She-Hulk Volume Four #9

“The Big Reveal”

Okay, last month I said that the melding of /She-Hulk /and /Civil War/ was a good jumping-on point for readers who are new to the Marvel U and only care how it moves forward, not how well it continues existing traditions. I also said it might be a good jumping-off point for readers, like me, who had been with Marvel since before it became the X-Company.

So, at CW plus one month, where do we stand? Well, She-Hulk #9 makes it worth hanging around for at least one more month,anyway. For one thing, I want to read part /one/ of the story that Marvel published part /two /of a month ago in the /Two-Gun Kid /one shot. (How’s /that/ for bad production management?) But I also think there might be light at the end of the tunnel of CW, and it might not be just the headlight of the Bendis Express.

We had some good moments here. I think my favorite was the return of the patented Dan Slott “page o’ reaction shots” — nine panels of various characters commenting on whatever’s happening in the story. This time it was a series of spit-takes in reaction to the news that Jen and JJ Jr. had gotten married in Vegas, with annotations, letting us know what each spitter was drinking. It finishes on a beautiful shot of Mallory Book and Awesome Andy in a bubble bath.

The Antics at the Jameson family home were enjoyable. The usual dinner with the folks: the profanity, the awkward silences, the spider-slayer being brought down from the attic, the daughter-in-law trying to kill her husband’s father. I won’t reveal the resolution of the Jen/Jonah slugfest, but it’s very in-character for Jen, and promises to bring a lot of laughs. (Though She-Hulk and Spider-Man may not emerge as friends.)

Down-sides to the story would be the obligatory re-hash of the Spider-Man unmasking that’s been dubbed “Marvel’s Greatest Moment EVER” by a lot of people who probably don’t remember comics that didn’t have shiny pages. Even the characters in the story are sick of it — “that again? It’s been running continuously on cable for ten hours!” For me, it’s hardly a great moment. Did anyone notice that Clark Kent /also/ unmasked as Superman a couple of months ago in a flashback to the JSA story that CW is a blatant ripoff of? And Clark did it as an act of defiance, not because he’d succumbed to political pressure. Of course, Clark’s a hero, and Peter is… well, a guy who deserves what Jen’s about to hand him. Sad to say that Spidey has pretty well been given the Cyclops treatment. After all these years of adventures, he’s being shown up by real life as not necessarily a very admirable or moral character.

And, of course, Jen is still paying lip-service to her part in CW, reminding her hubby that she’s pledged to fight all of her former comrades who won’t play ball with Lord Stark. It doesn’t really ring true, though, and it still doesn’t fit Jen’s character. Even she seems not to be comfortable in the role in which she’s been cast. Might that be because the entire storyline is one big piece of miscasting, from Iron Man on down?

Oh well, next issue looks promisingly free of CW-inspired drama. We left Pug hanging with evidence that JJ Jr. is not, in fact, Jen’s true love, and JJ himself is in for a world of hurt, we know if we read the aforementioned Two-Gun one-shot. So things may be looking up.
Sadly, things aren’t looking up for She-Hulk’s companion book, /The Thing. /Like the first series of /She-Hulk, /what was meant to be an on-going series wrapped all too soon. I wonder, this time next year, if they’re be a trace of the old Marvel U. left on the stands.

She-Hulk, Volume Four, Issue Nine

Rating: 3.5
Writer: Dan Slott
Pencils: Paul Smith
Inks: Joe Rubinstein
Colors: Avalon Studios’ Dave Kemp
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Asst Editors: Schmidt , Lazer & Stitterson
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Editor-in-Chief: Joe Quesada
Publisher: Dan Buckley
August, 2006
2.99
Rated T+
Cover by Greg Horn