She-Hulk: Single Green Female

By this point, most comic book fans know the name Dan Slott. “He’s the guy that’s making all that noise on Spider-Man! He’s the guy taking all that abuse on twitter! And didn’t he used to write Ren and Stimpy?” While all these points are true and accurate, back in 2004 Mr. Slott also took a turn writing the adventures of the Jade Giantess called The She-Hulk. Jen Walters has never been an A-List character, but this run deserves a close look.

While at Minnesota’s own SpringCon this past weekend, I came across the SHE-HULK: SINGLE GREEN FEMALE trade for half price. Dan Slott writing? His Spider-Man is one of my favorite books every month. So I bought it. And then I read it. And you know what? I would have paid full price for it. (But don’t tell the vendor that.)

In this series, Slott wisely makes his take on the under-used character Jen Walters, the not-so-secret identity of the She-Hulk. Walters of course being the cousin of Bruce Banner (the Incredible Hulk. Come on, Internet. Keep up.) You see, way back in the day, Jen was injured and in dire need of an emergency blood transfusion. Bruce taps a vein for Jen. Jen lives! Jen then turns into a girl Hulk. The logic is sound. Marvel bioscience works! The difference in the Hulks being, Jen isn’t a rage machine. Being green seems to unlock her inner party girl attitude, and she can remain in “Hulk mode” for extended periods of time. Oh yeah, Walters is also something of a brilliant lawyer. (This is important for later.)

Got all that? Slott did. So instead of making her solo book straight up super-hero fare (yawn) the sometimes Avenger/sometimes Fantastic Four member gets a comic book version of Boston Legal. And boy, does it work. Slott sets up the premise of She-Hulk becoming employed by a firm that specializes in super-human law: the offices of Goodman, Leiber, Kurtzberg, and Holliway. The firm also sets her up in a new apartment at the Excelsior building. (Did I mention the book is filled with Easter eggs? Well, it is.) Under contract to the firm, she is required to remain in her Jen Walters form to maintain her employment. Which she hates: Why be puny Jen when she can kick ass as She-Hulk?

But this set up has her flexing her lawyer muscles again, and she finds herself enjoying her successes in the courtroom. Between Spider-Man suing J. Jonah Jameson for libel, putting the ghost of a murder victim on the stand, and suing a corporation after an accident turns a factory worker into “Danger Man,” Jen has her fill of fascinating legal challenges.

With fantastic art by Juan Bobillo and Paul Pelletier, the book couldn’t have looked better. Bobillo is a name I’m not familiar with, but his style is unique without being distracting. His style quickly became the signature She-Hulk for me. Paul Pelletier turns in quality work, very much reminiscent of Mark Bagley.

With frequent guest appearances by the Avengers, Spider-Man, and Dr. Strange, the book was firmly rooted in the Marvel Universe. But there was just enough of a wink and a smile in these stories that makes you think you’re in on the best inside joke ever. Like finding out the Mad Thinker’s Awesome Android has now gained sentience, goes by the name “Awesome Andy,” works as a gopher at the firm, and is a diehard Mets fan? And his roommate tapes the Yankees game instead? PRICELESS.

Thanks to this impulse item convention purchase, I’m now on the look out for the rest of the trades in the Slott run of She-Hulk.

AND SO SHOULD YOU!