Avengers #48 promises an unleashed Hulk in “World War She-Hulk”. In the last issue, She-Hulk had been turned into a machine thanks to the Russian Red Room. This week, she’s used as a weapon. It’s part three in a story that continues to show She-Hulk is a victim, but when there’s no Avengers around, who can stop her?
This week’s issue opens with Gorilla-Man almost literally crying into his beer. She-Hulk being kidnapped by the Russians is his fault — he let the Winter Guard into the Avengers headquarters — but he never got his payment. That payment is death as he’s tired of being alive forever. Enter the Winter Hulk, a red and white costumed She-Hulk seeking revenge, but also seeking results for the Russians.
If you dig Gorilla-Man, you’ll enjoy this issue. He gets plenty of time to talk for both himself and She-Hulk since she’s not very vocal. Unfortunately, this gets old pretty fast. It’s hard to feel for a character who wants to die and even harder to care for She-Hulk who is mostly a machine here. We get one key cutaway to She-Hulk’s treatment in the Red Room, but aside from that, she’s mostly an unfeeling and uninteresting machine.
Given the seriousness of She-Hulk’s situation, a cutaway to them in a rowboat seems like an odd comedic choice. This leads to more death and mayhem, but it’s hard to wrap your head around how Gorilla-Man rowing a small boat was ever in the Russian’s plans.
There is one cutaway from She-Hulk’s antics involving Blade, Phoenix, and Black Panther that is colorful and interesting. It’s rather short, and a bit heavy with dialogue to get a few points across, but it’s a nice respite from the main story.
Javier Garron draws yet another cool-looking issue. His depiction of She-Hulk makes her seem like an entirely different character. She’s a thick and gigantic force and you feel that in her presence. Colors by David Curiel continue to give the book a bright and classical fun feel.
Avengers #48 has its heart in the right place, but it mostly doesn’t work. She-Hulk as the Winter Hulk could work in theory, but it reduces her to an unfeeling and uninteresting machine. Gorilla-Man remains difficult to care about as well, leaving the issue devoid of interesting characters or personalities to cling to. For an ensemble series, things will pick up with the Avengers are reintroduced, but this issue serves as a disappointing gap.
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