Tuesday, January 25, 2011

COMIC: Top of the Stack - She-Hulks #03 (Review)

Written by Harrison Wilcox
Pencils by Ryan Stegman
Cover by Ed McGuinness

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $2.99

In what was probably not a coincidence, the first week of 2011 for comic books actually had quite a few premiere issue releases including Steel #1, that was the start of the Reign of Doomsday storyline, and MegaMind #1, a mini-series from the recently released in theaters animated Dreamworks film. In fact, most of my stack was filled with a sense of newness, plenty of series that had only started within the last year were in there and maybe it was perfect timing for a book that has one of my favorite Marvel characters to climb to the top of the stack. I'm talking about the She-Hulks mini-series, starring the Sensational She-Hulk Jen Walters, and new to the scene Savage She-Hulk, Lyra, written by Harrison Wilcox and Ryan Stegman.

Harrison Wilcox has dipped his quill in quite a few Hulk related stories for Marvel recently, including issues of Incredible Hulk during World War Hulk before taking the helm of the She-Hulks mini-series. Marvel exclusive Ryan Stegman handles the pencils for this mini-series focused on the original She-Hulk taking the new She-Hulk under her wing and being the strong guiding figure in place of her parents from another time and place, Thundra and the Hulk.

This issue delves into the ramifications of Amelia Hopkins following Lyra and finding out her secret of being a she-hulk. All the while dealing with their mission in the first place of finding the remaining members of The Intelligencia. There are some great moments of Lyra bonding with Jen while they shop for clothes, and Lyra finding a new friend in Amelia. And of course some examples of the less desirable traits Lyra picked up from her parents, like smashing and asking questions later. The only nitpick I had was how poorly portrayed Bruce Banner was in the story. Every other Hulk story that has Lyra involved, Bruce has been nothing but supportive - even wanting to be the father she never had - but here he lacked any emotional connection to her.

While the previous issues had not struck the same positive chord that this one did, it was the fantastic art of Ryan Stegman that kept me wanting more of this book. His style gives the book a feel and look of fun - an energy I have not seen around Hulk books since Dan Slott left the previous She-Hulk ongoing title. Even the Ed McGuinness cover fit the style of the book so well I had not realized it was not Stegman drawn.

Marvel has something here with Jen and Lyra if they take the time to build it and can convince fans to get behind them. In a lot of ways they feel almost like a Batman and Robin parallel with the mentor/familial bond happening at the same time. I wish this mini would turn into an ongoing or at least that they will sprinkle more mini-series starring these two in the future. I look forward to seeing what is in store for the She-Hulks.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's She-Hulk themed picspam.

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