Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Shame about She-Hulk...

I've been thinking lately about She-Hulk. Specifically the comic, moreso than the character. I know that a year ago, I was gushing about it. That I'd recommend it to anyone who wanted a great portrayal of a strong female character, in spite of the sometimes embarrassingly pin-up covers.

I still love She-Hulk, the character. But I haven't read her comic for months and honestly, I don't even miss it.

The weird thing is that I don't even know why. I've adored the Slott series during it's first run and steadily into its second. It's cute, clever and definitely entertaining. I can't think of any one event to set me off and make me go "No. I'm not reading this title anymore." I enjoyed it very much to a point and then...I didn't enjoy it anymore.

Part of it may have been Civil War. But I don't really think so. After all, it didn't stop me from reading Captain America. Nor did his DEATH stop me from reading Captain America. (And I'm kinda ashamed to say this but the end of Fallen Son might have made me just a little misty. Just a little. Fine, I'm a sap. Shut up.) It wasn't the Star Fox trials, either of them, though I'm still a little shaky on how the whole thing fit together.

I don't know, I suppose a part of it is that I don't think I ever really found myself caring much about She-Hulk's supporting cast. Not even Awesome Andy, though he was a pretty neat gimmick, made much of an impression on me. I liked the trials and I liked the punching of things, and She-Hulk/Jennifer's identity issues. And while I wasn't really invested in her relationship with Jameson that dinner with J.Jonah was incredibly funny.

I guess, and I'm not sure this will make sense to anyone else, the humor and situations started to feel awfully...mean spirited to me. I can't even put my finger on a specific incident, so it's not like I can really support the claim at all. It's just my irrational feeling.

I'll probably pick it up again eventually. (I intend to give it a shot at least when David takes over. It might just be a whole writer-style-incompatibility for me. Provided I didn't miss the turnover). Just. I wish I knew why I stopped liking it.


  • At July 16, 2007 8:36 AM, Blogger Rich said…

    I kind of know what you mean - it hasn't been as good as it was for the past 8 or 9 issues now.

    That said, the last issue with the trial of the Leader was almost back to form so it looks like Slott will finish on a high.

    I doubt that I'll be sticking around for PAD's run though.

  • At July 16, 2007 11:31 AM, Anonymous zeb aslam said…

    Know exactly what you mean. I stopped reading the book a couple of months ago and really have not missed it at all. There was always a disconnect with the book and after the Hulk storyline started, it was even greater and I just couldn't be bothered anymore.

    I will definitely check out the PAD run though. The man has done very little wrong in terms of comic writing as far as I'm concerned and I give each and every one of his books at least one try.

    And yes...I HAVE read just didn't work for me.

  • At July 16, 2007 1:08 PM, Anonymous Mela said…

    I guess, and I'm not sure this will make sense to anyone else, the humor and situations started to feel awfully...mean spirited to me. I can't even put my finger on a specific incident, so it's not like I can really support the claim at all. It's just my irrational feeling.

    Actually, I understand exactly what you're talking about. I gave up about halfway through Slott's second series because it just seemed like the decent supporting characters were getting screwed over, and the lousy ones were getting no comeuppance. Also, Jen began to seem like a doormat in both forms - not sure why, though, it was just a vibe I picked up.

    It was like he was getting so caught up in the soap opera and "BIG EMOTIONAL TWIST HERE!" storytelling that he forgot to actually connect you with the twists & the characters. I liked the fatherly boss, not the "OMG WHAT is his secret??1!" boss; I didn't care about the who's-being-emotionally-manipulated-by-Mallory-who-really-should've-been-killed-off-by-now stories and thought it was cheap to kill the fanboy character. And I stopped right before the stories with Starfox & John Jameson, but it didn't sound like I missed much good.

    After that, I realized that Slott should stick to the Great Lakes folks. You can clearly see that he loves them the most.

  • At July 16, 2007 4:03 PM, Anonymous Scott said…

    So much of the humor in "She-Hulk" seems to focus on humiliating the character. In a way, I don't mind, because humiliation-humor seems to be a major staple of comedy -- "Ha ha, Jerry has to wear that ridiculous puffy shirt on TV!"

    I do think there are limits, though. It does seem like a lot of the recent stories have focused on what a loser Shulkie is, without some reminders that she very often rocks the house. That can make the comic a lot less fun to read, I think...

  • At July 16, 2007 6:46 PM, Blogger Sinspired said…

    I keep going back and forth...

    Will the power of The Almighty Peter David be enough to make me read a character I never cared for?

    That plus my current general annoyance at Marvel.

    I'll probably try it - I heard that he's not to be going for the funny as much this time. That might be enough to hook me.

  • At July 16, 2007 7:10 PM, Blogger Ununnilium said…

    Personally, it's still one of my top-drawer picks. But yeah, it hasn't been as funny lately. The last issue or two have really been on the way back up, though, especially with the reveal of what happened to the fanboy.

  • At July 16, 2007 7:49 PM, Anonymous "Starman" Matt Morrison said…

    I know exactly what you mean. I love Slott's work (he's one of the three men who can get me to overcome my loathing of all things Marvel right now) but the last few issues... just haven't been as funny.

    I think maybe it was the Starfox episode that did it. For a series that had reminded me of the good ol' days when you had just as many fun comics to offset the dark ones... it just seemed wrong to do a story based on the idea that a guy whose power was inspiring love be brought up on rape charges...

  • At July 17, 2007 10:10 PM, Blogger jayunderscorezero said…

    It seems you've tapped into a sort of She-Hulk fan zeitgeist. Well done. I myself am amongst the ranks of people who formerly gushed about the title, but dropped it without really caring a few months ago. I might go so far as to say that the entire series has been sort of iffy since the relaunch.

  • At July 18, 2007 2:35 AM, Blogger Evan Waters said…

    The fanboy character isn't dead. He's trapped in a world he never made.

    Never saw a drop in quality myself.

  • At July 18, 2007 6:40 PM, Anonymous Marionette said…

    I find Slott's work very variable. I enjoyed a lot of the early She-Hulk stories he did, but I find his humour slips into mean spirited too easily.

    I almost liked liked GLA but ultimately found the humour too unkind for my tastes. He's a good writer, but he seriously needs someone to stand over him and slap him upside the head whenever the humour gets too mean.

  • At July 19, 2007 6:51 PM, Anonymous Justin said…

    It's funny, I've felt the same way about a lot of the Agent of Shield arc. I was getting close to dropping the title even though I love the character. This last issue though, with The Leader, was a total bounce back for me. I hope Peter David can do right by Shulkie, and I wish so hard that Slott got an ongoing GLI series (DO IT MARVEL!!)


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