For comic-book writer Charles Soule, the real strength of She-Hulk isn't in her biceps — though they are quite sizable being the Hulk's muscular cousin and all — but instead in her optimistic approach to life.
She'll need to put on a happy face juggling supervillains and super paperwork as a heroine with her own Brooklyn law firm in Marvel Comics' new She-Hulk series, debuting Wednesday and illustrated by Javier Pulido.
"She's not grim or embittered about the fact that she's not like everyone else," Soule says of his series' star. "She celebrates it, and that makes a person strong whether they happen to be a 7-foot-tall gal who can bench-press a bus or not."
Soule is structuring the new comic like a season of a TV series, with one overarching storyline woven over every 12 issues or so. From there will be short "episode" story arcs of an issue or two with a "To be continued" here and there.
The first issue sets up her new status quo after Jennifer Walters (Shulkie's legal name) is ousted from her job and decides to run her own office and, out of desperation, drums up business through her superhero connections with the Avengers and Fantastic Four.
From there, Soule will be filling put the supporting cast a bit, with guest appearances from Hellcat, Daredevil and Jen's first big client: Kristoff Vernard, the son and heir of the literally iron-fisted Latverian monarch Doctor Doom.
A major case that she'll have to deal with, however, centers on a mysterious file that Jen stumbled across before the series begins. She's been working on it in her spare time and it involves a lawsuit naming quite a few high-profile folks in the Marvel Universe, including She-Hulk herself.
"It shouldn't really exist, and the hows and whys of that make up the big mystery that will push us through the first year," Soule says. "I had to get a lot of approvals to go ahead with this one, which usually tells me I'm probably on the right track. I can see that strategy backfiring terrible one day, actually. But not on She-Hulk. This is good stuff."
On a personal level in first few issues, She-Hulk's sense of self-reliance will receive a major boost.
"She'll have her own business, she'll have people depending on her for guidance — and a paycheck — and that's a particular, odd type of responsibility that's different than just going out and hitting things until the world gets saved," Soule says. " It's a nice way for her to grow as a character in some interesting ways."
Soule's a lawyer, too, and like She-Hulk herself, he sometimes finds it complicated to balance the law and superhero aspects of the series, he says. Each issue needs to have just as many fun action elements as legal stuff — "go too far in either direction and it's not really the book I want to write.
"But on the other hand, it's the two tones that make the book interesting, so I'm always up for the challenge."
She-Hulk's voice came a lot more naturally and almost instantly to the writer. Soule describes her as having a wry and somewhat bemused way of looking at the world amid an undoubtedly crazy life.
He's also surprised himself with how much he's enjoyed the legal material.
"I'm an attorney when I'm not writing comics, and have been for years," Soule says. "That's a side of my life I don't always associate with pure creativity, but it's all worked out nicely. Figuring out how to fit legal situations into a superhero context has been a blast."
She'll have foes in court and outside of it, too — she is a superhero, after all. The Wrecker shows up on the first page, her old bosses are not exactly the nicest of dudes, and "bad guys" will come in all forms.
"We'll see She-Hulk fighting evil everywhere from the boardroom to the Bowery, using her mind as much as her fists," says Soule, adding that he wants to establish his own strong "mini-continuity" before layering in old favorites from She-Hulk's past.
"For the record, though, I don't think you can write She-Hulk and not do a Titania story. She's very high on my list."
BLESS THE QUEEN !!!