Characters Appearing: Madcap, She-Hulk
Issue(s): She-Hulk #9
Note that by the number of writers and inkers, and by the in-story acknowledgement, this issue was a rush job. But Bryan Hitch begins penciling with this issue, and the art on the interior actually looks pretty nice. Very much in an Alan Davis style.
This book took a nose dive in sales once Byrne left, and there's of course a number of reasons for that, but i wonder if the awful Rick Leonardi covers had instead been drawn by Hitch if maybe sales wouldn't have bombed so badly.
The real reason i think this book lost its way, though, aside from just losing the star power of Byrne, was in attempting to continue the comedy theme of the series. It's kind of ironic. She-Hulk was originally something of a joke character to fans until Stern and Byrne raised her profile. But it's Byrne who turned her into a different kind of joke character. I think Byrne mostly pulled off the humor in his run, but it's a pretty delicate balance and i think it might have made sense to not attempt to replicate that and have the next creative team go their own way with the character. Nothing wrong with just a straightforward super-hero book featuring She-Hulk. Obviously Bobbie Chase felt differently since she's recruiting Steve Gerber to replace Byrne and in the meantime we have this zany fill-in featuring Madcap.
Madcap is also in on the nature of this book, and he tries to take it over. Pretty much the only bit in the issue is about how no one thinks Madcap is actually funny.
And that the entire plot is pointless.
But of course we still have to endure it for an entire issue.
It really isn't funny.
She-Hulk eventually declines to fight Madcap further...
..and then tears up the whole book and throws it in the garbage.
I don't know how much longer i could have endured the metafiction nature of the book even with Byrne drawing and writing it. It just seems wrong for another team to do the same joke, and in a more obvious way.
But it is nice to see Bryan Hitch's Marvel universe debut (and from what i can tell, pretty much his debut, period, aside from a few scattered issues of GIJoe/Action Force and Transformers for Marvel UK).
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
I can't decide which series was worse - this one or Speedball. At least Speedball had some impact later on with the New Warriors. But, She-Hulk - UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: clyde | November 4, 2014 12:32 PM
Get ready for when Byrne picks it back up in a few years, where not only will the meta-fiction return, but it will CONSTANTLY be paired with cheesecake and libido-pandering.
Posted by: cullen | November 4, 2014 2:25 PM
I wish Hitch had stayed with this style of art as opposed to his ultra realistic photographic style he would use later on (that seemed to prevent him for working within deadlines). This is better looking and cleaner in a stylistic sense.
Posted by: Bill | November 4, 2014 3:19 PM
Are any of the pages above inked by Simonson? His inks are usually so distinctive that I'd be curious to see him over Hitch.
Posted by: Vincent Valenti | November 4, 2014 9:13 PM
The first Madcap scan where he's holding the comic book is Walt Simonson. It gets a little confusing after that because the listing of page numbers crediting the inkers doesn't count ads, while the actual printed page numbers do. But if i counted right, that's the only scan from one of the Simonson pages that i included.
Posted by: fnord12 | November 4, 2014 9:26 PM
The funniest bit of that book was the last panel. It wasn't that funny but better than the rest.
Posted by: JSfan | November 5, 2014 6:21 AM
She-Hulk's costume in the first panel is taken from Daisy Mae Yokum in Li'l Abner.
Richard Starkings is better known as a letterer and is also British(I think).
I wonder if all the Side Boob here is to compensate for excessive butts in other books.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 8, 2014 5:16 PM
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