Let’s check in on a comic we haven’t looked at in a while: Charles Soule’s She-Hulk, which features a new mini-arc and a change of artists. Instead of Javier Pulido, we get Ron Wimberly, artist of Prince of Cats, a graphic novel that Vertigo put out a while back. What can expect to see this time? Is it good?
She-Hulk #5 (Marvel Comics)
Jennifer Walters has been pondering a mysterious file (the Blue File) for a while now. The Blue File is a case where she, several heroes, and a few villains were sued by someone up in North Dakota. The thing is though, she has no memory of what happened; so she, Angie Huang (her paralegal), and Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat decide to do some investigating.
Wait sir! I can save you from this artwork!
I was a little unsure of this comic after the last issue, which felt like it ran out of steam. This new issue’s storyline is very intriguing with a lawsuit that no one can seem to remember and all the mystery surrounding it. The story does a great job at piquing your interest and leaves off on a good cliffhanger. It’s easily one of the best issues of the comic so far in regards to the story.
The writing by Soule here is also top notch — just as good as the first issue. While the comic can get very wordy at times, the dialogue is very engaging and the characters are fully fleshed out. The writing mechanics are good and the comic still maintains a decent sense of humor when it needs to.
I think she fell asleep mid jump there. Also, given her weight and strength, along with the building, shouldn’t that fire escape come crumbling down?
Now the main thing that many people will notice right away is the aforementioned change in artist: Both Javier (the previous artist) and Ron (this issue’s artist) go for an indie style… though both of them are completely different stylistically and tonally. Javier is more pop art and Ron goes more urban. For the story itself, Ron’s style fits the comic more; there’s a more kinetic look to it regarding the depiction of action and movement and the visual storytelling is good overall.
That being said — I still can’t get into the artwork of this book at all. It’s distracting and feels unpolished (definitely would worth with other books though). The characters are odd and creepy looking, Tigra being the absolute worst, with body and hair that constantly changes shape (though for once, she at least looks like she has fur). Facial details are also a bit confusing, with characters looking completely different from what they should and completely different from page to page. The coloring is rather blah (I did not realize the sky in New York City was pink) and so are a lot of the backgrounds and locations. The action is kinetic when its there, but it can look wonky. For instance, Tigra will sometimes the gain Mr. Fantastic stretchy powers where her arm and the hand will grow larger than her entire body and bigger than her head. It’s extremely distracting and makes it hard to fully immerse yourself in the comic.
Just what is going on with her arm?! Extremely pretentious angle or weird growth?
Is It Good?
She-Hulk #5 is a great comic with a really engaging story that is hampered by artwork that takes you more out of the book than it truly immerses you in it. The writing is enough to warrant reading the book, but prepare for some very oddball artwork that might not appeal to all.