This post of She Hulk by author Charles Soule, Illustrations Javier Pulido has been adapted from two previous posts. First is the spoiler free review, followed by the spoiler full review and summary.
Spoiler Free Review
Okay, so I loved Soule’s run on Daredevil. He really made it work and gave me something I could be excited about. But She-Hulk did not live up to that bar. (Lawyer bar, or like the test they have pass, that’s a double pun, get it?)
I’m so disappointed by this one. I really thought this would be the run that would get me into a new badass, strong, and smart female hero. Unfortunately, this just didn’t deliver.
Storytelling wise, it’s repetitive. She-Hulk walks into her office, finds a surprise guest, they go to court or battle out of court, she wins, it happens again. She-Hulk, get a lock on your door! This happens at least 4 separate times in 12 issues! And you, Soule! Find a new storytelling structure!
Additionally, there is an absolutely unbelievable story line following a court case about Captain America, who is old now. It made zero sense and I really expect better from an author with a law background.
If I’m going to spend a whole issue in the courtroom the case should be captivating. This one was laughably ridiculous in all the wrong ways. No judge anywhere would take this case.
It’s also just kind of annoying to me when fictional lawyers don’t seem to have a specialty. They’ll just take any case that walks in their office regardless of what issues it’s dealing with.
Another big problem I had with the book was an art change in the middle. It went from mediocre and inoffensive to incredibly ugly and honestly uncomfortable to look at.
This completely took me out of what little story I was engaged in and I just wanted to rush through those issues to get away from the ugly.
My biggest problem with the book is something that has plagued me as a feminist through my whole life. In comics and other traditionally male-centered forms of media there is a habit of making female heroes, regardless of capability, lesser.
This happens in many ways but is frequently displayed by only giving female heroes female villains to fight. They’re apparently not strong enough to go up against the big boys so you have to drudge up D listers like Titania and Volcana to fight She-Hulk for the supposedly epic conclusion.
Where did Volcana come from? Why is she involved? She wasn’t a part of this story before, Victor Von Doom was but goodness forbid She-Hulk fight him, get her a lady to fight! Volcana would never be brought in against Man-Hulk. She-Hulk is ultra powerful, this isn’t even a balanced or interesting fight. It’s insulting to her and insulting to me as the reader.
She-Hulk deserves better. All women deserve better.
Please comment below if there is a more empowering She-Hulk run that I could read.
The feminist issues overwrite pretty much anything else for me. I stand by that.
She Hulk by Charles Soule Summary
This is a 12 issue run of She-Hulk written by Charles Soule. I really ended up loving his run of Daredevil so I thought I’d see what he could do with another super-lawyer.
I’ve been meaning to read She-Hulk for a while now and I’m sorry to say I was a little disappointed by this one. Soule set the bar too high with Daredevil and now I’ve dropped down.
Maybe if he had had more than 12 issues he would have been able to create a better long form story but this run ended up feeling more like a few short stories that got kind of repetitive by the end.
At the top of the run She-Hulk is denied a raise from her high paying firm job. They thought she would bring them high profile superpowered business but her ethics stood in the way of her exploiting her friends and cohorts. So she quits.
While she’s drinking at the lawyer bar and trying to come up with her next move she’s offered a case against Tony Stark, aka Iron Man. Only a fool would take this case but she’s desperate so she does.
She wins the battle against Legal, Stark’s infamous personal lawyer, and takes her payday to start up her own office.
Her and Hellcat go out drinking and punching bad guys until they come back to the office to find the son of Victor Von Doom looking for political asylum.
Too bad he waited until the very very last second to seek help, they race to the courthouse to file his paperwork and Doom interrupts the proceedings.
She goes to California to consult with Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil, and then goes to deal with Doom.
Back at home she shows Hellcat, aka her new assistant, the “blue file.” Some mysterious case that lists Jen Walters, aka She-Hulk, as a defendant but she can’t remember anything about it.
It is at this point in the story that the art suddenly changes and I hate it. It’s so ugly.
It stays like this for a couple issues and I hated every panel of it.
So She-Hulk, Hellcat, and She-Hulk’s paralegal who has some sort of mystical monkey are all investigating separately.
The paralegal finds some helpful documents and is promptly shot, the monkey breathes life back into her.
Hellcat mentions the case to Tigra and it triggers something in her to turn her very violent.
She-Hulk decides to abandon the investigation because it’s too dangerous and I don’t like that. Why should she give up? Other heroes wouldn’t give up just cause Tigra went crazy. One of the paramounts of super herodom is to not break down every time something gets dangerous!
So then She-Hulk and Hellcat go on a side adventure with Ant-Man, whatever, it’s pointless and forgettable . It just gets them to come back to the office to find another surprise guest, this happens a lot in this book.
This time it’s old Captain America (aka Steve Rogers).
Ol’ Cap is being sued for wrongful death from back before he was even a super soldier. He asks Jen to represent him.
She calls up Murdock again for help and he abruptly declines. She heads into court and sees Murdock is the opposing counsel, which you would think would already be known to her through disclosure but whatever.
So they are both involved in this absolutely ridiculous case against Captain America. What judge in the world is going to hear a 50 year old hearsay case against Captain freaking America?!
The whole case is malarkey and should be thrown out and I didn’t buy this whole plot line for a second and Soule knows better, he has a law background.
Turns out Cap hired both Walters and Murdock because he wanted this taken care of fairly in the public eye so as to not tarnish his reputation before he dies.
And then it’s revealed that one Dr. Faustus was the mastermind behind the whole blemish Captain America’s delicate reputation plan and Ol’ Cap goes and knocks him out. End of plot.
We still have this whole blue file thing to deal with though so She-Hulk returns to the office and finds yet another surprise guest waiting for her.
Titania is hanging out and ready to kick her butt and then all the ladies including a now present Volcana show up to battle.
At this point I was fed up. I really hate in female led comics and action movies or stories when the women can only battle other women. She-Hulk is ultra strong and powerful but they had to drudge up Titania and Volcana for her big fight. Who the eff is Volcana?! Give her a real baddie like you would for any other hero!
It’s stuff like this that keeps female heroes on the B list. I hate it.
The blue file had something to do with Nightwatch being bad and then good but not really. Whatever, I stopped caring.
Wow, so I started to dislike this one more and more just as I typed these words out.
She-Hulk is supposed to be super strong and super smart. She kind of got to show how smart she is but not in any meaningful way, and her strength was definitely underutilized.
Seriously, don’t give me this female against female shite. If you wouldn’t put Volcana against Man-Hulk why put her against She-Hulk? It’s not even a good fight.
Additionally, the art really sucked for two issues. This all adds up to not worth it. I don’t recommend this one but for some reason a lot of other people seem to love it so I guess just make your own call.
I was going to give it two stars but the feminist issues just always push me over the edge so screw it:
1/5 volcanoes 🌋
For a much better Marvel run staring a female hero check out Mockingbird.
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Buy it here: She-Hulk by Soule & Pulido: The Complete Collection