Body-Swap Boogie In The She-Hulk Annual #1

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Jen Walters, aka the Savage She-Hulk, wakes up in the body of a robot. She doesn’t know how exactly she got here, but she knows it must be linked to when Mr. Fantastic recently downloaded the brain scans of many of the most prominent Avengers. She uses the computer to which she’s linked to find out more about what’s happened. As it turns out, this was all the work of the Machinesmith, and he’s in league with none other than the assassin Bullseye.

She-Hulk Annual #1 cover by Mirka Andolfo
She-Hulk Annual #1 cover by Mirka Andolfo

She-Hulk Annual #1 is the next chapter in the Acts of Evil story. It takes place some time ago, and Machinesmith and Bullseye have orchestrated a convoluted plan to steal the She-Hulk’s body to stage a murder of Bullseye. 

It’s another fairly comedic read like the Punisher issue. There are plenty of jokes about how over-complicated Bullseye and Machinesmith’s plan is, and there’s a bit of slapstick as Bullseye tries to get used to being in She-Hulk’s body and the same for She-Hulk in the robot body.

There are some deep questions about identity posed in parts of the book. This is a relatively obscure reference, but anyone who played the videogame Soma by Frictional Games might recognize some of the themes. You are made to wonder who or what you’ve been following for a good stretch of the comic, and it’s pretty interesting.

The story gets a little confusing in the middle as the mind-swapping becomes slowly undone, but the broad details are cleared up by the end. 

She-Hulk Annual #1 art by Andy MacDonald, Matt Milla, and letterer VC's Joe Caramagna
She-Hulk Annual #1 art by Andy MacDonald, Matt Milla, and letterer VC’s Joe Caramagna

Andy MacDonald’s artwork brings the story together quite well with a detailed and dynamic style. Characters are emotive and always moving, and the She-Hulk herself is as imposing as ever. Machinesmith and Bullseye get great treatments in this too. Matt Milla’s color art is vibrant and contrasts very well.

She-Hulk Annual #1 brings another fun and smart installment to the (so far) loosely-linked Acts of Evil series of stories. It’s a solid read and the only solo She-Hulk material (outside of an issue of the current Avengers run) we’ve gotten since the criminally underrated Mariko Tamaki run ended. In any case, this one gets a recommendation. Feel free to check it out.

She-Hulk Annual #1 comes to us from Alexandra Petri, artist Andy MacDonald, color artist Matt Milla, letterer VC’s Joe Caramagna, cover artist Mirka Andolfo, and variant cover artist John Tyler Christopher.

Final Score: 7.5/10

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