Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Penciler : Nico Leon
Colorist : Matt Milla
Letterer : VC’s Corey Petit
Release Date : 3/22/17
Price : $3.99
As Jen Walters investigates more into her latest client Maise Brewn she discovers that the two of them have a lot in common. However unlike Jen herself Maise may have completely been consumed by the darkness caused by her tragedy. Will Jen be able to save her? Or is it too late?
One of the best parts about this issue and the series in general is Jen’s internal dialog. The main focus of the series like many other Hulk books before it is to show just how much of a toll that these powers can have on the main character. That’s what Hulk stories have always been at their core, tales of struggle and Jen’s is no different. The purpose of this deconstructed arc is to deconstruct Jen’s problems. Tamaki does this by making her face a parallel in Maisie Brewn. Since Jen can see just how far despair can push someone maybe she can use this example to help herself.
The strongest part of the issue by far is when Jen really starts to see the similarities between herself and Maisie. This leads to a flashback of what happened to her at the hands of Thanos during Civil War 2. It really helps to showcase just how lost Jen was at that time. Just imagine the pain of being trapped and helpless in a body that was once your source of strength and confidence, and once you finally wake up you find out that you’ve lost one of the major pillars in your life. The flashback does an amazing job of conveying that loss.
The biggest strength of Nico Leon’s art for this series in particular is the power of subtlety. What I mean by that is in most superhero comics artists get to show off their talents with big brawls and bombastic action set pieces, but since this is a character driven story with a much more passive lead. Leon and the rest of the art team have to sell the art by focusing on the subtle more intimate character moments. You clearly see this in the character’s facial expressions and the choice of close up panels. I also love how the imagery perfectly parallels Jen’s inner dialog.
Personally I love this current Hulk series. I think it’s mainly because I was disappointed with Civil War 2, and Tamaki and Leon have managed to add a lot more weight to that event. Another positive about this issue is the character progression. This issue could have easily been extremely repetitive with Jen dealing with the same issues in the exact same ways. Just as I said earlier with the art Tamaki also does an excellent job writing subtle changes in Jen’s tone. She’s gone through a lot and there’s no way she could just suck it up and get over it. As she begins to see herself in Maisie Jen slowly starts to realize the path she is on. It is a truly compelling story with art that perfectly highlights these points.