Thursday, October 22, 2015

Discussion: All These Women In Comics

Discussion posts are a new-ish thing for me.  I'm doing them every Thursday, and I have posts planned for the next month or so.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topics, so please comment!  If you're interested, my last few discussion posts were Get To Know MeIn Defense of Historical Romance, and A Real 5 Star Book vs. a Fake 5 Star Book.

If you've followed my blog for some time, you have probably realized that I love comics.  And while I'm a newer fan, I am aware that there has been a pretty big shift in the last few years to include a lot more female-helmed lines.  For example, Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Thor, All-New Wolverine, Silk, and many, many more.  (You'll notice a focus on Marvel here, just because I'm more aware of the brand, not because I don't love DC or think they aren't doing so much with women in comics.)

When the fact that a woman was taking the mantle of Thor hit the newsfeed, there were some pretty upset people.  And I know I'm a bit out of date, but I actually have some thoughts on this, and the trend, that I want to get off my chest.

First of all, I LOVE LOVE LOVE that there are so many comics out there were girls as the title characters.  It's so great, since we can be just as bad-ass as all those boys out there.  There is literally nothing wrong and absolutely everything right with this.


Part of this trend is that new(er) characters are taking up the mantle of old characters.  For example, the previous Ms. Marvel is now the current Captain Marvel (a previously male role).  Again, nothing wrong with it, and she's perfect (don't get me started on how amazing she is).  Another example, the new Thor (Jane) took over from Odinson (again, she's pretty perfect and I love a woman as the main character here because it means a bunch).  But wait, there's another one of these about to hit the market- All-New Wolverine (which I'm very, very excited for).  I don't actually know for sure if X-23 is going to end up taking the mantle of Wolverine (though I think it's likely), but it was with her character that I realized this trend was bothering me.

I understand the concept that characters recycle names.  It's just a thing that happens in comics.  Mostly to keep old fans around.  But I also think that this trend is detrimental and undermines the work that's being done.  Especially if it keeps up.

In a sense, this copying of names is saying that female characters still aren't good enough to have their own, original titles.  At least, not their own super-awesome-headlining titles.  It's not that I want Thor to be called Thoress or anything, because that's demeaning, too.  But I want them to be able to break out in their own series' with their own unique superhero titles.

For example, two new heroes that were put out in the last year with their own solo titles are Squirrel Girl which made quite the dent in the fanbase and the market with the release of the Trade Paperback, and Silk (which has beautiful art).  Neither of them are taking previous monikers, they're both standing on their own.  And they're both pretty awesome superheroes.  So, there is proof that this can work.

I just hope that the trend of giving female superheroes male superheroes old identities doesn't continue.  The ones they have should and can stay around, but it shouldn't repeat.  At least, that's my opinion.

Do you have an opinion on the matter?  Let me know!

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