Dear reader, life is too short for crap books.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

A Superhero Comic for People Who Don't Like Superhero Comics

She-Hulk: Single Green Female
She-Hulk: Superhuman Law
written by Dan Slott, drawn by Juan Bobillo and Paul Pelletier

The Goods: She-Hulk has just been kicked out of the Avengers house for her partying ways when she is hired as a lawyer in the Superhuman Law division of Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg, & Holliway. Oddly, her new bosses don't want She-Hulk. They want her mousy, civilian alter ego, Jennifer Walters, to try the cases. Jen finds this hard to believe, on account of the fact that She-Hulk is a powerful, confident It Girl and Jen Walters is... well, kind of a loser.

Thoughts: I tend to shy away from Marvel Comics, because, unless you've been reading them since approximately 1975, keeping up with the story arcs and continuity (or lack thereof... how many freakin' Marvel characters have come back from the dead anyway?) seems to require a reference manual and your own personal Comic Book Guy.

She-Hulk is different because the writers are aware of the ludicrously lovable nature of the Marvel universe, and write stories that pay homage, while simultaneously poking fun at it. And whenever a really wacky precedent needs to be established in court, She-Hulk simply pays a visit to the law firm library, aka "The Long Boxes" where her own personal Comic Book Guy helps her pore over old Marvel comics. These, being stamped with the seal of the Comics Code of America, are legal documents admissible in any superhuman court of law. Of course.

The writing is clever, the characters are appealing, and the stories are funny, sometimes hilarious. Better yet, Dan Slott keeps the plots moving and avoids the Marvel pitfall of never-ending story arcs.

If you like...: books that zanily deal with the bureaucracy and infrastructure of the fantastic like Douglas Adams and the Harry Potter books, the Spiderman movies, or a good courtroom potboiler, this book is for you.

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