By Nick Authenrieth
Jen Walters, cousin to Bruce Banner
and more commonly known as the She-Hulk
, is undergoing a serious transformation. This one, however, doesn't involve Walters turning a deep shade of green, growing about a foot and putting on 500 pounds of muscle. Peter David, acclaimed writer for such Marvel series as INCREDIBLE HULK, FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN, X-FACTOR and most recently the WORLD WAR HULK: PROLOGUE: WORLDBREAKER, has signed on with Marvel to take over writing duties for SHE-HULK beginning with September's issue #22. "My run on SHE-HULK is starting pretty much clean," says David. "If you've never read SHE-HULK before or anything having to do with WORLD WAR HULK before, you're still going to be able to come in on the ground floor. We're going to shake things up. "
While David's work on Marvel's other big, green, heavyweight hero often touched upon many complex issues and weighty subject matter, look for a different tone to his SHE-HULK run. "I'm not planning to do any deep, heavy, psychological stories in the style of what I did on the Hulk because I don't think that would be remotely appropriate for the character," he says. "I think the trying to attach incredibly deep meaning to her would be a fundamental mistake. She's a character with whom we should just have this massive sense of fun.
"I don't mean that it's all then jokes and yaks and that kind of thing," adds David. "But what I'm saying is that the bottom line is that you should be able to expect to have an entertaining read. When you're plunking down your money and reading 22 pages of SHE-HULK, you should be able really relax and have a good time with it.
"The bottom line is that She-Hulk is fun," he goes on. "She's a fun character. She enables you to do the sort of stories that used to be much more dominant in the industry. Back before it became all about sturm und drang
and deep, deep soul searching and incredibly dark characters, you had this fun character called She-Hulk."
Penciling the issues and also helping to take SHE-HULK in a different direction is artist Shawn Moll, fresh off a stint with Marvel's distinguished competition. Peter's approach towards the work he'll be doing with Moll is uncomplicated. "My plan is the same as it is with any artist. I will start writing scripts and then I'll take a look at artwork and the finished product," he says. "I'll see for myself what I believe the artist's strengths and weaknesses are and then just try to tailor the story to the artist's strengths."
Taking over for writer Dan Slott, whose run on SHE-HULK lasted spans two volumes and over 30 issues, Peter David will assuredly be giving She Hulk's plotlines a thorough rearrangement. "We're going to really take things off in directions that have not been explored before, but I emphasize, are consistent with the character, with what's gone before and her fundamental passion for the legal system," David says. "Let's keep in mind that, for her, the concept has taken some major hits. She's seen what happens when the wrong people get involved with the system."
She-Hulk's history with "Civil War" and her cousin Hulk
's present situation may not be as fully explored by David as with his predecessor, but they certainly won't be ignored. "There will be references to what has gone before, but things will not be spelled out," he notes. "Will I spell them out during the course of my run? Yes, absolutely. But I really wanted to allow readers to hit the ground running."
As far as his following in the style of Slott's comedy-driven writing under the She-Hulk banner, Peter David, well known for his sense of humor, is also changing up that aspect. "Anyone who knows me knows that I thrive on the concept of people figuring they know exactly what I'm going to do by then going and doing the exact opposite," he notes. "[Dan] did some wonderful stuff on the series. He really made it uniquely his. And if I try to do the kind of stories that Dan did, it's going to come across as exactly what it is: Watered down Dan Slott stories."
While he won't look to the recent past for inspiration, Peter David doesn't plan to go further back in time for it, either. "I don't really see the point of going backwards. Have you read those early issues of the SAVAGE SHE-HULK? They make my eyeballs hurt," David remarks. "With all deference to the very talented people who put those together, they don't age well," he continues. "I'm sorry to say I can't find a single villain in there I want to bring back. The Man-Elephant? When you look back on an original run and the high point of the run as far as visual villains was the Man-Elephant, you've got some problems."
And what about a new look for She-Hulk? Don't count on anything you've seen before. "I don't really see the advantage of having her run around in a long, torn, white shirt," David comments "And we could do without the perm."
Enthusiastic about his new role as She-Hulk's scribe, Peter David is adamant about making the book his own. "I want to build upon what's gone before and then head off in a new direction, not simply regurgitate what's gone before." His philosophy is a simple one: "If I don't carve a new road for the series to follow, then why should I get behind the wheel?"
Keep checking back right here at Marvel.com for all the news from Wizard World Philadelphia and don't forget our preview for the first issue of Peter David's tenure, She-Hulk #22, out in September.
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