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Mariko Tamaki's Hulk is a dramatic departure in tone for the She-Hulk, but a well known environment for her larger body of work. Tamaki excels at visualizing emotional conflict, and contrasting familiar settings with the fear and anxiety of surviving in them. This proves to be an unexpected but surprisingly well-fitting direction for a character whose main characteristic is fueled by emotion, changing her body from the turmoil within and changing the rest of society surrounding her too.
And just as Jen is a monster created by tragedy, the story turns its sympathies to the other monsters in its setting. Every supernatural antagonist Jen faces is shown through the course of the story to be a person just like her, straining against the pressures of the world, of its demands to keep up a happy face while their spirit bleeds. In a superhero setting, often populated by cardboard monster after monster, it's refreshing to meet a story that compels us to mourn for its monsters.
And that's exactly where Hulk's unique blessing turns into its curse, since after each climax, the antagonists get abruptly tossed away to a hospital or a jail. When one spends chapter after chapter invested in seeing if help will come to these tragic monsters, a few lines of exposition claiming they'll be handled offscreen simply doesn't satisfy our sympathies. It forms a callous pattern to cut off characters so swiftly after extensively fleshing them out first.
Patsy Walker and Bradley are welcome comic relief to alleviate the somber tone from time to time. That said, their peppy presence might disguise the story's disinterest in their own lives. None of the threads from Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat! are followed, particularly Patsy's temp agency, which was used to great extent in that series. Through her business to find jobs for super-people, we were shown how invested Patsy was in seeing her former foes turn their lives around, with their arcs continuing across the series to allow them to grow. One wishes this series would extend the same hand of forgiveness to its antagonists, after engagingly describing their tragedy before.
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