Jacket.aspxby Marta Acosta

Jennifer Walters is an out-of-work attorney who is unlucky at love. She’s also precariously balancing the pitfalls of her private life with being She-Hulk, a glamorous party girl superhero who has as much attitude as she does strength—and she’s really strong.

Since her creation in 1980, She-Hulk has been one of the more prominent super-heroines in Marvel Comics but she’s never had much of an opportunity to get her own spotlight outside of them. This book is an interesting attempt to fix that. However, when written well She-Hulk has always been as much about her personal life as the crash-pow action that typifies many superhero comics, and Acosta takes advantage of it. Rather than a more “standard” superhero tale, She-Hulk Diaries is at its core a romantic dramedy in the vein of Bridget Jones. It is, in effect, chick lit with a green Amazon making appearances throughout.

The story is told from the point of view of Jennifer, who insists that She-Hulk is a different person who time-shares a body. This Jekyll & Hyde treatment isn’t typical of She-Hulk and it effectively makes the superhero aspect a subplot in a book that’s ostensibly about a superhero. However, it’s done so that Acosta can seize this opportunity to unconventionally get into the head of an unconventional hero’s alter ego. While the story makes passing mention of the other characters of the Marvel Universe that Jennifer/She-Hulk resides in, there’s no need to actually know anything about them; this book makes no attempt to cater to the “continuity-minded” and takes an extremely casual approach to the comic book setting and material. The book doesn’t even go into detail on She-Hulk’s origin, assuming that the reader either knows it or will be intrigued to find out via the many times it’s been told and retold in the comics. Fair warning though, She-Hulk’s nickname of “Shulky” is horribly overused and you will get sick of it.

This book is not my usual fare by any means, but I enjoyed it a lot as a rather unique take on both the romantic and superhero genres that it occupies. Recommended for anyone who enjoys either (or both).

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