She-Hulk #13 - Making Simple Hard

Some of you dutiful readers might recall me taking issue a few months back with Dan Slott's portrayal of Starfox in the pages of She-Hulk, where essentially Starfox is turned into a guy who uses his powers to have sex with people. I thought this was way creepy and lame. As it turned out, Slott was not finished with the story (the story sure seemed finished at the time, but apparently Civil War dictated that the story be cut off abruptly). Had I known that at the time, I certainly wouldn't have reacted as a I did, because all good comic readers know that dramatic changes might be revealed to be fake by the end of the story, just like how we were all waiting for Identity and Infinite Crisis to have last issues that made the previous six less lame. In any event, Slot continued the story with a three-parter that ended this Wednesday.

Spoilers from here on out!

In the storyline, Slott has basically eliminated almost all of the bad things we were led to believe about Starfox in the previous appearance (okay, he still did one really creepy thing, but not nearly as creepy as actually using his powers to make people have sex with him), and in this issue, he completes the task. So Starfox is not a rapist anymore - huzzah! So that's good. Good on Slott. Again, I would never have been all definitive if it were not for the feeling of finality that the original storyline had, but the fact remains that I did, and it turned out not to be the case. My bad.

Meanwhile, though, Slott's last issue added a twist that he spent this entire issue explaining away in a horribly convoluted and lame manner, begging the question - why have the twist if you didn't have a better explanation for it? This issue reads the same way you would think a comic would read if someone were to spend a whole issue hastily reversing a poor decision - which, as you might imagine, is pretty bad.

Last issue, Thanos reveals that Starfox used his mind-control powers to make Thanos love Death, so it was Starfox who was responsible for Thanos being so messed up in the head, by making him love Death. This was the true memory from both Thanos' mind AND Starfox's mind.

Well, this issue....(it pains me to type this)...Thanos' memories were revealed to be implants put in the mind of this Thanos, who isn't the real Thanos, but a clone of Thanos that the real Thanos created to torment his brother by making him think he was responsible for Thanos loving Death. Starfox remembered it that way, too, because Thanos had some lady drug him, at which point Thanos used some machine to manipulate Starfox's memories.


THAT'S the explanation?

All of this ultimately leads to Starfox deciding he wants no part of his mind-control powers anymore, as he is disgusted that his own mind was violated by his brother, so he could never mess with anyone else's mind.

Remember, this is all to explain something that Slott, himself, wrote last issue! He isn't trying to explain away someone else's story. This is him explaining away something HE wrote.

So yeah, I didn't like that at all. Way too goofy (note that Jim Starlin had Thanos clones, too, and it was goofy then, as well).

The rest of the story had some nice moments, though, especially Jen's interaction with her husband, who is now the "Star God." A lot of nice interaction and character work there.

Likewise, I enjoyed the use of Pug and Mallory (fellow lawyers at Jen's firm). Their dialogue was top notch, and I loved seeing Pug interact with other people in a normal manner, because when he's around Jen, he's just total losersville, and it annoys the heck out of me that it seems like we're supposed to root for this loser.

Cliff Rathburn's inks on Rich Burchett's pencils created a very different look for Burchett. I don't like it as much as Burchett's normal stuff, but it's not bad - kinda cartoony, but still, good artwork.

Burchett and Rathburn especially shine in the scenes in Thanos' mind, where we see "Great Moments in Thanos history," including where Jen was at those points in time. Clever work there by Slott, and illustrated impeccably by Burchett and Rathburn.

Anyhow, thank goodness this Starfox thing is over, as it has not been all that good for this book, so hopefully next issue we can just see some standard fun/action/great dialogue withOUT the "no, you see, it was a clone! Yeah, a clone, that's the ticket!" stuff.

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