Warning, there be spoilers on yonder
Continue reading Comic Convo: Secret Wars #9
During it’s era that the publisher labeled as Marvel Now, the line of superhero titles was marked with excellent individual ongoing series paired with bad crossovers & limp events. But while the series of that era like Thor, Ms Marvel, Hawkeye, Young Avengers, Moon Knight & others are sure to go down as some of the most important comics of their time, it’s notable that Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers/New Avengers probably won’t be listed among them or at least didn’t feel that way in real time as it was wildly inconsistent in quality despite having one of comics best modern writer. So perhaps it’s irony or just a natural byproduct of Hickman’s vision on the book, but it’s turned out that his best work during Marvel Now comes at the conclusion of that period on Secret Wars, the publishers biggest crossover event ever. Still, that context is somewhat reductive as Hickman, Ribic & Svocina’s Secret Wars has completely upended the notion of an event book, superhero continuity constraints & the Marvel fictional universe in and of itself to create one of the best comics of 2015 by reverse engineering all of Marvel’s past story cannon as a meta-textual commentary on the publisher fictional history, where by changing one key detail explains the essential quality of what it means to be a superhero. Continue reading This Year’s Finest 2015: Secret Wars Show’s Me A Hero
Overview: Jen travels to San Francisco to seek advice from our other favorite Marvel U lawyer, Matt Murdock. After some stress reducing–and Freeze Frame worthy–Fog City crime-fighting, Jen heads off to Latveria to fix the Dr. Doom problem that arose at the end of last issue.
Story: Charles Soule continues to do a great job writing Jen, his Matt seemed a little A.D.D jumping all around atop the bridge, but otherwise the set-up was done well. Jen didn’t know how to proceed with the Kristoff Vernard case, so it made perfect sense that she would seek the advice of the foremost attorney in the 616. I really enjoyed the rapport between the two lawyers, and I hope this isn’t the last time we get to see them hang out, because I think they could form a unique team-up for some future adventures; both Soule and Waid are capable of writing both characters well, and a mini crossover with Pulido and Samnee on art duties would be superb! So fingers crossed, make it happen Marvel 🙂 Anyway, after Jen’s west coast trip, she journeys to Latveria and uses the combination of Hulk-strength and her persuasive lawyer skills to mend the Father/Son rift between the two Dooms. Soule handles this well, and showcases Jen’s multi-skill approach to problem solving, which serves to further round out her already awesome character. The issue is wrapped up with a nice lead in to Jen’s next big case, and I’m confident that Soule has something interesting planned for our emerald heroine. This issue is a great example of economic storytelling; other writers would use an entire five-issue arc to deal with this case, but Soule understands that sometimes it’s better to keep the momentum going in a book and not get caught up in the details. Sure, we could have spent an entire issue gallivanting around San Francisco, but it wouldn’t serve the story that well, and would feel padded for no real reason; I’m glad that Soule made this choice, and the book is better for it.
Art: I’ve said it before, but I’m a big fan of Javier Pulido, and he continues to do a fantastic job on this comic. From the title page, with creator names and the editorial team on banners being flown by Angie and her monkey, to Jen Hulk-hopping across the rooftops of Latveria; Pulido’s style is all over this issue. His action sequences remind me of the Adam West Batman series, with large font onomatpoeia in the background of the kicks, explosions, and punches; it a really fun way to do action in the pop/cartoon style. Munsta Vicente does a perfect job of making the art jump off the page with a bright, exuberant color palette that works so well with the aesthetic of Pulido’s line work and design. The art team on this book is creating a singular vision for Jen’s world, and the style of art fits the tone of the book established by both Soule as a writer, and Jen as a character.
Conclusion: She-Hulk #4 is an excellent example of how decompressed storytelling isn’t the end-all, be-all of modern comics, and that sometimes leaving parts of the adventures up to the readers imagination is the best choice. We’ve all slogged through 12 issues of a comic only to get a half-cocked resolution to part of a story, and sometimes it’s just more fun to have our protagonist get things done without a bunch of random hiccups or drawn out peril. Charles Soule is writing quite a few comics at the moment, but I personally think She-Hulk is going to end up being his masterpiece.