Friday, November 23, 2012

Review- SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK BY JOHN BYRNE VOL. 1

SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK BY JOHN BYRNE VOL. 1 (Marvel, 2011; Softcover)
Collects Sensational She-Hulk Nos. 1-8 and selections from Marvel Comics Presents No. 18 (cover dates May- Mid-November, 1989)
Writer and Artist: John Byrne
As much satire as it is a whimsical superhero title, The Sensational She-Hulk shows John Byrne breaking the fourth wall. What that means is that the character is aware that she is in a comic book, and interacts with the reader by talking directly to them and ignoring the rules of the medium. I bought this series off of the stands back when it came out, and my then teenage self disliked this approach. My nearly middle-aged self quite enjoyed it, however. 
She-Hulk takes on tons of B and C listers like The Circus of Crime, Mysterio, Razorback, the Headmen, and D (or Z) listers such as Xemnu the Titan, Doctor Bong, Santa Claus, and the cast of the comic U.S.1. Yes, U.S. 1, as in the comic book based on the failed toy line. Guest-stars include the Wasp, Spider-Man, and the Blonde Phantom (yes, the Golden Age Blonde Phantom). This is all as ridiculous as it sounds, and was a lot of fun, believe it or not. 
The titling of this line of books is troubling, as there are only enough John Byrne issues for one more volume, which is like 20+ issues after this one. If they would have sold it as a She-Hulk Classic line we could have had some classic Bryan Hitch artwork, Steve Gerber-penned stories, some Peter David, etc. We'll probably never see those issues collected now.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.
The OCD zone- There are some dropped letters in the word balloon on Page 65, panel 2.
Linework restoration rating: 4 out of 5. There are some noticeable linework dropouts, particularly in issue 4. Enough for me to lower the rating by .50 points. Your mileage may vary.
Color restoration rating: 3.75 out of 5. I can tell that this was done by letting the computer fill in the shapes rather than “by hand” on the computer. Some of the dropped linework is the result of this ham-fisted approach.
Paper rating: 5 out of 5. Dull matte finish coated stock. It's a bit on the thin side but is perfectly acceptable for the price point. It also perfect for flat coloring.
Binding rating: 4 out of 5. Typical glued binding on a softcover. Nothing to get excited about here.
Cardstock cover coating rating: 5 out of 5. Nice thick waxy coating ensures durability and a long shelf life.

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