It’s always unfortunate when, whether it be due to creator difficulties, lack of sales or some combination, a series with a ton of potential comes to a premature close, but that seems to be what’s happening with SHE-HULK. One of the most unique, visually interesting and conceptually fascinating series on the shelf will shortly end, but it’s clear that Charles Soule and Javier Pulido, along with Muntsa Vicente, aren’t resting on their laurels. One of the most enduring mysteries since the series began has been the Blue File and we’re finally getting some closure on it. What we’re also getting is something that this series has used very sparingly and that’s some solid, smash mouth ACTION. This entire issue is essentially one long fight and it’s a DOOZY. It's the ENTIRE supporting cast of regular characters battling Titania and Volcana, and it's an incredible scene overall. Soule peppers in enough dialog to keep the plot moving at a good clip and also keeps the readers’ interest in who and why these things are happening. It’s to this issue’s credit, as well, that since there’s been so little head-to-head fights in this issue that when one breaks out, it’s impact is immediate and attention-grabbing.
Part of that is also due to Pulido’s wonderfully surreal visual language, again recalling the look, feel and even pace of a Silver Age comic, but bringing it forward to a more modern, breakneck impact and tone. The fight also has a tremendous sense of vastness and an epic feel thanks to some creative uses of a map of New York (complete with names of various landmarks and districts). The use of long-distance shots, as well, lend a real “big fight” feel to the entire issue. When She-Hulk and Titania finally clash, it feels like two worlds colliding despite it being two B-list brawlers fighting for not-terribly-clear reasons (though that obfuscation is part of the storyline). Vicente’s colors lend a bold, gorgeous look tone to it as well, bringing out the vibrant brightness of the linework and, again, making the whole thing feel like a throwback with a truly modern sensibility.
There’s a section at the middle of the issue, just as Shulkie and Titania start to throw-down, where the fight is interspersed with a LOT of dialog and it really adversely affects the pace. It’s well-written and totally in keeping with the characters, but it makes the start of the fight move at a glacial pace.
Whew! Quite the issue and the beginning of what looks to be a truly worthy send-off. The fight itself is fantastic, the reveals are shocking (the one at the very end is an especially great payoff for longtime fans), and the entire issue manages to feel at once whimsical and deadly serious. We even get more out of Angie and Hei-Hei! Including a rather surprising appearance from the latter that I’m actually amused at the lack of shock for. She-Hulk’s seen a lot, and it takes quite a bit to legitimately surprise her and frankly I love how that’s represented here. It’s a great fight and an amazing character piece, one that should be hastily consumed by anyone who’s a fan of this book.