She-Hulk #162

by Michael D on February 08, 2018

Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Artist: Jahnoy Lindsay
Colorist: Federico Blee
Publisher: Marvel Comics
            The main theme of Tamaki’s run has been reconciliation. In the penultimate issue, Jen finally finds some peace and reconciles with the number of traumas that have plagued her recently. It might not be subtle but Tamaki still captures Jen’s spirit and earnestness in the face of tackling these traumas.

            Last issue, we found Jen taking a big step by finally admitting that she needs help. That nosey psychiatrist, Flo Mayer, finally gets her shot at helping Jen. The issue takes place entirely at Flo’s place but after taking some Marvel peyote, things get weird. The weirdness is lighthearted at first, capturing some of that classic Shulkie fans come to expect. The rest is more serious. On her inner journey, she comes face to face with three different traumas. It’s a sort of PTSD Christmas Carol.

First up is the new grey, scarred, reckless Shulkie. A major focus on this run has been how people treat you when you’ve been dealt a tragedy. There is a sense that everyone is using kiddie gloves and telling you that you’re afraid and that’s ok. That’s what Jen has been telling herself. She finally stands up to the new Shulkie and lets her know that she’s not afraid and that she’s not allowed to be an enemy.

            Next up on her journey is Thanos. Thanos is the one who almost killed her and made her feel afraid. She gets over that fear pretty quick. Out of all the traumas that she’s been trying to deal with, this is the one I bought the least. Shulkie has never been one to turn to fear after getting knocked down. Also, I can’t see a rocket from War Machine knocking Shulkie out of commission. This was just the hand that Tamaki was dealt and it makes sense that she would brush this one of the easiest without even the slightest hesitation.

            Finally, what haunted Jen the most was the fact that she wasn’t there for Bruce when he was murdered. She confronts a Bruce that tells her it’s not her job to protect him, she has to let it go. This is the most believable trauma haunting Jen. The relationship before the murder was going so well. Bruce was finally “cured” of the Hulk. There was also the sense of betrayal due to the fact she wasn’t aware of the “fail-safe” arrow. After a heartfelt conversation (with some smashing because this is still a Hulk comic) Jen finally come to terms with his death.

            Tamaki’s Jen finally finds come closure with a feel good ending. The reveal of the classic green She-Hulk feels great. Lindsay channeling some Byrne Shulkie with big, luscious, green hair helps too. It might have felt rushed, finding closure for all three issues at once. In the end, it still felt like Jen deserved this closure. I can’t wait to see how Tamaki ends her run with next month’s issue.

Our Score:


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