Saturday, August 05, 2006

Review of She-Hulk #9

The Black Panther and Storm’s wedding is not the only nuptials in the Marvel universe this month. She-Hulk and Daily Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson’s son John (also known as the Man-Wolf) were wedded at the Chapel of Love in Las Vegas – by an Elvis impersonator, no less.

There are actually two stories in this issue, “The Big Reveal” wherein the world learns of the wedding, and we get a whole page of spit-takes from various members of the supporting cast, expectorating everything from Sarsaparilla (Two-Gun Kid) to WD-40 (the Mad Thinker’s Robot Head) and we see ex-bouncer-turned-lawyer, Augustus "Pug" Pugliese try to get hold of Shulkie so he can tell her that her feelings for John Jameson are the result of Starfox’s manipulation of their emotions, which may be true – probably is true, as Starfox is a skunk of the first order – but Pug also has a massive crush on She-Hulk, so his motives are suspect too.

In “My Dinner With Jonah” all hell breaks loose at the first meeting between the happy couple and the groom’s father. He actually drags out one of his old Spider-Slayers -- only now he’s calling it a She-Hulk Slayer. That’s right, he tries to kill his daughter-in-law right there at the dinner table (and you thought meeting your significant other’s folks went badly.)

All right, time for a word lesson, kiddies. Who can tell me what “Grawlixes” are? How about “jarns”? or “nittles”?
Well, they’re words for something you probably never knew there was a word for – those squiggles and symbols (like @%*#$!) used to denote cursing in the comics. I don’t know what the previous record for most grawlixes in a mainstream comic was, but I bet this beats it by a wide margin. J Jonah Jameson is a gruff man at the best of times, and the two things he hates most in the world are super-heroes and lawyers, so when he finds out his son is married to a spandex-wearer who is a lawyer in her not-so-secret alter ego, it’s not the best of times.
This is great stuff. People continue to debate what is more important in a great comic – the writer or the artist. And the answer is the writer, because writer Dan Slott actually makes comics fun again despite the fact that the artists Marvel keeps saddling him with are all substandard – the interior artists that is, Greg Horn’s covers continue to rock.
Two thumbs up. Five stars out of five. A++

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