When I heard Marvel was releasing a pair of chick lit novels I was skeptical. For one thing I’m not a chick lit fan. I also wasn’t sure I wanted any of the super-powered females I loved to be minimized in any way. We have a hard enough time getting them quality comics on a monthly basis, I didn’t like the idea that they could potentially become weak females pining for men to complete their lives.
So I was pleased to discover how much I enjoyed reading The She-Hulk Diaries (Marta Acosta, Hyperion).
She-Hulk has always been a favorite of mine but she rarely is done any justice in the comics. She does best, in my opinion, with a humorous tone but not taken as anything less than a formidable foe. It’s a hard line to draw. Acosta gets the balance just right.
This is the Jennifer Walters incarnation of Shulky. Jen is of course cousin to Bruce Banner. She too received the gamma rays and she now also “hulks out”, but Jen has far more control over her change than Bruce and retains her intelligence when she transforms. Still Shulky causes plenty of problems and destruction anyway. Enough trouble in fact that poor Jen gets kicked out of the Avengers mansion and put on street crime duty. She also has been let go from her job as a lawyer because of unmentioned courtroom incidents.
The book is written as entries in Jennifer’s diary. She views She-Hulk as a separate person who also inhabits her body. She’s actually in therapy because of this and because of She-Hulk’s lack of self-control. Jennifer decides to set up goals for the New Year and we follow her journey to success in her professional life, personal life and of course her romantic life.
This is definitely cotton candy. There’s no real substance here. Still it was great fun and a super fast read. Jennifer in her natural state is no slouch. She takes Krav Maga, is quite tall and known for being formidable in the courtroom. I appreciated that she was good at her job and not dependent on She-Hulk for protection. She can feel She-Hulk attempting to come out when she angers but she has full control over her transformation. It’s just challenging getting the Hulk genie back in the bottle once she’s out. I also appreciated that this was all about her getting control of her life in all aspects not just romantically. It all kind of clicks together when she works on it bit by bit. The romantic lead doesn’t just make everything all better for her.
There is a bit of a mystery and mentions of other Avengers and their foes are peppered throughout the book. It definitely fits nicely into the Marvel universe without any problem at all. I highly recommend this as a fun summer read. I really was pleasantly surprised by it, I think you will be too.
The She Hulk Diaries
Author: Marta Acosta
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Hyperion; First Edition edition (June 18, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.7 inches