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"All-New Marvel Now!" Review: "She-Hulk" #1!

All-New Marvel Now She-Hulk #1
Marvel Comics

This new #1 of adventures of everyone's favorite green lady She-Hulk isn't big on smashing, but it's big on charm and pure fun. It's what a first issue should be.

RECAP:

The first page catches readers up of who She-Hulk (Jen Walters) is with a quick montage of the Jade Giantess in action; smashing up villains, making time for fans, holding her own at the bar with Thor. Then we see her at Paine & Luckberg, LLP, getting ready for her year-end review. She's sure that there's a bonus waiting for her, but the guys in charge let her in on a secret. It turns out she wasn't hired because she's an awesome lawyer, they wanted her to bring her superhero friends to their firm. When Shulkie refuses to exploit her ties, she then quits before she can be fired, and then follows up by splitting their expensive boardroom table down the middle with a finger.

Drowning her sorrows at the local lawyer bar, Jen runs into Holly Harrow, who's desperately trying to find someone to work a copyright case her husband opened. The catch is that her husband was Dr. Jonas Harrow was a scientist for super-villains, and The Hood offed him in an alley a while back. The other catch is that he was suing Tony Stark for a chunk of his Repulsor technology patents.

Shulkie goes to Stark Tower with the intent to talk to Iron Man directly and resolve everything. The building's automated and holographic secretaries send her to Legal, not a department but a very scary man. Legal knows everything about Stark's business affairs, as well as the case in question. She's told not to pursue the case, but being a Hulk, she does. The result is that Legal brings five more lawyers, and makes many more counter-allegations, including having Shulkie removed because her and Tony Stark and fought/dated.

With a mountain of paperwork to go through, Jen and Holly go to her later husband's storage space looking for a smoking gun. Amidst boxes and literal small tanks, Jen finds a small safe that doubles as an attack robot. It's quickly disarmed, and inside our heroine finds a stack of tapes.

It turns out Dr. Harrow recorded every meeting he ever took, including one with a small subsidiary of Stark Industries out in California. Shulkie takes the tape to Stark Tower, and after beating up some automated robot guards, finally gets to talk to Tony. It turns out Harrow really did have a part in inventing Repulsors, but didn't get a credit due to a manager who got fired for being a jerk. Stark agrees to cut Holly a check while admiring Jen's brain and braun.

Later, Jen enjoys a drink in the lawyer bar, and Holly, sporting a better haircut, comes by with a check for her services to the tune of $150,000. Unemployed but suddenly flush with capital, our heroine decides to go into business for herself.

RECAP:

This was a fantastic book. Who is She-Hulk? She kicks ass, knows the Avengers and the Fantastic Four, and she's a great lawyer. Boom, I'm caught up. This issue was clearly setting up the status quo of "She-Hulk, Single Female Lawyer," but it was a great story in its own right. Legal's long-winded preamble about the history of Stark Industries is a great way to entrench the book in Marvel history without getting bogged down in continuity.

Plus, the book technically passes the Bechdel Test, if you're the sort who worries about that sort of thing; Jen and Holly talk about Tony Stark and her husband a lot, but they also discuss bars and her case. I especially like that as Tony Stark is admiring her, Shulkie's reaction isn't "tee-hee, oh Mr. Stark!" or "quit staring, pig!" but "I'm not in the mood, but you're not wrong."

The one complaint I could see anyone having with this book is that there isn't enough super-hero action. This book has no fights in it. Shulkie's tussle with a robot doesn't even last a page. The biggest conflict here is the matching of wits in the boardroom, which I'm confident will stay interesting. This is a great story focused on the widow of someone who got killed by a low-level Avengers villain, for God's sake. If this one was good, imagine what happens will Jen goes into the greater Marvel U. proper.

The new volume of "She-Hulk" is a winner. It was charming, interesting, dense without being wordy, and wears continuity on its sleeve. This is a book I want to buy again.