The Avengers: World War She-Hulk

The Avengers: World War She-Hulk
Avengers World War She-Hulk review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Marvel - 978-1-3029-2488-1
  • Volume No.: 9
  • Release date: 2022
  • UPC: 9781302924881
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: yes
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes
  • CATEGORIES: Superhero

When Jason Aaron began writing the Avengers he introduced several global threats, or mention of them, and has kept these bubbling throughout the series. Some readers may feel that after eight volumes it’s about time some of those threats were dealt with. World War She-Hulk is for them. Unfortunately, though, rather than continuing directly from Enter the Phoenix, the Avengers have played a significant role in Heroes Reborn, and that’s resulted in some changes and seemingly wiped one of their long-term threats from the board. There’s also an early revelation that what has been perceived as two separate threats are actually united, although sharper readers may have had their suspicions about one villain for a time.

While Aaron has been writing the Avengers it’s the two women on the team who’ve been the least developed and who see the least time in the spotlight. Captain Marvel’s destiny is being guided by others in her own title, so she’s only on loan, but it’s finally time for She-Hulk to hit centre stage. Her condition is interesting, and has led to the reintroduction of thought balloons, a genuine 21st century comics rarity. She maintains her intellect internally, but can only vocalise with the Hulk’s minimal vocabulary. World War She-Hulk begins with her capture by the Russian Winter Guard.

It’s once again the phenomenal Javier Garrón illustrating the bulk of this volume. There’s a good reason for the title, and Garrón brings the assorted conflicts in different arenas to spectacular life, making some large scale wars look amazing. The other artists are involved in a finale and coda setting up a bunch of new plots, but special mention should be made of Steve McNiven’s stunning work on Christopher Ruocchio’s Thor solo story ending the volume.

The title story very cleverly wrongfoots readers, while reinforcing that the Black Panther’s planning, or scheming, is beyond compare. Of course, by patting him on the back in-story we’re also by extension congratulating Aaron, and that’s well deserved. He combines the catharsis of some targeted action that’s been a long time, perhaps too long, in coming with some really smart plotting, and the wonder is that it’s achieved so succinctly. It is dark, though, and that’s balanced by some lighter moments elsewhere, like Ka-Zar as a herald of Galactus.

But wait! An extended final chapter reveals things are perhaps not as cut and dried as earlier material suggested, as Aaron opens the box with the ‘Multiverse’ label. He takes an old name and supplies a new Masters of Evil, and they’re a callously ambitious bunch set on ruling everything. That’s a matter to be picked up in The Death Hunters, while another chapter sets up Avengers Forever, but the thrills supplied here combine for Aaron’s best Avengers graphic novel to date.