Comics : She-Hulk (Vol. 3) #5

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This story is part of an Arc: "The Big Picture"
     Part 1

This story is part of a Lookback Series: Lost Classics

This review was first published on: 2007.

Background...

Jennifer Walters has accepted a position at the prestigious law firm of Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg, and Holliway. They specialize in superhuman law.

In Detail...

"More Than a Handful"
She-Hulk (Vol. 3) #5
Sep 2004 : Review (No SM)
Arc: Part 1 of "The Big Picture"
Editor:  Tom Brevoort
Writer:  Dan Slott
Pencils:  Paul Pelletier
Inker:  Don Hillsman, Tom Simmons
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Review

Thirty minutes ago: Jennifer and Pug wrap of a meeting with their client "Mr. Bobo", a chimpanzee evolved to a human-like state courtesy of the High Evolutionary. Mr. Bobo has been arrested for the third time for throwing feces at people. John Jameson arrives and takes Jen to lunch. Pug is not happy about this since he harbors a massive crush on Jen to which she is completely oblivious.

Now: The New Warriors ultimately capture the supervillain Southpaw after robbing a music store. During the battle, she hits Nova through several buildings causing one of them to collapse. She is sent to the "Big House". One of the inmates is the Mad Thinker, who has anticipated Southpaw's arrival. He convinces her to assist him and 1/10th of the prison population in his escape plan.

Jennifer turns into She-Hulk and catches the falling debris while John handles the crowd. Working together they save a handicapped man from being accidentally run over by a bus. When the crowd realizes they were saved by She-Hulk, they begin to swarm over her, asking for her autograph.

Later that day, Jennifer receives a call from Holden Holliway requesting her assistance in the Southpaw case. Once they arrive at Pym Experimental Penitentiary aka "The Big House", Holden fills her in on the details of the case: a 15 year old girl locked up with some of the most dangerous villains.

The approach of the prison is to use Pym particles to shrink down the villains to a much smaller size and place them in specialized cells. This allows more inmates to be housed, reduces the overall costs for food, and requires minimal staffing.

Southpaw is brought to Holliway and Walters where after a brief discussion, Holliway reveals that Southpaw is his granddaughter. Holliway presents court documents that direct the warden to release Southpaw into his custody with the condition that she is directly supervised by a credited Avenger - She-Hulk. Jennifer is not happy at this revelation.

During the meal, the Thinker and his flunkies elude the guards and make their way to the lower vaults where the Pym particles are kept. Another exposure to the gas shrinks them down to microscopic size. Taking control of one of the guards, they climb aboard her hand and direct her to the surface. The guard shakes hands with She-Hulk as she leaves, allowing the inmates to escape on the back of her hand.

In General...

This is possibly the slickest escape plans I've seen. Most prison break scenarios are ludicrous at best, but this is literally crazy enough to work. The Mad Thinker comes across as an actual threat in this issue. He is usually portrayed as an eccentric genius with megalomaniac tendencies, which ruin any credibility he may have had.

Overall Rating...

4 webs. Slott & Pelletier create an interesting jailbreak story with a very convincing method of escape.

The majority of the stories that I read lately are substandard; I think that I can do as well as the writer. There are some series, this one in general and this issue to be precise that renews my faith in the current crop of creators. I am proud to admit that I am not this innovative. I could not come up with a fraction of the ideas that are used here.

I can honestly say that I have a newfound respect for the Mad Thinker (as a villain). When was the last time you heard positive things about the Mad Thinker?

Footnote...

While not reviewed on this site (no Spider-Man) issue #6 contains the conclusion to this story. The escapees make their way to GLK&H where they have the final battle and a few surprise revelations with She-Hulk and company.

It has been brought to our attention, after a panel by panel examination by our friend Scott McElroy, that Spider-Man does not make an appearance in this issue. -Tyler