In this review of She-Hulk #15, the flirtations between Jen and Scoundrel come to a head as the destruction of Manhattan lurks in the background.
When Marvel released its solicitations for the month of August, I held a little bit of apprehension. The month before, the publisher announced the release of She-Hulk #15. As most reading vets would know, comic runs usually end after issue 12 or 15 (and a few others). So as the solicits for August came out, the first thing I noticed – no She-Hulk #16. My initial response:
Oh crap. Marvel’s going to pull another Black Widow-type cancellation.
It has all the makings of a repeat. She-Hulk had gained a decent group of followers (including yours truly) who gave the book praise, just as Kelly Thompson had with Black Widow. I truly feared the worst. I found myself giving a big sigh of relief when the publisher announced that the beloved green litigator would be returning in October under a new title, the Sensational She-Hulk. To the approval of fans, Marvel announced that current writer Rainbow Rowell would continue those duties in this new run.
Disaster of gamma-irradiated proportion averted.
The Final issue
With crisis averted, the question now turns how Rowell ends this current run. At the end of She-Hulk #14, Jen finds out that the items Scoundrel stole were components to a bomb. The Scoundrel gave everything to an alien who wants to destroy Manhattan. The Scoundrel clearly has a romantic interest in Jen. His only reason for having her on the ship was to get her out of Manhattan before its destruction. Rowell has done a decent job of presenting through this final arc is whether or not She-Hulk shared the same feelings. I often imagined the chaos such a love triangle would create. However, Jen was having none of it.
Meanwhile, I smiled seeing the members of the Punch Club again. Even as I held concerns about the start of Rowell’s run on She-Hulk, the Punch Club stuck out as one of the pure joys of this series. It only got better as more members became members (none as funny as Ben Grimm). It’s good to see them play a role in this final issue and the final battle. From Titania to Iron Fist, the Punch Club remains a nice collection of characters.
This was an incredibly quick read for a final issue. However, the action was non-stop. The Scoundrel continuously expressed his infatuation with Jen. She, on the other hand, held no such feelings. Jen intended to do whatever needed to stop him. She succeeded in leading him into a moment of weakness, allowing her to tie him up with a string of Bulkhustler (as introduced in issue #12). She-Hulk leaves him to enter the battle with a horde of aliens coming to attack before the detonated. Jen doesn’t want to fight, however. She needs to find that bomb.
A Relationship We All Can Approve Of
As someone who has always held a strong interest in She-Hulk since I first began collecting comic books at 9 years old, knowing the man in her life was just as important. From crazy marriages to flings, Jennifer Walters encountered them all. I like Jack of Hearts, however. I appreciate how Rowell writes his feelings for her. Jack is confused about a lot of things since his return from the dead. He is clear, however, in his feelings for Jennifer Walters and She-Hulk. I appreciate Rowell establishing that connection from the start. And frankly, almost ANYONE would be better than whatever that was with Thor. (Memo to Marvel editorial… never let that happen again. Thanks…)
Like a knight in shining armor, Jack arrives just in time. He received Jen’s call for help before the Scoundrel destroyed her phone. The bomb goes off and Jack absorbs all of the radiation, saving everyone in the area and Manhattan. Our hero…
Jack needs to release the radiation. Before he leaves, however, his girlfriend shows her appreciation by planting a huge kiss on him. Doing so reveals their relationship to those there. Many of them believed Jack to be dead from the pages of The Avengers #76. And with that, She-Hulk comes to an end… or does it?
Those who had not heard the news about the new series is treated to the announcement by series editor Nick Lowe as he gives his thoughts on the run. I actually would have preferred the reveal to happen this way other than for Marvel to release the news when it did. Nevertheless, it’s time for the return of the Sensational She-Hulk.
Overall Thoughts on the Art
The art in this series, much less this issue, remained interesting throughout the run. There are a slew of different artist. Sometimes they differed within the various arcs. They weren’t always noticeable, however. Part of this had to do with the consistency of the colors, which were primarily done by Rico Renzi. For this last arc, Dee Cunniffe provided colors. However, his style mimicked Renzi’s quite well. More than with the pencils, you could tell different individuals provided colors in the series. Good job there, including the art from Andrés Genolet, who provided pencils for this final arc.
Final Thoughts on the Series
As we await the return of the Sensational She-Hulk in October, I feel obligated as a lifelong She-Hulk fan to lay out a few desires, plus a few concerns as we move into the new series:
- The Scoundrel story needs to end. Readers need closure to that. Unfortunately, Rowell seems to leave the door open that he’ll return considering Jen left him alone on his ship.
- Develop Jen’s and Jack’s relationship more once he returns. After dealings with Man-wolf and Starfox and… yuck… Thor, I have a vested interested in these two. I’m happy to finally say that.
- Please don’t start out slow. I had a real concern during the early run of the series. I couldn’t tell completely where Rowell was taken the character. While I’m happy Rowell found her footing, I’m concerned this new series will start slow again. I really hope I’m proven wrong.
- Keep the Punch Club together. Bottom line, I will be pissed if we don’t see them in the new series.
- Do more with Mallory and Andy. They play an important role in Jen’s character history.
I’ll stress once again the importance of keeping the momentum of this run going into the next. She-Hulk has a following that probably led to marvel continuing the series. Reward us for that support.