Final year of university has been super hectic, so I haven’t posted any original content on this blog, but summer is here in Toronto and what better way to spend the dog days than with a book? And in this post, I review two, you lucky ducklings!
I am privileged enough to live at a walking distance from my LCS and last week, the very nice store manager, Doug, lent me “The She-Hulk Diaries” and “Rogue Touch”, Marvel’s novelizations of two of their most popular superheroines. While I am a DC girl at heart, I was intrigued by the fun-looking covers and the fact that I adore discovering new books especially during the summer.
Before I dive right into the reviews, I would just like to say that I went into reading these books without knowing anything about She-Hulk at all, other than the fact that she’s Bruce Banner’s cousin who can also turn into a powerful green crimefighter. And pretty much the only thing I know about Rogue, I learned from the X-Men cartoons and Anna Paquin’s portrayal.
First up, Marta Acosta’s “The She-Hulk Diaries”, which I read first because I just wanted to get it over with. My theory was that because I was more familiar with Rogue, I should save her book for last since I was more likely to like that one. Boy was I wrong. I absolutely adored this book. Jennifer/She-Hulk or Shulky is a joy to read about. I loved the diary format, the supporting cast, the few Marvel references I was able to catch, the plot, the red herrings, the romance component, the bad guy. I could go on and on about this book but let me just say that I highly recommend it if you’re looking for light summer reading. Now, I’m not too sure, but I think I read some reviews out there about the confusion between how Jennifer and She-Hulk are portrayed as completely separate beings that whenever Jennifer transforms into Shulky, she is basically “trapped” inside Shulky’s body. I don’t know if that’s the case in the comics, so I can’t really comment on it aside from the fact that it can be pretty funny at times, which is maybe why they decided to go in that direction. Sometimes I found the humor to be a bit too much with the punny songs sung by the main love interest or the overuse of abbreviations (OMG) but all in all, it’s a very enjoyable read with plenty of action and romance. Shulky is such a blast, I dare you not to want to hang out with her and Jennifer’s diary entries are so relatable, you can’t help but cheer for her. It definitely made me want to discover more about Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk, so mission accomplished Marvel!
Now for Christine Woodward’s “Rogue Touch”. I’m not going to sugar-coat it but I strongly dislike this book. It wasn’t the 1st person narration that bothered me, it was the plot that seemed to revolve around Rogue’s love interest Touch, who is supposed to be a secondary character, rather than Rogue herself. I felt that Rogue was treated as a supporting character in this book and it pissed me off to the point that I had to force myself to finish it and I almost didn’t. I have no idea why the author chose to bring on an original character in this book as opposed to using oh I don’t know, the hundreds of other characters in the Marvel universe. I don’t know if I’m just too much of a noob to catch them, but I found zero reference to any other Marvel character. No mention of any other X-Men. I think Touch was referring to a school of mutants or people with special powers but really, it was such a disappointment. The “twists” in the story felt forced to me, like the author was trying to convince the audience that this was an “OH MY GOD, NO WAY!” moment but by that point, I didn’t really care for Touch or even Rogue for that matter anymore. In the end, I felt there was no character development at all, the love story did not draw me in and the action scenes were so meh, I can’t even remember them much to even comment on them. This book just seriously made me miss the super fun to watch Rogue from the cartoons.
Verdict: The She-Hulk Diaries is perfect for beach/pool-side reading. Reading about Jennifer’s attempts at balancing her career, love life and crime fighting is best enjoyed with a bright cocktail or a cold beer. Or you can also read it while you’re recovering from a hangover after a wild night of partying, I’m sure Shulky would approve.
Rogue Touch aka Touch’s Story with A Side of Rogue is best enjoyed if you’ve absolutely ran out of things to read.
I’ve had multiple requests from people to make this post rebloggable. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure I was going to bother because continuing to talk about this is just so darn exhausting at this point. It’s very easy to feel like, “What’s the point?” When it comes to DC Comics and issues of gender…I think we are all feeling more than a little drained, tired and apathetic at this point in time. It’s tough to even find the energy to have the conversation because no matter what we do or say there are always people there ready to shout us down, tell us to be quiet and silence us. I know some really brilliant women who just flat out don’t have the strength to engage anymore and frankly, I’m nearing that point myself.
I want to make something very clear though: The writer of the the new Superman/Wonder Woman book, Charles Soule is a nice man and a good writer who was hired to do a job. I don’t particularly agree with some of the things he has said in his recent blog post (in fact, I think he’s missing some really key points) but there are ways to discuss these things with him and others while being civil. Does that mean you can’t debate? Argue? Challenge? Of course you can. But if you are going to engage with this man please keep that in mind. You can challenge and you can disagree but cursing at this man is something I want no part of. If you link my post to him with curse words, I want nothing to do with you.
Here we go kids…
All of the things I feel about this upcoming book summed up perfectly. I love Lois and Clark, but even if I wasn’t a fan, I’d still be upset because of the way they’re treating Diana. Come on, DC.
I mentioned this morning that I was bummed that I didn’t have more time today to draw both Superman and Lois, because I think it’s important to recognize this being Lois’ day too. Then, lo and behold, while searching my computer I find this commission that I colored up months ago and then never did anything with. So I’ve re-purposed it for the 75th Anniversary of the first appearance of the Man of Steel and the Intrepid Reporter.
The original piece is currently in my apartment and as lovely in black and white as it is amazing in color!
I’ve posted this piece of art before that I got at the Toronto Fan Expo last year but the artist recently went back and colored the piece and it looks absolutely amazing! Here for your viewing pleasure is my commission in color!
Lois Lane is turning 75 on Thursday, April 18, and that’s something everyone should take the time to celebrate. For a character that’s so iconic, legendary, amazing, inspiring and kickass, Lois Lane deserves a whole month dedicated to her. She’s beloved by old and new comic fans alike. Even non-comic book readers know who the hell Lois Lane is and that her name is synonymous with no-nonsense drive and incredible work ethic.
Unfortunately, a little company called DC Comics apparently doesn’t think Lois’ 75th deserves any sort of celebration or at the very least recognition. It’s pretty sad that a company that can be so lucky to have what is probably the most interesting, compelling, complex and heartbreakingly inspiring female comic book character as their property is too short-sighted to see the opportunity to celebrate her with her fans and for her fans.
Even if DC doesn’t come up with anything to celebrate Lois on Thursday, why shouldn’t we? Let’s take the party to Twitter and show just how much we love Lois and her 75-year-long legacy! Details can be found here.
Happy 75th Lois! Thanks for being an inspiration and here’s to another 75 years!