“She-Hulk” #159 is the sensational and incredible comic book pick of the month!
I was always a fan of The Hulk. From a young age, he was the perfect superhero. He was big, green, and strong – he was essentially a heroic monster. What’s not to love about something so incredible? I don’t remember where my first introduction to his cousin Jennifer Walters was, but I remember She-Hulk was a favorite of mine throughout the early 90’s and up to now. She was big, green, and strong; she was sensational in every way!
I’ve read both of their Marvel comics, but in the more recent run of Marvel, Bruce Banner died during the event “Civil War 2.” He’s been absent from the Marvel Universe for a while, but while we’re currently missing The Incredible Hulk, She-Hulk has filled the jade giant sized void in the pages of Marvel. Featured in her own series, originally titled “Hulk”, we are now at the landmark issue of #159 in the run of her series dating back to the 1980’s “Savage She-Hulk” #1. While issue #159 is technically issue #12, following last month’s “Hulk” issue #11, we are now at the point where Jen Walters has been introduced in the pages of Marvel’s current event – “Marvel Legacy” – an initiative with the purpose of returning Marvel Comics back to classic Marvel – the Marvel that fans knew and loved well before any Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“She-Hulk” #159 is another solid issue in a great run by writer Mariko Tamaki. While I always loved the character of She-Hulk, it was always her iconography that I responded to the most. I was admittedly not the biggest fan of her light and breezy “Sensational” run, however I did enjoy the muscular antics during the 2004 era. She was such a great character, but it seemed as if the writers could never find the right tone – do we make her big and muscular and angry or do we make her slim, model-like, and an adventuress? It wasn’t fully until Charles Soule’s 2014 run that we started to fully understand the depths of a character just as exciting as her incredible cousin. With that said, it wasn’t until Mariko Tamaki’s run that we got a character that was not only savage and sensational, but one that easily would rival the best of The Incredible Hulk. Sure, I was missing The Hulk/Bruce Banner from the current Marvel run, but with Tamaki’s writing, I was getting the best told Hulk stories in a She-Hulk title! Sensational!
The “Jen Walters Must Die” storyline was one I have been anticipating since the first reveal of “Marvel Legacy” and all of those lenticular covers. Jen Walters… The Leader… I couldn’t wait! Issue #159 perfectly continues the story of Jen Walters rage and her fear of her rage while also being the perfect issue for new readers to jump on at. What sets Tamaki’s She-Hulk apart from the others is that this is the story of a real woman dealing with real issues… in a real enough world. There’s nothing incredible or sensational about it and that’s exactly what is so striking about the character arc and story development. We don’t really get Jen Walters as She-Hulk all too much in the book, yet the gift/curse of being the She-Hulk is written into each page and panel – it’s an underlying spirit that’s always there. Mariko Tamaki also delicately and respectfully addresses issues of stress, personality disorders, and PTSD in such a beautiful way that makes the book the most socially relevant title on comic stands today.
The artwork by Jahnoy Lindsay, a 24 year old illustrator from Canada, is so perfect for the book. There’s a particular symmetry to each page which conveys a focus on the emotion that works so well in capturing the strength of Mariko Tamaki’s writing. When Jen Walters is anxious, we’re anxious. When Jen Walters is about to Hulk out, and there seems like no other option, and the walls are closing in, and it’s getting harder to breathe… we feel the same exact way. The pairing of Jahnoy Lindsay with Mariko Tamaki is perfect and issue 159 is filled with promise that the “Jen Walters Must Die” storyline is one not to miss – whether you’re a Hulk fan or not. I’d also like to make mention that “She-Hulk” #159 is one of the first comics I’ve read in a long time that features a cover relevant to the actual story. Read the issue and, well, Mike Deodato Jr. and Marcelo Maiolo’s cover makes complete sense. It’s also a sensational tease of the upcoming storyline.
I love Mariko Tamaki’s Jen Walters/She-Hulk. I hope her run on the title exceeds the original #1-25 and #1-60 run. She’s doing everything I’d want to see and more with She-Hulk and, if and when Banner comes back, give her a run on “The Incredible Hulk” to write as well.
MARIKO TAMAKI (W) • JAHNOY LINDSAY (A)
Cover by MIKE DEODATO JR.
JEN WALTERS MUST DIE Part 1
The LEADER is back and he’s using his gamma-enhanced super-intelligence to strike at She-Hulk! But how do you hurt an almost indestructible She-Hulk? By turning Jen against HERSELF!
Marvel Legacy: She-Hulk #159 “Jen Walters Must Die part 1” is now available wherever comic books are sold. To find your local comic shop, please visit comic shop locator.
(Steven Biscotti – @reggiemantleIII)