We did it, y’all. We finally got to the first real issue of The Sensational She-Hulk ongoing. I believe we all deserve a hearty round of applause for our tireless efforts of…getting to issue one. The issue kicks off with a cover theme we will become intimately familiar with over the course of this series: the meta-joke. Byrne’s entire She-Hulk run is one of the biggest and well-known instances of the “breaking-the fourth-wall” humor that went on to become a signature character trait for Deadpool and many others. She-Hulk is holding a copy of the first issue of The Savage She-Hulk, her original ongoing, making a quip about how this new book is the audience’s second chance at keeping Shulkie on the shelf.
The issue opens with our green-hued heroine balancing a variety of circus creatures and stating she is merely testing her strength and training, much like her cousin once did when he first became the Incredible Hulk. What seems to be good-hearted fun and bonding between Shulkie and this circus crew takes an abrupt turn for the worse when it is revealed that our beloved Ms. Walters has found herself among none other than the Circus of Crime and their leader, Ringmaster. It comes to light that Ringmaster has some nefarious plans for She-Hulk by using his hypnotizing top hat to morph her into “Glamazonia” with a wig and a heavy helping of flesh-colored body paint.
Ringmaster and crew are up to the side-eyeing stereotypical carnie plots to steal money out of the pocket of unknowing circus-goers. There is another plan afoot it seems as well, as Ringmaster and the Circus of Crime were hired by an anonymous benefactor to obtain She-Hulk and test the limits of her power, which we learn from a group of shady scientists that the audience is introduced to. Once Glamazonia is almost hit by a runaway wagon, everything starts to unravel for Ringmaster and crew. As they squabble in an attempt to figure out who amongst them tried to kill Glamazonia, one of the mysterious scientists dons a gorilla costume and steals Ringmaster’s hypnosis hat, freeing She-Hulk. The police come and arrest the Circus of Crime, She-Hulk gets back to her delightfully green self, and the audience gets to find out that the mysterious scientists enlisting criminals to test She-Hulk are The Headmen.
Overall, for a first issue, this is an easy and fun ride to get the audience acquainted with the new comedic tone (expanding on the Christmas one-shot). There’s some great colors so I truly tip my hat to Glynis Oliver. The coloring for this book really sells it and I honestly think it pulls most of the weight when it comes to the artwork. I haven’t read this issue in…I truly could not tell you how long. It was a nice refresher to get me back into the groove of The Sensational She-Hulk tone and cadence.
Now, to the part you’ve all been waiting for: the outfits.
The first outfit we see Shulkie in is this magenta and white leotard/boots number. It’s pretty similar to her Fantastic Four costume, but with a scoop neck instead of the turtleneck collar. 9/10 depositions, only because that Ringmaster outfit is incredible and tends to outshine our girl any time they’re in the same panel.
Next up we have Shulkie’s “Glamazonia” persona. Everything about this outfit screams 70s/80’s fantasy garb. It’s pretty much John-Byrne-does-Red-Sonja-and-Frank-Frazetta. It’s also got a lot of Saturnyne vibes to it I feel with the slouchy boots and the heavy jewelry on a white drape-y dress. 7/10 depositions, mostly because this wig is doing Jen absolutely no favors.
The third outfit is John Byrne being incredibly horny on main as usual, so it’s basically every “sexy cop” fantasy outfit melted into one. 0/10 depositions because ACAB
Thus we conclude our third installment in The Sensational Sartorialist, and the first issue of The Sensational She-Hulk. See ya next time!