Friday, 10 February 2017

Hulk [2016] #2 - Marvel Comics

HULK No. 2, March 2017
Focusing almost exclusively upon Jennifer Walters’ battle for justice in the courts “as an effective lawyer”, Issue Two of “Hulk” makes it incredibly clear that the titular character’s alter-ego is “not doing so good” trying to “just go about her day." For whilst the twenty-page periodical doesn’t actually feature an appearance by the “savage” human mutate, it does make it abundantly clear that lurking beneath the thin veneer of normalcy, Stan Lee’s co-creation is waiting to erupt, and no manner of 'tasty pastry' is going to keep the former member of the Fantastic Four at bay for long.

Indeed, Mariko Tamaki’s second instalment of “Deconstructed” seems to contain little else but ‘set-pieces’ which continually test Jen’s patience and temper, even when the “very capable person” is trying to mind her own business sipping a hot drink whilst sat in a snow-covered playground or desperately trying to calm herself as she watches a programme concerning “scrumptious strawberry shortcake” on her mobile phone; “Breathe. Please. You can do this. Make this stop. I can’t. Please.” It’s certainly abundantly clear that the female graphic novelists’ narrative is all about the attorney not transforming into the emerald-skinned Avenger when “the persistent-but-well-meaning woman who’s trying to write about” her startles the green-eyed Walters as she is “dealing with the loss of her cousin” Bruce Banner. 

Such emotionally exhausting, and arguably inactive shenanigans, unless one counts children having a snowball fight in Central Park, could easily have made Mariko’s sedentary storyline a somewhat monotonous, almost wearisome reading experience. But fortunately, this progressively bleak look into She-Hulk’s “regular human world” is punctuated with Jen’s increasingly unpleasant meeting with Mister Tick and newest client Maise Brewn’s unnerving conversation with the terrified recluse’s sinister, heavily-shadowed protective flatmate…

Sadly, this comic’s artwork by Nico Leon and Dalibor Talajic definitely doesn’t live up to the high standard set by Tamaki’s writing. In fact, besides the manga-like features the book's illustrators bestow upon the faces of the playground’s adolescent occupants, and the secluded Inhuman’s wonderfully vulnerable demeanour whilst sat trapped within her home as a thuggish landlord loudly pounds upon her front door, this comic’s breakdown’s are arguably competently-drawn at best.
The variant cover art of "HULK" No. 2 by Elizabeth Torque


  1. You timed this review well, Simon, as I only just read this comic this morning. I have to agree with most of your review although I found no fault with the artwork. Different strokes for different folks, huh? The story may be a slow burner but I am definitely hooked. This is not the confident, carefree and happy Jen I am so used to seeing.

    1. Nice to dovetail in with your reading schedule, Bryan :-) I am admittedly far more inclined to enjoy a comic if I like the artwork and sadly this title's 'minimalist' look isn't doing it for me. However, the writing is superb, and I'll be sticking with it for a couple more issues at least.