It is no longer a private men’s club, but an industry for everyone.
This year quickly became a start of anew era of women in comics: giants of the industry try to involve more female characters and authors. Of course, superhero comics have a long way to go before we will talk about gender equality in there.
Recently, DC has published an email from 11-year-old girl Rowan who asked about involving more female characters, so the corporation announced that it would work hard to create more superhero fun for girls. A great series about Muslim teen Ms. Marvel topped the last years sales charts, Apparently, it inspires people to fight against racism. Last winter a new comics series appeared: “Spider-Gwen”, where Spider-man’s girlfriend became a superhero in a parallel universe instead of Peter Parker. Earlier it became known that the new “Avengers” will be a female team. Marvel presented a quite untypical comics “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl”, where the superwoman-squirrel wins every fight.
Kelly Sue DeConnick is the writer of three popular comic-book series, all starring female characters: the Marvel imprint Captain Marvel, the cultural satire Bitch-Planet and the western Pretty Deadly. She talks about sexism and a role of woman in comics industry.
DeConnick says that women were not always so rare in the comics. From the late 30’s to the early 50’s, in the “Golden Age” of comics, there were Wonder Woman and a number of great creators like Louise Simmons and Ann Nocenti were working. Later, due to the spreading insane ideas about the harmful influence of comics on child’s mental health, giants of comics industry have invented a new strategy—to attract the male audience. DC official policy, for example, prohibited female protagonists at all.
In the 90’s a legendary comics writer and DeConnicks good friend Gail Simone has created comics called “Women in Refrigerator”: she gathered all female characters who died to advance the protagonists evolution. Her recent project, Ms. Marvel, was also very successful.
But not only women are becoming better represented in comics: Spider-man is now a black Hispanic Miles Morales, the superhero in comics Batgirl is the transgender Alysia Yeoh, DC is going to introduce a new gay character Midnighter.
DeConnick says that she is proud of her creation Captain Marvel 2014. She managed to turn this dull hero into an interesting and complicated female protagonist. It makes the film the most anticipated Marvel Universe release.
Marvel editor in chief Axel Alonso promises that women will only be more involved. The main proof is that there are more women comics writers, and the famous DeConnick is not the only one. He claims that they know for sure: women love comics as much as men, and industry has something to offer to the female audience.