In order to celebrate International Women’s Day, enjoy some amazing Marvel women!
marvel meme: seven covers (3/7) ► runaways #8 (vol 1)
I wish they had never cancelled Runaways. It was one of my favourites.
Since the issue of female characters in comics is obviously what this blog deals with, I thought I’d share this interview with X-Men writer, Brian Wood about his new X-Men book that has an all women cast for the heroes. Specifically I clipped out his answer to the questions about why it’s not called “X-Women” and why he thinks X-Men has strong appeal to female fans:
Nrama: I really like the idea that though it’s an all-female cast, it’s still called X-Men, and not something like “X-Women.” But given that, it does seem to at least leave open the potential for a male to join the cast at some point. Is that at all a possibility if the story calls for it, or is “all-female main cast” an intrinsic part of the book’s DNA?
Wood: It’s impossible to say what’s going to happen way down the road, but there has been zero talk of changing the lineup to include a male character, not from my editor on up the chain of command to [Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso]. But while the core cast of the book is these six women, this is not a title designed to be devoid of all men. I’m sure they’ll be some appearing as guests in arcs as needed… it would be sort of boring without it, and sort of a waste of chances for good character moments.
And the title… I’ve been talking about this quite a bit online, because there are fans who can’t wrap their mind around the fact this book is called X-Men. I sorta can’t wrap my mind around that, that the absence of some alpha male somehow invalidates these six women’s identities as X-Men, identities that go back decades through continuity. As my editor told me early on, these women are X-Men. They just are, period, always have been. So we sometimes get accused of “segregation,” a truly ugly word, or whatever, but I truly feel that to call this book X-Women or something like that, only suggests that these characters are a subset, or a spinoff, or even just off to one side, when I think any X-Men reader would admit that these women have more than earned the honor of being called X-Men.
I’ll defend this all day long.
Nrama: The X-Men books definitely seem to have a proportionately large amount of female readers, as you noted in your interview with Wired. A reason you cited is the flawed, relatable nature of the characters — in what way do you see those qualities as especially appealing to female readers? What else about the franchise do you think has attracted a sizable female audience over the years?
Wood: I’m trying not to stereotype readers. Obviously all readers can appreciate very human, very relatable characters. But I think its true that, looking at the broad swath of mainstream superhero comics, the bulk of them are not as introspective, or as nuanced as the X-Men have been at their best. Most are written and drawn from a very male point of view, pandering to the largest demographic of readers, and at times with a sexist point of view, with lots of T&A and so on… this is not news to anyone. I’ve never felt the X-Men were like that. There is such a relatively large population of amazing female characters in the X-world, more than enough that books like this can exist and make sense, and they are historically written in a way that’s inclusive to all readers, and the proof of that is obvious. Not just women, but to LGBT readers as well.
Having not actually read the book, this isn’t an endorsement of the book, nor of Wood as a person (since I don’t know him), but I did like his answers a lot. :)
I wanted to share this because this blog’s readership has a lot of comic book fans who are looking for positive depictions of women (so my letters tell me) in comics, and I thought this might be something that they might want to keep an eye on. :)
Sif by Valerio Schiti
COmic book store downtown sold out of Journey Into Mystery #648 from the time it opened until 2pm. At least there is another comic book store in Fargo and I was able to get my monthly dose of Sif kicking major ass.
Also, let’s talk about the sword that Sif carries around all the time and how Odin enchanted it to let her transport between worlds like it ain’t no thang.
Let’s talk about how unauthorized transportation via the Rainbow Bridge is one of Odin’s primary safety concerns. If even one enemy gets into Asgard and they don’t know about it, that is a big fucking deal. That is such a threat that Odin has one of Asgard’s most celebrated warriors just stand around to keep an eye on things. Heimdall can level cities by his own damn self. One of the most powerful beings in Norse mythology, and his entire job is to watch the rainbow bridge so that no one uses it without Odin knowing. For a long time there, even Thor needed to give a heads up.
But Odin’s like, “Oh hey, Sif. You’re responsible. Here’s this sword that allows instant access to Asgard. Take it all over the universe with you. No worries.”
So Sif is walking around with the key to Asgard like it’s not even a big deal. Try and take her sword. See how that works out for you.
HELLO SLEIPNIR UR CAMEO IS THE BEST CAMEO
HOW DID I NOT NOTICE THIS UNTIL SOMEONE POINTED IT OUT TO ME?
NORSE MYTHOLOGY FTW!