Looking to capture some of the magic that is the Mark Waid/Chris Samnee Daredevil series, Marvel Comics pairs up Charles Soule (27, Superman/Wonder Woman) and Javier Pulido (Human Target) on She-Hulk, and the result is the best single issue of a mainstream comic book superhero series (outside of an aforementioned Waid/Samnee Daredevil or a Fred Van Lente written Archer & Armstrong) we've seen published yet this year.
Over the past year, Jennifer Walters has helped out as a stand in member of The Fantastic Four while managing to total over 2,800 billable hours of work for the NYC based legal firm of Paine and Luckberg, LLP. While she might not exactly expect to made a partner in the firm, a year end bonus seems like a no-brainer. Unfortunately, the lead partners feel that Jennifer was a hiring decision that simply hasn't panned out. She is an excellent attorney, by any standards, but she wasn't hired for her legal expertise. It seems that her failure to bring in the likes of Reed Richards, Tony Stark, and The Avengers as clients for Paine and Luckberg has lead to her not only NOT getting a bonus, but but out of legal work. When the widow of a former super villain comes asking for the newly unemployed Jennifer Walter's help with a suit against Tony Stark, things might get more interesting for Jennifer, from a career and super heroic standpoint, than she is used to...
As soon as the latest volume of Marvel Comics' She-Hulk, with the team of Charles Soule and Javier Pulido was announced, I was on board. When it was announced that Soule would be writing stories focusing on Jennifer Walter/She-Hulk's career as an attorney as much as her career as a superhero, I was sold. After reading the first issue of Soule and Pulido's She-Hulk, I'm now wondering if this series might not end up being my favorite Marvel Comics series published this year. Soule, aside from being a talented comic book author, is also an attorney, so I couldn't think of anyone better to write a legal eagle take on She-Hulk. Soule really understands how to construct a strong legal drama based storyline using accurate legal terminology while really putting the reader inside the world of the legal professional. She-Hulk #1 is almost like a superhero version of an episode of Law and Order (although way more lighthearted and way more satirical and funny). The way that Soule focuses on Jennifer's abilities as an attorney, instead of her super powers, to tell a great story is brilliant. Equally brilliant is how he manages to reintroduce Jennifer, set up the series' overriding premise, and wrap it all up nicely within the pages of a single issue. I don't care if it's all a formula we've seen over the past few years in Waid and Samnee's Daredevil, it's a winning one, and the Soule/Pulido She-Hulk will be just as critically acclaimed as the Waid/Samnee Daredevil is if they keep up this level of quality storytelling and art.
Speaking of the art, Javier Pulido's pop art style, which is strongly in the vein of Chris Samnee and Mike Allred's, is perfect for Soule's storytelling style and take on Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk. Pulido captures both the lightheartedness and seriousness of Soule's story through his anatomical and facial work. His take on Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk is unlike any take we've seen before visually. Jennifer is drawn as stunningly beautiful (of course), but there is no overt emphasis on her hulked out physical characteristics, i.e. she isn't competing with the Post-Crisis Supergirl for the title of Guinness Book of World Records' Largest Bust Size, but she is definitely a knock-out.
Titles like Soule and Pulido's She-Hulk, along with Waid and Samnee's Daredevil remind me of the fun days of my youth when I could pick a Marvel Comics title off the shelves and escape from my daily troubles for a fun half hour of reading that still left me feeling grounded in the "the world outside my window." Fun, funny, action packed, intelligent, witty, and an all around great read: this is what She-Hulk is, and what Marvel Comics used to be known for doing best. Perhaps with more titles like this, they will be again.