... But thou must not think all's ill about my heart. Writer Dan Slott and the Argentine artist Juan Bobillo are having a cracking good time in the pages of "She Hulk", a mainstream comic that reads like an independent. Alan Moore, traying to describe the work of Jaime and Beto Hernandez, called this the "snap, crackle, pop! of comics", a quality of playfulness (even when serious) that Moore has retained along with Frank Cho, Colleen Coover, Crumb, Bobillo, Slott and precious few others.
"She-Hulk" is the happiest variation on Jekyll and Hyde that I can think of at four in the morning. Attorney Jennifer Walters has come to terms with her "other" self and is practicing "Superhuman Law" for a prestigious New York Firm. (Old comic books have become legal precedent-- the "Approved by the Comics Code Authority" stamp, put there by the censors. gives them the force of a government document.) This is a busman's holiday. Slott rescues characters from obscurity (deserved, in some cases) and gives them personalities and grievances. Jennifer's psychotherapist wears his long green hair in a ponytail like an aging hipster. The Mad Thinker's mute but awesome android wears a chalk board around his neck and works as the office gopher, like Benny in "L.A. Law" if Benny were fifteen feet tall and had a featureless gray block for a head. Spider-Man reveals why J. Jonah Jameson hates him: "It's because I'm black. Nah, just kidding." Bobillo's art is charming. He resists the obvious pin-up qualities of the She-Hulk and makes her comically buxom with a sweet, not a sultry face. (Bobillo has drawn frankly erotic work in the past, and his artistic restraint with Jennifer and the She-Hulk shows conscious skill in a field not known for repressing its id.) Imagine Nicole deBoer with the ability to transform into Lucy Lawless and you'll get the idea; Slott has said in an interview that he was thinking of Rene Zellwegger as a comedienne. Slott and Bobillo understand the essential goofiness of the concept and embraced it. The easiest way to access their work would be to order the first paperback collection, "Single Green Female". Women seem to enjoy this comic as much as men, a rare trick to pull off with a pin-up girl. This not Peter Parker Agonistes. This is a fairly cheerful introvert with a steady job whose extroverted half can travel to far galaxies and throw annoying assholes through the side of a building. In her current format, Jennifer/She-Hulk acts out the interior dialogue of women as well as the fantasy life of men. For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, the oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, the pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay, the insolence of office, and the spurns that patient merit of the unworthy takes, when she could just as well hit the son-of-a-bitch up the side of the head with a steel girder?