Avengers #46 kicks off a new story arc centered on She-Hulk. Affectionately dubbed “World War She-Hulk”, which is a wink to Greg Pak’s incredible run, this story promises to “bring Jennifer Walters’ current journey to its conclusion.” More than likely this means the She-Hulk that can barely speak and is constantly angry may be retiring soon.
Out on Wednesday, this issue opens with She-Hulk chained in a mysterious room and getting barraged with simple questions over and over. The preview gives away much of the plot to this issue, which you can read here. Gorilla Man is seen rushing past Tony Stark so as to let the Winter Guard inside the Avengers headquarters. Most of this issue is about their attack on the Avengers and trying to figure out what they’re up to, and what Gorilla-Man is up to, and how She-Hulk ended up imprisoned.
Similar to the recently released Avengers Vol. 8, it’s largely about matchups and action. Javier Garrón’s art continues to zing with the larger-than-life heroes and villains on the page. Starbrand, Captain Marvel, and of course She-Hulk all fight in epic fashion. There are some cool visual effects that help elevate the action and remind us She-Hulk is not an easy hero to defeat. Motion blur, color effects from David Curiel, and lots of detail in the destruction caused help make the fighting feel impactful.
For those who don’t know a thing about the Winter Guard, there’s enough here to gauge their powersets and personalities. Aaron does well to give each character something to say that makes them more than a cool costume and a superpower. They have been used in Aaron’s run before, but they’re obscure enough that many may be confused as to their whole deal. As a smash-and-grab opening, though, you get enough to go on.
And if you really don’t know the Winter Guard, Garrón makes them all quite cool thanks to impressive powers that are highly visual. Nearly every character has something different to bring to the battle and each one requires Garrón to do something a little different. This helps mix things up in the story while making the battle more than punching.
She-Hulk fans should breathe a sigh of relief in part because there’s a promise in press materials she’ll be changed forever and presumably changed back to her normal self. Aaron writes her in the hulked out and rage-filled form here, but there’s a clue as to a lot more going on with her via thought balloons.
Avengers #46 shows promise for a She-Hulk that has been itching for a change for some time. The stars of the issue, however, are the Winter Guard, who are an impressive supervillain team that shows off some impressive powers and personalities.
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