Issue(s): She-Hulk #4
He's still adding an extra S to the end of his name, but this is indeed District Attorney Blake Tower, a regular supporting character in the Marvel universe. She-Hulk finds him so handsome that she apparently passes out, in a scene that isn't all that funny and even a little confusing. But the real point of interest is Weezi, who we've already seen breaking the fourth wall like She-Hulk, and who here says that she's got an ulterior motive of becoming a supporting character.
When She-Hulk wakes up and finds out that Tower(s) is married, a fact that is just introduced, she gets upset and tries to come out of the panel at Byrne. But the more experienced Weezi points out that they're already inked and colored, so it's a reader, not Byrne, that is "out there now".
Weezi then crosses between panels into a new scene (earlier, She-Hulk had to wait for a sub-plot break to do that), and then explains that she was originally the Blonde Phantom.
The problem is that since her book has been cancelled, she's been aging in realtime. So she wants to become a subplot character so she can age in Marvel time again, like She-Hulk (who is said to be 31 years old).
Since Weezi was breaking the fourth wall before even encountering She-Hulk, and seems to be more experienced about it, i wondered if she did anything like this in her own appearances. I did some poking around and the real answer seems to be no, although she did once fight the meta-villain The Spoiler.
Jen and Weezi's lunch is interrupted by the Stilt-Man, who we saw last issue has a vendetta against Tower.
As i've said before, i can see why people don't like fourth wall breaking humor of these issues, but i find it funny. What i don't like is seeing it mixed with the very lowbrow contrivance of getting She-Hulk out of her clothes every issue.
Using Stilt-Man is a continuance of (explicitly stated in this issue) the policy of only using "lame" villains for this series, but he nonetheless has a decent showing.
But She-Hulk does win, with some help from Weezi (who declines getting back into costume but does get a chef to pour some cooking lard on the ground that causes Stilt-Man to slip). When it's over She-Hulk reveals why her costumes never get torn up too much during fights.
Also in this issue, Taryn O'Connell from US1 hooks up with Razorback (although neither character is named yet).
Note Byrne's "Meanwhile, three months ago" line. I always liked his "Not quite meanwhile"s in Alpha Flight, but i guess i should expect him to get much sillier about the transitions in this book (switching to this subplot scene is what allows She-Hulk to travel across Manhattan in time for her interview with Tower without being late). Nothing beats the "Meanwhile, five hundred million years later" in Avengers West Coast #48, though.
Byrne mocks the transitional captions later in the book.
I don't know what the big deal about Power Pack's dad moving into She-Hulk's apartment complex is, but as Michael notes in the comments, i guess we'll never find out.
In addition to that guy, there's a Mr. L...
...and She-Hulk realizes that if the pattern holds, next issue she'll be meeting the "lame" equivalent of Dr. Doom.
I'm not so sure that there's really a pattern to be seen, though. The Fantastic Four didn't have Spider-Man or anyone else guest star in issue #3. But there will indeed be a Doctor next issue.
Continues to be fun. I can see the argument that Byrne should have let the fourth wall thing be a temporary gag and not the main concept of the series, but instead he's double-downing on it here with the addition of the Blonde Phantom to the cast. I think it's funny and harmless and people wanting a "real" She-Hulk are able to get it in both East and West Coast Avengers around this time.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showBlake Tower, Blonde Phantom, Lexington Loopner, Razorback, She-Hulk, Stilt-Man, Taryn O'Connell
Byrne has stated in an old interview that the Blonde Phantom did indeed break the fourth wall once (maybe in her final issue?) and that cemented his decision to use her here...he was researching obscure Golden Age Timely characters to include in #4.
Posted by: Vincent Valenti | October 8, 2014 6:36 PM
We're clearly meant to think Mr. Powers is Hercules- hence the 99-year lease and the description of him as adventurer. However, Hercules is using "Harry Cleese" as an alias at this time, and although Jen daydreams and eventually runs into Herc later, it's never explained who Mr.Powers is.
Posted by: Michael | October 8, 2014 8:11 PM
Added Lex, thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 8, 2014 8:40 PM
Considering the Mr. L introduction, could Mr. Powers be Superman? Is the number "579" of any meaning?
Posted by: Luis Dantas | October 8, 2014 8:47 PM
Hercules used the Mr. Powers name in Avengers 39- it's clearly intended to be him.
Posted by: Michael | October 8, 2014 9:24 PM
I've read through All-Select Comics 11 & Blonde Phantom 12-22 over the last week. There are a few stories that end with Louise winking, but in #15 she talks to the reader:
Some other points of interest are that #14 has a musclebound criminal called the Ox, and #22 has the suggestion that there could be an underground kingdom and a maybe-appearance by Father Time (the last issues had more outlandish elements than the crime stories in the bulk of the series).
Posted by: Mortificator | May 27, 2017 7:08 PM
That's actually a nice point about Weezie and probably why Shulkie got some of the "fourth-wall breaking" concept from her and the weird/obscure aspects. Heck, that could be part of the "legacy" Jen has just as much as being Bruce Banner's cousin.
Posted by: Ataru320 | May 28, 2017 6:18 AM
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