Marvel’s new Hulk series is a severe departure from what fans have come to expect from Jen “She-Hulk” Walters, taking her away from her previous fun-loving personality as she deals with the trauma of Civil War II. After nearly dying and waking up from a coma to discover her cousin, Bruce “Hulk” Banner, has been killed, Jen Walters is in a very rough place, and writer Mariko Tamaki is using Jen’s situation to explore how trauma can dramatically change a person’s behavior. Working with artist Nico Leon and colorist Matt Milla, Tamaki is taking Jen on a tense new path, one that is far more concerned with exploring her unstable emotional state than delivering superhero spectacle. Dealing with trauma is a major theme of both Tamaki’s Hulk and her phenomenal Supergirl: Being Super miniseries, and she’s bringing depth to superhero narratives by delving deep into how characters move forward when they’ve experienced significant personal losses.
This exclusive preview of next week’s Hulk #4 connects Jen’s current circumstances with those of her client, Maise Brewn, a woman who survived an assault and became a different person after the attack. The artwork in these pages highlights that intense emotional shift as Maise cheerfully leaves her yoga class, is overwhelmed by fear when she’s pursued on the street, and then becomes trapped in her new vulnerable state after the incident. Leon using the image of Maise balled up in pain to transition between the flashback and the present reinforces how she’s still constrained by that trauma, and Matt Milla’s cold coloring highlights Maise’s weakness while strengthening the bond between her and Jen, who is in a similarly chilly place. Hulk is a superhero comic that emphasizes pain and the struggle to overcome it, and this creative team is committed to giving the reader a strong understanding of the characters’ internal conflicts.