Archive for the ‘she-hulk’ Category
Filed Under black widow, hulk, invisible woman, lady liberators, she-hulk, tigra, valkyrie
I got a little behind on my comics reading, so I’ve just now caught up with what’s going on in Jeph Loeb’s Hulk. I have reservations about it, but I’m enjoying it in general. I’d much rather read something by Jeff Parker, Greg Pak, or Fred Van Lente, but between the silly, trying-too-hard wackiness of Loeb and all the talking and off-panel fighting that Bendis and Millar crank out, I’ll take Loeb without even having to think about it. It’s obvious that he’s having a blast writing this stuff and it’s infectious enough that I’m enjoying it too.
What I just read was Hulk #s 7-9. I think it’s very cool that they’re splitting up each issue between the Green Hulk and the Red Hulk (I refuse to refer to him by the stupid codename they give him in the comic; one of those reservations I was talking about). It took some getting used to, but if that’s what it takes to get a monthly (or so) dose of Art Adams and Frank Cho interior art, I’ve got zero complaints. These guys are fantastic artists, but notoriously slow. Letting each of them draw half a comic a month was a genius move. Someone deserves a raise for that.
I’m going to focus mostly on the Red Hulk story here because that’s the one that features She-Hulk and she’s the reason I’m writing this post. But the Green Hulk story deserves mentioning if for no other reason than Art Adams is drawing it and holy crap it’s good to see that. Again, Loeb wants so badly to be awesome that he throws all kinds of things into the story (like Joe Fixit, mutated Wendigos, Moon Knight, etc.), but he does so mostly without any credible reason. That’s where he falls short of the Parkers, Paks, and Van Lentes. Those guys bring the awesome, but their stories still make sense at the same time.
But, back to the Red Hulk. In issues 1-6 of the series, S.H.I.E.L.D. was trying to bring down the Red Hulk and threw everyone they could think of against him, including Thor and She-Hulk. The Red Hulk’s tough though and was able to beat them all. Difference between Thor and She-Hulk is that Thor was able to shrug off the defeat and go about his day as long as Red Hulk was ultimately defeated (which he was, temporarily, by Green Hulk). She-Hulk, on the other hand, let her smack-down eat at her, so when Red Hulk went missing again, she volunteered to go after him and deliver some payback.
Thing is, she knew from experience that she couldn’t deliver it by herself, so she pulled out her Rolodex and started calling every other female superhero she knew. This is where it starts to get good. Or at least interesting. No, that’s not fair; it’s good. Wait and see.
A lot of the girls were busy with other things, so She-Hulk ends up with just Thundra and Valkyrie. Not too shabby, but not exactly an army either. Calling themselves the Lady Liberators (after an old Marvel team that Valkyrie sort-of-but-not-really used to belong to), they catch up to Red Hulk at Mount Rushmore and fight him.
There’s some silly stuff like our supposing to think that She-Hulk’s in danger because Red Hulk wraps a chain around her neck and dangles her over a cliff. Please. If She-Hulk’s neck-muscles can’t deal with hanging… Fortunately, Valkyrie and Thundra put a stop to it before we have to think about it too hard.
Then Valkyrie has her winged horse rescue She-Hulk from the drop and She-Hulk calls it the wrong name.
(I know, nice gratuitous crotch shot. Sigh.)
Anyway, I’m not up on current Valkyrie continuity, so maybe she’s got a new horse, but her mount used to be named Aragorn. Maybe that’s not as cool as it once was now that everyone knows where Marvel stole the name from (possibly why Sauron doesn’t menace the X-Men much anymore either?). I choose to believe that She-Hulk either didn’t know the horse’s real name or forgot it in her panic over falling. Where’s my No-Prize? Or am I just behind and the horse really is called Pegasus now?
There’s some more fighting and Red Hulk looks like he’s about to win, but at the end of issue #8 the cavalry arrives in the form of most of the women She-Hulk initially called to help her out. They’ve cleared their schedules and are here to – as She-Hulk says – “spank some red ass.”
I’ll try not to spoil anything more except to say that we’re reminded that a) Red Hulk is actually a pretty smart guy and b) one of the Lady Liberators has a background as a villain. I’ll probably say more about that second one when I talk later about what’s going on in She-Hulk. But for now I just want to point out a couple of things about She-Hulk and what this story says about women super-heroes (and women) in general.
First, She-Hulk does a lot of whining in this story. She complains way past the point of annoyance about how infuriating it was to get beat up by Red Hulk. Seriously, I just wanted her to stop. Getting Valkyrie and Thundra to join her was all so she could pay Red Hulk back for defeating her. Except, how much payback is it when you have to call in help to deliver it? How is that satisfying on a personal level? Stay with me here, because there’s an answer and – I’m pleased to say – Loeb is the one who supplies it.
She-Hulk has a voiceover at the beginning of issue #9’s installment that lets us know that this isn’t a matter of personal pride for her. It’s a gender issue.
As someone who likes reading about women heroes, I hadn’t really questioned why all the people She-Hulk called were female. I figured it was just about Loeb’s having a cool idea and running with it as usual. But this time there’s a real reason. Red Hulk isn’t just an evil strongman; he’s a misogynistic pig. Loeb goes out of his way to show that over and over again. Of course he’s infuriating to She-Hulk. Of course she’s pissed off that she can’t physically make him stop. Of course she’s going to call in her badass girlfriends to teach this scumbag a lesson.
I’m starting to like Red Hulk now. I didn’t at first. I thought he was another of Loeb’s crazy, half-formed ideas and I was ready to move past his story. But the longer he stays around, and the more infuriating he gets, and the more it becomes clear that he’s really not going to go down easily; the more I absolutely hate him. And I’ve realized that I love hating him.
I’m not going to insult women by saying that a male writer has taught me to finally see the world through women’s eyes, but I will say that I get now – in a tiny, tiny way, but in a way I never thought much about before nonetheless – why a lot of women I know are so frustrated by the imbalance of power between the genders. These characters (fictional and scantily clad as they are) are strong characters, physically and – for most of them anyway – in other ways as well. It’s maddening that they can’t seem to get the upper hand on this guy who hates them because they’re women (or at best, only sees worth in them as objects for his sexual gratification).
I feel like I need to apologize for giving this much credit to a super-hero story, but screw it. It made me see something in a way I hadn’t before and – for all its flaws – that’s pretty cool. I’m not going to take that away from it.
Filed Under she-hulk
Illustration by Matteo Discardi.
I haven’t commented a lot on Peter David’s She-Hulk run here, but for the record, I’ve enjoyed it. As he explains in this quote Newsarama found: “(She-Hulk had) been through so much between Civil War and World War Hulk that somehow it didn’t seem appropriate (to continue a humorous approach to the series). So I went in a more serious direction to have her rediscover her heroic roots and eventually restore an element of humor to the book.”
I liked that a lot. It was different for David and accurate to how She-Hulk had been portrayed in Marvel’s big event comics. It was dealing with the repercussions of Civil War in a way that no other comic I was reading did.
Apparently though, not a lot of other people dug it. “I thought the fans would stick around for the journey,” David says. “They didn’t. After an issue or two of no jokes, they bailed. Apparently they had no confidence that She-Hulk would eventually rediscover the humor and joy of life. I guess I miscalculated their patience.”
That’s too bad. The only part of She-Hulk I grew impatient with was the Secret Invasion cross-over it had with X-Factor. Other than that, it’s been a great ride and I’m sorry to see it end.
Filed Under action girls, batman, black canary, manhunter, she-hulk, zatanna
I guess Black Canary’s not rejoining the Birds of Prey after all. I knew it was a long shot, but I didn’t expect to find out for sure by the cancellation of the series.
Coming on the heels of a couple of other cancellations of series that starred female heroes, some folks have wondered if this isn’t some kind of backlash against super-heroines in general and if series like She-Hulk should be worried. Of course not, says Johanna (and, to be fair, Valerie in the link above as well, though after a rather sensationalistic title and opening paragraph). And I agree.
Low sales are most likely due to readers just getting tired of the concepts. Spider-Girl and Manhunter (good as Manhunter has been; I haven’t read Spider-Girl) have had the same writers on them for pretty much their entire runs. Where She-Hulk (for example) has the advantage is that it’s made use of one of the strengths of corporate-owned comics: the ability to boost reader-interest by bringing in a new creative team with a fresh vision.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but respect and admiration for Marvel and DC’s allowing Tom DeFalco and Marc Andreyko to shepherd their respective titles to the very end. But let’s face it, if DC handed Manhunter over Gail Simone or Geoff Johns, the series would get enough of a sales boost to keep it going for a while longer. I’m not saying that DC should do that; just saying that it would work.
She-Hulk on the other hand, wasn’t cancelled with Dan Slott’s leaving it. It was handed over to Peter David who’s doing just fine with it. That’s why it’s not in danger of being canceled, even though – like Spider-Girl and Manhunter – it’s been through a couple of hiatus periods in its history.
And what does this have to do with Birds of Prey? Absolutely nothing, except that that series’ demise also has nothing to do with its featuring women heroes. BoP is being “canceled” along with Robin and Nightwing in a publicity stunt tied into aftermath the “Batman RIP” storyline. DC’s already announced an Oracle mini-series to follow BoP and you can bet there will be something else directly after that once the dust settles in Gotham City.
Adding a couple of more shovelfuls of dirt onto the coffin of the Women Super-Heroes Are In Trouble Theory, DC is still coming out with a Power Girl ongoing and a Zatanna ongoing. Also recently announced, Amanda Conner will be illustrating the upcoming Black Canary/Zatanna graphic novel.
Filed Under she-hulk
FallCon was awesome. One of the best I’ve been to, and that’s in spite of the cold I came down with Sunday morning. I’m still fighting it, but it’s winning, so instead of a half-hearted con report now, I think I’ll wait until I can do it justice.
Instead, let’s talk about She-Hulk for a minute. The above drawing is by Marcelo Di Chiara, but I really want to share something out of the latest issue of She-Hulk (#33). The series is still in the middle of a major storyline crossing into Marvel’s huge Secret Invasion event, so I’m not going to try to recap the whole issue. Instead, I just want to mention one scene that was awesome for a couple of reasons.
The cover is a pretty accurate depiction of what’s going on in the first scene. Without going into detail about why, let’s just notice that She-Hulk is fighting the Super-Skrull in a mid-air battle and there’s a jet liner coming right for them. She-Hulk, by the way, can’t fly. What’s a girl to do?
Again, without going into a lot of detail, I should also point out that She-Hulk’s character arc lately has been all about the ramifications of Marvel’s Civil War event. Shaken by the fascistic actions of some of the Marvel Universe’s highest-profile heroes, She-Hulk has been questioning her own role as a hero. She’s been vehemently denying that she’s at all heroic, even while continually sacrificing herself in serious, meaningful ways to help others. The airplane scene is just another example of that.
Here’s what she does when Super-Skrull shakes her off and sends her hurtling straight at the plane.
How beautiful is that? Knowing that she’s likely going to die in the process, she turns back into her frail, vulnerable form, gets hit by a speeding airplane, changes back into She-Hulk to heal herself, then runs along the top of the plane to attack Super-Skrull again on the back side.
It’s an awesome move for anyone, but especially for a woman who’s questioning whether or not she’s a hero. After some pretty bleak issues, this was a downright monumental event.
Filed Under she-hulk
Geek Orthodox has an impressive gallery of She-Hulk action figures and statues. Some of them I’m envious of; others make me wonder about the kind of person who finds action figures sexy.
Not sure why this deserves its own post, but there you go.
Filed Under legion of super heroes, shadow lass, she-hulk
By Gene Gonzales.
I’m sure this reveals some kind of weird fetish, but Shadow Lass is easily my favorite character from the Legion of Super Heroes and it’s got a lot to do with the blue skin. It’s also got a lot to do with how she was drawn and portrayed in the Legion Lost mini-series, which is where I first started reading about the Legion. She was all goth and badass, but with an awesome ’30s or ’40s hairstyle.
Crap. I quit reading Legion of Super Heroes a while ago and now I’ve got myself wanting to go back to it again.
More evidence that I may have a thing for brightly-colored skin.
Filed Under batman, black canary, burn notice, keira knightley, oz, she-hulk, underburbs, wonder woman
Burn Notice interview
We’re a couple of episodes into the Burn Notice season, but this is still a good interview with Jeffrey Donovan and Bruce Campbell about the show and where this season is headed.
Not much about Fiona unfortunately, except to expect that her relationship with Mike will “go left, right and all around, and it’ll be exciting.” Donovan also says, “Some of the episodes I actually don’t read until I get on the day just so I can see what crazy thing she’s going to do to me that day.”
Sounds about right. I love Fiona and she’s continuing to show this season that she’s a strong character, not just in kickbuttability, but also in the way she’s growing emotionally. She’s still psychotic though, which is so cool.
Alan Moore on Sexism in Comics
This is an ancient series of articles and doesn’t shed any new light on the subject, but it’s written by Alan Moore which means that it’s thoughtful as well as entertaining as all get out.
New Black Canary writer
So, it’s true. Green Arrow/Black Canary does have a new writer as of issue #15. Andrew Kreisberg is one of the writers on Eli Stone, which bodes well since I really, really like that show. He also wrote that Helen Killer comic that Chris Sims likes so much, so there’s that too.
Still, I can’t help but be skeptical. I’ve really loved the globe-trotting adventures that Judd Winick’s been writing and I’ll be sorry to see Dinah and Ollie go home to Star City to focus on their marriage and the new bad guys Kreisberg’s creating. Still, there’s no reason that the series can’t continue to be awesome under those circumstances. Hopefully, it will be.
Now here’s a Black Canary doll the Christian Voice can get behind.
From Tonner. Very snazzy.
Black Canary on Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Two things I noticed from this San Diego report on the upcoming Batman cartoon, which already looks awesome.
1. Black Canary will be appearing in an episode.
2. Oswald’s playing Batman.
Oh. Wonder Woman’s dressing up too.
Also from Tonner.
Animated Wonder Woman movie
Here’s some more info on the animated Wonder Woman movie. It’ll be released in February (on the 9th, according to BuzzFocus, who also reports it will have a “very dark storyline”) and in addition to the already announced cast, will also star Oliver Platt as Hades.
Here’s some footage of the trailer that someone nicked at San Diego.
I really hate the look of Hasbro’s Marvel Super Hero Squad. Especially the happy-as-pie Hulk and the disturbing and creepy Thing. It works pretty well on She-Hulk though, so I may have to pick up this two-pack. Anyone want a disturbing and creepy Thing toy?
(Incidentally, there’s also a Marvel Super Hero Squad version of Shang Chi, and I’ll definitely want that one. Shang Chi toys are too hard to come by to be picky.)
Over at Newsarama, I reviewed TJ Dort and Joe Haley’s excellent Underburbs comics. It’s about a swell, little girl named Angela who has to save the world from a not-so-swell vampire girl named Winifred. Really fun, cool stuff.
Keira of Oz
Annie Leibovitz is at it again, this time shooting Keira Knightley in Wizard of Oz scenes. Thank you, Annie Leibovitz.
Filed Under she-hulk
One of the things I want to do here in terms of content – or whatever we’re calling it – is to explore more of the female heroes in comics and other kinds of storytelling. Lisa Paitz Spindler has a really cool feature on her blog called Danger Gal Friday, and – with apologies to her – I want to do something similar here. I’m not going to commit to a weekly feature, but I’d like to profile some of the great heroines.
In addition to that, there are a few women characters – mainly in comics – with whom I’m so in love that I’ll need more than a single profile piece to do justice to them. Wonder Woman is one of those. She-Hulk is another. I don’t know She-Hulk very well yet, I just know that she’s very cool, has a great look, and seems to be one of the most interesting characters Marvel has going for them. Plus, there’s the whole Hulk connection and the Hulk is also awesome.
So consider this my first attempt of many at trying to dig into her a little bit to see what makes her tick. I want to start by looking at an aspect of her that gets a ton of attention, and was in fact one of the first things I noticed about her when I recently started picking up her comic during the “World Without a Hulk” storyline. She-Hulk likes to have sex with lots of different people.
I don’t have any historical background on this yet, so I don’t know when it became a part of her character. Dan Slott touched on it a lot during his run, but I remember the X-Men comics that Chuck Austen wrote where she slept with Juggernaut. Slott later explained that event away so that it never happened, but my point is that sex’s being a large part of She-Hulk’s character (relative to other superheroes anyway) predates Slott.
As with any aspect of a character that becomes predominant, I’m interested in tracking down the history of how she came to be portrayed this way. But I’m also interested in the discussion that’s sprung up around the issue.
In a sort of exit interview to his run, Slott talked about the Juggernaut and why he wrote that out of She-Hulk’s story. “She would sleep with everyone else besides Juggernaut,” he said. And it wasn’t long in the discussion of that interview before that part of her became a major topic. One commentor wrote that Slott “started the book off with She-Hulk getting kicked out of Avengers Mansion for dragging home her ‘party boys’” and “continued to make her the Paris Hilton of the Marvel universe by having her sleep with Tony Stark.”
When another reader asked why “She-Hulk is so loose,” one reply was that she’s been “written as Very Uninhibited for decades,” lending more weight to my theory that this predates Slott. After that, the thread goes back and forth for a bit between people who’d rather not know about superhero sex lives and those who don’t see a problem with it. It’s when this person chimes in that things become interesting:
As for She-Hulk sleeping around, who the **** cares? If people have fun by having a very stimulating sex life, good for them, I’m jealous. On the other hand it doesn’t make sense that She-Hulk would be able to sleep around. She’s likely the strongest woman in the Marvel Universe. How could she possibly avoid killing all her lovers? That bit was the reason that sleeping with the then-reformed and touchy-feely Juggernaut made sense to me. He’d be one of a very short list of options, which might have made her pretty desperate after a while, unless she finally managed to bag Hercules.
This person disagrees:
Clearly, She-Hulk CAN have sex with non-superhuman men and have them survive, because we know she already HAS. Wyatt Wingfoot, Tony Stark, Zapper Ridge, John Jameson, Mika, etc, are all non-superhuman men who have enjoyed (and survived) sex with She-Hulk.
The subject of possible injury HAS been raised on-panel though. John Jameson expressed concern about it in issue #2 of Dan’s second volume of SHE-HULK.
It goes back and forth some more until She-Hulk’s new writer Peter David gives his opinion:
I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to side with the “not a good idea” contingent. I think any normal man who would have sex with She-Hulk is courting disaster. I don’t care how stiff your stiffy is: She-Hulk’s vaginal muscles alone, if she were to orgasm, would be enough to earn you a trip to the E.R. … Is it possible that She-Hulk can’t reach climax? I suppose. That would explain her bed hopping: An ongoing quest to find a man who can send her to Happyland.
It’s at that point right there that I want to stop thinking about it. A little before then, actually, but David makes an interesting point and from a storytelling standpoint, I like how he connects his speculation with her established pattern of behavior. I don’t necessarily agree with his speculation, but I think it’s cool that he figures out how to support it with evidence from past stories.
And the reason I don’t agree with his speculation is completely subjective anyway. It’s basically rooted in my not wanting to dwell on the scientific details, especially when “She-Hulk likes to have sex with a lot of different people” is by itself a perfectly reasonable explanation for her having sex with a lot of different people. It’s fine to show her as someone who enjoys a lot of different partners; bringing her vaginal contractions into the discussion just weirds me out as a reader.
In other words, I’m really interested in a story about a woman who’s having trouble making emotional connections and is trying to fill that emptiness with lots of different physical ones. I’m interested in rooting for her to discover the folly of that and to finally form an emotional attachment with someone who loves her too. That would be a really cool character arc for her. I’m not so interested in the story of one woman’s pursuit of an orgasm.
Filed Under burn after reading, captain cook's extraordinary atlas, fantasy, giant monsters, hulk, jessica hickman, john carter of mars, maps, middleman, robin hood, she-hulk, spies
Burn After Reading poster
From the Coen Bros. upcoming spy comedy. Gotta love that Saul Bass-inspired design.
Game of Thrones TV Show
I couldn’t make it through the first book, but it looks like progress is being made on getting the story to me in a different form (because it’s all about me). Novelist George R.R. Martin has the update.
I’ve been watching ABC Family’s new, comics-inspired series Middleman. It’s too soon for a full review, so I’m just saying here that it’s pretty awesome. The characters are charming and funny, the dialogue is clever, and the plots are insane. The pilot episode featured Chloe from 24 as a scientist whose supercomputer took over a gorilla’s brain and turned him into a Tommy gun slinging mobster.
The only complaint I have is the Power Rangers-quality effects. I’m gonna stick with it a while and see if I can get past that though because otherwise I love it.
My friend and sometimes collaborator Jess Hickman was recently interviewed about her work on volume 3 of Otis Frampton’s Oddly Normal series of fantasy graphic novels.
Essential Giant Monsters
I see enough Top Ten Giant Monsters lists that I don’t usually link to them (or many other Top Ten lists at all, for that matter). Robert Hood’s list is different. Rather than just assigning personal rankings to the multitude of giant monsters in the world, he’s created a comprehensive list of what he believes are the essential movies in the giant monster genre. It’s quite a check-list and would provide a good year’s worth of viewing material for anyone hoping to see them all.
Here’s a Top Eight list I can get behind though
Topless Robot’s Top 8 Coolest Sesame Street Toys Ever. Admittedly, it’s a nostalgia thing. I had and wore out nos. 1, 4, 6, and 8 as a kid.
The Lies of Locke Lamora
This is the second recommendation from the friend who also told me about Peter David’s Tigerheart (which I picked up from David at Wizard World Chicago, by the way). My friend describes The Lies of Locke Lamora as a cross between Ocean’s 11 and Robin Hood with some fantasy elements thrown in. Sounds good to me. (Although I much prefer the cover I posted to the garish one on the US mass market paperback.)
Captain Cook’s Extraordinary Atlas
ABC is developing a show about a girl who finds an atlas of a secret world underneath our own. Whether or not the Harry Potter and Pan’s Labyrinth comparisons are justified, it sounds tailor-made for me. And it stars the little girl from Silent Hill.
New Hulk cartoons
It was inevitable. And bring ‘em on, I say. Even the Gamma Corps one where he’s leading She-Hulk and Doc Samson into battle.
John Carter movie “update”
Not really an update; just a reminder that the format of the developing John Carter of Mars movie could be anything. Live action, 2D cartoon, computer animation… nothing’s been ruled out. According to writer/presumed director Andrew Stanton, that will all be determined by the eventual script.