She-Hulk (2004 Series) #8
Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Engagement Ring
It’s She-Hulk versus Champion in the title bout for Skaroon!
Writer: Dan Slott
Pencils: Juan Bobillo
Inks: Marcelo Sosa
Colors: Dave Kemp
Letters: Dave Sharp
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Cover Art: Mike Mayhew
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Last issue the She-Hulk got a new position – a magistrate in the employ of the Living Tribunal. Part of that gig means she has to work within the justice system of each planet she presides over – and on the planet Skaroon, where supremacy is decided by combat, that means trouble. The elder of the universe known as Champion has taken over that world and is running it into the ground, spending all his time in the boxing ring. It’s up to She-Hulk to take him down.
I get more impressed with Dan Slott’s writing each and every issue. There are several things about this title that have made me into the fan I am, and you get them all this month. Slott delves into some Marvel Universe history to help the story play out, nut works it in without making it an obstacle for new readers. We get a few surprise (but satisfying) cameos, and we get a lot of humor. There’s a sequence in here that especially cracked me up, reminding me of the episode of “South Park” where they make fun of the “sports training montage.”
The storyline is constructed very well – all the circumstances that lead to the conclusion were set up last issue. Nothing comes out as an utter surprise, but you’re enjoying the ride too much to really overthink it. It’ll be interesting to see if the changes that come about in this issue last in this series – and if they’ll be reflected in other comics that Shulkie appears in.
Juan Bobillo is on his way out as penciller of this series, but he manages a decent job on this issue. His strengths and weaknesses remain the same as always, though – he does well on She-Hulk herself and most of the human characters, but his “monsters” don’t work. They’re too soft and silly-looking in a way that doesn’t really mesh with the humor of the script. (There’s a flashback panel with the Thing that reminded me of how dissatisfied I was with his rendition of the character several issues ago.) Mike Mayhew again serves up a great cover, a funny cover, that taps into a couple of obscure and wacky Marvel characters, but it’s a cover that, as so many Marvel covers are these days, is utterly irrelevant to the story.
This is a really good title, a really fun title, and with Paul Pelletier taking over the pencils soon, I expect it to get even better. The book has been picked up by Marvel at least through issue 15, so you’ve got time now to get on board, start enjoying this series, and help it get the long life it deserves.