Sensational She-Hulk #10-11 (1989-1990)

I’m a big fan of both John Byrne and Steve Gerber, so having Gerber replace Byrne on this title has the potential to really thrill me.  But the two are very, very different.  Byrne’s humor on this book was pretty broad—and in general, he’s a very accessible creator, who follows the “Marvel tradition” that every issue of a comic ought to be a good entry point for new readers.  Steve Gerber, on the other hand, created Howard The Duck and famously would entire page after page of text with little-to-no art. Gerber can’t draw, so he relies more heavily on words to communicate his thoughts, where Byrne can establish a whole story pretty much by himself.  Finally, Gerber usually has a novelistic and allegorical approach to stories, tending to include big philosophical ideas and eschewing straightforward superheroics.  (Again, Howard the Duck.)

All of this is evidenced in the panel at the top of this post, where She-Hulk is concerned with the meaning of justice and the need for purity rather than sensationalism.  During this story, the District Attorney fires her as a prosecutor because she’s a giant green superhero and that will prejudice juries and render her successful prosecutions suspect.

From there, local millionaire named Lexington Loopner recruits Shulk to help him take down an obvious Superman stand-in who is bent on destroying capitalism, and we’re looking at a DC satire. So Gerber does pick up the threads of the (not) Superman cover started by Byrne.

What’s a bit odd is that the cover says “Introducing Lex Looper,” but Byrne brought him in half a year ago.

It’s an interesting couple of issues designed to set up Gerber’s own run on this book. I have mixed feelings, but am optimistic.

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