Casual Comics Review Double Down – She Hulk #1 and Ms. Marvel #1

With so many great titles hitting the last couple of weeks, I’m still digging out from my pile of recent purchases. It’s all relative, though, since I only buy about four titles a week.

Two super-buzzworthy titles dropped, so I wanted to give you the Casual perspective on both She-Hulk #1 and Ms. Marvel #1. Two books with female leads, but both come from very different places. One is an established hero with a long publication history, the other is a brand new hero with a familiar name. One is a grown (7 ft. tall) woman with a professional career, the other a teenager out of her element and just discovering her powers while navigating high school.

How’d they each do in their respective first issues?

She Hulk #1

She-Hulk #1; Marvel Comics

Full disclosure, I absolutely adored the last She-Hulk series I read. Written by Dan Slott, the series that ran for 33 issues (as best as I can tell), beginning in 2004.

This book follows the 2004 series, “Single Green Female”, in spirit if not in chronology.

Jennifer Walters and her legal career are, once again, the focus of issue #1 of the new She-Hulk series. The behind-the-scenes wrangling of legal matters in a universe with superheroes, villains, alien life forms, interstellar travel, and unimaginable technology – while probably super-boring to teen and pre-teens – is fascinating to me.

In issue #1, when Jennifer Walters agrees to “have a conversation” with her old pal Tony Stark about some possible patent infringements on behalf of a widow, her life gets incredibly complicated in a hurry. Imagine a tech company with an army of lawyers that exists in our world *cough*Apple*coughcough*. Now put mega-mastermind and super-ego Tony Stark in charge of that company. Try and walk in the front door and have a “conversation” with Tony about a possible lawsuit and suddenly punching Galactus in the ankle seems like a less stressful way to spend a day.

The writing in She-Hulk #1 is crisp. I’ve heard a lot of people talk about the large number of “talking head” panels, but I didn’t really notice. It may be that I’m generally ignorant of panel layout and composition or that the story was just that gripping – probably some combination of both.

OK. Maybe I see it now…

I loved this book and can’t wait for the next issue.

Which brings us to my new rating scale for books… I only buy a few titles a week, so my rating system is “Will I buy the next issue”.

She Hulk #1 – Will I buy the next issue?
This book (along with Alex+Ada) convinced me to start a pull list. OF COURSE I’m buying the next issue.

Ms. Marvel #1

This was another title that generated a ton of pre-publication buzz.

Ms. Marvel #1; Marvel Comics

For those of you even more out of the loop than I am, months ago Marvel announced a new Ms. Marvel title that would feature a Muslim teenage girl as its protagonist. Mainstream media (mainstream enough that one of my co-workers knew about it) picked it up for a day or two.

This had all the makings of a “very special” series. And to be honest, I’m still on the fence about it. Overall, I came down on the “I liked it” side, but this one is much more wait-and-see than She-Hulk.

Adrian Alphona’s art in this book is dreamy. The book certainly has a look all its own – and a style that suits the story that they’re telling. The characters have very distinct personalities, as written by G. Willow Wilson, and Alphona does a great job revealing the characters through their posture, expressions, and individual styles.

Ms. Marvel #1, though, is an origin story. And, for me, the least interesting part of a superhero story is how they got their powers. Whereas, knowing the character, I can enjoy a book like She-Hulk right out of the gate, Ms. Marvel is going to take more time.

Fortunately, Kamala Khan is an interesting protagonist with relateable, but also unique personal issues. Being a teenager carries its own angsty problems – which is what made Peter Parker so popular way back when Spider-Man was introduced. Being a teenager in 2014 presents very different problems, especially when your family’s culture clashes with the culture at-large.

That’s why I have high hopes for this book. #1 wasn’t a bad start for the new Ms. Marvel series. When I hit the last page, though, it was just starting to get interesting.

Plus, I’m hoping that this is a book I can share with my daughters when they’re a little older – which I appreciate. Kamala is shaping up to be quite the role model if Wilson can avoid “going in a darker direction” with the title.

Ms. Marvel #1 – Will I buy the next issue?

Definitely. Now that the set-up is out of the way, I’d love to see what’s in store for Kamala.

That’s it for the two big buzz-worthy titles from the last couple of weeks. Both are definitely worth checking out.



One response to “Casual Comics Review Double Down – She Hulk #1 and Ms. Marvel #1”

  1. Casual Comic Guy Picks: Hot Comic Books of the Week (March 5, 2014) | Casual Comics Guy Avatar

    […] pick up this title. I reviewed issue #1 earlier. I love She-Hulk. It’s so much more than a typical crisis, punch, resolve storyline. Jennifer […]

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