After the first issue ended with She-Hulk beginning her new status quo as a Lawyer out on her own, this issue sees Charles Soule begin to flesh that out, by introducing a couple of exciting supporting characters and exploring, with as much verisimilitude as he can, the realities of running your own Law Practice.
We begin almost immediately after the end of #1, with Jen having set up her office… but having no work to do, and just staring at her desk. She opens up the ‘Blue File’ she was left with by her former employers, which seems to be a case where a man in North Dakota sued her and a bunch of other superpowered people (heroes and villains, like Doctor Druid, Tigra, Spectrum, Wyatt Wingfoot and The Shocker), we don’t get any more movement on this, but I’m sure it’s something that will come into play in the future.
Before Jen can really start despairing, the owner of the building, Sharon King knocks on her door to give her a tour, and also tell her that the people interviewing for the role of her Paralegal are waiting. We discover that this building leases exclusively to businesses ran by super-powered people. Sharon herself is a former Mutant who was depowered on M-Day, and she knows how hard it is for meta-humans to rent normal offices, and although the insurance is high, she’s found her niche. When Jen gets to Reception to see the interviewees, all of them except one run away scared, and so she’s pretty much forced into hiring the strange individual that is Angie Huang. Much like the blue file, there’s more to come from Angie, she takes a creepy monkey with her everywhere she goes and she has a lot, perhaps too much experience for the role, along with some mysterious gaps. Angie wants to start right away, but as we saw earlier… there’s nothing to really do. Jen tries to ring around her fellow Lawyers to ask for tips and to let them know to send stuff her way, but they all already know, and have been told by her former Firm to pretty much blacklist her.
Understandably pissed off, Jen calls it a day and heads to a bar to blow off some steam with none other than Patsy Walker, Hellcat! She-Hulk and Hellcat ‘gal-pal’ it up, drinking booze, dancing and having fun. But the real fun begins when Hellcat declares that she wants to go out and punch something, as she, even more so than Jen, has nothing going on. I loved this scene, and how it treated Hellcat like a real person, and showed that being a superhero has kind of negatively impacted her life, she has no real job, no boyfriend, nada. Plus, she’s been drinking as much as She-Hulk, and because she doesn’t have the same super-powered physiology… she is hammered. Hellcat leads She-Hulk to an abandoned warehouse that, according to a SHIELD Agent that was chatting her up, is actually a secret AIM base. They bust in, only to find it empty, but of course AIM is there. Two AIM goons attack, planning to kill a superhero and make a name for themselves in the organization. This, just like the idea of an office complex leasing itself to superheroes because nobody else will, is another cool example of Soule’s theme of how, in the Marvel Universe, superheroes aren’t treated as people, whether it’s by the law or individuals. To these AIM guys, She-Hulk and Hellcat aren’t people, they are stepping stones.
The fight ends in a stand-off, with She-Hulk staring down an AIM guy who has a robot arm around Hellcat’s neck, and man, it was bad-ass, as Jen threatens to kill him, and we get an epic 2-page spread of She-Hulk’s eyes, brimming with anger and Gamma energy. Javier Pulido’s art made just 2 eyes look amazing there, and he was just awesome again throughout. The lay-outs are excellent, all of the characters are brimming with personality, and it was cool to see an issue of art from him that was a bit more superheroic, and got really very Kirby indeed when AIM got involved. Muntsa Vicente’s colours were also great.
After the AIM guy surrenders, She-Hulk helps Hellcat up, and offers her a job as an Investigator. So with Hellcat, Angie, Sharon and the rest of the building, we’ve got the start of a supporting cast. It’s not quite Awesome Andy and the rest of the gang Dan Slott used yet, but it could very well grow into something just as good.
The issue ends with Jen returning to work the next day to find her first ever client, but it might not be one she wants! It’s Kristoff Vernard, the son (Is he actually is son? I can never remember) of Doctor Doom, who wants to defect from Latveria and become a US Citizen! I can’t wait to see how Soule writes about this in #3, it’s going to be great to apply real-world immigration law to fucking Latveria.