REVIEW CORNER: The Sensational She-Hulk # 5

The Sensational She-Hulk # 5

Writer/Penciller: John Byrne
Inker: Bob Wiacek
Letterer: Jim Novak
Colorist: Glynis Oliver

Cover Date: September 1989


As promised, this week I’ll take a look at a random issue of “Sensational She-Hulk” from John Byrne’s groundbreaking run. This was the series that had She-Hulk breaking the fourth wall every chance she gets and is the basis for the Disney+ series.

This issue starts things off with Jen in her apartment getting ready to watch some television but notices something very odd about the shows she’s watching as all the characters are participating in killing the other characters within the shows. Things get weird as Jen gets transported to a jungle
after using her remote control while hearing a “bong” where she meets up with a kid named Paul White who also heard said “bong” so the two of them try to find a way to navigate their way out of this predicament. Oh yeah……Doctor Bong is the one behind all of this!

What’s really great about Byrne’s run is how he manages to take the weirdness of this story (Or any story from his run) and expands on it to where it doesn’t go off the rails but keeps the hilarity intact; Doctor Bong is without a doubt, one of the most comical yet menacing villains in the Marvel Universe so him being used as the primary villain really helped in spicing up this issue. Parodies of pop-culture icons such as The Three Stooges, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Robocop, and Pee-Wee Herman were flat-out funny but if you were to read this issue today, most of these jokes would fall flat; Jen fighting her way through a two-page comics price guide is just absolutely genius and a shining example of the range that Byrne exhibits in his humor, but if it’s good or bad is entirely up to the readers to decide.

For fans of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s 1989 comedy opus “UHF” and the 1992 John Ritter/Pam Dawber flick “Stay Tuned”, this issue ranks right up there with these movies when it comes to skewering some of the shows that are on television but I feel like Byrne might have pulled some inspiration from “SCTV” (One of the most memorable sketch comedy shows to date) which to me, was a great choice to do so even thought most of the jokes felt redundant, it’s still an entertaining issue and highlights Byrne’s quest in doing something completely out of the box with She-Hulk.

Well, that’s it for me this week. I’ll be back with another She-Hulk review. This time, I’ll look at an issue after Byrne left the series. Thanks for sticking around and I will see you next time.

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