Tuesday, August 20, 2013


The She-Hulk Diaries [Hyperion; $14.99] is the second of Marvel’s
“chick lit” novels.  Written by Marta Acosta, the story unfolds in
Jennifer Walters’ diary entries.  It’s a somewhat lighthearted way
to tell a story, but I found it enjoyable.

Things you should know.  The She-Hulk of this novel is a reckless
party animal who is not as respected as the She-Hulk in the Marvel
Universe comic books.  She’s been demoted from a major role in the
Avengers and is on call for smaller emergencies whenever she’s the
closest super-hero to the scene.

The Jen Walters of the novel is almost as gorgeous as the She-Hulk.
Her lawyer skills are a match for her comics counterpart, but she
and She-Hulk are quite distinct personalities.  One of the problems
Jen faces in the book is her inability to integrate her two selves.
Her other problems: making good at a top lawyer firm that’s hired
her and assigned her to a major case, finding an apartment she can
afford and which allows She-Hulk to protect their shared identity,
finding romance and dealing with the reappearance in her life of an
old flame.

Unlike Rogue Touch, reviewed here yesterday, The She-Hulk Diaries
makes good use of the Marvel Universe.  The Avengers remain a key
part of Jen’s life.  Jen’s previous work in super-hero litigation
is mentioned several times.  I got a special kick from how smoothly
the Avengers operation works to deal with all the litigation and
situations that are side effects of saving the world from menaces
large and small.

This novel is more of a super-hero romance than Rogue Touch was and
a lot more fun.  It even has battles with a super-villain that are
reminiscent of humorous She-Hulk comics by John Byrne and others.
It has some flaws - the identity of the big bad main villain is
telegraphed frequently, the personality of that villain is twisted
outrageously - but they didn’t keep from enjoying the book.

The She-Hulk Diaries earns my recommendation.  It’s a nice change-
of-pace from the usual super-hero fare.

ISBN 978-1-4013-1101-8


Yet another version of She-Hulk appears in Hulk and the Agents of
., the newest Marvel animated series.  The premise is that
Rick Jones, now transformed into a Hulk-like monster called A-Bomb,
is producing a web reality show to convince the public the Hulk and
his allies/family are heroes and not monsters.  The other “Hulks”
are Red Hulk (the former General Ross) and Skarr (not yet aware he
is the Hulk’s son).

I’ve watched and enjoyed the first three episodes of this series.
The two-part debut was written by Paul Dini.  We meet the Hulk and
his team and see a desert city that actually likes having the Hulk
as its neighbor.  Annihilus is the villain of the episode; he seeks
to open a permanent gateway between Earth and his Negative Zone.
We get a guest shot of J. Jonah Jameson and a guest voice of Stan
Lee.  Plus we learn Skaar is working for the Leader...because only
the Leader can tell Skaar who he is.  The third episode guests Iron
Man and has Blastaar the Human Bomb-Burst with the Leader taking a
more visible role.

The show isn’t incredible, but it’s entertaining enough for its half-
hour length and has some excellent voice work.  She-Hulk is voiced
by Eliza Dushku and, in this series, she’s a Hollywood stuntwoman
longing to be more than some cinematic crash-test dummy.  That’s an
interesting take on the character.

The Hulk and his allies haven’t figured out what S.M.A.S.H. stands
for yet.  They figure no one’s going to press a bunch of powerful
monsters for that information.  That made me laugh.

Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. may not be to your taste, but I
suggest you give it a chance.  Sometimes all you need from a show
is a half-hour of fun and relaxation.


SyFy’s Heroes of Cosplay almost lost me in the first ten minutes of
its debut episode.  The first cosplayer the show focused on was so
unpleasant that I stopped the show and went off to do some work on
my garage sale.  However, the concept of a reality show about those
who so enrich the convention experience was just too alluring for
me to give up on the show that quickly.  I’m glad I stuck with it
because, by the end of the first episode, Heroes of Cosplay showed
a more-rounded picture of that cosplayer.

Overall, I like Heroes of Cosplay.  Some of the intricacies of the
costume-making process are fascinating, as are the motivations of
the cosplayers. There’s a heartwarming scene in which a cosplayer
dressed as Merida from Brave has a conversation with a young girl
dressed as Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.  We also get
a look at other contestants and costumes, including an absolutely
sensational Galactus outfit.

The negatives? Some of the drama is overblown, as if Heroes wanted
to match other less-appealing-to-me reality shows.  Likewise, I’m
disappointed there was only one male cosplayer in the cast.  That
makes the series unbalanced.  But I liked what I saw in this debut
episode enough to keep watching.


Tomorrow is our weekly “Rawhide Kid Wednesday” bloggy thing, which
will be followed by more reviews and other cool stuff.  Clearly, I
am a blogging maniac.

© 2013 Tony Isabella


  1. I'm glad you stuck with Heroes Of Cosplay long enough to find something you liked about it. The core of its DNA is a reality show, with all of the pluses and minuses that entails. But
    the cosplayers on the show (including myself) endeavored to bring a modicum of authenticity to it, as much as we were able to.
    I've long been an admirer of your work, even before the days when I worked in a comic book store on High St. across from OSU, so I'm glad you gave the show a second chance.

  2. Thanks for posting, Jinyo. The DVR is set to record tonight's episode, so I guess I'm in this for the long haul.

    Was the High St. comic shop you worked in this small store just off High Street? When my son Eddie was living in the dorms, I used to visit that place whenever I drove down to visit him. I can't remember whether it was two floors or just long, but it had tons of old paperbacks as well. It wasn't there when last I looked, replaced by a tattoo parlor or some such.

  3. It was right across from campus on the 2nd floor over a Greek restaurant. It closed a while ago, one more casualty of the implosion that followed in the wake of the "hologram & multiple covers" era.

    The show is only 6 episodes long, so the haul won't be that long, for better or worse. I blog about it a little here: http://jinyo.net/?p=52
    Here's hoping tonight's episode is good!