Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Perfect Panel Project #1

Hi y'all. I found a fine inaugural example of bite-size brilliance to share. Possibly because I have an enormous man-crush on Dan Slott, this comes from his 'She-Hulk Single Green Female' Trade paperback, illustrated by Juan Bobillo. The context: Jennifer 'She-Hulk' Walters has been asked by Captain America to move out of the Avengers mansion due to the physical and mental strain her partying caused Butler Jarvis and the building itself. Her friend Ben Grimm helps her carting her stuff into her new apartment, and Ben attempts to play matchmaker for Jen and her strapping neighbour, Gus. She is none too pleased with the situation, but Ben has some thoughts for her.

This is just spectacular.
It might just be the best Ben-Jen moment I've ever read. Better than Marvel 2in1 Vol.1,#88, JUN 1982's "Disaster At Diablo Reactor" by David Kraft, featuring their first encounter with She-Hulk rather shamelessly flirting and Ben embarrassed. Or drinking together in Byrne's 1984 Thing #8. Or his awkward substitution of her to the Fantastic Four when he doesn't return from the Secret Wars. Or the more awkward still FF#277 when he returns and finds Johnny's dating Ben's girl Alicia. (So they all think.) FF#299, Ben drunkenly flirts with Jen at possibly his most miserable after the Johnny-'Alicia' wedding. Ben is fun in SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK VOL.2,#39 MAY, 1992 "Date Worse than Death" also by Byrne. And they make a good team in THING & SHE-HULK: THE LONG NIGHT VOL.1,#1, MAY 2002 by Todd Dezago. There are probably loads of great examples but this one works best for me today.
I think what's so fun about this, apart from the simple but splendid art, is that it's a great role reversal. Generally, Ben is the Curmudgeon, while Jen is the Cheerleader. It puts a smile on my face to see the reverse can also be true.
Plus it's a great sentiment, no matter how cynically one snarks it: Life IS a great big adventure.

1 comment:

Bookmonkey said...

Cool! I'm always amazed that the perfect panel in an action comic is so rarely the giant splash page with all of the action in it.

The little moments definitely have the biggest impact.