Marvel Heroine Novels to Feature She-Hulk, Rogue

Rogue Touch

Marvel has announced that Hyperion Books, another Disney division, will be publishing two prose novels focused on “strong, smart heroines seeking happiness and love while battling cosmic evil.”

The She-Hulk Diaries is clearly taking a “Sex in the City” approach, described as follows:

The She-Hulk Diaries

Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk, juggles climbing the corporate ladder by day and battling villains and saving the world by night — all while trying to navigate the dating world to find a Mr. Right who might not mind a sometimes-very big and green girlfriend.

I’m cynical, but I find that Sex in the City is much too frequently used as a reference by clueless guys who, when asked what women like, know only that property. I hope the book, written by Marta Acosta, captures some of the character’s charm and humor without focusing too much on “a woman’s not complete without a boyfriend”.

(Update: This interview with Acosta is very promising, suggesting that she’s already thought about many of the things that might cause concern.)

Rogue Touch, as Anika points out, is aimed at the ever-growing “teen paranormal romance” category, that segment that grew out of wanting to capture some of the success of Twilight. The book is written by Christine Woodward, and the description is full of melodrama:

Rogue Touch

After accidentally putting her first boyfriend in a coma, [Rogue] runs away from home where she meets the handsome and otherworldly James and sparks fly. Like Rogue, however, James’ life is hardly simple. To elude his mysterious and dangerous family, James shaves his head, dons all black. Stealing a car, they head out on the highway and eventually, Rogue has to decide whether she will unleash her devastating powers in order to save the only man alive who seems to truly understand her.

Although advertised in the Marvels supplement to the latest Previews catalog, the novels have to be ordered in the Books section. Each is a paperback priced at $14.99, due in June. Hyperion’s Editor-in-Chief Elisabeth Dyssegaard was quoted as saying, “Marvel has had tremendous success with recent hit movies, and we think it’s a great time to explore what happens to super heroines when they are dropped into traditional women’s novels.”

What happens? Well, depends on how well the authors respect the conventions of both romance and superhero fiction. These could be great introductions of the characters to a new audience — although one wonders where they’d go next; romance fans certainly aren’t going to find any Marvel comics in that genre — or it could be an embarrassing attempt to exploit brands in ways that aren’t anything more than a cash grab.

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