Since E.L. James’ ‘50 Shades‘ trilogy reinvigorated the publishing industry by being the fastest selling paperback of all time (selling 65 million copies) it seems the comics industry has finally realized that, “Gee, maybe women like to read!” Took them long enough! Perhaps inspired by ‘50 Shades‘ sales (but hopefully not its subject matter), Marvel and fellow Disney-owned company Hyperion Publishing are teaming up to produce two prose novels, ‘The She-Hulk Diaries’ (influenced by Candace Bushnell’s ‘The Carrie Diaries’ perhaps?) and ‘Rogue: Touch.’ Both books arrive in June, just in time for pool-side reading!
From USA Today:
The She-Hulk Diaries by Marta Acosta delves into the Hulk’s muscular green cousin’s personal and professional lives in balancing being a businesswoman by day and supervillain-smasher by night. She’s also in the market for a boyfriend, although she’s having some difficulty finding her own Mr. Big — in her case, it might have to be Mr. Bigger. (Uh, yeah, I’d say the Candace Bushnell reference was deserved.)
Of course, She-Hulk’s dating life played a large part in her previous comic book series, so she seems like a perfect choice to star in a romantic action-adventure series.
Rogue’s novel sounds like a prequel to her days as a member of the Brotherhood and the X-Men:
Christine Woodward’s Rogue Touch features another superwoman with dating issues. One of the more popular X-Men over the years, Rogue has the ability to steal powers from whoever she touches — but that also means her kiss can be accidentally fatal. After putting a boyfriend in a coma, she hits the road and meets the enigmatic James, and together they go on a trip to escape his dangerous family and for her to come to terms with her own life.
While She-Hulk sounds like it skews older, Rogue sounds like it might be more of a young adult novel.
Elisabeth Dyssegaard, the editor-in-chief of Hyperion expressed, “Our heroes are real people first and super powers second, which is why fans connect with them,” which is in keeping with what fans find so easy to relate to about the Marvel roster of heroes, as evidenced in the success of their feature films, which– no surprise– have a strong appeal to female movie-goers. The books give Marvel a chance to cash in on the success of The Avengers and introduce additional characters to any female fans earned by the film series.
But Dyssegaard doesn’t only want to attract uninitiated female readers. “I picture a woman and her comic-book fan guy on the couch reading together.”
So what do you think? Is this a brilliant marketing strategy to spread the love of Marvel super heroes to the legion of female readers out there? Or is it petty pandering? Will you be adding these two novels to your book club’s reading list? Or do you *ahem* prefer not to read books without pictures? And which characters do you think deserve their own novels? (*Cough* Captain Marvel*cough*!) Leave a comment below!