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She-Hulk #11

by  in Comic Reviews Comment
She-Hulk #11

“She-Hulk” #11 by Charles Soule and Javier Pulido begins with Titania’s break-in into She-Hulk’s offices and becomes the most fight-sequence-intensive issue yet. This feels like a deliberate contrast to the courtroom-heavy arc with Captain America that just concluded in “She-Hulk” #10.

All the hand-to-hand combat between Titania and She-Hulk gives Pulido extra panel space to flex his visual imagination, and his page and panel compositions are particularly inventive and spectacular in “She-Hulk” #11. The opening double-page spread has a fun sequence where the gutters of the horizontal-moving panels become walls in the building, followed by another double-page spread in which the vertical bottom-to-top moving gutters become building floors and ceilings. The punching and kicking that She-Hulk and Titania exchange are blocky and stiff, but it’s appropriate to the point-by-point one-sided conversational jabs from Titania.

Later on, there’s more fluidity in the action. A short sequence with Angie approaching in a vehicle has a very pleasing visual zoom-in progression from ponytail outline to a half-body shot to a head-shot. Then a sequence across the bottom of two pages shows Hei Hei transforming mid-air with a progression of minimalist silhouettes. These panels have strong, dynamic visual tension in them, and the minimalism gives these moments extra gravity through their starkness and the corresponding silence. His dramatic linework and shading are enhanced and magnified by Vicente’s use of contrasting oranges and blues.

The background details and visual shorthand are also excellent, like how She-Hulk is hit with such force that one of her oxfords falls off, or the windmill of foot and leg when Titania spins She-Hulk around and around. Pulido’s outfit designs for Jennifer, Patsy and Angie are enjoyably creative and flattering as well, with thoughtful attention paid to clothing construction in items like She-Hulk’s double-breasted turquoise blazer with a mandarin collar. Vicente’s bold color choices also heighten the visual pleasures in the clothing and costume choices. Her work has been exceptional throughout the entire run of “She-Hulk.” Previous colorists didn’t seem to know what to do with She-Hulk’s pond-green skin tone. Defined and clad in Pulido’s linework and Vicente’s vivid palette choices, Jennifer Walters has never seemed more iconic or comfortable in her own skin and clothing. She-Hulk’s Brooklyn building is richly defined too, and even while it’s getting holes punched in it, it still feels like the right home and an extension of She-Hulk herself.

As fun as it is to follow all the action as She-Hulk hulks out, it’s the non-fighting moments in “She-Hulk” #11 that are more characteristic of Soule and Pulido’s work on the title with their focus on character interactions. Titania’s hatred of She-Hulk provides an engine for this part of the plot, and Volcana’s surprise appearance adds more comic relief as well as lengthening the odds on She-Hulk. All the real plot movement is condensed into one conversation and the last-page reveal. The real substance of the issue is that Angie and Hei Hei save the day. Readers finally get a tiny bit more information about the duo, but the new revelations in “She-Hulk” #11 only make them both more mysterious, so hopefully Soule plans to reveal all about Angie, Hei Hei and the Blue File next issue.

It’s a great pity that Soule and Pulido’s take on Jennifer Walters and her law practice and superheroic shenanigans will be coming to an end with the next issue. It’s a shame that there won’t be more time to develop the fascinating characters and relationships that Soule and Pulido introduced. Their version of Jen Walters gave her keen legal mind as much spotlight as her muscles. Patsy as Jen’s investigator will be missed and so will the enigmatic and capable Angie and Hei Hei. Soule and Pulido’s run on She-Hulk will be remembered and greatly missed.