She-Hulk (Vol. 4) #3

Background

To get you up to speed. Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk, left the Avengers after the disasterous results of Avengers: Disassembled, during which her close friend Hawkeye died. She now works as a lawyer for a firm specialising in super-powered clients.

Recently, Jen defended a time-traveller accused of murder. Due to exessive publicity, the jury was comprised of people from the recent past - including Hawkeye (in his civilian persona). Jennifer attempted to warn Hawkeye of his upcoming death, earning the ire of the TVA... the Temporal Police.

Also, this is She-Hulk's 100th issue, if you count across all four series. As well as a full-sized regular story, it also reprints She-Hulk (Vol. 1) #1 and She-Hulk (Vol. 2) #1.

Story Details

Jennifer is accused and found guilty of deliberately tampering with time, and her trial quickly moves to the sentencing phase. The TVA are seeking the maximum punishment - total historical erasure. They've had quite enough of the Avengers' careless time-meddling, and are looking to make an example of She-Hulk.

Jennifer asks her firm to find her the greatest lawyer of all time, which turns out to be Southpaw from fifteen years in the future. Confused? Southpaw is the daughter of the head of the law firm. Currently a rebel and a trouble-maker, the future Southpaw is a successful lawyer, who is pulled back through time to represent She-Hulk.

Many super-heroes (including Spider-Man) and regular folks close to Jennifer are called from various points in time as witnesses. Calling out key people to testify (Spidey doesn't actually give evidence), Southpaw argues over several pages with lots of flashbacks that She-Hulk is essential to the flow of time, and could not be replaced - that removing her from time would cause irreparable damage. Eventually, Southpaw wins over the judges, assisted a little by the "timely" intervention of a time-travelling villain wielding the deadly Ret-Can(non). Surely you're confused now!

Instead of temporal erasure, She-Hulks punishment is to take back another time-travelling trouble-maker to her time, and to be responsible for guarding them. She-Hulk chooses a former Avenger, currently held in TVA time-cubes. Who? Well, we don't find out until next issue, but it's the Two-Gun Kid. Huh? What? No way! Yes way!

General Comments

This is clearly an excuse for a trawl through She-Hulk's back-history on the occasion of her 100th comic book. As such, it suffers a little from flashback-itis. Still, Dan Slott is a very clever writer, and there's plenty here to amuse. Spider-Man's cameo is trivial, but hey, he's there.

Overall Rating

A great writer, slightly hampered by the constraints of the story. Three and a half webs.