TITLE: The Sensational She-Hulk – Issue #1
YEAR: May 1989
COMPANY: Marvel Comics
Writer/Penciler: John Byrne
Inker: Bob Wiacek
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Letterer: John Workman
Editor: Bobbie Chase
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco
For those who grew up reading She-Hulk in Marvel Comics, lawyer Jennifer Walters who refused an emergency transfusion from her cousin Bruce Banner thus turning into She-Hulk, was often portrayed similarly to The Incredible Hulk. As Hulk was seen as a brute, She-Hulk was seen as savage, thus getting her first solo series “The Savage She-Hulk” in 1980.
As a member of the Avengers, John Byrne was draw the character and would eventually bring her over to the Fantastic Four after the conclusion of the “Secret Wars” mini-series as The Thing had to take on a few personal situations on his own and She-Hulk would become a member. She would be featured as a beautiful, intelligent She-Hulk.
And it wasn’t until 1989 when She-Hulk would get the chance to have her own solo series once again with “The Sensational She-Hulk” in which the first eight issues were written and drawn by John Byrne (who would later return to the comic series in issue #31 through #50).
In the first issue, She-Hulk visits the McFadden Brothers Circus to work out (something that her cousin Bruce Banner as the Hulk did long ago), but when the Ringmaster shows up, he hypnotizes She-Hulk and is turned to a Glamazonia (with a lot of makeup on to show her with white skin). Manipulated by the Ringmaster, she is used to make money as she holds the audience upside down (as they are held to their seats by their seatbelts), the Ringmaster hypnotizes all of them and as their money and jewelry fall out, the Ringmaster and his team take the money and jewelry and then later awaken the audience, who are unaware that they have been robbed.
Meanwhile, another group are closely watching the Headmaster as he has She-Hulk under his control.
Can the She-Hulk break from The Ringmaster’s hypnosis?
The first issue is slightly cheesy but no doubt John Byrne manages to make the series funny and entertaining but also featuring She-Hulk as the attractive Glamazonia that men can’t stop looking at her. The first issue also features a brief history of her cousin Bruce Banner and how he became the Hulk and how she became the She-Hulk.
Overall, a fun and humorous first issue but definitely a sign of the times of family, friendly storylines but yet John Byrne adding more sex appeal and intelligence to She-Hulk’s character.
The series would run for a total of 60 issues (ending in Feb. 1994) making it the longest-running solo title for a Marvel superheroine during that time.