Marvel Entertainment and Hyperion Books, both owned by the Disney Company, are teaming up to produce two novels based on the popular female Marvel super heroines She-Hulk and Rogue. The two books, The She-Hulk Diaries and Rogue Touch, target women readers with stories of dynamic female super heroines who split their time between fighting villains and searching for a decent guy to date.
While Marvel has produced a variety of prose works based on its popular superheroes, Hyperion editor-in-chief Elisabeth Dyssegaard told PW that this is the first time that Marvel has focused on using female superheroes; indeed two characters well-known to fanboys and fangirls. “Marvel’s super heroes are real people first,” Dyssegaard said, “they easily can be transposed to another kind of storytelling.” Marta Acosta is writing The She-Hulk Diaries, and Christine Woodward is the author of Rogue Touch. Dyssegaard called the two “terrific young novelists who very much got into the spirit of the enterprise.”
Ruwan Jayatilleke, associate publisher, v-p of Marvel Entertainment, said, “It’s exciting to see Hyperion bring two of our most beloved female super heroes, Rogue and She-Hulk, to life in ways you’ve never seen before.”
Superhero comics are sometimes criticized for ignoring the large numbers of women readers who love the category, and this is an effort to directly appeal to women. While Marvel and other comics publishers have always licensed their characters for a range of prose works—from adult novels to kids’ chapter books—this is the first time the publisher has used its popular female characters in an effort to attract adult female readers. Dyssegaard acknowledged that the novels are intended to attract women by adding the narrative elements of commercial women’s fiction. “Yes. We think the books will definitely appeal to comic readers—male and female—but also draw a new crowd of women readers who will be introduced to super heroes through a medium they already love.”
For those not familiar with the two characters: She-Hulk is the super powerful cousin of Bruce Banner, better known as the rampaging green monster-hero the Hulk. Her real name is Jennifer Walters and she works as a lawyer when she’s not the She-Hulk (she’s also in the Avengers, but that’s another story). She’s big, she’s really hot, and she’s completely green, just like her cousin, and The She-Hulk Diaries will follow the ups and down of her life as a superhero and a lawyer as well as the ups and downs of her love life.
Rogue, a member of the X-Men, has the power to absorb the strengths and memories of whoever she touches. But her power can be deadly—her touch puts her mysterious boyfriend into a coma—not to mention being tough on relationships! The book, Rogue Touch, will outline her love affair with the boyfriend along with complications from his mysterious and dangerous family.
Dyssegard said Marvel offered Hyperion the characters to be featured in the books: “We loved the possibilities offered by She-Hulk and Rogue’s powers/challenges. And of course X-Men are globally very popular with both men and women: Rogue already has an existing female fan base.” Both titles will be released in June in print and e-book editions.
“Marvel has had tremendous success with recent hit movies,” Dyssegaard said, “and we think it’s a great time to explore what happens to super heroines when they are dropped into traditional women’s novels.”