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She-Hulk #31

Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2008
By: Shawn Hill

Peter David
Vincenzo Cucca (p), Vincenzo Acunza (i)
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: She-Hulk #31 arrives in stores tomorrow, July 23.

Plot: It's Jennifer and Jazinda vs. X-Factor, who are protecting a perp in Detroit with ties to someone called the Talisman who is important to the Skrull Invasion. Yep, the secret's out, and Jenn the Avenger wants in!

Comments: Well, that was weird. I just read part one of this story in X-Factor and understood nary a word. But part two over in She-Hulk clears up those mysteries and provides excellent versions of the complicated cast of characters (which makes sense in a way, as Peter David writes both books). The new art team (something made up of four people who call themselves GG Studio) is great, capturing a vivacious power-house version of She-Hulk, an arrogantly beautiful Monet, and assorted convincing Skrulls as needed. The look is a bit cel-shaded as far as coloring and finishing goes, but it's a bright, clean and uncluttered look that fits the cartoonish nature of the predicaments Jennifer often gets herself into.

This issue she seems to be getting herself into needless fisticuffs, which may or may not have something to do with the gamma-based nature of her power. When even Madrox is asking you to be calm and more rational, you know you're somewhat out of control. But Jenn doesn't seem capable of backing down from a threat these days, and that leaves Jazinda and Darwin (yes, the only survivor of Xavier's second team of X-men, now on a mission to seek out Charles himself) somewhat unprepared for all that Talisman (masquerading as Longshot, who knows why) can do.

Humor remains paramount for David, but he mixes it with drama so most of the laughs are more like uneasy chuckles. When Monet stops tearing up the real estate, she locates Darwin and scans his friend (but these Skrulls are immune to mutant telepathy, remember?). The way the Skrull Talisman (he's sort of their version of Silver Surfer, pre-world-conquering horde arrival) is ultimately revealed is as a hilarious manifestation of Darwin's power. So while X-Factor has an off-month (they're in a state of flux at the moment), She-Hulk is better than ever. Let's hope the crossover ultimately benefits both books, as it heads back to X-Factor next month.








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