Wolverine #1 and She-Hulk #1

Wolverine 2014 #1 Cover

By Paul Cornell, Ryan Stegman, Mark Morales, David Curiel, Cory Petit, Ryan Stegman, Edgar Delgado, Frankie Johnson.

Wolverine created by Roy Thomas, Len Wein, and John Romita Sr.

The premise to the new Wolverine series is found within recent events were Logan looses his fabulous healing factor. Now that he’s mortal, he decides to compensate for the loss by making certain adjustments. None of them are particularly compelling on their own, or add up to an interesting new direction. On the contrary, they’re actually a bit of a regression.

The new “Rogue Logan” joins a team of superpowered mercenaries working for a crime boss called The Offer. Apparently his power is he can make offers that almost no one can refuse, which in Logan’s case is getting to old foe Sabertooth. He also starts wearing body armor that, as drawn by Ryan Stegman, looks a lot like his traditional outfit but can supposably withstand a nuclear blast. Now that’s a convenient substitute.

Wolverine 2014 #1

This is a really slick-looking comic, thanks mainly to the lavish coloring of David Curiel. But there’s something a little goofy about Stegman’s figures. Logan in particular looks like a more cartoony version of himself, and when everyone runs, they float a few inches above the floor like they’re Loony Tunes characters.

All the changes to Logan are mostly superficial. As one of the more opportunistic characters of the Marvel Universe, his employment by a crime boss isn’t that strange, especially if he’s doing it for the aforementioned reasons. The most controversial alteration is that Logan begins to pack heat. This is the kind of decision that raises the ire of many fans. And we’re led to understand that this marks an important development in Wolverine’s personality. But Logan’s a trained killer with a long and bloody career, as he himself points out within the pages of this issue. So for now, the move from claws to bullets is more style than substance.

She Hulk 2014 #1 Cover

By Charles Soule, Javier Pulido, Muntsa Vicente, Clayton Cowles, Kevin Wada.

She-Hulk created by Stan Lee and John Buscema.

No one likes lawyers in fiction, unless they’re the type who aids the cause of the little guy against The Man. In this case, the lawyer is obviously Jennifer Walters, the little guy is a harried widow, and The Man is none other than Marvel’s most famous 1%ter, Tony Stark.

Similar to the premise of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s well-received Hawkeye series, this latest She-Hulk relaunch focuses on the lead character’s life when she’s not playing superhero. For her, that usually means practicing law. Good thing then that real-world attorney Charles Soule is penning the title. Artist Javier Pulido supplies more suitably down-to-earth visuals, complemented by the flat color renderings of Muntsa Vicente. I particularly enjoy how Jennifer stands out as a very conspicuous, tall, emerald figure in a crowd.

Jennifer starts out working for a cushy law firm before quitting and agreeing to represent said widow against Tony. The tone is consistently light with the humor targeted squarely at the legal profession. Jennifer’s former employers are so emotionally disconnected they can only talk to her using a robotic, condescending voice when reviewing her work. And then there’s the runaround Tony’s council gives to Jennifer. Simply calling himself “Legal”, he’s the embodiment of the ruthless legal shark you’d expect to be retained by a wealthy technocrat/industrialist. Legal speaks entirely in legalese. As drawn by Pulido, he’s a slight, bow-tied man who delivers his lengthy arguments in perfect deadpan while hiding his face behind thick shades. He’s an intimidating opponent, and even Jennifer realizes that it would make more sense to exploit her personal connection to Tony than try to win against Legal in court.

She Hulk 2014 #1

This issue will be a disappointment to those hoping for the usual superhero shenanigans. The only slugfest takes place off-panel, and Pulido’s style doesn’t exactly make Jennifer the Amazonian figure most hardcore fans have come to expect from most representations. But She-Hulk has always been a little unconventional that way, and Soule demonstrates a solid grasp of his subject.