Released: January 10th 2018
Issues: She-Hulk 7-11
After what I read in the first volume, I had no doubt that I absolutely had to continue reading this series. For those of you who haven’t read Deconstructed I can’t recommend it enough, it’s so wonderful. Mariko Tamaki is absolutely what we needed for a She-Hulk reboot, and I couldn’t be happier with her. Which is going to make my next statement that much more depressing. Before the release of this volume it was announced that the series was going to be cancelled. We’ve got at least one more volume ahead of us, but beyond that I can’t say. I sincerely hope Tamaki and her team were given enough warning to give this series the proper sendoff it deserves. I’d be heartbroken if it ended with an unfinished plotline in the air.
I’m sure that they’ll reboot She-Hulk again at some point, but I’m still feeling the loss pretty heavily. Especially since there’s no guarantee that Tamaki will be a part of said reboot. In the meantime I strongly urge everyone to keep an eye on Tamaki’s future works, as I’m sure they’ll be worth it (I’ve read a few other series by her, so I feel confident saying that).
Some people out there are saying that the second volume isn’t as strong as the second; and maybe they’re right. It didn’t hit me in the feels as much as the first one did (seeing Jennifer react to the loss of Banner the first time was really rough) but I’m still finding myself fascinated with the puzzle laid out before us.
Take a look at the cover, what do you see? Does that look like the normal green tone we’re all used to seeing Jennifer take upon herself? No, it doesn’t. And it wasn’t a printing mistake or artistic license either (that can happen on covers, after all). She-Hulk is grey. And I’ve got to say, she looks fantastic that way. There are some changes that coincide with the color swap, which based on the other Hulks we know isn’t terribly surprising. I’d love to know the how and why of everything that is going on here, and I sincerely hope it is answered soon.
Ironically the whole She-Hulk being grey bit isn’t even the main plot (hard to believe, isn’t it?). There are actually two plot arcs in this volume, the first one taking up four issues, and the second taking the final fifth issue. And before you worry, yes Hellcat makes an appearance in both plots.
The main plot revolved around unfortunate circumstances that can turn one into a monster (or a Hulk) and how sometimes it’s the luck of the draw. It doesn’t change the loss one feels, or the betrayal (which some will experience more than other). The concept of grief continues to be explored as well, thankfully (I’m loving how Tamaki is handling it), and if I’m being honest I suspect this is the root of She-Hulks change to a greyer tone (or maybe they were implying somebody drugged her? Now that would be scary).
I’m still blown away by how much emotion is crammed into a few short issues every time. It’s amazing, really. She-Hulk has never felt so real or so human, and I hope she never goes back. I hadn’t really felt the impact of Banner’s death before I read her series – but now it’s like this aching black hole I can’t deny the existence of, and it’s all because of her pain, her grief. I just want to reach out to her and help her make it all better (not that anyone can really do that).
The second plot is a whole lot lighter in tone, I promise you. At first I actually thought it was a whimsical one-shot sort of story, especially with the fourth-wall breaking that was going on. I wouldn’t have blamed them for going for a comic relief episode, to be sure. That being said, I’d suggest that you don’t skip this issue; it actually contains some important information. I suspect it’s going to be related to the plot for the third volume, though I couldn’t say that for certain.
Regardless, I can’t wait until volume three releases, even if that means we’re that much closer to the end (my poor heart). I do find some irony in that we’ve been watching She-Hulk learn how to deal with loss, only to learn that we’re going to be losing this series. This has been one of my favorite She-Hulk series, so I am very saddened by its loss, and I don’t care if anybody thinks I’m silly for feeling that way.