Comics : She-Hulk (Vol. 4) #16

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This story is part of an Arc: "Planet without a Hulk"
     Part 1 / Part 2

This review was first published on: 2007.

Background...

Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Black Bolt, and Doctor Strange, have exiled the Hulk into outer space. They planned to send him to an uninhabited planet to end his constant threat to the world. As you can imagine, the Hulk is not happy with this decision.

Despite the threat the Hulk presents, he is the only person being able to combat specific super-villains. To fill this particular vacuum, Jennifer Walters (She-Hulk) has been recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. to handle the Hulk's old enemies when they resurface. Last issue, She-Hulk was able to capture The Abomination by outsmarting him.

In Detail...

"Gamma Flight"
She-Hulk (Vol. 4) #16
Apr 2007 : SM Reference
Summary: Spider-Man reference
Arc: Part 2 of "Planet without a Hulk"
Editor:  Tom Brevoort
Writer:  Dan Slott
Pencils:  Rick Burchett
Inker:  Cliff Rathburn
Cover Art:  Greg Horn
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Review

Wolverine is following Wendigo along the Hudson Bay, staying downwind to avoid being detected. He is waiting for his backup to help capture the tragic creature. When the Wendigo notices a campfire in the distance, he races toward the scent of human flesh to temporarily satisfy his hunger.

Wolverine attempts to save the camper, but quickly realizes that he - rather she - doesn't really need saving. It turns out that the camper is She-Hulk in disguise. SHIELD has similar intentions for Wendigo. Agent Clay Quartermain, Agent Crimson (head of magic-ops), and Agent CheeseCake (an LMD) have set up a perimeter around the area to ensure that there are no civilian casualties during this operation.

They encounter Elisabeth Twoyoungmen (Talisman of Alpha Flight) who states that she is here to assist Wolverine in the capture and curing of the Wendigo. Quartermain refuses admittance until he sees proof from a government agency in writing. She is dumbfounded at this adherence to procedure.

At the law office of GLK&H the White Rabbit fires Mallory Book as her lawyer for unspecified reasons. After a long and trying day, Matthew Hawk (Two-Gun Kid) arrives for their date: a nice dinner followed by Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. This produces unexpected discomfort for Mallory who takes the scene in which Titania (the fairy queen, not the super-villain) awakens from her trance to realize that she had feelings for Nick Bottom, a commoner whose head had been transformed into a donkey. The parallel between this and her brief attraction to Awesome Andy due to residual influence from Starfox causes her to leave the theater.

Back in Canada Wolverine and She-Hulk are having little success in subduing Wendigo. Wolverine comes up with a last-ditch attempt to stop him. Since Wendigo can laugh off the damage inflicted by either of them, the only solution is to inflict major damage through a technique called the "Fastball Special". This usually involves someone throwing Wolverine into something.

As She-Hulk picks up Wolverine and prepares to throw him, she comments on his "firm li'l butt". Wolverine answers "First rule about 'Fastball Special', you don't talk about 'Fastball Special'". Their strategy works, creating a Wolverine-size hole in Wendigo's chest causing him to pass out. Since he is immortal, it will just take longer for his healing factor to regenerate the missing tissue and organs.

As agent Crimson encases Wendigo in the mystical bands of Cyttorak, Wolverine assures Talisman (who was his backup) that SHIELD will handle this properly. Turning to She-Hulk, he takes back his statement and informs her that if he escapes, she's responsible.

She-Hulk tries to seduce Wolverine, who refuses stating that he doesn't want "Juggernaut sloppy seconds". Once again She-Hulk refutes the claim she slept with Juggernaut.

In General...

The idea of Wolverine and She-Hulk teaming up to capture Wendigo sounds like an odd idea, but Slott makes it work. What could have been a routine "team-up to defeat the enemy" story is done in a fairly convincing manner interlaced with some very humorous moments. The "fastball special" line (a parody on the line from "Fight Club") is obviously my favorite.

Wolvie's reason for rejecting She-Hulk's advances sound like something straight from Twisted Toyfare Theater. I realize that Marvel no longer uses the Comics Code Authority, so they label the book T+ (for teens and up) and can get away with more, but it catches me a bit off-guard when I hear this kind of exchange.

This can be best summarized using the South Park movie argument: "gratuitous violence is okay as long as you don't say any dirty words".

Overall Rating...

3.5 webs. There were a few unanswered questions I had at the end of the issue. First was "Why was Wolverine and Talisman trying to cure Wendigo"? I mean aside from the obvious. There was no setup and no real explanation of why they were doing this now.

Overall this was a well-constructed issue. I like Burchett's renditions of She-Hulk, Wolverine, Wendigo, and all the rest. Nothing fancy, just a good clean approach. Slott continues to amaze me with his characterizations and entertaining stories.

Footnote...

Starfox's power works on the pleasure centers of the human brain, making them open to persuasion. Awesome Andy came in contact with him and accidentally absorbed his powers, which were in turn used on Mallory. The regularly prim and proper Mallory is still embarrassed by the incident.

As you can imagine, the Hulk's exile doesn't last. He landed on the planet Sakaar where he rose from slave to king. He had a queen and a child on the way. The ship that brought him to Sakaar ultimately exploded killing his wife and unborn child. He returns to Earth with a pack of "warbound" creatures that pledge to assist him in his vendetta against his enemies. This storyline begins in World War Hulk #1