This week I take a look at the wonderful women who grace the pages of comic books and very soon will grace the silver screen as well. So without further adieu, I bring you Obsession Perception issue 6: Women of Comics!
With the recent rumor of Marvel Studios looking to make a stand alone Black Widow film, the numerous titles that feature or are led by the many heroines of the Marvel universe coming out every week, it seems to be a great time for not only female comic fans, but all comic fans. The women of comics are being more celebrated now than ever, and not in the 90’s skimpy costumes and “T&A” (though there is still plenty of that still). Marvel seems to be leading the pack with solo titles including Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, and Black Widow. As well as team books like X-Men (featuring an all women main team) and even alternating issues of Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye keeping the focus on Kate Bishop’s adventures on the west coast. Not to mention the recently ending Fearless Defenders, Red She-Hulk, and the Lady Sif-centric Journey Into Mystery. As a male reader, I may not be able to speak fully for the female fans, but in my opinion the majority of these books show women heroes in an empowered and very positive light. Just having these books is great, but the really amazing thing is the quality and richness of the stories revolving around these characters. Kelly Sue Deconnick has spawned a massive following for her Captain Marvel run; dedicated readers of all genders who connect with Carol in a big way. Marvel aren’t the only ones pushing women in comics to the forefront; DC and Warner Bros. recent addition of Gal Gadot to the upcoming Man of Steel sequel bringing the first female super hero to the big screen after 70+ years. On the comics side of things DC has monthly titles starring Bat Woman, Bat Girl, Harley Quinn, Huntress and Powergirl, Birds of Prey, Catwoman, and Supergirl. Though there are still some unnecessarily skimpy costumes in some of DC’s books, by and large there is a positive portrayal of these women who stand side by side with Batman, Superman and the rest men of the DCU. Indie comics tend to be very forward thinking so it’s no surprise that titles like Image’s Rat Queens, Velvet, Pretty Deadly, and Lazarus all have female leads.
There are no shortage of positive female heroes in the pages of comics these days and more are coming seemingly every week. The comic book film industry has some catching up to do. Marvel’s Black Widow film may very well be the first worthwhile comic film adaption with a female lead (obviously not counting Elektra or Catwoman). There is still some aggravation about it taking so long to come to fruition, however, the wheels are turning in the right direction. Given the fact that comic book movies are just finding their footing and becoming more than just a gimmick it’s not too surprising that they have a lot of catching up to do to reach the level the books have had for years. Personally, I would be incredibly happy to see Marvel and DC scheduling movies for all of these amazing women and releasing them with the same care and frequency as they release Batman, Avengers, and Spider-Man films. Even new characters like Kamala Khan aka the new Ms. Marvel are a tremendous opportunity to have a fresh, modern, and relate-able character join the Marvel Cinematic Universe and speak to audiences of several demographics, not only including women. Introducing Jennifer Walters into a standalone Hulk film kills two birds with one stone, bringing the extended Hulk family into the universe and adding some balance to a Hulk movie that would be more interesting than just smashing and avoiding smashing. On the DC side, we’ve now had 7 films for Batman, 5 for Superman, 1 for Green Lantern, and Jonah freakin Hex! I know I’m not the only one who would love a proper solo Batgirl flick, as Barbara Gordon is my favorite female of DCU.
How do you all feel about the state of women in comics? Do you think they’re finally getting their much deserved time in the spotlight, or are we still a good bit away from where we need to be? What are some of the upcoming books and films featuring these heroines that you are looking forward to most? What are some of them you want to see the most that aren’t announced? Sound off in the comments and as always check out www.all-comic.com every week for more Obsession Perception.