As someone with fairly severe ADHD, who has spent the last few years progressively convincing myself to read more and more, the idea of reading an entire omnibus is daunting to say the least. I agreed to embark on this Sensational She-Hulk journey not only to revisit and discuss a series that is essentially part of my comics-loving DNA, but also as another way to get myself reading more. Given that this omnibus starts right at the very beginning with the original OGN and Christmas one-shot, our tale will begin with the OGN that was released in 1985, four years before the beloved oddball series we all know as Sensational She-Hulk began.
I haven’t read this series in quite a long time, so I truly didn’t know what to expect starting this adventure. I completely forgot about the OGN to be quite honest, and I can tell you that you absolutely do not need to read it if you ever want to really get into Shulkie and her publishing history. This is, quite possibly, one of the most agonizing things I’ve ever made myself read. I felt like I got dealt 1d4 psychic damage after I finished because I was so mad. It’s beautiful visually, but the dialog and overall story vary from cringe at best to downright frustratingly clunky, bad, and racist at worst. The OGN is a very serious, straightforward cape comic tale with a few gags sprinkled throughout whereas the ongoing is pretty much all goofs and gags, thankfully.
I’ll be completely transparent here, I can’t remember the last time I regretted reading a comic. I genuinely disliked this comic so much that I almost don’t want to recap it at all and just get into the good stuff, the outfits. So, to ensure you do not have to suffer as I did, I’ll keep the recap as brief as possible. The story starts with Shulkie and then-boyfriend Wyatt Wingfoot going out for a night on the town. As they’re headed to the opera, they get attacked and kidnapped by S.H.I.E.L.D. Upon their arrival it is revealed they have done this so that they may experiment on Shulkie and hopefully prevent her from going full berserker mode like her dearly departed cousin had before. It is noted previously that Nick Fury is against this mission, but is unable to stop it. Upon their arrival, Shulkie is made to undress by a sniveling creepy little weasel by the name of Dooley. Dum Dum Dugan gets involved and essentially tells Dooley off, gets threatened by Dooley, and then has the whole operation taken over by him. The rest of the story goes into some weirdly nonchalantly implied rape/sexual assault, an alien, and Shulkie saving herself, Wyatt, and her captors from the nuclear radiation emitting from the crashing S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. The one legitimately important thing to Shulkie’s character that occurs in this story is we learn how exactly she got stuck permanently as She-Hulk and can no longer change back into Jennifer Walters. All in all, this comic really has all of John Byrne’s greatest hits all in one place: misogyny, racism, sexual violence, and of course, it’s incredibly horny.
Now that we’ve gotten that whole mess out of the way, we can move on to our feature presentation: Shulkie’s outfits. The one saving grace this OGN has going for it is that it contains what is quite possibly the single greatest outfit She-Hulk has ever or will ever wear. It is literally so good that I have it in my future cosplay plans because I cannot go through life not ever having worn it and presented its greatness to the world. Without further ado, here are some absolutely incredible fashion choices from this OGN:
To kick things off, we’re starting with the cover image. It’s not only a great, simplistic outfit, but it’s just an overall fantastic cover. Limited color palette, playing with positive/negative space, and an incredibly 1980’s bodybuilding swimsuit and pose. 10/10 Depositions
The first outfit we see She-Hulk in is this wonderfully 80’s workout gear. The almost-complimentary-pair color choice of the reddish orange against her green skin makes it visually striking without being an absolute eyesore. The deep scoop back and scoop neckline front make it cute and sexy without being over the top horny. Don’t fret, though, this is just the first outfit. Over the top horny is absolutely in our future. 8/10 Depositions
Here we have the absolute greatest outfit any superhero has ever worn in the history of superheroes. This outfit alone gave me hope that even though it only took a mere five pages to get Wildly Racist, maybe this would be some Darn Fine Superhero Comics. I was wrong, of course, but like…can you blame me? Is this not the single greatest outfit you have ever laid eyes upon? I am absolutely putting this in my future cosplay roster because it is just that good. 10/10 Depositions, if I could give it more I would because it is literally perfect
This is the one and only time we see She-Hulk turn back into Jennifer Walters in the entire book. Seeing the size difference between Shulkie and her human counterpart is pretty hilarious, honestly. This outfit is also mostly just Byrne being horny so it’s mostly just kinda “meh”. It also gets completely and strategically shredded which leads her to getting the next outfit on the list. 5/10 Depositions
This is a random leotard she’s given once her giant shirt has been shredded so that she can go save the day by scaling the side of the helicarrier as it is plummeting down towards the ground. The best thing about this otherwise plain indigo front-zip mock neck leotard is that she intentionally does not zip it up all the way, but does when she has to be outside of the helicarrier, and then immediately unzips it again when she gets inside. This is the exact kind of dedication to horny ridiculousness I generally would commend, but since John Byrne sucks so much, he gets absolutely no credit whatsoever for this otherwise incredible blatant display of horny. 8/10 Depositions
Well, we made it to the end. This was overall a wild roller coaster of a ride to start off this series with so I am extremely curious to see where we go from here. The next installment will be a timely Christmas one-shot with a surprise! I shall leave you all with the one joke in this entire OGN that genuinely made me laugh as a palette cleanser until next time: