Charles Soule Brings Law & Order To the Marvel Universe in New SHE-HULK Series
SHE-HULK #1 variant by Ryan Stegman
CREDIT: Marvel Comics
After years off the shelves, She-Hulk finally has her day in court – the court of the comic shop, that is. Marvel’s green-skinned giantess She-Hulk is returning to the comic shelves in a big way this February as the star of her own series, aptly titled She-Hulk. Announced in September, She-Hulk will chronicle the life and times of Jennifer Walters, the famous cousin of the original Hulk, who is equally known for her actions on the battlefield and in the courtroom. Unlike her cousin Bruce who considers being a Hulk a burden, series writer Charles Soule says that one of the most exciting facts about writing She-Hulk is how the character loves being a superhero.
Soule, a real-life lawyer, will be joined in this series by artist Javier Pulido who’s wowed people recently with his guest issues on Hawkeye. Together they’re picking up on the long legacy of She-Hulk from Stan Lee to John Byrne and to Dan Slott and creating a new chapter for a character Soule calls “one of Marvel’s most appealing and kickass characters.”
Newsarama: So Charles, what can you tell us about your big plans for She-Hulk?
Charles Soule: Honestly, I can't wait to write this book. I mean, more of this book. I've already written the first issue. When Marvel approached me about possibly bringing back a She-Hulk solo series, a few touchstones for a take immediately popped into my head - make her an attorney. Make her charming and fun, not weighed down by the various things life will throw at her. Give her a vibrant social life. Have her take control of her own destiny, and embrace the freedom that will give her.
I'll get into more specifics as we go, but the thing I love about She-Hulk is that by and large, she thinks being a superhero is awesome. Sure, being a Hulk brings with it its own unique set of problems, but she's more focused on the good than the bad. I love that.
We also can't get started without talking about what I know will be one of the biggest not-so-secret weapons in this title's arsenal, which is the art from Javier Pulido. I know Javier is extremely excited about being able to define the tone of a title from the get-go - as am I, it was one of the big attractions about this assignment - and I cannot wait to see what he does.
Nrama: The character has had some great runs with the likes of John Byrne, Steve Gerber, Dan Slott and Peter David. How much of her past is an influence here on what you’re doing?
Soule: Oh man, you aren't kidding. Byrne and Slott in particular had incredible runs that I enjoyed immensely as a reader. I loved that work, even though I'm planning to do my own thing - for example, I'm going to stay away from some of the screwball comedy tone (not because I don't like it, but because those other fellows have done a better job with that vibe than I ever could.) Jen Walters has also been used to great effect in FF more recently. Basically, She-Hulk is an awesome character, and she'll be recognizably herself here, just seen through my lens.
Nrama: One thing in the USA Todaypiece makes clear is that she’s keeping up her job as a lawyer. Does she have her own firm, or is she working for someone else like she has in the past?
Soule: She will indeed be lawyering away. I'm an attorney myself - I've been practicing law for quite a while now - and I think that it would be silly of me not to bring that experience to writing a character with a law degree. The way it plays out is pretty fun, I think. I get to sort of write the Marvel Universe version of my own life (although as far as I know I've never received a gamma-irradiated blood-transfusion, and I am also not a lady.) The cases Jen will get are really fun, too - they run the gamut. Some are strange, some expose weird corners of the Marvel U, some are straight up dramatic - it's a great time.
Nrama: How do you balance writing comics with a full-time career as a lawyer?
Soule: I just get the work done, really. Sometimes I'm working on my own cases, and sometimes I'm writing comic books. Being an attorney requires a great deal of focus and discipline (if you want to do it right, anyway), and I think that helps on the writing side. I also make a lot of to-do lists. The biggest thing, though, is that I don't really consider writing comics to be work. I mean, it's effortful, but it's one of the most enjoyable things I've ever done.
Nrama: Picture me this – what if you were hired for a case and found out Jennifer Walters was on the other side of it? What’s your take on her, lawyer-to-lawyer?
Soule: Well, that'd be one for the books. We'd probably settle out of court, so that neither one of s could say they'd won or lost. (Cop out? Yup.) I'll tell you this, though - she'll be damn sharp in the book. I love writing smart characters, and Jen Walters will definitely be that.
Nrama: And segueing back from practicing law to fighting for law & order, what kind of superhero activities will She-Hulk get involved with here?
Soule: I'm planning to have a lot of her superhero stuff spill out of the cases she takes on. There's a lot more to working a case than just drafting motions and arguing in court. There's an investigative side to it too. Because of the way her legal career works in the book, she will have many opportunities to interact with the super-powered community, good and bad guys. She-Hulk will hit plenty of things.
Nrama: She-Hulk has big friends in the superhero community, in addition to her roles in Mighty Avengers and FF. Could we see some of her colleagues show up in this series?
Soule: 100%. I make no secret of the fact that writing She-Hulk can serve as an opportunity for me to sneak in some really cool characters that I personally love. Some will be obvious fits, but others will come out of left field - but that's what's fun about the Marvel U - the bench is deep.
Nrama: Last question, as a lawyer - -what is your final remarks before we present the case for She-Hulk to the ultimate jury, the readers?
Soule: It's going to feel new, it's got Javier Pulido art, it's fun. It's an in-depth look at the whiz-bang, awesome life of one of Marvel's most appealing and kickass characters. Be excited because I'm excited. I've been writing a bunch of stuff recently, and I maybe wouldn't have taken on something else unless I felt like it could be really cool - and She-Hulk is definitely that. Bring on February!