Written by: Rainbow Rowell
Art by: Takeshi Miyazawa
Colors by: Rico Renzi
Letters by: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover art by: Jen Bartel
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: December 28, 2022
She-Hulk #9 concludes (almost) the mystery behind Jack of Hearts’ disappearance at the hands of a couple of unlikely She-Hulk stalkers.
Is It Good?
I don’t understand what Rainbow Rowell is doing with this series. Truly, the creative choices in this series (and the arc as a whole) are baffling. She-Hulk #9 had the potential to be the best issue in the series to date until it suddenly stopped for a bizarre scene before stumbling into the last act. Why?!?
When last we left She-Hulk, the pieces had all but come together. A pair of arrogant scientists, jealous of Hulk’s power, hatched a plan to reproduce She-Hulk’s origin to become smart Hulks like her. The plan went wrong, leaving April Booth as a low-rent Leader and Mark Booth as a less-good Hulk.
Now, April and Mark captured She-Hulk to correct their mistake, using the power they siphoned from Jack of Hearts when he was their hostage.
The premise makes sense, and it has the potential for a pretty adventurous and dramatic She-Hulk story. Rowell wasted the first seven issues doing nothing (that’s not an exaggeration) to get to this point, but we got here. She-Hulk, realizing what happened and what’s at stake, rages out and starts to fight for her life when suddenly…
She-Hulk rips through the comic’s pages for a 4th wall break. That’s nothing new. The most revered runs of She-Hulk from Byrne and Slott employed 4th wall breaks. But here, the break doesn’t make sense. It’s not part of a joke. It doesn’t fit the flow of the scene. And She-Hulk doesn’t use the break to add something special. She-Hulk uses the break to lecture the audience about not giving her enough credit to follow a story… or something like that. The break is bizarrely placed and executed, killing the momentum of the scene when it was just starting to pick up steam.
If the 4th wall break was an attempt to homage to the works of Byrne and Slott, it’s a miserably misguided homage.
The art, at least, is pretty decent. Miyazawa’s character anatomy and action scenes are intense, and the 4th wall break, while ill-conceived, is visually well-executed. That said, the coloring is washed-out and lacking in pop.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
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She-Hulk #9 finally gives the languishing series some much-needed momentum…. until the comic stops with a bizarre creative choice in the third act. A choice that doesn’t make sense for the scene, the story, or the context. This comic had potential but flops hard in the end.