What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Immortal She-Hulk #1! This year has been a great year for anyone who has ever been Team Gamma, or right now more specifically a She-Hulk fan. It was some months ago when they first announced this book, it was earlier this month when we got the news that they found a Jennifer Walters for the live-action series, then today we have the release of the book itself. I couldn’t help but look forward to how this creative team was going to give She-Hulk the immortal treatment like the others.
Now the big thing for me when it came to this first issue was how welcoming it would be. If there was anything to be concerned about, it was the things you may have needed to know from the events of Empyre. When it comes to stories tied to events, sometimes you are playing a gamble. You can never expect that everyone read that event, or will invest enough to know the things which tie to a book they are interested in reading that comes after. Fortunately for us, there wasn’t anything to really need to know from Empyre. Otherwise, this wouldn’t be as stand-alone as they said this was. At the end of the day, it was just that one experience which finally led Jennifer to understand the existence of the Green Door. From there, everything after is Jennifer connecting the dots to every encounter with death she has experienced. Like with the Leader’s story, Ewing did an excellent job of using the room this issue provided to give meaning to every death Jennifer had.
I particularly admired the fact that this creative team approached this story with a strong understanding of everything Jennifer has gone through in recent years too. Especially during the period when she was broken. It mattered that everything she went through had an impact on who she has become now. This including her ability to transform which is still unique in its own way. For example, there will be some readers who will have to get used to the idea that when Jennifer transforms into She-Hulk, she has now lost much of what made her human when she took that form. The reliance on that transformation hasn’t changed, but the way that she is able to engage with others certainly has.
The best thing about this issue is the fact that everything about it was self-contained. Ewing could have easily used this issue to tie Jennifer to everything else going on in the Immortal Hulk series, but he allowed Jennifer the chance to explore this life on her own. And it helped that instead of being bombarded with all of these other Hulks going through the same thing, she instead was able to interact with others who simply understand what it means to be hard to permanently kill. Now this isn’t to say that there isn’t a twist to this story by the end which will excite Immortal Hulk readers, because it certainly will if you are up to date on the most recent issue which came out not too long ago.
For some out there I’m sure that it will suck that we weren’t able to get Joe Bennett and Paul Mounts to work on the interiors of this book too, but I would say that this art team was satisfying enough as something different. The pencil work from Jon Davis-Hunt in particular was a point of interest throughout the issue for the fact that his style shifts a lot to meet the needs of certain scenes. At first I almost thought there was two different artists working on it, but it was really just one who was able to seemingly adjust to the visual he needed to capture from the story. That said, the color work was also astounding. The range of the colors was impressive, especially that which created the atmosphere of the place below. Mostly when it came to the different shades of green which gave the implication that there’s something dark to this Green Door. Aside from this, I simply admired some of the fun that they had with the panel layouts at the start of the issue.
Overall, this issue was worth the wait. It’s good to know that through the events of Immortal She-Hulk #1, there is no one in the Hulk Family who is being left out or unaffected by the madness of the Green Door. What was once thought of to be a gift is seeming like a curse at this point.