She-Hulk (2004 Series) #4
Quick Rating: Friggin’ Great!
Title: Web of Lies
She-Hulk’s newest case? Spider-Man Vs. J. Jonah Jameson!
Writer: Dan Slott
Pencils: Juan Bobillo
Inks: Marcelo Sosa
Colors: Chris Chuckry
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Editor: Tom Breevort
Cover Art: Adi Granov
Publisher: Marvel Comics
If I had any doubts left that I was into Dan Slott’s new She-Hulk series for the long haul, this issue removed them entirely. It’s smart, it’s funny, it tackles the issue from both sides, it is respectful of continuity but it’s perfectly accessible even for a brand new reader, and it’s one of the best done-in-one stories I’ve read all year.
Okay, I guess I’ll have to elaborate for those of you who didn’t rush out to grab this issue based just on that paragraph. She-Hulk’s co-worker Augustus Puglice, wanting to repay Spider-Man for saving his life once, finds the perfect way to say thank you: he’s filing suit against J. Jonah Jameson for years of defamation of character in the pages of the Daily Bugle.
I’m no lawyer, so I have no idea how accurate Slott’s depiction of a courtroom actually is, but I do know that accurate or not, it’s wildly entertaining. He’s got the classic Spider-Man one-liners down to a tee (if he ever gets a crack at the character’s own book, I will so be there) and he manages to pull out even the most obscure bits of continuity and present them in such a fashion that there is no way even the most comic-illiterate reader could be confused. (How many of you forgot that the first time Spider-Man publicly saved a life it was John Jameson?) In that way, the courtroom setting of this comic book is absolutely perfect to introduce new readers to the nuances of the Marvel universe.
Although every issue of the title has been a good standalone story, Slott has begun to work in some subplots, specifically a new romantic interest for the She-Hulk. While this doesn’t feel absolutely necessary, it doesn’t feel forced either, it flows very naturally from the story. While any single issue of the book can be read independent of the others, people who come back month after month will get a more complete picture.
Bobillo’s art rebounds this issue after being a little shaky last month (particularly in his interpretation of The Thing). His Spider-Man may be a little too skinny and spindly, but it’s not a huge problem and it’s a pretty good look for him. His male characters tend to look a little blocky and his women’s faces aren’t distinct enough, but his acting and fight choreography are very good and he’s well-matched to this title.
This is rapidly becoming a favorite title of mine. If you’re sick of books that disregard continuity and you’re looking for something a little more lighthearted for a change, this is the book to read.