The reader isn’t the only one kept in the dark during the trial of Captain Steve Rogers; in this climactic conclusion, Charles Soule and Javier Pulido reveal just as much for Jennifer Walters and Matt Murdock as they do the audience, and boy, it’s a doozy. With twists and turns aplenty, “She-Hulk” #10 closes its case with a thrilling courtroom drama.
As much of this issue focuses on Jen’s skill as a defense attorney, Soule dedicates a good chunk of page time to Steve Rogers and his story. Steve’s twists — which embellish the previous testimony — arrive as a gasp-worthy set of surprises while remaining true to the character in its stark straightforwardness. Steve, for all his withholding, does so for a reason that is so uniquely him that it’s worth a chuckle. What’s more, watching Jen roll with the punches is a pleasure to read; her genuine confusion, frustration, and laugh-out-loud hilarity echo the audience’s as she puts her best effort into clearing Steve despite the roadblocks. Additionally, Steve’s faith in both Jen and Matt packs an extra emotional punch that brings extra pathos the conclusion, for it feels almost impossible to root for one over the other as Steve puts his faith solidly in both. Both closing arguments show them at the height of their craft; though a lot of dialogue gets packed into a relatively blank page, the words alone stand to be as compelling and engaging as the winding road it took to get there. Although she didn’t get much by way of dialogue this issue, Hellcat continues to be one of the team’s best additions in her unchecked dialogue, fierceness, and energy.
Pulido’s style continues to be apt in its representation of Jen and her strange little world. His strengths lie in the subtle humor he incorporates in the background, particularly wherever Hei Hei is involved. Likewise, his figures stand out during their happier moments, like Jen’s smug joy at Steve’s reason for choosing her and Patsy’s unbridled enthusiasm for being part of Jen’s team. On the other hand, Pulido manages to carry the gravitas of the more dire situations with an extra emphasis on his silhouettes (though, in some of the present day scenes, this proved to be a little much). His titular splash page stands out for its clever use of railroad tracks to both split the page between its Brooklyn and Hollywood settings and symbolize Sam and Steve’s travel in between.
Colorist Muntsa Vicente does an utterly fantastic job in this issue as well, notably in the flashback sequences. He overlays winter in Brooklyn with a cold, steely gray that contrasts directly with a warm, dusty orange for Hollywood. He keeps the ’40s scenes skewed towards gray- and sepia-toned scales, which makes them markedly distinct from the present day courtroom. However, he uses differentiating colors — like the dusty red of Sam’s hair and Steve’s sharp baby blues — to make the characters not only individual but memorable. The burning red of the Nazi flags pop against the grainy cinematic backdrops, making the revelation as alarming as possible. When the colors snap back to the vivid orange and green of present day, the switch is jarring at first but ties into the narrative; the gray-toned flashbacks seem to capture the engrossing way Steve sounds as he relates his tale, only to bring the audience — and thereby the jury — back in one abrupt moment when he comes to a close. Vicente’s work is here is absolutely brilliant.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I hope to have proved to you beyond a shadow of a doubt that Charles Soule and Javier Pulido’s “She-Hulk” simply confirms a widely held belief: Jennifer Walters is the best damn lawyer in the Marvel Universe — and, if you don’t believe me, just ask the former Captain America. Soule and Pulido give all the characters involved a whole lot of heart as they struggle to behave professionally and amicably, while fulfilling promises made to friends. “She-Hulk” #10 is another brilliant chapter in a fantastic take on Jennifer Walters.