Wednesday's New Things: Justice Isn't Blind, It's a Seven Foot Tall Green Lawyer!

1. This new She-Hulk comic was announced so long ago that I forgot I was waiting for it! Seeing it on the shelves this week will be very exciting. Written by up-and-comer Charles Soule and drawn by the very talented Javier Pulido, you might call this the Hawkeyeing of Jennifer Walters. The truth is that I'm not sure that this book will have that book's appeal; Soule is much less of a known quality than Matt Fraction, Pulido isn't quite the artist that David Aja is, although presumably he draws more quickly, and the main character didn't just appear in the most successful superhero movie of all time. Hopefully, potential readers will see past all that, and the character's dated branding; between what appears to be an honest attempt at a comic book starring a female character, Soule's ability, as a practicing lawyer, to lend credibility to the writing, and Pulido's always welcome retro style, this all new She-Hulk could be both very good and deeply important. I can't find a lettered preview, but you can take a peek at Pulido's unusually spacious art here

2. I love the idea of The Mercenary Sea. I mean, the solicit, though vague, just drips with potential: "Action and adventure set in 1938—The South Seas. Japan has invaded China. War in Europe is imminent. Ex-bootlegger Jack Harper captains The Venture, a refitted German U-Boat, with a crew of expats, mercenaries and treasure hunters. They do whatever it takes to stay afloat, often running up against pirates, headhunters, spies, and soldiers. They’re always one step away from the greatest score of their lives...or their certain demise." The rub, though, is in the preview: leaving aside the dialogue, which somehow seems both over- and underwritten, the art seems indebted to the style of the excellent FX cartoon spy show Archer. That kind of broad stroke and colorist driven depth works on television much more than it works here; when you're not distracted by the fact that the lines are moving, they just seem stiff and imprecise. Some of the silhouette work on the third page of the preview seems to avoid these problems, but, although those panels are ok on their own, they're a snoozefest when taken together. 

3. Last week in this space, I wrote about the calculations I make when deciding whether or not to trade wait. In general, I tend to wait for miniseries; moreso than traditional serials, which are often themselves confused about whether or not they are better read in individual issues or trade paperbacks, minis, 99 times out of 100, read better when they're collected. In part, this is because the good mini is so rare; I expect that the vast majority are event tie in comics. Most everything else gets published as a graphic novel, with a few exceptions (Phongram, the initial publishing strategy of Fatale, Casanova, etc). This one, though, ties into to both the fact that CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER hits movie screens in early April and to a storyline currently being set up in Rick Remender's Captain America. By and large, Remender has attempted to stay out of Ed Brubaker's long shadow by avoiding espionage as a theme; unfortunately for him, that's the great genre of the Marvel comic book from the last ten years. It's also the only context in which a Winter Soldier solo comic book really makes any sense. With the movie imminent, Remender is stuck. Given how hit and miss his writing always is, it doesn't really make sense to trade wait this comic book; I want to read it now, I doubt I'll want to return to it later. I don't know what's up with Marvel and unlettered preview, but check out Roland Boschi's serviceable, if not great, art here.

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