The new ongoing ‘Hulk‘ series which focuses on Jennifer Walters as she deals with her cousin’s death is a different direction from most Marvel titles, and writer Mariko Tamaki has shared some insight on it. In the aftermath of ‘Civil War II,’ we saw that She-Hulk was beaten into a coma by Thanos and while there her cousin Bruce Banner, the Incredible Hulk, was killed. Now that Jen is back and physically recovered, we’re getting a close up look at the mental trauma that she is still dealing with. Having to work through this kind of trauma is a change from most superhero comics these days and while not the first time mental anguish has been explored, it is the first time we’ve seen it in someone who can quite literally Hulk out if pushed too far.
There has been a major theme in the new series, and that has been one of denial and escaping reality. Bruce is one of the only people who could understand what she goes through on a daily basis and in him, she lost both that connection and a family member:
“It’s a pretty significant loss in her life. Losing someone like that can feel life-changing. Those people help to shape your world, and when you lose them, it can feel like you now have a piece missing. I think that’s the place where we find Jen right now.”
To deal with that, she is trying to avoid the situation in its entirety. We see her push away Carol Danvers and in the latest issue her best friend Hellcat as well:
“We see Jen kind of isolating herself from everybody right now. Part of this issue and this series entails looking [at] how she has specifically separated herself from her friends. She has made a distinction between her old life and her new life, but I see that as a false dichotomy because her old life still exists, those people go on living. At the moment, we won’t see her dealing with her specific feelings about anybody, as much as we’ll see her trying to block out whatever she feels about everything that has happened.”
Escaping friends though means she has to do something and that something is fully investing herself in her work. However, that doesn’t change who she truly is:
“Well, we’ll see her in a liminal space, still trying to figure that out. Of course, her superhero identity is a key part of her story, but right now, she doesn’t quite know what that will look like. She’ll always find herself feeling pushed toward life as a superhero, and now she faces the question of how to respond to that. For example, she finds herself drawn to her new client, Maise, who needs more help from her than a regular client would. So even when she might consciously choose to distance herself from her superhero life, she still moves in that direction.”
Tamaki also makes an important note about the art in the book by Nico Leon and colorist Matt Milla. This is a book where the visuals are extremely important “because in every scene, you’ll see the foreground, but also something really weird or interesting in the background, and I recommend people check that out as they read it.”
Have you been enjoying the new ‘Hulk’ series so far? What entity do you think is currently preying on her client that She-Hulk will eventually have to square off against? Share your thoughts below True Believers!
‘Hulk’ #4 will be smashing its way into comic shops on March 22nd, 2017!
Stuart Conover is an author, blogger, and all around geek. When not busy being a father and husband he tries to spend as much time as possible immersed in comic books, science fiction, and horror! Would you like to know more? Follow him on Twitter!