Last week, I went over my June comics order and found that I was ordering a a handful of the new Marvel titles featuring female superheroes.
Ryan S. over at The Weekly Crisis took a browse through the June Previews, and I was really surprised by his negative reaction to those titles.
“I’m glad to see that female characters are still getting the spotlight in June, but I can’t help but feel that some of these projects are stretching it a bit. When I see solicitations for something as nonsensical as Her-oes or even Heralds, all I can see is stuffing female characters into a loose plot just for the sake of them being there. I’m not complaining about female leads, I’d just rather see a good story put first and I’m not seeing that (though the Namora one-shot does look pretty awesome!).”
Shoehorning women into a story line? Really? There is a lengthy tradition of doing this with male heroes. Read any issue of Marvel Team-Up, Two-in-One, DC Brave and Bold, World’s Finest – these were long-running series based on the entire premise of stuffing heroes into a loose plot. Do I think Her-oes is a sophisticated treatise on the identity of man? No. It’s a super-hero comic.
So imagine a solicitation that read, “Powerful forces are converging on Earth and the men of the Marvel Universe are at the center of it! Years ago, a herald of Galactus sacrificed her life for the universe. Little did anyone realize, a shred of that spirit lived on…and now she’s back for vengeance on those who abandoned her. The most powerful super heroes of the Marvel Universe must put aside their differences to stop this threat before the Earth is destroyed. Cyclops, Hulk, Nick Fury, Daredevil, Thor, Machine Man, and Reed Richards . . . these mighty men will be put to the test as never before, as cities are destroyed, families are torn apart, and a cosmic resurrection changes the heroes’ lives forever!” The fanboys would be stumbling over themselves to buy it. Heck, it’d be the next major company-wide crossover. But, because it features women, it’s not a good storyline?
A side note: Kelly Thompson is one of my favorite comic columnists. For some reason I value her insight about women in comics a bit more.