<i>Marvel Divas</i> may pleasantly surprise us (seriously!)

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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