1. Mediaite
  2. Gossip Cop
  3. Geekosystem
  4. Styleite
  5. SportsGrid
  6. The Mary Sue
  7. The Maude
  8. The Braiser

What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes. Yes.

She-Hulk & Rogue Make The Jump From Marvel Comics To Marvel Novels This Summer

What’s this? A new partnership between Hyperion Books and Marvel Entertainment?! Yes. She-Hulk and Rogue star in their own novels coming this June. 

These are the synopses for the novels according to

She-Hulk, Marvel’s much-beloved comic book heroine who shares her cousin Bruce Banner’s ability to transform into a hero of incredible power, comes to life in a page-turning novel. In The “She-Hulk Diaries,” Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk, juggles 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.

The second novel, “Rogue Touch,” features one of the most popular X-Men characters, Rogue, a young woman trying to navigate the challenges of everyday life and romance—except that her touch is deadly. After accidentally putting her first boyfriend in a coma, she runs away from home where, she meets the handsome and otherworldly James and sparks fly. Like Rogue, however, James’ life is hardly simple. To elude his mysterious and dangerous family, James shaves his head, dons all black. Stealing a car, they head out on the highway and eventually, Rogue has to decide whether she will unleash her devastating powers in order to save the only man alive who seems to truly understand her.

The She-Hulk Diaries is written by Marta Acosta while Rogue Touch was done by Christine Woodward. “In addition to threats to the universe, She-Hulk and Rogue have challenges that women readers know well, including finding the right guy. Our heroes are real people first and super powers second, which is why fans connect with them,” Hyperion editor in chief Elisabeth Dyssegaard told USA Today. “These books delve into what happens if dating challenges also include turning huge and green or having a lethal touch, offering readers a unique perspective on superpowered high drama.”

I’m sure the heavy lean on romance might turn some people off but I think this is a, ahem, novel idea for the brand. The information I’ve seen so far doesn’t specify the target audience but Hyperion obviously has women in mind.

“The X-Men franchise is very popular with both men and women, so choosing a character like Rogue plays to that existing female fan base while also attracting new readers,” said Dyssegaard.

(via USA Today)

Are you following The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google +?

TAGS: | | | | | | |

  • Kathryn

    Oh, look, we appear to be going backwards.

    Or, to put it in Rogue speak, AH THINK AH HAVE AH PROBLEM SUGAH

  • Anonymous

    looks kind of awful…

  • Anonymous

    Hm. This statement is cause for concern:

    In having books that turn familiar genres with conventional expectations on their head, Dyssegaard says they definitely want women readers but also comic fans, too.

    Ms. Dyssegaard is aware there are women comics fans who also read books, right?

    Also, Rogue gets the call over Storm? I call shenanigans.

  • Wendy Whipple

    OMG – they’re turning our heroines into CHICK-LIT?!? *sob* You know, there’s a reason I don’t go to the rom-coms – I hate them; I would rather see things get blown up. Marketing meeting: “Women like romantic comedies, right? Comics need more female readers. LET’S COMBINE THE TWO!” Gah…

  • Anonymous

    On one hand it seems kind of like pandering. But on the other there are a lot of women who legitimately enjoy romance narratives. So I mean I can get the complaints but if this reaches people who wouldn’t normally be into superheroes that’s pretty darn cool, IMO.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    There’s nothing wrong with chick lit (or, because the term “chick lit” is problematic, I’ll go with “books intended for a female audience” instead). As with any genre, it can be done poorly or it can be done well.

  • Sara Sakana

    Oh good, because there weren’t already enough books, movies, and TV shows pushing the message that nothing else you a woman does in life matters more than finding ~Mr. Right.~

  • Anonymous

    I uhh… kind of like Paranormal/sci-fi Romance type books. I know, I’m terrible.
    I also like Marvel characters.

    I never thought there would be a combination of the two. Hell, I’d probably read one for curiosity’s sake.

  • Anonymous

    The cover to the She-Hulk Diaries makes me want to cry. And not the good kind of crying.

  • Abby Fisher

    I’m not going to lie, when I saw the photo my first thought was, “Awesome. Superhero cosmetics. Green lipstick for all!”

    I’m a tad disappointed but I suspect not in the way you are.

  • Sara Sakana

    I fail to see how a genre composed entirely of misogynist garbage designed to send the message to women that their primary goal in life should be ~finding a man~ can possibly be done well.

  • Cyna

    Oh my god. I like paranormal crap as much as the next girl, but come on. I thought this was exactly what we were trying to *not* do with female superheroes. T_T

  • Rebecca Pahle

    My first thought was “not all chick lit is ‘composed entirely of misogynist garbage,’” but I haven’t really read much chick lit, so I’m just going to say this: What’s so fundamentally awful about books with romance at their center?

    I agree with you that many—maybe most!—are misogynist and awful. But judging by the fact that there are tons of smart, independent women who read them… I’m guessing that some aren’t. Hell, I like Bridget Jones’ Diary, it was funny and interesting. Who are you to judge other people for what they like to read?

  • Guest

    Heck it’s not like there isn’t websites out there like Smart to let you know, which ones aren’t terrible. I don’t read many romances myself because there’s really not a enough superheros/awesome vampires/steampunk stories out there, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t interesting chick lit out there.

    I can’t say the messages women get in say comics, or your average Tolken-like fantasy are much better than your average chick lit. But honestly most of us are smart enough to disregard the bad parts and focus on the parts we like and are good. There are problemic stuff in nearly everything* but that doesn’t completely get rid of the enjoyment of it.

    *I for instance love Dresden Files, but frankly there are all kinds of issues in the way Dresden puts woman on pedistel and is kind a jerk in his “chivalry.” But I still can enjoy it.

  • Alaura Dannan

    Who says she’s judging other people for what they read? She’s judging how the genre is only about how women aren’t happy unless they have a man…Many other genre’s give the same message, but romance and “chick lit” are all about it. (I’m not opposed to the idea of these books. I’ll even pick up the She-Hulk one and see if it’s any good, but I’m hesitant about the rogue one. First of all….Who if James? WTF? Hopefully not Logan, ew. Rogue was always so sassy and independent that putting her in a I gotta get a man book seems…meh…) No one is saying that romance makes you weak..

  • Anonymous

    Corporate synergy at work. also looking for expanding the fanbase is also great.Don’t know how much overlap is there between romance novel and comic book audiences though.

  • Kathryn

    Simply, it is pandering. I mean yes, I agree, there are women who legitimately enjoy romance narratives. I think the vast majority of readers, regardless of gender, can enjoy a romance narrative as long as it is well-written, believable and tasteful (the definitions of which change per reader, as can be evidenced by the popularity of some… recent problematic series).

    But this isn’t the way to get girls into comics, or women into comics I should say. Why? Well, to start with, this is *not* what mainstream comics are like. And the romance-containing comics that are visible (Strangers in Paradise, Love & Rockets, etc.) are typically the polar opposite of books like this. They’re not about Mr Right, they’re about love and relationships as they happen to real(ish) people. So you’re presenting this idea, but you’re not backing it up.

    I mean even Archie hasn’t sunk this low with its novels. The Betty & Veronica ones that I read were more about their experiences with the world or trying to do things right. Ronnie doing some actual work, Betty heading a fashion show, the girls creating a band to show they’re just as good as the boys. They weren’t about finding Mr Right or even dating Archie, even if dating and stuff did happen in the books. And why does this work? Because the comics back this up. These events happen – albeit in redux form – in the comics!

    Then again, Marvel’s efforts to encompass women have always been bizarre. Okay, X-23 was great once you got past the anime covers and once Phil Noto and Sana Takeda came to do the art (though the covers never improved), but their female-led titles almost invariably contain terrible levels of cheesecake. Did you see Fearless Defenders? I looked at the preview and walked away from it. Title with two great female leads, cheesecake art. I saw Misty Knight with a broken spine pushing her ass into the ‘camera’ whilst her costume accentuated a nipple. No, really. Then there’s Lady Deadpool who got a one-shot… with a Greg Land cover. And they collected it in the Women of Marvel anthology… with a Greg Land cover, depicting four women with impossible anatomies, porn expressions and sameface.

    So it’s like they only ever make half the effort, and these books look to be just another example of that.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t say that it was about getting women to read comics? I was saying that yeah, if they find a way to market these characters and IP to people who normally wouldn’t be interested, that’s cool on them.

    I’m also not sure what’s wrong with “anime covers” unless we’re talking about the specific need for some artists to take “anime” to mean “Show as much boob and butt as possible” (and to my knowledge the X-23 covers were not done by an actual Japanese artist or anything like that). There’s quite a few women who enjoy anime and there are literally entire genres catered to young girls in a way a lot of American superhero comics utterly fail to do.

  • Anonymous

    See, I actually kind of think that would be cool.

    I honestly have trouble articulating *why* that particular cover disappoints me so much. It’s not the genre, since I have rather enjoyed some superhero romance novels. (See: Jennifer Estep’s “Bigtime” trilogy, or A.J. Menden’s “Phenomenal Girl 5.”) And as cornball as the Rogue cover looks, that fits the character to some degree; she’s frequently been written as very vulnerable and lonely/isolated, and desperate to be loved.

    But something about the cover for the She-Hulk one just seems really wrong for that character, and I can’t articulate why.

  • Kay Livingston

    All things being said about how I want more brands with female leads who are well-rounded people first, ass-kicking heroes second, and at no point obsessed with finding a man unless it’s rare and as part of the first thing…

    It is incredible how much I’m going to read these.

  • Kathryn

    I went off on one. I *always* go off on one.

    What’s wrong with anime (or anime-inspired) covers on a non-anime series? Well, it doesn’t exactly work. And there’s X-23 posing all pretty and happy and so-on on things when, really, it’s a dark series about a girl who never really smiles much. It completely sets the wrong tone and misrepresents the comic. Plus, really, the art style just doesn’t gel with the comic – it’s dark, violent, gritty. It’s not popping colours. And there’s NO WAY that character was Laura.

    It’s not like, say, the Sabrina comic which overhauled itself during the manga craze. The writing and art changed, the tone changed, everything about it changed to be more akin to manga series, but it retained the Western reading style. I believe it also changed from shorter stories into a longer narrative.

    So no, there’s nothing wrong with anime or manga. I’m not much a fan of either (the only manga I’ll read is Sabrina), but I respect both as a medium. But I don’t think draping an anime/manga style cover onto a Western title will magically make it appeal to a market.

    But back to your first point. Why else would they do this if not to advertise their own characters?

  • Claire

    “Rogue Touch” is suuuch a Sweet Valley title, and the name “James” doesn’t exactly scream ~handsome and otherworldly~ to me (especially compared with “Rogue”?). I don’t like the cover and I don’t like the idea of a Rogue romance being all about “will I surrender autonomy to my stupid powers in order to SAVE THE ONE GUY”.

    But if she’s written like Claremont’s Rogue, I’m there.

  • fictionaladyfeels

    Oh no! They’re degrading awesome heroines by taking them out of a traditionally masculine genre and expanding them into a traditionally feminine genre! Romance is icky! Pandering! Sexism!

    Seriously, guys, shut up and stop acting like this is degrading. You know what actually is degrading? The attitude you have towards femininity.

    I’m excited. Anyone who’s not can just go away.

  • fictionaladyfeels

    You’re not terrible for liking what you like.

  • fictionaladyfeels

    Haha wait.

    You mean comics AREN’T full of misogynist garbage?

    Wow I must have hallucinated Scott Lobdell and Rob Liefeld.

  • Anonymous

    Have you read Heralds? THAT was a great female team book.

  • Anonymous

    But Sabrina is exactly that. It’s a Western comic draped in “manga-style” artwork (and not what I would personally consider good manga-style artwork) for the sake of tapping into the appeal of manga among young women. (Personally, I always found the original artwork to be more appealing.)

    Marvel hires artists. Some of them draw in manga-style or have manga-style influenced work, which is pretty unavoidable nowadays, and more artists than the one who did the covers for X-23′s series. I don’t think that the cover was drawn in manga-style (particularly when covers and contents are often drawn by different people) is a fair critique against the series.

    A good portion of Uncanny X-Men in the mid-2000′s was drawn by Kia Asamiya (who also redesigned all the character costumes). Is that false or not? Would it be more false if Kia also did some covers, but the series other penciller, Salvador Larroca did the contents in his style?

    But to answer your question, I think that the direction of Marvel and DC has changed (and not for the better). The onset of other, more profitable media ventures, in particular the movies, has made the companies more about franchising their characters. It really ISN’T about getting people into comics. Marvel probably makes more money off of the film adaptation of The Avengers than it does off of sales of the issues it produces. Diversifying into video games, books, and film, particularly if they’re successful, are likely to be profitable and self-sustaining in and of themselves, without out any real concern about whether it hooks some more people onto the monthlies.

  • Anonymous

    Considering all the emotional baggage that happens within teams, over who’s sleeping with who, who loves who, and who stopped loving who, I’d say there’s enough. Actually, I personally think Grant Morrison’s handling of New X-Men is a great way to do it: Comic book meets soap opera and nothing lost between the two.

  • Emily Keyes

    Why do so many commmeters say these are “romance” (as in the genre) novels? No where in the press release does it say that. It says they are targeting female readers, but women read more novels(of almost every genre) than men. And Hyperion publishes a wide-variety of books.

    Regardless of the content of the book, I’m a bit surprised you all think there is nothing written “for women” besides bodice rippers. Maybe the books will be pandering and bad, but at least mainstream publishers like Hyperion have successfully marketed their stories to women, whereas most comic book publishers have not.

  • Sara Crow

    Can someone explain to me why we couldn’t have novels wherein these two are explored as real people who happen to be able to kick ass and take names, not girls who just want to find the right guy? Ugh.

  • Anonymous

    So I work for a romance publisher, read a lot of romance novels, and know those tons of smart women who do, too. I strongly disagree that “most” romance or chick lit is misogynist.

    In my experience, the vast majority of romance readers have zero interest in books about women whose only concern is landing a man, even if they enjoy reading about two people finding love and overcoming the obstacles/issues in their way. Just like readers of any genre, they like independent, well-rounded female characters with a life and goals of their own that they can relate to — and the same for the authors that create them. Also, finding love and a happy relationship is just as important to a romance novel hero’s journey (or other woman or two men in GLBT romance) as it is for the heroine’s.

    Are there crap romance novels? Sure — there is crap is any genre, and
    the old-school stuff out there can be cringe-inducing. But those are the exception and not the rule these days.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure if Rogue Touch just sounds risque or if it sounds like Rogue needs to register as a sex offender.

  • Kathryn

    Books aren’t particularly profitable, though, unless you’re a big name author. If these books hit and take off? Fine. But chances are they won’t, and it won’t be one of Marvel’s more profitable adventures.

    w.r.t. Sabrina – Yes, it was still a Western comic after the manga change, but the writing style DID also change. It became more romance-oriented, the story went from shorts to something longer, and it wasn’t quite as funny. Yet it worked, because those manga influences were well-implemented.

    And I wasn’t criticising X-23 based on the covers. I was criticising the covers. X-23 had maybe one or two good covers out of 24. The rest were either poorly created (pretty much all of Kalman A’s covers) or didn’t suit the style of the comic.

  • Kathryn

    I have not, no.

  • Kathryn

    Forgive us for getting irritated when a company with a poor track record with respect to presenting women in a positive manner in its products and has continuously failed in its attempts to market to women then goes and tries to do it via romance novels. Sorry, Marvel, but if women ain’t reading Rogue then a romance novel will NOT change that.

    And as for turning She-Hulk into a romance character? Oy! Why? She’s a big green woman who’s intelligent and successful. She’s also a member of FF, an ex-member of Fantastic Four and generally is an awesome character. So instead of going for all that, they plonk her in a book where one of her “aims” is to find Mr. Right.

    Just maybe some of us are finding this a little bit patronising.

  • Joanna

    Ok. I *don’t* find this offensive or patronizing or pandering BUT I kind of thought a novel about Rogue would be more….adventurey. I was interested until I read the synopsis =/

  • Marina Rice

    I believe the sheer amount of shipping fanfiction can attest to the fact that there may be a market for this.

    But it pains me when novels use real pictures of comic book characters when its not some sort of tie in. Maybe its just because I’m an illustrator. [It probably is.]

    But it reminds me of the Spice and Wolf light novels, where they did weird creepy reshots of the anime covers with a live action model wearing fox ears.

  • Aeryl

    Goodness people, just because it is intimated that there will be romance in the story, doesn’t mean romance will be the FOCAL point of the story. Hell, the She-Hulk one sounds pretty much like most women centered stories about trying to have it all, and for most people, romantic companionship is a desired part of our lives and included in that “have it all”.

    Hell you could classify Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s series as romance if you wanted to, since the main character falls in love(many times actually) but its hard to find it between all the saving the realm/world, rescuing princes, learning a bajillion languages, facing fallen angels and being an all around badass with no superpowers beyond a divinely inspired tolerance for pain.

  • Jamie Jeans

    Are you SHITTING me…

    Focusing heavily on romance for those characters in such an aweful, Twilight-esque and Sex & the City fashion? Yes, those were successful, but pandering in such a fashion feels incredibly insulting, as though those are the ONLY reasons why women could buy superhero books.

    Cripes almighty… I don’t mind romance in my superhero stuff, as love is but one part of our lives, but this feels so ass-backwards. I’m just reminded of how they got Jodi Picoulti, a romance novelist, to write for Wonder Woman.

    Those TPBs are literally collecting dust in just about every book store and comic book store I’ve visited because they’re so poorly written.

  • fictionaladyfeels

    That would be great if it weren’t for the fact that all of these concerns are couched in such misogynistic language that I’m throwing up my hands and screaming.

  • Kathryn

    What, that “women should stop being force-fed romance”? Or that women should stop being treated as this other market?

    There’s many problems with mainstream comics and their approach to women – both inside and outside of the products they’re selling. Teaming up with a romance publisher for two books does NOT address those issues. In fact, it pretty much compounds them.

  • fictionaladyfeels

    Except that:

    1. You’re implying that romance stories are inherently misogynistic
    2. Degrading an entire genre of literature aimed a female market, on the other hand, *is* inherently misogynistic
    3. Thereby implying that the only way to appropriately and respectfully write women is to masculinize their narratives (less romance! more ass-kicking!)

    What the flying frak is wrong with the idea that Rogue or She-Hulk may want to find a companion in life? Until these books come out we have no way of knowing whether they’ll treat the women they’re writing about respectfully or not. Now, the language they’re pitched in is leery (particularly the use of “Mr. Right”), but the premise itself is harmless enough until we know more.

    Also, for the record? A lot of women find romance novels liberating because they allow women to celebrate their sexuality instead of having it consistently demonized and exploited for the benefit of men. Yes, romance novels and chick lit can be and are indeed subversive! Shocking, isn’t it?

  • Tamara Brooks

    Because she doesn’t wear green lipstick and it’s basically just a generic cover that could’ve been used for pretty much anything and doesn’t speak to who she is as a character?

  • Neville Ross

    All I know is, I won’t be reading these. I’d rather see a new She-Hulk monthly title, instead.

  • Tamara Brooks

    It’s probably because in the Dresden books Butcher hangs a lantern on it. Dresden is aware of some of his archaic notions and knows it’s a weakness because he can be manipulated by it plus it’s mitigated by how badass Murphy is. And it’s a smart way of tweaking the noir detective archtype since a lot of his other personality traits don’t fit in the standard “gumshoe” mold.

  • Emmanuelle

    What’s the big deal their just books with cool covers to speak to a female audience, if it had all hardcore looking covers i can bet you no new reader will even pick it up especially with teen books being the new thing for teens why are all of you complaining that you don’t like the cover do you think the company is trying to appeal to you or younger readers

  • Emmanuelle

    They are not aiming for you as a comic book fan as their intended audience sheeesh!!!

  • Emmanuelle

    And romantic stories are not misogynistic and rather you are misogynistic i love romantic stories, so what does that make me, like seriously carry your radical feminism outta here

  • Kathryn

    Um… have I said romance stories are misogynistic? No, I haven’t. I acknowledge that there are people who like romantic books. I, myself, like well-written and believable romances in my books too.

    What I *object* to is the idea that these characters need romance in order to appeal to women. Instead of addressing what happens in their comics, Marvel are branching out to the female market with… um… romance books. Not just action novels, not comics that are well-written and well-drawn (Pixie Strikes Back FTW), but romance novels. The cheapest trick in the book.

    And this is further made bizarre by Marvel’s lack of following this up. They’re clearly trying to penetrate into a highly competitive, fast-moving market, but they’re not capitalising on that. These writers aren’t going to be working on a tie-in comic series to bring women into comics (which we need more of, both in terms of reading them and working on them), so it’s like… what’s the point? Why try to appeal to readers if you’re not going to follow up with what you’re offering them?

  • Kathryn

    What’s wrong with it? Nothing. Nothing is wrong with Rogue or She-Hulk wanting to find love. That’s perfectly normal and perfectly understandable. But why does that need to happen in tie-in novels, aside from the fact that Marvel clearly don’t want these to affect the canon universe?

    And again, I’ve not said they’re “shoving romance on women”. I’m saying they’re resorting to stereotyping in this deal, i.e. How Do We Get Women Interested In These Characters? Romance Of Course! – it completely ignores *everything else* Marvel need to be doing to appeal to women, which includes changing their marketing.

    As for Marvel NOW! Um… Did you see the Fearless Defenders preview? Cheesecake art right off the bat. And it doesn’t matter how many female led books Marvel have unless they’re well-written and well-drawn. Wouldn’t surprise me if, for the time being, Journey Into Mystery and FF were the only two to manage that (with Brian Wood’s upcoming X-Men being the third).

  • Anonymous

    Check it out! One of my favs! The premise is that Emma Frost is tricked into attending a surprise birthday party thrown by She-Hulk, Hellcat, Invisible Woman, and Agent Brand, but the party is interrupted by the sudden return of Nova, one of Galactus’s heralds. Shenanigans!

  • Countermass

    Femininity is not the same as “finding Mr. Right” or Romance per se.

    Femininity can involve themes like romance of course, but should not be driven or dominated by it – and that’s the point.

    You never will see a story about male superheroes, where the “get the pretty girl”-plot is also the main plot – but if the starring character is a woman, then it’s the other way round. And this is just absurdly wrong, because with this storylines sterotypes are created, that tell us underneath that the mind of women is always circling around men – everything else is secondary.

    You wouldn’t see that kind of story with a male comic protagonist. And it’s just really sad. Of course there could be romance – but as the mainplot? Nahw.

  • Kathryn

    And even if she did wear green lipstick, her lips are a much darker shade of green than that.

  • Comic Book Candy

    I thoroughly enjoyed the Mary Jane novelizations. They were a great introduction to the character for tween readers. If this goes in the same direction, I’m on board.

  • Mandy

    …and now I actually want some fake make up ads targeting superheros. “Need nail polish that doesn’t burn off when you throw fireballs?” “Grease paint/eye liner that stays put during that all night shift!” “Spirit gum for that stick to make sure that mask stays on & keeps your identity secret!”

  • Liz

    Here’s where I draw the line: are they going to be a true “romance novels” or are they going to be horrid “women’s novels” which feature romance as a theme? Because I have no problems if they’re romance novels. Women in them are typically portrayed as fully-functioning and empowered. What I would object to is if they tried to turn them into a Twilight kind of thing, and the characters lost all sense of agency. In a TRUE romance novel, the women would be the ones driving the story. It wouldn’t be about their need for a man to complete their lives, it would be about romance. There’s a HUGE difference there. In a women’s novel on the other hand, they would probably be mere baggage to the story and to the hero. I understand the difference between these two genres, but I’m wondering if Marvel does as well.

    Also, from a strictly fan viewpoint, I have less than no interest in reading about Rogue with anyone but Gambit. …Well, maybe Magneto too, but that’s it. As such, I really don’t care whether she finds love with what’s-his-name or not. ;- )

  • Liz

    The genre actually exists, although it’s kind of small. Not with Marvel characters, obviously, but with superheroes in general:

  • LifeLessons

    Dating problems? Oh bother. But still a step – now let’s leap.