Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Javier Garrón
Color Artist: David Curiel
Cover Artists: Javier Garrón & David Curiel
Publisher: Marvel Comics
The Avengers have been attacked by the Winter Guard who’ve stolen one of their own: She-Hulk. They took her back to Russia and Red Widow oversaw alterations to her mind and body within the mysterious Red Room. After a failed rescue attempt, Jennifer Walters has escaped back into the world as the new “Winter Hulk”. Now Avengers #48 shows what the Winter Hulk will do.
I won’t lie, this comic book is a mouthful, most of which is due to the character of Gorilla Man. He’s written as a very long-winded character in this comic. Jason Aaron puts a lot of focus into this character for the comic and it suffers greatly for it and it looks like he’ll be a major focus for the next issue or two. I have nothing against Gorilla Man, he’s an interesting character in the same boat as Detective Chimp from DC Comics. But this comic doesn’t do him justice.
Throughout the entire comic, all of the other characters Gorilla Man meets have this look on their faces saying, “Please shut up, Gorilla Man.” Aaron writes him as a big blabber mouth and while he is remorseful for his past actions, this isn’t the best or most interesting way to show it. It’s worse because he’s the co-lead character in this entire comic alongside the “Winter Hulk.” Speaking of which, she’s just a blunt plot device in this comic and nothing more. There’s no personality, no real intrigue, and her look is not for me. Plus her story is very predictable if you’ve been following Aaron’s Avengers run. I’ll get to that in the Spoilers section.
Ultimately, Winter Hulk is a re-skinned version of the recent savage She-Hulk but blonde for some reason. The only interesting thing about her is her mission and a possible new power she has due to changes from the Red Widow. The Avengers don’t really do much, they’re almost an afterthought here. This issue is all about showing off the new Winter Hulk and she’s not really that impressive. Everything about this comic and storyline hinges on her and she’s just not that great of a draw, at least to me.
Winter Hulk is essentially a tool for the Red Widow to execute a genocidal secret mission to kill Namor and wipe out all Atlanteans. In the process, Winter Hulk has killed several Atlantean warriors on their own borders. But for some reason she’s dragging along Gorilla Man to supposedly be her “conscious” or Jiminy Cricket since she can’t or doesn’t talk. At all. She doesn’t even scream or rage at all either.
Apparently, there’s also a B plot with the vampires agains since the Russians used vampires to drain her while she was in the Red Room. Personally, I’m ambivalent to the whole vampire storyline in this series, so it doesn’t excite me or anger me. Other than that, hopefully we get some cool fights in the next issue.
Avengers #48 shows off the new Winter Hulk and she’s very underwhelming. She’s essentially a silent, re-skinned version of the current She-Hulk but blonde. The other major character is Gorilla Man and he is similarly underwhelming. He’s a huge blabber mouth in this comic and readers will likely want him to stop talking before finishing it. The Winter Hulk serves mainly as a plot device for the real villains while the Avengers are waiting to show up and actually do something in the next issue.