Saturday, 21 February 2015

She-Hulk, Volume 2: Disorderly Conduct Review (Charles Soule, Javier Pulido)

Aw, man – double disappointment! Not only is this the end of Charles Soule and Javier Pulido’s She-Hulk but the second volume also falls short of the first!

An elderly Steve Rogers (not sure what’s going on there but as long as Rick Remender’s still writing Cap, I won’t be reading his comics to find out!) approaches Jen to represent him in a wrongful death case dating back to 1940, before he became Captain America. The court case is set in California, and what other Marvel superhero lawyer is currently out west? It’s Jen vs Matt Murdock/Daredevil!

Elsewhere, Jen and Patsy Walker/Hellcat team up with Hank Pym/Ant-Man for a miniature adventure in someone’s garden; Jen’s nemesis Titania shows up for a throw-down; and the secret behind the blue notebook is revealed…

What I liked about the first book was that it mixed Jen’s lawyerly and superhero sides together in a perfectly balanced way so you got a bit of both in each issue. This second book distinctly splits the two in half with three issues for a court drama and three issues for superhero shenanigans. And it turns out that too much of the lawyerly half without the superhero side makes those sequences especially cumbersome to get through. 

It doesn’t help that the wrongful death case against Cap isn’t in the least bit interesting and draaaaaaaaags for half the book, but seeing Jen and Matt talk and talk and talk through legal technicalities… wow, it’s super boring!I know it’s going to make me sound like a shallow comics reader, but I much preferred the superhero action bits to the extensive law-speak chapters - they’re just more fun and more imaginative which is why I read Marvel in the first place. 

Jen and Patsy fight bugs and cats as they’re shrunk to a tiny size – BAM! Titania and Jen trade punches across the east coast - BIFF! Another villain reveals their identity in the final chapter - POW! It helps that Javier Pulido’s art makes the action look so good aided by Muntsa Vicente’s real purty colours.

Then we get to the ending which is unfortunately very anti-climactic. I know my way around most of the Marvel Universe but going into a character like She-Hulk’s past and dredging up someone from way back when? You’ve completely lost me. Worse is that that whole plotline was so muted up til then that it felt like there was no build up to it at all, even though it’s been explored here and there between stories. I didn’t feel like it was a great payoff, ending the series on a whimper rather than a bang, which isn’t how the title has been for the most part.

I did like that Soule’s contribution to Jen’s world - the superhero offices run by a former mutant - is lasting outside of this series with a cameo from Howard the Duck at the end confirming this is where he’s going to based. And there’s a hint that, though the series is over, we might see Jen pop up in Soule’s Inhuman series as their lawyer. I’m also delighted that Jen’s going to be written by G Willow Wilson (current writer on Ms Marvel) in a new ongoing, all-female superhero team, A-Force (love everything about it except that terrible name!), and Soule’s going to be the new Daredevil writer, bringing his knowledge and experience of the courts to another Marvel superhero lawyer.

While Soule’s script is patchy but good in places, Javier Pulido’s art, Muntsa Vicente’s colours, and Kevin Wada’s covers couldn’t be more superb. And though it’s a shame to see Jen go, I’m sure we’ll get another solo Shulkie series soon. It’s just a shame she didn’t go out in as great a book as her first with Soule/Pulido.

She-Hulk, Volume 2: Disorderly Conduct

No comments:

Post a Comment