She-Hulk #5 Review

Writer: Rainbow Rowell

Art: Luca Maresca

Colors: Rico Renzi

Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Cover: Jen Bartel

Variant Cover: Romy Jones

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Price: 3.99

Release Date: July 20th, 2022

Reviewer: Theron

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the She-Hulk #5 Review.

The Dispatch

Ever since Jack of Hearts popped back into Jennifer’s life after being presumed long dead, the series has maintained the sense that another shoe is about to drop. SHE-HULK #5 keeps that going, raising the shoe up a little higher as each previous issue has so that, when the shoe eventually does drop, it hits with even greater force. Part of this is accomplished by possible plot advancement (SHE-HULK #5 returns to the mystery about who was speaking off-panel when SHE-HULK #2 cut back to the wrecked facility Jack escaped from), but most of it is a result of the same solid character development Rainbow Rowell has been delivering since the series began,

Two of the major themes of SHE-HULK #5 are Jennifer’s ongoing belief that the Avengers should eventually be told that Jack has returned and that Jack needs to be told about what happened during AVENGERS DISASSEMBLED. Rowell writes Jack as a completely earnest character which frames both of these as conflicts that Jennifer has to wrestle with herself. This creates an effective undercurrent of tension beneath all of their interactions, and there’s the growing sense that one way or another, things are not going to work out for Jack.

SHE-HULK #5 also dives a little deeper into Jack’s head than the previous issues. His wonder at being able to eat and drink again isn’t at the forefront. His paranoia about hurting Jennifer by stealing her radiation remains ever present but isn’t his ongoing, driving concern. In responding to Jennifer’s idea to tell Tony Stark or the other Avengers about his return, Jack is putting a little more thought into what he might do now that he’s back. This scene is a strange commentary on death in comic books. Neither Jennifer nor Jack spends any time on the novelty of him having to find his way in the world because he was dead for years. That part is just kind of taken as read and they move on to practical matters, like whether Jack can get his house in Connecticut back.

The Art

There’s a fight sequence in the first few pages of SHE-HULK #5 that really races by. Luca Maresca packs a lot of energy into each panel (some of them helped even further along by letterer Joe Caramagna). Part of this comes from the relatively simple backgrounds Maresca draws in each panel. They’re not busy with details. The characters stand out because there isn’t a lot to look at. It’s obviously a choice and not a limitation (we’ve seen Maresca handle great detail throughout the series), and it forces the eye exactly where it needs to be.

The most visually striking part of SHE-HULK #5 is the way Jack is so frequently presented in profile with the ordinary side facing only to be shown almost head-on in the next couple of panels, revealing his dark side. It’s an interesting contrast that makes his plight more relatable. The way Maresca does this with Jack is not unlike how he’s handled Jennifer to this point. Maresca draws Jennifer with a recognizable vulnerability when she’s human that she doesn’t have when she’s hulked out and generally overflowing with confidence.

Final Thoughts

SHE-HULK #5 is another somewhat lighthearted issue in the way all of them have been. Yes,  the situation with Jack is serious and this issue adds to the sense that Rowell could reverse things and deliver a bittersweet ending. But for now, I’m enjoying spending time with the two characters. The fight that opens the issues is fun, but the dinner sequence between Jennifer and Jack is funnier and more interesting. Rowell, Maresca, and colorist Rico Renzi have delivered another solid issue in what has been a very solid series.


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