While the She-Hulks have been seen in bits and pieces (in the case of Jennifer Walters, almost literally) throughout the “Fall of the Hulks” event books, this series is centered on the three gamma-irradiated gals who mix the “She” with the “Hulk.” This issue fills in many of the gaps between appearances of Lyra, Jen, and the Red She-Hulk (“Redshulk”?).
The story opens with Salva Espin’s cartoon-influenced — but not cartoony — art as Lyra decides to play up the mother-daughter disagreement cliche as never before. This is a mother-daughter tale wherein the daughter feels betrayed by the mother and longs for time with her much cooler aunt, except all of the players are super-strong. The fury of a teenage “I hate you!” is backed by gamma-powered muscles. Like “Mommy Dearest” meets UFC with Thundra and Lyra taking the lead roles.
In the midst of all of this, we also get the story of how Lyra joined the Frightful Four. More importantly, however, we learn why. The story borders on touching, but I’ve got to be honest with you, I’ve about hit saturation with Hulks. Hulk, She-Hulk, Red Hulk I could handle.
The art in this issue is primarily by Salva Espin, but where it’s not, Zach Howard draws the story. When it’s not Espin it shows, which is no dig on Howard. Espin’s style is so sleek and nearly animated that anyone else stepping in to pinch hit would be a distraction.
Parker does good by the characters here, providing a story that despite reaching Hulk-level capacity for Hulks is actually quite good. It reads thicker than it is, feeling like an extra-sized tale. In the case of a Hulk book, that seems like it would be rare, but in this case it works. The one fault I want to put on Parker, however, is the ease with which he disposes of Thundra. I know Parker had a hand in creating Lyra, and would justifiably want to give that character more time, but Thundra is a character with great potential, especially with Parker writing her. I just feel like we don’t get enough Thundra is all.
The conclusion of this issue will undoubtedly have some strong repercussions in the next, as it should. It’s a shame this is tied to the “Fall of the Hulks” event, as I think it would be quite enjoyable on its own.