The She-Hulk Diaries, by Marta Acosta. Paperback.
Most of the time, Jennifer Walters is a highly-skilled, responsible attorney, specializing in superhuman law. But some of the time, she morphs into the 650-pound, crime-fighting, party-loving She-Hulk. To say she has issues of work-life balance is an understatement.
Her alter ego’s late-night adventures have gotten Jennifer kicked out of Avengers Mansion. Think about that for a second – they let Tony Stark stay, but kicked Jennifer out. That’s how crazy She-Hulk’s public antics can be.
This prose novel covers five months in Walter’s life, and the story is told in diary form. There are parallel tracks of a big case involving a defective medical treatment, of Jennifer’s meeting a pair of potential love interests (one of whom she knew years before, and is engaged to one of Jen’s co-workers), and of She-Hulk’s super-heroics. This is mostly Jennifer’s story, and She-Hulk stays mostly in the background.
I liked how Marta Acosta regularly dropped in the phrase “as I always tell my clients,” pulling together legal advice and concepts (the chapter titles are all legal terms, as well). This allows her to apply these ideas to various aspects of Walter’s life, and to anyone with whom she interacts.
Acosta does a good job of regularly intersecting any two of these threads, and then bringing all three together for a climactic ending that is both invigorating and satisfying. The book walks the fine line of being “girly,” but Acosta brings such a light touch, that those moments come across as humorous as much as anything else. Along with the occasional super-powered action sequence, this book fulfills its goal of being accessible to a wide range of audiences.
And as a huge fan of Doctor Doom, I have to say that I liked the many references to the Latverian leader, and to references of past adventures between the novel’s hero and the misunderstood villain.
Source: public library.