A reader recently tipped us to this post on Robot 6, wherein the comic "Marvel Divas" is discussed. The series is pitched as a cross between Marvel and Sex and the City. Headdesk powers, activate!
"The idea behind the series was to have some sudsy fun and lift the curtain a bit and take a peep at some of our most fabulous super heroines," says Marvel's Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, "In the series, they're an unlikely foursome of friends–Black Cat, Hell Cat, Firestar, and Photon–with TWO things in common: They're all leading double-lives and they're all having romantic trouble. The pitch started as "Sex and the City" in the Marvel Universe, and there's definitely that "naughty" element to it, but I also think the series is doing to a deeper place, asking question about what it means…truly means…to be a woman in an industry dominated by testosterone and guns. (And I mean both the super hero industry and the comic book industry.) But mostly it's just a lot of hot fun."
Oh, awesome! Now I can find the same stupid Carrie Bradshaw bullshit that has invaded every aspect of my life from television to magazines to the internet since 2000 in a comic book, too! Because I don't care about how awesome superheroines are when they're out kicking ass! I just want to know what they're like when they're having some hot sudsy fun and talking about shoes and boys!
Can we just stop for a minute and call shenanigans on this, please? Do you think there's a series in development that features Bruce Wayne and Peter Parker just chillin' at the Applebee's, shooting the shit about a Mets game and calling each other bro? No. And do you know why? Because it would be BORING. Just like a bunch of superheroines bitching about their love lives and waiting around for Mr. Big. The only people who are going to get excited about this series are those who want to see the "hot sudsy fun."
If this is Marvel's attempt at drawing in a female fan base, they are missing the mark , as these Robot 6 commenters prove:
Jennifer de Guzman
April 9, 2009 at 3:26 pm
I've been trying for years to get my waist be roughly 2/3 the circumference of my thighs! And to find friends whose measurements are exactly the same as mine so we can share latex costumes! And no matter how many doctors I ask, none will agree to break my feet and realign them so they're perpetually in the much-coveted "wearing stiletto f-me shoes" shape. What is these ladies' secret?!
Obviously, it's something to do with what it "means… truly means…to be a woman in an industry dominated by testosterone and guns." I, on the other hand, am a woman in an industry dominated by testosterone and convention hot dogs, so I'm not so lucky.
April 9, 2009 at 6:15 pm
What the hell is wrong with these people? Let's just parse that little paragraph. So, for women characters to have an active sex life, they are "naughty." And they supposedly want to really, truely explore what it means to be a woman in a male dominated industry, but at the same time it's going to be "good hot fun"? Good, hot fun for whom exactly? The (most likely) all male writing and art staff? The all male comic fanboys this series is aimed at?
Apparently these folks have not grasped the inherent contradiction between really, truly exploring what it would actually be like to be a woman hero in a testosterone and violence dominated world AND still titillating the male audience. You can't have your cake and eat it too, boys. To really explore what it would be like to be a woman in this situation, you would have to acknowledge the essential sexism and misogyny in the comics field. And we can't harsh the fanboy libido with that kind of thing, now, can we?
The closest thing I (as a newbie) have seen to seriously confronting these issues is the series "Alias," and even that was written by a man and had some really skeevy elements. Try getting a woman's creative opinion, here, boys, if you're so "serious" about addressing these issues.
Really, Marvel, is this your plan to bring in more female readers? Because this female newbie comic fan feels like running screaming into the night and never giving another dollar to this industry.
April 9, 2009 at 7:37 pm
Wow, this is in fact an excellent example of women in a male-dominated industry: marginalized, defined by their sex lives (defined as "naughty" no less), and the only reason their stories are told are as an excuse to titillate men. Well done. I couldn't have summed it up better myself.
Throw in a pink cover. All girls like pink. Make sure you pose the women as sexy as possible, because that's totally necessary for a female audience. Oh, and the characters should talk about shoes a lot; women LOVE shoes. Also, keep in mind that when women hang out together, we ALWAYS wear skimpy nighties, CONSTANTLY touch each other, and ALL of our conversations revolve around men. Especially if we're, you know, crime-fighters who're giving up a lot of their lives to do this thankless job. Women don't talk about serious stuff.
Bonus points for bubble baths or pillow fights.
Can we just get a comic book featuring these three, please? Because these are the kind of kickass ladies worth reading about.
Sex And The Single Marvel Heroine [Robot 6]