With a Disney+ series on the way, Marvel’s Jade Giantess is back with a new series in this week’s She-Hulk #1.
Following the events of “World War She-Hulk,” Jennifer Walters is back to her normal self and all that entails: tussling with old archenemies, struggling to get it together, and working as a lawyer during her off-time from superheroing. But when an unexpected new arrival crashes into her life (figuratively and literally), it seems that Jen’s going to have a little more on her plate than she originally planned.
First and foremost, this new run of She-Hulk seems laser-focused on bringing Jen back to basics. After years of inconsistent characterization and experimental new takes of varying success, the Shulkie fans know and love is more recognizable than ever in this series. From a requisite appearance from Titania to the return of a major figure from the beloved Dan Slott run, writer Rainbow Rowell firmly has Jen back in the Ally McBeal-esque mode her fans prefer.
The table-setting of a new #1, combined with an emphasis on returning Jen to her “default” status quo, means there’s not much indication of what Rowell’s take on the character will be. As contentious as Mariko Tamaki’s Hulk was among fans at the beginning, for example, it at least offered a compelling hook for a new Shulkie series, while Jason Aaron’s “savage” She-Hulk in Avengers at least allowed her to fill in for Bruce’s usual role on that team while he was off being immortal. And then there’s my personal favorite run, which had (real-life lawyer) Charles Soule setting Jen in a workplace comedy as she launched her own firm.
Beyond the “back to basics” approach here, I’m not totally sure what to expect from Rowell’s She-Hulk based on this one issue. And that’s fine! Jen is a popular enough character that I think this series will have plenty of opportunity to establish itself sooner rather than later, and I was a big fan of Rowell’s Runaways, itself serving as a good relaunch for beloved characters. (And given how far in advance they were hyping up this series, Marvel seems to be pretty confident about it.) I’m also intrigued by the involvement of Jack of Hearts, former Avenger and aforementioned new arrival who’s been dead for quite some time. He’ll apparently have a big role to play in the series and, if future solicits suggest anything, might be getting hot and heavy with Jen pretty soon too. I’d also like to mention Rogê Antônio’s art, which does a good job of capturing the tone of Rowell’s script and succeeds in conveying the visual difference between Jen Walters and She-Hulk. Rico Renzi’s colors are an excellent match for Antonio’s art (he’s long been one of my favorite color artists) as well, and it seems that at least some of this run will have Jen Bartel covers, and that’s always something worth celebrating.