The Kick-Ass Women of Marvel Are Changing Comics for the Better

The Comic Con Women of Marvel panel happened this Sunday, and, by all accounts, it sounds like a completely inspiring and all-around encouraging event. According to Bleeding Cool, the it was "as large a major film event panel, winding down hallways." Perhaps even more notable than the large and enthusiastic attendance was the way in which the panelists directly addressed sexism in the industry and expressed their commitment to increasing representation of women and people of color in the industry.

The women selected to represent Marvel were Kelly Sue DeConnick, Sara Pichelli, Janet Lee, Stephanie Hans, Jeanine Schaeffer, Sana Amanat, Lauren Sankovitch, Emily Shaw, Ellie Pyle, and Judy Stephens. Kelly Sue DeConnick, who writes Captain Marvel, was the only woman to serve on the Avengers panel earlier in the convention; when asked what she thought about the claim that women "make too much of a big deal over female representation in comics, she responded:

It is a big deal. I am willing to make people uncomfortable so that my daughter doesn’t have to! I was Smurfette on the Avengers panel yesterday and NO! That’s not good enough. I appreciate and I am proud of the progress that’s being made and I don’t want to sweep it under the table. But this job ain’t done. Nobody sit down!

When pressed about the representation of women of color, she added, "I think that the message is that no one is 'other'. That white males are not the 'default human being.' There is no such thing."

Another audience member asked the panelists about how they dealt with sexism. Sara Pichelli, and Italian comic book artist best known for her work on Ultimate Spider-Man, responded that she was sketching at her table right before the panel, and some guy came up to her and said, "Oh, you're really talented for a lady." Pichelli said, "My reaction was a huge smile, because it's not a big deal. It's my work talking, so I don't give a shit!" DeConnick added that every time she responds to a shitty, sexist question on Tumblr, she gains a thousand followers. "Sometimes spite is the only reason I get out of bed in the morning," she joked.

The panel announced that She-Hulk and Black Widow will be getting solo books and that the all-female X-Men book will continue.

At one point, DeConnick addressed the audience: "We need you to be ready. There is room up here... You will need each other. You will make stories that make you feel connected to others and the world and we will need that from you. Don't be afraid. Start now."

"The Women of Marvel Panel Speaks Out at New York Comic Con" [Bleeding Cool]
"Meet the Women Who Are Changing Marvel and Comics" [The Atlantic Wire]
Image via Marvel.