of fun and humour mixed in with the more dramatic material. I was nervous about this series when they first announced it and hinted at its direction, but I’m convinced. She-Hulk fans should check this series out, as should anyone interested in a story about a superhero with a potentially dangerous case of PTSD.