Marvel Entertainment & Hyperion Books announced today that they are partnering to publish superhero chick-lit, works that feature female heroines in the lead roles. The first two titles to be released are The She-Hulk Diaries & Rogue Touch. These novels come on the heels of female led comic such as Captain Marvel and the upcoming all female X-Men.
The plot synopses of the novels are as follows:
The She-Hulk Diaries: She-Hulk is “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.”
Rogue Touch: Rogue is “a young woman trying to navigate the challenges of everyday life and romance — except that her touch is deadly.” Throw into the mix a ‘gentleman caller’ named James with a deadly family and Rogue is forced to decide whether or not to use her powers to protect James or let his family catch him.
Now while women are less prominent than men in lead roles in comics, they are far from non-existent. As a woman who enjoys comics, I think it’s great that Marvel is taking a step to further include their female readers. I’m all for more super heroines in the lime light, however, I feel that this is a step in the wrong direction.
Elisabeth Dyssegaard, the editor-in-chief of Hyperion Books, said “…it’s a great time to explore what happens to super heroines when they are dropped into traditional women’s novels…”
I understand that this idea is appealing to some people, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying chick-lit. The appalling thing here is the message Marvel is sending out to its female readers by releasing this kind of “traditional women’s novel” instead of just releasing more comics in which female superheroes are prominent:
That we apparently can’t enjoy a well plotted story line, or meaningful character development, without our lead heroine having an overarching romantic interest.
I don’t want to see my favorite super heroines pining over some new mysterious (and most likely un-realistic) guy or gal; I want to see them out fighting crime and kicking ass! I want to see them leading normal lives with the added bonus of having an arch nemesis, and maybe a terrible tendency to accidently set things on fire during their day jobs! Aka: a typical comic.
The whole announcement makes me wonder who the books are meant to be for. Surely female fans coming from the world of comic books won’t ‘betray’ the original medium by picking up these novels. Then there are the girls who consume traditional chick-lit, will they care that the main characters of these novels are superheroes or just see it as a unique quirk the characters have?
The books were written by well-known chick-lit authors Marta Acosta (Casa Dracula series) and Christine Woodward respectively and will be released in June.