The Hulk is back! But she’s far from the Hulk we know. With Bruce Banner dead, his cousin Jennifer Walters is left making sense of her new world. When it was announced that Mariko Tamaki would be the writer for this series, I was both excited and apprehensive. It’s exciting because Tamaki is a very different writer for the Hulk formerly known as She-Hulk but that’s exactly why it’s a little concerning as well. For those who are fond of the previous She-Hulk titles, this is a far departure from the lighthearted fun that they’re known to have. This might deter fans but I encourage you to give this a try.
Tamaki is approaching this with a Jessica Jones level of care in that Jen has gone through a lot during the Civil War II event and that kind of trauma just isn’t going to go away. I really liked this issue because of Jen’s narration. I was entranced, following her thought process as she tries to navigate her way to work. Something as simple as a subway ride can feel like a dire hero’s quest and that’s amazing to see in a mainstream superhero comic. The Hulk is a symptom of the trauma and Jen’s struggle is admirable and hard to watch. These are the kinds of stories that get me, the kind that are real and enhanced through the familiar superhero narrative.
Though Tamaki’s approach is amazing, it truly works through Nico Leon's interior art. It’s drastically different from other She-Hulk interiors but fits with the intimate direction the series is taking. There’s a little inconsistency, I think between the first couple of pages and the rest of the issue where the first scene is very detailed and the others have a more manga-inspired style to it but it’s just a small note on an otherwise beautiful issue
If you’re a fan of the Jessica Jones tv series and comic, I think you’ll love this issue. It may be hard for fans of the older She-Hulk titles to get used to this more melancholic interpretation but I believe it’s worth a try. Beautifully written and drawn, Hulk #1 is definitely my pick of the week.