Shortly after she learning about the dangerous ramifications of mentioning the Blue File, She-Hulk gains a few unwieldy new “clients” that seem to have only one thing on their minds: Jennifer Walters. Fortunately, Jen is not without a little muscle and some friends who are willing to help out in Charles Soule and Ron Wimberly’s “She-Hulk” #6. With a fun cast of characters and their palpable chemistry, “She-Hulk’s” latest installment takes Jen on an emotional roller coaster ride that falls regrettably flat where the art is concerned.
On the writing front, “She-Hulk” #6 gets a whole lot right. Soule utilizes a lot of C- and D-list superheroes to great effect; for example, prior to the throw down, Nightwatch’s exchange with Jen feels natural, familiar, and glib — an atmosphere that carries over easily into the action sequence and the conclusion. Although Jen clearly knows how to have fun, she also manages to show that there’s more to “good” than punching the bad guys even when that puts her in a difficult position, but Soule has her roll with these emotional punches in a gut-wrenching, poignant way that will ultimately leave readers cheering. Additionally, Soule — himself a lawyer — peppers the legal speak in just the right amount; Jen emanates that law-savvy feel without sounding cumbersome or overbearing (and, if she does, she catches herself quickly and rephrases). As such, Soule’s She-Hulk comes across as grounded and incredibly human. While fleshing Jen out on the character level, he advances the plot with a subtle and slow build, tossing out miniscule clues for subplots like the Angie/Hei Hei mystery that never distract from the story at hand.
Unfortunately, however, Kevin Wada’s jaw droppingly gorgeous cover work only sets readers up for disappointment when it comes to the interior art. Wimberly’s lines are rough, which in itself is not necessarily bad, but here it only makes for some very blocky figures; his backgrounds — if there are any at all — are unintelligible, which results in frustratingly confusing action sequences. He dresses his characters in outfits that seem lifted right from the ’80s, complete with denim jackets and stirrup pants, creating an atmosphere that generally upsets the groundwork that Javier Pulido established earlier on in the series. What’s more, Wimberly’s attention to detail is inconsistent, ranging from the changing length of Jen’s hair to radically different shades of green for her skin tone (two of which appear on pages opposite each other, which practically begs for comparison). His colors skew from bland pastels to garish neons, sometimes on the same page, with no apparent rhyme or reason; although this convention could be used for emphasis, it is not so here. In one particularly crucial scene towards the end of the issue, Wimberly makes Angie’s reaction to Jen’s statement completely unreadable, leaving no indication as to whether or not this was intentional. Wimberly’s approach is erratic to the point of distraction, not quirky or charming.
Although this is a very strong issue story-wise, “She-Hulk” #6 ultimately suffers under the weight of Wimberly’s artwork. Nevertheless, Soule puts a whole lot of heart into his characters, which makes this story more than worth its while.