She-Hulk, we need to talk about your thing...

(The Sensational She-Hulk #33 by John Byrne)

Honestly, straight-up; John Byrne's She-Hulk did Deadpool (not only before) but better than Deadpool did Deadpool in terms of the comedy, fourth-wall-breaking, and the character's meta-realization of their fictionality...

I want a damn She-Hulk movie!  -Or a television series... just not a Netflix series; because then it would be long, boring, pretentious, and overrated.  Plus they'd probably not even make her green.

Side-note: I recently caught up on the last 100 issues of The Savage Dragon I had missed out on over the years (I was out of the game for a long time, it is what it is...) and having JUST read those- then reading this She-Hulk issue?  Dude, Erik Larsen HAD to have been inspired by Byrne's style back in the day... because it reads almost identically.  It was awesome. 
(Next up- I need to finally catch up on the past two seasons of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer over at Dark Horse. Plus I think there's a season of Angel I have not read...)

ANYWAYS- speaking of SHulkie: She has a pretty cool battle with Ms. Marvel (Sharon Ventura) in issue #36 of The Thing (by Mike Carlin, Paul Neary, and Sam DeLaRosa). 
The battle lasts half of the issue, but here's a page of it:

-This is back when The Thing was not in The Fantastic Four (replaced, obviously, by She-Hulk) and instead was CM Punk's favorite wrestler in the UCWF (Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation): Where people were given augmented powers and terrible names (like Left-Winger, or Mr. Clean), then made into drug addicts, by the Power Broker.  Comics are so weird...

You, Sir- are NO Poundcakes!!!

Now, I was previously unfamiliar with Poundcakes and Mangler... In fact- I thought Poundcakes was a dude in that panel!  Oh, well- gay jokes averted!

This was the final issue of The Thing... and Ben Grimm is particularly whiny about his appearance- as he becomes altered to be more rocky looking. 
So, yeah, a quick little rant about The Thing:  His whole "Woe is me, I was once a man- now I am A MONSTER!" deal worked fine back in the 60's and 70's. I get his pathos... But the thing with The Thing (HA!) is in a larger, 80's/90's Marvel Universe... that doesn't really play as well in a world with actual monsters, aliens, mutants, inhumans, and people altered by radiation.  They're all looking at him crying "I'm such a freak" like: "Seriously?  You're a lovable, world-famous, celebrity with friends who love and care about you. Get the fuck over yourself!" 
And I never understood why someone who thinks his appearance is SO grotesque- only wears trunks as a costume... Why not cover up as much as possible? Have a big-ass armored suit or something?  No, it would not be practical at all- but this is a guy who can't even stand looking in the mirror or going in public during off-hours.  But he's cool being seen fighting evil in his underwear? (I know he trench-coats up when he's on the streets, and he eventually wears a full onesie for awhile, but still...)
He ONLY covers-up his face with that helmet later on after Wolverine scars him.  (And that's some Doctor Doom level vain behavior, really.)
I know, I know- the first excuse he gave for the helmet was that bad guys were targeting his injured face- but later on he kept saying the helmet was better than looking at his "ugly mug."

"No one can see me now, I'm hideous!"
"-But you've always said you were hideous looking..."
"Errr, yeah, but now I'm... more hideous?"
"Hideous is just hideous, you can't be more or less hideous."
"Uhhhh... It's clobberin' time?"  

In this issue, like I said; he gets his more "spiked" rocky appearance that he sported for a few years after- and his reaction to this is to demand no one ever see him again, run away from everyone who cares about him, and hope he'll just die under a porch somewhere.  It's a little much. 


  1. I don't know about better, but Byrne definitely handled the whole breaking the 4th wall thing very, very well. Plus it's not did he draw a very sexy, but classy Shulkie, but it shows in the stories how much he actually had fun with the whole series.
    As for the Thing, yeah, tale as old as time with him bitching about his mug. Over the years he gradually got over it, especially during Englehart's FF run, where he was fine with his looks and overall appearance. Period. But later writers like to keep playing the same record over and over again, completely ignoring any character development in favor showcasing their stamp.
    I did always find it cool that there was actually a super-powered wrestling federation, something that just screams out as a natural fit, and gives heroes like Ben or Cage or whoever, a safe place to get out their frustrations.

    Now that's, that's something CM Punk should be writing, even if he is done with being a professional wrestler.

    1. Better, dude! -Better all the way.
      You can tell when Byrne is having fun on a book, and it's awesome when he is. Larsen reminds me of him in that way.

      ...old as time alright. -And that's what I'm saying; stories progress, characters develop, we move on... and then they press that reset button: He's MORE of a freak now! Start his character journey over...
      He was cured- and now he's The Thing again- oh, the refreshed pain!!! Pathos reestablished.
      NOW WOLVERINE STABBED HIM IN THE FACE! -We're starting it over again!!!
      Fuck, they just did another reset with him during the whole Watcher's eyeball story-line.
      I know- that's what comics do. It just seemed more blatant with Ben the more I thought about it while writing this post.

      CM Punk wrote a Thor story, right? And possibly a Drax back-up story somewhere too? I'm talking out my ass- I don't remember exactly. I never read it, whatever it is- I'll have to look it up...

  2. I used to have a few issues of the original She-Hulk series but aside from that who deosnt love that character? But although the art work was fantastic I just couldn't get into the Byrne series. It's too satirical especially when she breaks the 4th wall it just takes me out of the story. That's why I never really got into Deadpool when it came to the comics despite the funny quips. But the movie, shit, that just worked for me I guess as a character I like Deadpool better on screen then I do in the pages of a comic book. "Feet of strength", talk about "what the fuck were they thinking!?.

    1. Rock on.
      Yeah, totally- She-Hulk is my favorite female version of an existing male character out of all of them.
      The art really is amazing... but I can see you not digging the story. It was a little wacky, and he used a lot of super obscure, weird, z-list characters.

      You FEAR Mangler's feet!!!