Joseph's Reviews > She-Hulk, Vol. 1: Single Green Female

She-Hulk, Vol. 1 by Dan Slott
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's review
Nov 12, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: graphic-novel, giveaway, fiction
Recommended for: Comics-fans and People with Secret Identities
Read in November, 2007 — I own a copy

I felt a little stupid picking this book up, but I'd seen some good reviews, and thought I'd give it a shot. I was pleasantly surprise, enough so that I ran out and bought the next two volumes.

The premise is simple. Jennifer Walters is a lawyer, and due to an accident involving gamma radiation, she can transform into the She-Hulk. But the book isn't about her fighting super-villains (although she does). In fact, it reminds me of nothing so much as the Superman speech from Kill Bill, Volume Two. Bill's speech is about the fact that, unlike most superheroes, Superman (the hero) is the secret identity, while Clark Kent is the disguise. Jen Walters provides another unique perspective on this kind of duality because her secret identity is common knowledge. So the relationship between Jen and She-Hulk isn't a question of disguise, but rather an issue of identity. Who does Jen want to be? Who, for that matter, does She-Hulk want to be? There's a lot of playing around even with the notion of which one of them is the hero and which one is the normal identity, because most of the book deals with Jen being hired by a new law firm, specifically as Jen and not as She-Hulk.

The book is a little goofy, and some of it doesn't work, such as the idea of a law library made up of comic books. It might have worked as a throwaway joke, but too much effort is wasted trying to justify it. And the format is a little stale, with Jen working on cases that, surprise surprise, just happen to have a bearing on her own problems. And there's some predictable fighting. But the Jen / She-Hulk dichotomy is interesting and feels fresh.

Or at least, it does for Volume One.
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