REVIEW: HULK #1 NOW

DECONSTRUCTED:  PART ONE

Jennifer Walters has always battled for justice–whether it was as a razor-sharp attorney in the courtroom or as her sensational alter ego, super hero She-Hulk.

But recent events have shaken Jen to her core.  During the Civil War, She-Hulk suffered critical wounds during a clash with Thanos, and fell into a coma.  When she awoke, she learned that her cousin, Bruce Banner A.K.A. The Original Hulk, was executed by fellow super hero, Hawkeye.  Jen is awake, healing but what will the world hold for her now?

The She Hulk is no more, now Jen is only . . .

HULK

Obviously this is a strikingly different Hulk title, but also an equally different take on Jen Walters.  If you are hoping for exciting green hulking out moments you will be disappointed.  Mariko Tamaki, aptly titles this opening arc, Deconstructed and Jen is indeed tore down; although physically, the healing process appears complete.  The story is carried largely by Jen’s own internal monologue driving home her obvious PTSD via Thanos and Hawkeye.  This issue is a slow walk through Jen’s first day back to work, replete with the typical uncomfortable interactions anyone who has suffered personal tragedy can relate to.  Mariko does a good job showing the emotional and psychological anguish Jen is going through.    This is not done subtly and doesn’t require “critical reading” but that’s ok for me.  I never felt as if I was being force-fed the issue, nor did I feel I was getting a cheap Hulk replacement.

Hulk’s rage and struggle to control this rage was what I always loved about The Hulk.  I don’t want a Hulk who takes selfies, says things like “that’s lit” or flashes the deuces on every page.  I want a Hulk who is in pain, real relatable pain!  Well I think we may be getting just that from Ms. Tamaki.

Nico Leon provides excellent crisp line work to accompany the script.  Leon translates the pain of Jen’s anxiety from script to illustration perfectly.  The emotional turmoil can be followed from panel to panel through Jen’s face and bodily language.  Colorist Matt Milla continues the narrative emotion using his color palette.  Again this is not difficult to spot the tonal shifts, Mr. Milla saturates muted or vibrant green and moves to muted blues capturing the rage and despair respectively.

screenshot_281 screenshot_282  screenshot_284

If you have stuck around this far, CHEERS!  I say go out and pick this title up.  I will grant you, it is paced rather slow but I feel this is intentional and necessary given the topic.  I am eagerly looking forward to continuing this opening arc.

SOLID 4.25 gamma irradiated donuts for this opener!

Written by:  Mariko Tamaki
Art by:  Nico Leon
Colors by:  Matt Milla
Lettering by:  VC’s Cory Petit

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