She-Hulk

Wow, sucks, doesn’t it? Something we love is going away. The She-Hulk series, published by Marvel Comics, written by me, largely drawn by Javier Pulido (Ron Wimberly killed it on issues 5-6), with colors largely from Muntsa Vicente (Rico Renzi for 5-6) incredible covers from Kevin Wada and lettered by Clayton Cowles, with wonderful editorial work from Jeanine Schaefer and Tom Brennan, will end at issue 12, which will hit in January, 2015.

I’ve known about this for a little while – it wasn’t a surprise to me. To you guys, however, it seems like it was a bit of a shock, at least based on the massive response I’ve seen on Twitter, FB and in the press. Some wonderful things are being said about She-Hulk, and the team and I appreciate it immensely.

Can't take credit for this, I saw it on Twitter, but I thought it was pretty great - memed-up form of some panels from She-Hulk #1.

Can’t take credit for this, I saw it on Twitter, but I thought it was pretty great – memed-up form of some panels from She-Hulk #1.

One thing that’s important to realize, which might seem counterintuitive: Marvel loves She-Hulk too. They really do – all up and down the line. I’ve had conversations about this book over the last week with… well, pretty high up folks. They know it’s a series that’s important not just because of what it sells, but because of what it is. For example:

For me, that’s incredibly gratifying, because those responses suggest that I succeeded in what I was hoping to do with this book. Sure, I’m a lawyer, and I wanted to write what I know, but I also wanted to create a project about a woman who didn’t have to read as a “woman” or a “man” or a “superhero” – but instead, just as a person dealing with life, using her expertise and confidence as weapons even more potent than her fists (although she can use those too – like any actual person, Jen Walters has more than one side to her.)

That was my theme for the book from the very start:

Panel from She-Hulk #1.

Panel from She-Hulk #1.

I also really wanted to write something that could be read with (or by) kids, but wouldn’t read as a kids’ book, and wouldn’t talk down to anyone. I try to make the legal stuff in the book accessible for non-lawyers, but at the same time, I don’t want to pander. That’s not how the world is, and I want She-Hulk to feel connected to real experiences and real lives.

Based on the way you’ve been reacting over the last few days, it seems like maybe I got there, a little bit.

Why is She-Hulk going away? It’s somewhat about the issues noted here and here, in wonderful articles written by phenomenally kind journalists Oliver Sava over at the AV Club and Brett White at Comic Book Resources. (Many other folks have written amazing things too, and thank you to everyone who has taken the time.)  In this day and age, every book has to justify its existence on a financial level, even one as beloved as She-Hulk. Comics is still a business, and there are considerations beyond the creative. However, that’s not really all of it.

Another significant factor – I pitched a twelve-issue arc: She-Hulk Volume 1. The story we’re getting through issues 1-12 is exactly the story I wanted to tell. And let’s take a look at what we actually got here:

  1. Jen quits her law firm and opens up her own shop.
  2. Jen brings Angie, Hei Hei and Hellcat on as her staff, goes out on the town and hulks out a little.
Page from She-Hulk #2

Panels from She-Hulk #2.

3. Jen takes on Kristoff Vernard, the Son of Doom as a client, in an effort to help him avoid deportation from the US.

4. Jen goes to Latveria to help her client, and confronts Dr. Doom (or a giant Doombot, anyway.)

She-Hulk #4.

She-Hulk #4.

5-6. Jen delves into the mystery of the Blue File, and things get really real.

  1. Jen, along with Hank Pym, beats up some cats.
she-hulk-ant-man-talk-to-ants

She-Hulk #7.

8-10. Jen goes up against Daredevil in court, with Captain America on trial.

She-Hulk #8.

She-Hulk #8.

11-12. The mystery of the Blue File is resolved.

That’s eight stories over twelve issues – it’s not nothing, and I think it will feel very self-contained when it’s all said and done. It’s what Marvel hired me to write, and I’m extremely satisfied with and proud of these twelve issues. Do I have more She-Hulk stories? Why, yes I do. I could write her for a while yet to come, and I have many ideas for where her story would go in the future. I’d like to bring in some of the other professionally-minded people from the Marvel Universe, for one thing (Tony Stark’s shark of an attorney, the ominously named Legal, needs to reappear), and there are many interesting things to be said about the way Jen would continue to try to make her life, superheroing and new business work on her own terms.

I mean, isn’t that what this version of She-Hulk is, in a sense? It’s our own little venture, our own little startup, which we’re trying to do our own way.

Here’s what I can say at this point about additional Jen Walters adventures – the door isn’t closed. Like I said, I think everyone wants to see more She-Hulk, done more or less the way it’s been done thus far. Still, it’s very important to let Marvel know in a concrete fashion – you’ve all been doing amazing work on social media and so on, but there’s another way, too… pick up the issues, whether digitally or in print versions at your local retailer. Buy the trades. Volume 1, collecting issues 1-6 is out now both in print and digital, and Volume 2 will be out soon. You can give the book reviews on Amazon (at that link I just provided) and Goodreads.  If you haven’t added the book to your pull list at your local retailer, do it. Issue 12, the final issue for the moment, is in the Previews catalog right now, with order code NOV140813. If you go to your shop and ask them about adding She-Hulk to your pull list, they’ll do it, and then they’ll order another copy. If enough shops do that, well, it certainly sends a nice message that these are the sorts of books you want, will read, and will support.

I also like these hearts:  . They’re green. Just like She-Hulk.

Anyway, thank you for reading, for writing, for reviewing, for Tweeting, for telling your friends and customers and colleagues about the book. I know how special this book has been to me, and knowing that it means as much as it seems to for all of you is truly wonderful. If you want to talk more about She-Hulk, books like it, or anything else, my Twitter handle is @charlessoule, and Marvel Comics is @Marvel.

Case… closed?