There’s not much of exceptional interest on this week’s ComicList. Kate Dacey pulls out some of the highlights, so I can fix my gaze on one of the odder items. That would be the first issue of Marvel Divas.
Why is Marvel Divas odd, you ask? Well, for one thing, it’s a story of friendship among C-list super-heroines coming from Marvel. For another thing, you could never tell that from J. Scott Campbell’s cover, which is unpleasant in that boob-sock way. You might also have trouble discerning the book’s true nature from its solicitation text, which blows the dust and cobwebs off of that “Sex and the City with…” pitch that has aged so badly. It concludes with “Let your inner divas out with this one, fellas, you won’t regret it.” (Even when Marvel comes up with a property that might appeal to women, the solicitation is still written for the “fellas.”)
Now, I’ve always been of the opinion that it’s perfectly all right to judge a book by its cover, especially a comic book. If the cover is pandering and unattractive, I feel perfectly safe in assuming that the contents may well be pandering and unattractive as well. There are lots of comics in the world, and many of them have a lower cost per page of content, so screw you, boob socks. (There’s a “‘70s Decade” variant cover, and it’s kind of awesome.)
Of course, the ugly cover and dumb solicitation have forced author Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to hit the PR trail and explain that, no, the cover really has little tonal bearing on the contents. Still, as this piece at Jezebel indicates, that cover is a tough hurdle to vault. Then Kevin (Robot 6) Melrose went and muddied the water further by checking out a preview of the interior pages, and he rightly notes that they look kind of appealing.
Oddest of all is the fact that The New York Times actually covered Marvel Divas (with big story SPOILERS) on its ArtsBeat blog. Now, generally when the Times covers something super-hero related, they politely listen to what Marvel or DC has to say about one of their properties, nodding and murmuring, “Well, you’d know better than we would,” and repeating the PR verbatim. But George Gene Gustines summarizes the book’s story quite nicely, and one can hardly imagine that Marvel is devoting any of its promotional time to something that doesn’t have “Dark” in the title.
So, y’know, it’s all too much for me to be able to avoid. I love Hellcat, and I have a demonstrable fondness for comics about also-ran super-heroines. If the local shop ordered any shelf copies, I think I’ll pick one up.