The return of Sensational She-Hulk promises “mayhem, and also some tenderness”

The return of Sensational She-Hulk promises “mayhem, and also some tenderness”

The Sensational She-Hulk is returning, with Jennifer Walters’ classic adjective added back to her new ongoing title from writer Rainbow Rowell and artist Andrés Genolet.

The new series follows up on Rowell’s previous Eisner-nominated She-Hulk title, promising to bring the “sensational” back to Jennifer Walters’ life as well as the name of the book.

Newsarama caught up with Rowell ahead of Sensational She-Hulk #1’s October 18 release date, digging into what it means to go back to the classic title, what fans can expect from Jenn’s upcoming crossover with her cousin Bruce Banner AKA The Hulk, and why She-Hulk is the best Hulk there is.

We’ve also got your first look at some of Andrés Genolet’s black and white interior pages from the first issue, plus Jen Bartel’s main cover for #3 and a variant by Kaare Andrews.

Art from Sensational She-Hulk.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Newsarama: Rainbow, you’re going back to the classic title with this new series, and solicitations have promised that the “Sensational” adjective will also inform the tone of the story. What does going back to Sensational She-Hulk mean to you, and to Jennifer Walters?

Rainbow Rowell: For me, the word “sensational” brings to mind John Byrne’s run on the original Sensational She-Hulk. We’ve definitely been inspired by the character-first focus of that book, with Jen front and center and sparkling, the star of the show.

I think we’ve also been inspired by that Sensational She-Hulk vibe – the feeling that anything could happen. Things get a little weirder and wilder than they did in the last volume.

Your previous volume of She-Hulk received an Eisner nomination for Best Continuing Series. How does it feel launching a new chapter in Jen’s story on the heels of that recognition?

We were so happy to be nominated and noticed. Hopefully a few more readers will take a chance on Sensational She-Hulk and see what we have cooking.

How much will the “lawyer” part of Jen’s history factor into the new series?

Jen’s career is very present in the series, even when she’s not in the courtroom. She has responsibilities and clients and a reputation to uphold. She’s working for her old nemesis, Mallory Book, now, with Awesome Andy at the front desk. Over the years, Jen has represented half the Marvel Universe, so it’s fun to see who we can bring into her law office.

You’ve brought She-Hulk back to her core as a Hulk who has her powers and personality mostly in balance. How does restoring that balance inform what comes next?

I mean, I think Jen is in fighting form. There have been times when she’s been in such internal crisis, she really couldn’t take on anything new externally. That’s not the case anymore. She’s ready to step into the spotlight.

Art from Sensational She-Hulk.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

How has it been working with Andrés Genolet on Sensational She-Hulk?

It’s been a dream. Andrés and I worked together on Runaways, and I will take every chance I have to work with him again. Character dynamics are a big part of my writing, and no one does facial expressions like Andrés. His lines are so beautiful and clean, and his characters breathe and shift from panel to panel.

Also, Andrés isn’t intimidated by romance. He goes all-in on the scenes between Jen and Jack of Hearts. And he never shies away from how much taller and broader Jen is than Jack.

We know that Jen’s going to face-off with Bruce Banner in the coming issues. How did that crossover come about? What can fans expect with that story?

This was so exciting for us. One of things that bugged me when I was re-reading old She-Hulk comics was the way Jen always shows up for Bruce to support him in his stories – but he rarely makes an appearance in her book.

I understand the larger realities of that, and how it fits into their respective publishing histories. But as a narrative, it’s still sad. Jen has defended Bruce and grieved for him. She’s made some serious sacrifices for her cousin.

So we were really grateful to the Hulk team for letting him visit our book. We tried to make the most of it. As for what to expect? I would say … mayhem. And also some tenderness.

I know this will be my opinion showing a little bit, but what makes Jennifer Walters the best Hulk?

Aw. For me, Jen isn’t just the best Hulk – she’s one of the best Marvel characters, period.

She has such a distinct personality. She’s smart, she’s kind … And she’s genuinely and consistently funny in a way that few comics characters are, especially female characters.

She’s also a true hero. Jen dedicated her life to justice before she ever got superpowers. She embraces her role as a hero – and she embraces her Hulkness. Jen loves being big and green.

She-Hulk has been on almost every team over the years and involved in every big Marvel story. I think she’s irresistible to writers and artists. We always want her on the page.

What do you want fans to know about Sensational She-Hulk?

That it’s a fun book with great characters, good jokes, and real emotional stakes.

If you already love She-Hulk, I want you to know that we love her, too. And we’re trying to give her the stories that she deserves. And if you don’t love She-Hulk … I’m guessing you haven’t read a She-Hulk comic. Start with this one!

Sensational She-Hulk #1 is published by Marvel Comics on October 18.

Not sure where to start with She-Hulk comics? Here are five great titles you can read right now.

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