SHE Rocks My World
'SHE' is a Femme Superheroine for the 1990s

By Bonnie Burton

Catwoman makes Batman beg for her attention. Wonder Woman lassos any criminal who smirks at her powers. And who can forget Supergirl, She-Ra or the Wonder Twins' better half?

But with their X-ray vision, bullet-proof accessories and extra-fast cars, relating to female comic superheroes is rather difficult. That's where SHE comes in.

The heroine of "Just Who The Hell Is SHE, Anyway?" is a suburban refugee fighting against things superheroes never have to deal with -- bad boyfriends, office boredom and frantic despair about the future.

In January 1993, SHE became the first comic strip featured in the fashion magazine Mirabella. With a style that's a cross between the Hernandez brothers (Love and Rockets) and pop artist Roy Lichtenstein, the comic shows off a modern edge. SHE was created by Marisa Acocella, a senior vice president at Young and Rubicam, a prominent New York City advertising agency.

Ironically enough, Acocella and SHE look a lot alike. Both women are blondes who wear black because it's chic, not goth. Both women slave away at New York ad agencies. And both women don't take "I guess so" for an answer.

The comic begins from the heroine's conception, courtesy of her zoned-out father and her possessive (s)mother. Then readers zip through her hazardous home life, where SHE's family put the "fun" back in dysfunctional. We witness first-hand why SHE rejects Farrah Fawcett-style feathered hair in 1977. Later, SHE weaves in and out of faulty relationships, all the while attempting to remain creative in the masochistic career hell of advertising. And finally we're left with SHE hanging frantically from the ledge of despair -- or was it the verge of greatness?

One of the best parts of this comic is the SHE role-model paper doll cut-out section. Anyone who doesn't mind destroying their book can dress SHE up as biker babe Emma Peel, glamorous Audrey Hepburn or "nothing's more important than your health" Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"Just Who the Hell is SHE, Anyway?" should be the next guide for the single girl who wants more out of life than a Colgate smile and a dead-end career.

All contents copyright © 1996 by Bonnie Burton.

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