I love the last week of the month, it's usually when a few of my favorite series drop. She-Hulk, Nova, Cap, Guardians of the Galaxy. We only got She-Hulk and Nova this time, but they were both great issues.
In the issue:
Continuing from last issue, She-Hulk goes to meet the President-for-Life of Marnimer, Darqon Par for a private meeting. In the meeting, they discuss Par and his recent actions. She-Hulk is pissed and is disgusted with Par for being capable of killing his own people. He replies that of course he is, but what leader isn't? That a leader will send it's citizens to war, including the president of the United States. He then explains how when he took office, he wanted to stop the religious wars, but the people would have none of it, and then, in his mind, god sent the earthquake to settle the matter once and for all.
She-Hulk is even more upset and yells at Par that he's murdered women and children and that now he's actually allowing more to die (Par has an awesome line after this, really nails the kind of disgusting human being he is: "Why do people become so exercised about the fates of women and children?")
It's revealed that Par wanting to discuss a treaty with She-Hulk was a lie, there's a thud behind She-Hulk, and The Invisible Woman turns visible and hits the floor. Par has been burning kolokol-1 in the candles and She-Hulk passes out as well.
We then discover a bit about the origins of the Red Guardian. His grandfather was a priest who was sent to work camps and then executed, so he feels for the people of Marnimer and understands their pain (part of the reason why last issue the Winter Guard decided to help The Lady Liberators instead of stopping them).
She-Hulk wakes up, tied up to a bed, reverted Jennifer Walters. The drugs act as a mental suppressant, so she can't maintain her She-Hulk form. Par then reveals that yeah, he's about to rape Jennifer. Jazinda busts in, disguised as one of Par's General's. A plan She-Hulk and Jazinda put in action before she went to visit Par. Jazinda is about to kill Par, when She-Hulk intercedes, telling Jaz he's not worth killing.
Jazinda asks She-Hulk what her feelings would be if Par had actually raped her? This enrages She-Hulk to the point where she's kind of changes back to She-Hulk (just a little), and breaks from her ties. She's advances on Par, and he states that we are what circumstances make us, and that She-Hulk is a hypocrite, because deep down, she actually wanted him to rape her, which pretty much pushes her over the edge. She goes to punch him, we see a panel of blood on her hand, and then it's revealed that the Invisible Woman is free, and had put a sheild around Par's head to stop She-Hulk from killing him, which she had skinned her knuckles on (she's still only partially transformed into She-Hulk).
Then we hit a slippery slope that She-Hulk is walking. Jazinda impersonates Par, goes on national television, opens the borders of Marnimer to relief aid and orders the army to help the citizens. She then states that she (as Par) is removing herself as President for Life, and the only way to do that, is to die, so she shoots herself in the head on national t.v. (knowing she would come back to life).
The real Par wakes up in the Australian Outback with She-Hulk, where she leaves him, telling him he's got a second chance at life, and not to screw it up, because she won't give him a third chance.
Cut to Jen in her trailer where the Justice Department comes a knockin' to tell her she's under arrest for willful violations of international borders.
GREAT issue! Seriously, I LOVE what PAD has been doing with She-Hulk's character in the past year or so. And it aggrivates me to no end that the series is coming to an end in a couple of short months. The amount of character development, and the circumstances that she faces, under PAD (and Slott), have been more in-depth, and more revealing about the character than what She-Hulk received basically from the beginning of her character life in The Savage She-Hulk, through her time with The Avengers & The FF & through her Sensational series all put together. The character, after almost 30 years, is receiving the most, and best, character development she's ever had, and Marvel is bringing it to and end. She's no longer the same character who just cracks a joke and follows the lead of someone else in a group jumping into the fray with her fists. She's now a character with more depth, more sides to her personality and in the process of becoming a qualified and considerable leader, and it's going to end. Boo-urns!
PAD's writing is in top form here, as he tackles some tough topics in the issue, and raises a few ambigious questions as to who could be considered right and wrong (although it's clearly revealed that Par is absolutely a villain and a disgusting human being, he does make some points about politics, leaders and war, which in his mind at least, make sense), and by the end of the issue, he puts She-Hulk in another potentially explosive situation which she'll have to rely on something other than her muscles or quick wit to get her out of.
I'm cherishing the last couple of issues, 'cause who knows what character development limbo She-Hulk's going to go back into when the series ends.
Only downpoint? Not as much Lady Liberators as the past couple of issues, with only a few quick shots of Thundra, and only a short conversation with Valkyrie. The interaction between the Liberators was a highlight in the past couple of issues, and it totally makes sense about why the issue revolved more around just She-Hulk this time, but any interaction between those characters under PAD is a bonus, so I was hoping for a bit.
Can't wait until next issue!