Robot 6

Marvel Divas may pleasantly surprise us (seriously!)

From "Marvel Divas" #1

From "Marvel Divas" #1

Despite my immense skepticism about the Marvel Divas miniseries when it was clumsily announced in April, I found myself enjoying the preview for the first issue, which debuts next week.

Oh, there are still a couple of problems, not the least of which is J. Scott Campbell’s “sex sells” cover that’s completely disconnected from the tone of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s writing and Tonci Zonjic‘s interior art (there’s a ’70s variant cover, though).

It’s a bit difficult to get past the datedness of the Sex and the City-meets-the-Marvel-Universe pitch, which feels further anchored to the late ’90s/early ’00s by the preview’s speed-dating scene. (Yes, I know there was a Sex and the City movie released just last year, but the concept still seems quintessentially late ’90s.)

But … I like those first six pages of Marvel Divas #1, even if as a reader of early-’80s Avengers I have to ignore that Monica Rambeau was once the leader of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and teammate of She-Hulk in order to buy a scene in which our “Divas” are annoyed by the arrival of Sue Storm, Jennifer Walters and “the other glamazons.”

Photon, Hellcat & Co. are with Kathie Griffin on the D-list? Fine.

Unlucky at superheroics and love? (Black Cat, too?) Well … okay. You get some leeway because of the art and dialogue. The latter even saves the aforementioned speed-dating sequence — an artifact from a 2000 TV sitcom — with the line, “Face it, tigress — you just hit the jackpot.” Well, that and the guy whose interest in Felicia Hardy probably isn’t romantic.

Sure, it’s only a six-page glimpse. And I remain concerned by clues the miniseries could take “A Very Special Episode” turn with a breast-cancer storyline.

However, at this point I’m willing to give Marvel Divas a chance — at least for a couple of issues.

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Comments

5 Comments

The Ugly American

June 26, 2009 at 10:12 am

Reminded me a lot of Ultra from the Luna Bros.

In what bizarro universe do Supermodels have to go to Speed dating sessions, or is she still not over Spider Man? Is this is the same continuity as the recent Hellcat mini? She seems to have de-aged by about ten years ?

Is this the Photon from Nextwave?

And Kevin, if you’re willing to give it a chance for a couple of issues – well, it is a mini-series, I’m sure you could last to the end.

Cheers,

B

Is it wrong to ask why Patsy, Felicia, and Angel are drawn as a conventional perception of “uber-cute” while Monica looks almost, hurm, mannish? The contrast is staggering. Maybe if they threw in more than one black woman, the difference wouldn’t be so jarring/might not exist at all? just curious.

Steven R. Stahl

July 1, 2009 at 7:35 am

In the NYT item, Aguirre-Sacasa provides more reasons to think that he doesn’t take writing comics seriously. He said MARVEL DIVAS was originally going to be a “slice of life” thing, meaning, I suppose, that there wouldn’t be significant plot content — like his YOUNG AVENGERS PRESENTS issue. He also equated the cover art for MARVEL DIVAS with artwork featuring over-muscled men. Can he really be that dense on the subject of sexist artwork?

SRS

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