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She Has No Head! – Mission Accomplished?

I started blogging in 2007 and in the spring of 2009 two things in comics caused me to start blogging about comics. The first was the nightmare Cry For Justice promo image from DC in which Supergirl had no head – and you guessed it – that was the primary inspiration for the name of this very column. The second, which is what we’re going to discuss today, was the promotional announcement for the book Marvel Divas.

And so today I can’t help but compare everything that was the utter fail of the Marvel Divas pitch (which was everything except the gorgeous Tonci Zonjic interior art) with how right Marvel and Brian Wood are getting Wood’s new all-female X-Men team so far.

Some may think we can’t know yet if this book will be any good since all we’ve seen are the pitch/solicits/interviews/etc. While that is true on its face, it’s also true that I knew long before Marvel Divas came out that it was not for me, the same way I know that Wood’s X-Men will very much be for me.

Putting aside the fact that I trust Brian Wood implicitly – with comics in general, as a writer in general, and specifically in his excellent work with female characters – the plain fact is that solicitations are a huge part of how comics work, especially given the direct market situation we all deal with.

So let’s compare, side by side, why everything about what we’ve seen from X-Men gets it right, while everything about Marvel Divas got it wrong – before a single book even was released.

1.   CREATIVE TEAM.  Brian Wood & Oliver Coipel are A-List. One of the concerns I see raised over and over again (and sometimes raise myself) when it comes to “risky projects” such as women led books is that rarely do you see A-List creators put onto these books. Which is not to say that non A-listers can’t make a great comic, they absolutely can and do, but let’s face it, starting with A-listers right out of the gate gives your book the edge that so many comics need to start with, especially one considered “risky.”  Putting your A-List creators on a book like this also shows a publishers confidence in your project.  Brian Wood is A-List in the best of ways with both tons of indie cred (Demo, DMZ, Northlanders, The Massive) and lots of high-profile properties (X-Men, Star Wars, Conan The Barbarian, DV8, Ultimate X-Men). This beautifully brings together both mainstream and indie audiences. Way to maximize your audience, comics. Good job!

There are many great artists out there. But not all of them would be a great fit for this book, as it is far too easy to muddle the message, or send the wrong one entirely. Frank Cho (for example) is a supremely talented artist, but putting him on this book would have been a crucial error and undone so much of what is right about the concept. A book like this needs a Stuart Immonen, or well, an Oliver Coipel! – an A-list talent with a reputation for solid superhero work and strong work with female characters.  Slamdunk, Marvel. Kudos to Brian Wood and Marvel for getting this pivotal decision right, and kudos to Coipel for jumping on board. I’m truly excited to see what he can do.

If Marvel is REALLY smart, they have another great artist already on deck to pick up alternating arcs (as they did recently with Chris Bachalo and Nick Bradshaw on the initial Wolverine & The X-Men runs), or alternatively building in a natural break the way Image did for Fiona Staples on Saga (though the former seems more likely for a Marvel title). Regardless, they’ve been incredibly smart so far, and I have to believe they’re going to take it all the way.

Putting this creative team on this book, speaks volumes about what Marvel has learned in the intervening years between this title and Marvel Divas and it feels like such a beautiful sign that they hear us, they care, and they are trying, not only to make great books, but to respect their female superheroes in the same way that they respect their male counterparts.  And honestly, it’s the trying that makes me the happiest, the proudest. Because we all freaking fail. Hell, I fail constantly. But I like to believe that it’s the trying that matters. Well, the trying and the not giving up, I suppose.

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2.  IT’S ALL IN THE NAME.  Paramount and yet frequently bungled is both the concept and the actual name of said concept. And this is another area in which everyone involved in X-Men is getting it right. Not only is this book appropriately called X-Men – which is exactly what these ladies are and have been for years – superheroes called X-MEN, but when hassled about this on twitter (and via email) Brian Wood’s response only reinforces why he’s the right guy for this book. Check out these exchanges:

First of all, THANK YOU, BRIAN WOOD. Thank you for being a brilliant man. Just look at how far away those responses are from someone thinking it’s a good idea to call a miniseries about Marvel superheroines, MARVEL DIVAS?  I mean, one feels like an idea from the 50’s (or worse) and the other feels like it exists in actual modern times. Times when men and women are equals that share so many experiences, ideas, traits, strengths, and weaknesses, and when they’re both HEROES.

Now, you certainly could (and can) make an argument that Marvel Divas was a different kind of book than X-Men, and I’m sure that’s true, beyond one being a serious ongoing and one being a rather inconsequential mini-series, one is also clearly about “fighting crime” while the other is more like a spotlight on some superheroines after hours. And that’s actually fine. I would probably enjoy a “light” book about superheroines after hours, but it’s hard to take a book like that seriously when the rest of your of line is totally devoid of the more serious “ladies fighting crime” book option.

As always it’s about context.

You give me a lighter fare, X-ladies (or Marvel ladies, whatever) in their time off book now, while I can ALSO get a serious superhero book courtesy of Brian Wood? That’s a whole different ball game. If on the other hand you present that “superheroines not being superheroines book” as the only book available to me if I want to read about a team of lady superheroes…and we’ve got a problem.  You’re inadvertently saying that this is what you think of female superheroes. It may not be what you mean to do, but by having a line devoid of serious female led titles and then coming out with a fluffy mini-series about them in their time off, readers can’t help but feel you’re making a statement about what you think about female superheroes – i.e. Not much.

In contrast, while these are some of the amazing things Brian Wood has said in interviews about X-Men:

Excerpt from Wired Interview "X-Men To Relaunch As All-Female Superhero Team"

Excerpt from Wired Interview "X-Men To Relaunch As All-Female Superhero Team"

Meanwhile, here is the most memorable quote I read by Marvel Divas writer Roberto Aguirre Sacasa:

Excerpt from Robot 6 piece "Sex and the single Marvel super heroine" -

Worlds of difference! WORLDS.

3.  THE DETAILS.  From the broad strokes of filling this team with marquee/fan-favorite characters (to go with the A-list creative team) Storm, Rogue, Kitty Pryde, Psylocke, Jubilee, and Rachel Grey, to the tiny details like making sure they all have gorgeously designed non-exploitative costumes, this book has it all. Storm and Psylocke, both also starring in Uncanny X-Force are clad in their gorgeous new Kris Anka costumes and it marks the first time I can remember that Psylocke isn’t wearing a ridiculous bathing suit, and the first time in a good long while that the skin Storm is showing is reasonable for a superhero costume. The rest of the ladies are dressed in familiar costumes, both new and old, all appropriate, especially since Rogue’s ongoing zipper issue seems to have been delightfully solved as well. These are the little things that matter so much. It also helps of course that Coipel draws these costumes to look like real clothes/uniforms, rather than paint (as in the J. Scott Campbell Marvel Divas cover).

Marvel Divas, right and X-Men, left. Click to enlarge

Another detail evident just in comparing covers of X-Men and Marvel Divas is that Coipel and Wood’s cover shows at least some degree of different in body type. Though the ladies are all appropriately fit, there’s some difference in height and “curviness.” By comparison the “Marvel Divas” all look like the same woman with different hair and different body paint colors.  Similarly they all have different faces, while they’re all attractive, they have a variety of facial types and even differing expressions, suggesting (gasp!) different personalities. Except for the extremely bizarre face on Hellcat, the Marvel Divas cover presents all the ladies as sex kittens, with pursed lips and bedroom eyes.  Ditto across the board for both covers on posing. On Coipel’s cover Jubilee appears young and relaxed (while throwing up hand signals – love it), Kitty is conservative and serious, Rachel is confident but restrained, Rogue looks sassy, Storm is regal and in-charge, and Psylocke appears ready to chop you in two should she not like the cut of your jib.

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This is RIGHT. This says volumes about character before you open the book, before you read a word. By contrast I couldn’t tell you anything about the character traits of the women on the Marvel Divas cover, except perhaps that Black Cat is desperate to make sure she is the sexiest of the sex kitten divas she’s posing with. Which, though Black Cat is obviously sexy, doesn’t actually strike me as accurate to her personality at all. There’s nothing desperate about Felicia.

4. PR.  Look at the difference in these solicitations:

click to enlarge


Click to enlarge

I don’t even think I need to go into what’s wrong about the Marvel Divas solicit (hint: it kinda sounds like soft core porn) and what is so right about the X-Men solicit (hint: it sounds like a badass superhero book, which is what most of us are here for), but I just want to stress how big a deal this is. While people love to bring up the old adage that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover – the truth is – especially in comics – we do exactly that, all the time. While a book can surprise you of course and be better (or worse) than its cover suggests, solicits and covers are what we have in comics to decide in advance what to put on our pull lists, it DETERMINES how pre-orders look. And in a world where books can get canceled just months after they are announced (or begin), this is important stuff.  You have to get it right. Marvel is getting it right.

So now we have: a solicitation that knows exactly what it’s doing, a cover that is both gorgeous and appropriate, a creative team and characters perfectly chosen and smartly scheduled. Now you can add to all of that an appropriate PR push – the kind a book like this both needs and deserves. Following the teaser and announcement, Brian Wood did interviews with the delightful Laura Hudson, formerly of Comics Alliance, now of Wired, as well as a big mainstream piece for USA Today. It would have been nice to see some outreach to places like The Mary Sue and even Jezebel, but we still have nearly three months until the book releases, so there’s plenty of time for “off the comics radar” spots like Jezebel to get interviews or exclusive preview art (hint, hint!).  In the meantime, this was a great start. The kind that has begun a siege of interest, forum comments, retweets, tumblr reblogs, mostly positive. Sure, there are the haters, there always will be, but mostly this has been a cry of “it’s about time!” and “can’t wait!”

In fact, just a week into the announcements, already badass fan art is showing up. Look at this gorgeous piece courtesy of Kris Anka:

Kris Anka's "Brian Wood X-Men"

Time will of course tell how good the book really is. The trick for Wood and Coipel now is to meet expectation, which will be tough, expectation is very high. And this book is also a test case to see if marquee characters, A-list creators, and a full and confident push from Marvel can get an all ladies superhero book to have the legs you need in this tough market.  You never know what the market will do, and what will hit and what will miss, but the best you can do is what has been done so far for this book – a perfect storm of picking the right people, the right characters, the right time, and not forgetting to pay attention to the small stuff that often gets missed and then seized upon (sometimes rightly so, sometimes not so much) as a sign that things aren’t as well-considered as they should be.

This is doing your absolute level best for a title and then letting the readers decide.

At the end of the day, X-Men has checked ALL the boxes. And it’s rare that I can say that about a mainstream comic.  And as a result I find myself giddy like a schoolgirl about mainstream superhero comics in a way I haven’t been in YEARS. You have my money Marvel, and if you keep this up (and DC keeps up their current path) you’ll soon have ALL my mainstream comics money. Good for you.

As far as answering the question that the title of this piece supposes – “Mission Accomplished?” – I think the answer is most obviously “not yet, but that we’re well on our damn way” and that is a great thing indeed. Today’s a win, kids, let’s enjoy it.



I’m going to give X-Men a chance because I want to show my support for a book with an all-female led cast, but I have not been impressed by Brian Wood as a writer with the few things I’ve read so he’s going to need to win me over. His responses above make me respect him as a person, but he still needs to get me as a storyteller.

And if he doesn’t hook me, I will be letting Marvel know why I’m not reading the book just so it’s clear.

Jeez, you’ve made me excited about this book, and I don’t even like the X-Men.

Okay, first of all, I know I’m going to get groans for saying this, but it never occurred to me that people would want to call the book X-Women. I was one of those people who was like, “Sweet, an all female X-men book!” And I’m a dude.

Second, props to Marvel for getting Wood back on a 616 X-men book; I was sorely disappointed when he left the last adjective less X-Men book since he was doing such a great job. If I have one complaint, it’s that I would have rather seen him teamed up with David Lopez, his collaborator on that book. Maybe he’ll be Coipel’s fill-in, which I wouldn’t rule out right now.

Third, I really like the team. You’ve got three X-Characters I love (Psylocke, Storm, and Rogue), two I’ve always kind of liked but never read much with them (Jubilee, Rachel), and Claremont and Whedon’s pet that I’ve never cared for but I’m confident Wood will get me to like (Kitty). Solid cast.

Fourth, you can bitch all you want, but not only is Psylocke’s old costume a classic, but if you know anything about real-life ninjas from feudal Japan, it”s accurately more accurate and better suited to her work. Read Shogun – it’s pretty accurate in its depiction of feudal Japan, and the ninja assassin in it wears nothing but a thong, essentially. That’s not to say that the pajama-clad Hand ninja type didn’t exist, but if you were going to assassinate someone, it was more likely you would wear something like Psylocke’s old costume than baggy, and thus noisy, clothing.

*actually more accurate

I agree with every single point here. And now that you brought up Stuart Immonen, I have to start lobbying Marvel to make him the alternate artist if they’re doing a rotating artist team set-up.

When I started reading comics almost 10 years ago, I felt that DC was far and away the best publisher of comics with female leads. Between this book, Captain Marvel and Journey Into Mystery, the pendulum has swung the other way.

@Ryan S: I think you should read those pieces again because that’s a drastically inaccurate summation.

To sum up more accurately: I did not castigate, I expressed concern, and I STILL think Girl Comics is a bad title – even though I ended up liking the book(s) quite a bit – as seen in this very column. Hell, I interviewed the editors AFTER the book came out – you think they come on to do interviews with people that castigate them? Try again, friend.

And while we’re at it, my issue with the title was not that it was an “exclusive sandbox” (and I’d really like you to find where I said those exact words – because I don’t recall ever saying them) – I had concerns about putting women on an all female book and then not giving them opportunities for ongoing work on regular comics, as I didn’t want them contained to just one special mini-series, but Marvel has been pretty great about giving strong female talent a chance over the last few years – and if Girl Comics helped them do that, then it’s a success in that way beyond just being a pretty fun book.

As for my issue about the title, I think my concern about GIRL Comics vs. WOMANthology is pretty obvious.

I’m looking forward to X-Men vol. 4 but I think you’re being overly harsh on Marvel Diva’s. The name, covers and solicits were all misjudged but the story and art were really good! It also gave spotlight to four heroes who are usually on the sidelines of the MU. Every character had a different personality inside the comics, the idiom ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ comes to mind.

@Rhuw: The entire point of this piece is to talk about the way that comics are conceived, solicited, and promoted, thus what’s inside the actual Marvel Divas book doesn’t matter at all – at least for the purposes of this column. Hell, I literally talked about and quoted the “don’t judge a book by its cover” idiom in the text!

That said, I read Marvel Divas and hated it. The art was STUNNING. Zonjic quickly became a favorite artist of mine and I wish we’d see him doing more work. I thought the story, character work, writing, and concept were terrible.

I could be wrong, but I assumed they titled it Girl Comics because that was the title of a short-lived and actually quite progressive for its time series that Atlas Comics published from 1949-1952. The first four issues were just standard romance, but issues #5-12 were an anthology series of adventure, thriller, suspense, action and romance stories starring female protagonists.

Of course, that’s Greg Burgas level Marvel trivia, which would be totally lost on almost every potential reader of the newer Girl Comics. So I’m not saying your arguments against the title are wrong. But the idea behind using the title may have come from wanting to honor that classic and forgotten pioneering series.

See: Women fighting bulls! http://www.comicvine.com/girl-comics-the-horns/37-187916/

Of course, the companion Atlas series featuring male protagonists was title Man Comics, so your point does still stand in that regard. But the Girl Comics title makes more sense in the context of it’s 50’s roots.

Meant to say Greg Hatcher level trivia there, but it’s all good. Props to everyone named Greg!

@Kelly – I know you mentioned about the not judging a book by it’s cover I was trying to say (not very well) that the real test of whether Woods X-Men is any good will be when the book comes out,. I agree that the promotion of Diva’s was ill advised, but I just think there are much worse offenders out there to heap scorn. Agreed Zonjic should get more work, but I really enjoyed Aguirre Sacasa’s storyline too in the Diva’s book.

Yeah, I tend to like Aguirre-Sacasa’s stuff, but Marvel Divas seemed pretty ill-conceived. I thought Heralds was pretty bad too.

I’m cautiously excited about this new Defenders series with Valkyrie and Misty Knight just because, well, it’s a new Defenders title series Valkyrie and Misty Knight. This X-Men series has the hurdle for me of me not much liking the X-Men, and especially not giving a damn about Psylocke and Jubilee, but I like Wood and I like the idea, and your writeup makes it sound pretty darned cool, so I’m optimistic. Whereas the Defenders one has me pre-sold to an extent just because it has some of my favorite characters that I’d never really thought of putting in one series.


Yes, I believe that IS one of the primary reasons that they named the book Girl Comics, and I get it, but I do think the title is too obscure and far too old-fashioned to be worth the callback.

I do think the title is too obscure and far too old-fashioned to be worth the callback.

See also: Sword of Sorcery. And National Comics, for that matter.


I am cautiously excited about Fearless Defenders. I LOVE Valkyrie and also really like Misty Knight and some of the other ladies that promise to show up. However, the preview art is IMO really bad and poorly chosen for a female led book – it’s really “male gaze” heavy and everyone’s tits and asses are so shiny and on display. :( I’m hoping it will either get better or Marvel will realize the error and make a change, because I’d really like to love that book – and I like Cullen Bunn’s writing a great deal!

[…] An all-new She Has No Head! is up, kids. And I really like this one, so check it out. […]

There are too many Marvel Now books I want to buy already, so this one’s on the borderline–I think I’ll keep on getting my X-Men/Kitty Pryde fix from Aaron and Bradshaw. Still, it looks really cool, I’m glad it exists, and I might end up picking it up at some point in the future.

My whole problem with you and all your articles is it seems your trying to get rid of T&A in all comics. I leave it up to the creative team. If the artists and writer wants to show that they should be allowed and shouldnt have to curtail their vision to the PC police which it seems your a part of. Political correctness is destroying this country and I have to hear it 24/7 and the last place I want it is in my comics. Also it seems your trying to get rid of all T&A. Listen men and women both enjoy to be aroused/titilated. Comics lean heavily towards men. Thats the way it goes. If you dont like it go enjoy another form of entertainment that better suits your tastes/ideals. No man (that I know) has a column bitching everytime a new Twilight movie comes out (which leans heavily towards women) and Taylor Lautner has no clothes on. I’m not on here saying i have a right damnit to watch Twilight and not see Taylor’s bare chest every 5 seconds. You have every right to want more books that arent just T&A but dont act like your on a crusade to eliminate every title with a “male gaze” as you put it. So many groups (especially women) nowadays want to feel as if they’re being wronged and persecuted when they dont even know what that is. It’s sooo nice however, to have independent comics out there where the creators can do/show whatever they want and dont have to worry about being pressured into doing anything by certain people/groups.

Great post, Kelly!!! I’m psyched for Wood’s new X-Men book… he killed it with his eight issues from the previous volume, and I’m hoping these ones are even better.

So how long do people estimate it will be before Wolverine is added to the team roster? (This is Marvel, after all.)

Wow, Double V REALLY wanted an X-Women title drawn by J Scott Campbell. His ire caused him to write a comment so angrily put together it contradicts itself at every turn. Listen to your own advice, my man, and if you don’t like what’s going on here, go enjoy another form of entertainment that better suits your taste/ideals.

Maybe there’s a man-edit of Twilight out there with all the naked chests taken out so you can finally watch this weird vampire phenomenon everyone’s talking about.

You can’t just basically state that if a woman walks in to a comic store and doesn’t see anything she likes, she should go watch a movie. You can’t forsake an entire industry and art form based on the archaic practices and antics of stunted man-children. Make some room, dude. We can all enjoy this stuff together.

I may actually pick up a Marvel comic based on this. First time in a long time. (Well, apart from Ultimate Spider-Man.)

I’ve always despised racist-as-hell Psylocke, but everything else about this book looks A+! Really looking forward to it.

Anyone who says to stop trying to make comics less porn-y automatically loses the argument.


That X-MEN cover is leaps and bounds from the DIVAS cover. Does such a good job, in fact, that it makes me single-out and question/dislike Storm’s outfit — and I’m no prude.

Extremely excited about this as I love everything already. It has Kitty Pryde. It has Brian Wood (who is awesome month in and month out over at Ultimate X-Men). I have been loving Oliver Coipel’s art since House of M.

Count me as one of those dman fools who thought the title should have been X-Women before I realize I was an idiot and now I’m really enjoying the fact that it is called X-Men, as of course, that is the team these characters are on.

I also like how conservative all of these costumes are too, though most of the team has always been like that besides Psylocke and Storm (and Rogue at some awkward points in her career).

I think wanting the book to be called “X-Women” is a least partially connected to that joke we’ve all probably heard of how they should be called the “X-People” or some such because of the women on the team. And, yes, maybe they would have been called that if they weren’t created decades ago, but right now the name “X-Men” has too much real-world history and marketing familiarity to really consider anything else. Not that “X-Women” is all that different, but, you know, MARKETING.

In the not-real-world, they were called “X-Men” before Jean joined, so there’s that.

@ Fiona
How is Psylocke racist?

@ Double V
I’m a dick, and even I think you’re a moron. Here’s something to consider: free internet porn. Look that up if you want to be titillated. What you’re describing as liking in comics is called “fan service” and it existed because pubescent boys couldn’t get their hands on real porn. Now, because of the internet, you can find whatever you want, so there’s no reason for this stuff to even be in comics. This really is the strongest argument against T&A in comics besides the fact that it, you know, offends 50% of potential consumers so it’s just not smart business to put it in the books

The book *looks* great – I love the line-up, costumes and that Jubilee is in it even though I assume she’s still a vampire. I’m not a fan of the solicitation though – another “baby who might hold the key to earth’s survival… or its destruction”? Just after Hope’s identical story is over? And the baby is going to be looked after by six women this time – isn’t that what women are for? I am impressed that even Terry Dodson’s variant cover only exposes one set of massive boobs: http://img507.imageshack.us/img507/4339/comicsxmenvariantcover.jpg but note that Milo Manara’s last cover with these characters looked like this: http://img850.imageshack.us/img850/9828/xwomen.png


One thing the other artists could have taken from Manara’s cover is Rogue’s costume – she should ALWAYS be wearing that costume with her leather jacket, the white and green one she’s been wearing is just bland and lame. You have to give Jim Lee this – he designed a great costume for her, and it’s one of the best ones to come out of the 90s that still holds up.

Nataniel Costard

January 21, 2013 at 7:53 pm

I can’t believe how much is Marvel kicking DC’s ass this days.

And this coming from a guy who used to read DC since he was 12, and whose first Marvel comic was bought perhaps five years ago.

PS: I like to read your happy posts, Kelly… it shows we CAN be happy with mainstream comics if things are done right!

I forget if it was this column or in one of Sonia’s that I greatly reccommended Larry Hama’s G.I. Joe series for its strong portrayal of the lady Joes, but allow me to reccommend now a new Joe book that looks like it has a similar approach: Mike Costa’s upcoming “G.I. Joe: The Cobra Files”. The roster, despite including one guy–Flint–is mostly made up of women operatives: Lady Jaye, Chameleon (new character) and Ronin (also a new character). If this new book is a hit, IDW may have an equivalent to this forthcoming X-Men volume.

It’s funny that Brian Wood is so adamant against “X-Women”, but then they described it that way in the solicit.

I haven’t been keeping up with new comics in a long time but this article made me really want to check out Wood’s X-Men. Besides having an awesome roster of characters (Kitty Pryde! Mohawk Storm!), that cover is awesome and if it is representative of the pencils inside then sign me up for the trade. I think I remember reading Wood and Becky Cloonan’s Demo around the time I quit going to my LCS and I remember thinking it was cool but now I cannot remember a thing about it. Maybe I’ll have to dig through my collection and see if I still have the issues in there.

Also, as a side note, it seems like DC has kind of lost me lately with a lot of the stuff they’ve been doing as well and I am usually split down the middle pretty evenly as far as my mainstream comics interest goes. For some reason Marvel just seems more exciting lately (although my opinion is mostly from looking at solicits as comics are no longer my main hobby I do read the random hardcover). I have picked up some trades and I’ve just been kind of bored with them.

I was hoping you’d seen his “over my dead body” tweet, I loved that!

@anonymous: Jim Lee had a good costume design for someone? Must have been an off day. :)

This is so weird. Aside from Whedon’s run, I haven’t read X-Men since around #200 (1985); I don’t even “know”Psylocke, Jubilee and others. However, now I’m getting 2 series, this and Bendis’ All-New X-Men. Already added this to my LCS pull list.

Wolverine and the X-Men, too!

I really loved the “Excerpts from Wired Interview” bits and how both of them were captioned as “X-Men To Relaunch As All-Female Superhero Team”–a title which is COMPLETELY FALSE. Why do I say this? Take a look at Marvel’s solicits. I see “Wolverine and the X-MEN,” “X-MEN Legacy,” “All-New X-MEN,” “Uncanny X-MEN” and “Astonishing X-MEN” (not to mention the “Ultimate Comics X-MEN” title and the to-be-cancelled “X-treme X-MEN” title). So, that’s FIVE (collect ‘em all, true believers) X-MEN titles that will continue DESPITE Marvel’s “relaunching” the X-MEN as an “all-female superhero team.” Now, if the article title were taken correctly, that would actually be something historic–an all-female X-team that had no male teammates AND was the ONLY X-Men title on the market. (Of course, that won’t happen as long as Bendis keeps wanting to write an X-title.)

I enjoy Brian Wood’s work (thoroughly loved “Northlanders” and have been enjoying his “Conan” and his “New York Four/Five” was very good as well) but I’m so over the Bendisized Marvel Universe that I’ve given up on all the X-Men books except for “Astonishing X-Men” (not counting, of course, PAD’s “X-Factor” which, luckily, has largely managed to escape the most egregious aspects of the Bendisization). Granted, Marvel’s decisions first to cancel “Uncanny X-Men” and then “relaunch” the title following the “Schism” fiasco along with my disappointment with Rogue’s decision in “Legacy” and secondly, and more recently, to cancel the “New Mutants” were more responsible for removing those vestiges of the X-universe for me (a truly distressing thought for this longtime X-fan; I’d been regularly reading the X-books since Jean Grey turned into Phoenix but, over the past decade, as Bendis’s influence has spread across the whole continuum of Marvel Editorial, my interest in the line has dropped considerably).

Marvel has been nothing more than one misstep after another for me since “Avengers Disassembled” (the “Dark Tower” adaptations notwithstanding) and, at this point, I don’t see anything that Marvel could do (short of firing Bendis and completely restarting every title to eradicate all the Bendis-connected crap since “Disassembled”) that will get me back to where I was as a Marvel fan a decade ago. Not even this book is enough to intrigue me–and that’s really disappointing. A decade ago–this would’ve been an automatic pull for me. But now, I’m not even interested enough to glance through the book when it hits the stands. (I made that mistake when the “new” Captain Marvel book hit the stands. Pretty Ed McGuinness cover–eye-stabbingly atrocious interior artwork.) I like Coipel’s artwork but, frankly, I don’t care.

Let the DC haters go on bashing DC but I’m genuinely more interested in what DC’s doing than what Marvel is.

me, I like me some good Wood in the morning

@ Keith Bowden

That costume was really his greatest contribution to the X-Men, I’d say lol

And you should check out Wolverine and the X-Men if you like ANXM and this new XM series; Aaron has been killing it every month. People have complained about the recent Circus arc, but I personally loved the throwback to the two-parter Claremont and Byrne did back in the day. Where Morrison’s run was like a checklist of all the classic stories Claremont and Byrne did, Aaron’s run has been a tribute to the stuff Morrison forgot – Hellfire Club, Brood, Circus, and the upcoming Savage Land arcs. If cartoony aren’t isn’t your thing… just give it a shot this once, seriously, I’d say Marvel’s biggest fuck-up in the past couple years was NOT making this the flagship book while instead giving that status to Johnny-come-lately Bendis’ two books. ANXM hasn’t sucked, but not only has it not reached WatXM peaks, it hasn’t even been better than the average issue of WatXM. EVERYONE – check it out! you won’t regret it.

* cartoony art isn’t

I’m a lot more interested in Humphries Uncanny X-Force. For one thing, it feels more organic. From the impression I get, he picked his team and it just happened to be a team where there was only one male. Moreover, he didn’t realize that they were all non-US characters until someone pointed that out in an interview. X-Men feels a lot more gimmicky even if it’s not as exploitatively so as Divas was at the time.

Most of all, though, it’s a book with characters who are mostly appearing nowhere else, and with Psylocke, you get the feeling it’s going to be her “home book,” so you get to have the sort of actual character development which is going to be so much harder in the Wood book with every character BUT Jubilee.

Okay, Anonymous, I’ll take the recommend and check out WatXM. I have heard good things about it. (This is so weird, coming back to a series I’ve disliked for over 25 years, which was my absolute favorite series from its inception.)

@JosephW – You have to read the headlines and text properly. The TITLE X-Men was canceled and the TITLE X-Men has been relaunched with a new #1 and the team IN THAT TITLE, X-Men, consists indeed of “all-female”. The articles do not say the CHARACTER TEAM X-Men has been disbanded and reformed. I can understand (and share) your distaste for some of the past storylines, and can appreciate (but not share) your dislike of Bendis, but there’s no need to be obtuse. :)

OMGeez! You mean there’s a reason to give Marvel another chance??!1 I’m flabbergasted!

@ Caanan

wow really smart post. please give examples of how my articel contradicts itself. All i’m saying is all types of art should be allowed in comics without feminazis going crazy.

@ Anonymous

So let’s just censor everything that offends people or irritates the political correctness. How dumb are you to say that its not smart business when it obviously sells or they wouldnt put it in the books. If T&A offends so many people as your obviously intelligent arguement states than those books wouldn’t sell, would go by the wayside and no one would have to worry about them to begin with. The problem is your wrong and they do sell thats why the creative teams include them. lets see how long this all girl x-men book lasts. btw i guarentee you watch movies/shows that titilate you and they can still tell good stories while playing to fan serive as you call it. If you say you do your a hypocrite and if you say you dont your a liar.

It’s always heartening that the people with impeccable grammar, spelling, and punctuation also have the irrefutable arguments.

Or perhaps I mean the exact opposite.

Here’s a handy guide:

The number of media examples like Twilight and shirtless guy being fan service for the ladies can be counted on one hand.

The books that Kelly (and many of the rest of us too) finds offensive and talks about are designed to be read with one hand.

Perhaps total sales on ALL comics would be better if the comics most prominent in many comics stores didn’t offend half the population as soon as they walk in the door.

And Kelly’s not against bringing teh sexy when it’s appropriate. She’s against teh sexy as the sole reason for a cover or a book’s existence.

Mind you, I like J Scott Campbell’s work (in small doses), he seemed like a nice guy when I chatted briefly at a con, he had huge lines all damn weekend, but his work is aimed at a certain segment (of a certain segment) of fandom.

And X-Women might have been used if it hadn’t JUST been used for the Manara collection of stuff. And he’s certainly a “one-handed artist” (note, I do not mean this literally).

And I like the XX title, because it has mystery and it reminds me of that Blonde Redhead song. So there’s that.

I’d say we’re not quite there yet. While I like the approach Wood personally is taking, it seems Marvel is still pushing the “omg, it’s a team of girls, yay!” aspect. I’m not sure I’d notice (or care) that the team was all female if they weren’t pushing it, because all these characters are well established X-Men from over the years. It’s not like half the team is new female characters thrown together just to make it all female, these are all established, GOOD X-Men, and since NOW! has been pretty good overall, I’ll be checking this out.

Plus, like Drancron said, the idea that an all female team is the one that gets to babysit…well….

But I have faith, and it’s a good sign that Marvel is listening, so there’s that.

‘Course, hopefully we’ll get another panel like that one in Uncanny Avengers 2, where Rogue explains how she can get loose from the trap she’s in. Ugh!

[…] Mission Accomplished?, Kelly Thompson (She Has No Head): This year we’ve got an all female X-Men team. Only a few years ago we had the Marvel DIVAs. Have we won? […]

@ Double V

Y’know, I had a lot more to say to you, and I had it typed out too. Fucking computer glitches.

Instead, I’ll get right to the point – you’re a jackass, and if the medium loses fans like you as it evolves and you refuse to, then so be it. Because for every fan like you that they keep around with this fan service BS, they lose like three more potential customers. They only have things to gains by alienating assholes like you, and god bless the writers and artists that do.

While I agree with the points of this article, I would hope that Sacasa not be overlooked as the great writer he is. He was probably asked to do Divas on spec. I encourage everyone to read his entire “Marvel Knights 4″ run. Easily one of the five greatest runs in Fantastic Four history.

Congratulations on getting breast reductions for cartoon characters. I’m sure all those years of your life were worth it.

well, the Marvel Divas book did admit they were trying to tell a certain style of story and so probably just shoe-horned some characters in.

I am excited by this book on so many levels. First, of course, as a comic fan. As this team was revealed, there wasn’t a character on this book I don’t enjoy. Also, I hate to admit, the “Novelty appeal” hit me, to have an all women X-Men team? How cool could this be?

Next, I am very excited as a retailer. My male customers will of course love this book, it is made up of some of the coolest X-Men members of all time, but, it will also bring more ladies onto the book. And that is exciting. I recently had a customer come in telling me he wanted to get his 12 year old niece a comic with a strong female lead, that was a good role model and wasn’t all T&A. I wandered around my shop dumbfounded for the most part, looking at title after title popping with T&A whether it was a Zenescope comic (A LOT of which I enjoy, don’t get me wrong. I think that the stories being told in them are fun, but they are clearly fan-service covers), or one of the mainstream ones from Marvel and DC that show the characters as sexy first and heroes second.. I felt like there was nothing in my store that met his criteria, and that frustrated me to no end.

Then I thought of Princeless, and made two new fans of that title, his niece AND him.

But, had this title been out, I feel confident this is something I could have handed him, and as long as the violence isn’t over the top, made him a happy customer. I look forward to that moment I get to show it to him, and hopefully get to hear stories of his niece’s reaction.

For all the backlash from people like Double V reacting in typical “Let the industry do what it wants and show me something that gets me going” — let me just say, the industry is finally GETTING IT. And this is about to be a whole lot more profitable for the industry as a whole. And we are all about to get a helluva kick ass X-Men book out of it.


I’m curious, what are your thoughts about Fearless Defenders, which is coming out really soon?

Wait, nevermind, I missed your message. Sorry.

Though, Cullen Bunn and Will Sliney are doing a Q & A on Thursday about the book on the CBR Forums.

“All i’m saying is all types of art should be allowed in comics without feminazis going crazy.”

1: Feminazis? Yes, because wanting equal treatment for all genders is JUST like invading Poland.

2: All types of art should be allowed in comics without entitled sexist trolls going crazy, but whattaya gonna do?

But enough of that. Great article Kelly!

I remember a huge uproar about New Avengers all-male team, but an all-female team comes out and it’s almost universally aplauded.
Is it really so dificult to strive for equality?
Why must one group even if it’s an oppressed one always come out on top?
Portray the women in mixed gender team books better instead of segregating them in their own book.

Great post Kelly! Your analysis of the differences between this book and Marvel Divas is spot on, even if I thought Marvel Divas was a great read.

While I love Brian Wood and Oliver Coipel’s work and am counting down the days to the first issue of X-Men (volume 3?), I’m less enamored with the marketing. I’d like to see what would have happened if the Marvel marketing machine hadn’t have mentioned that it was an all-female cast and let the media figure it out on it’s own.

As Mr. Wood has mentioned many times in his interviews, it wasn’t a stretch to bring together a great group of women in the X-books. Hell, until he mentioned it I didn’t even notice that his first run on X-Men was nearly all female because his writing and the history of the characters makes it natural for the women to take center stage.

I think I’m just the guy who just doesn’t think that a female led cast of an X-Men book is that special because the women are already at the center of so many stories. For myself, nearly every dream cast I create for writing the X-Men features so many female characters I struggle to shoe in a male cast member.

I like Psylocke’s new costume a lot better too. The bathing suit concept was absolutely silly. The commenter near the top who argued that Psylocke’s old costume was “more realistic ninja attire” doesn’t have historical grounding. Whatever the role of historical ninjas in old Japan, they didn’t run around adventuring with crime fighters in spandex bathing suit one-piecers. And, considering Psylocke is supposed to be inhabiting a Japanese woman’s body, and considering that on average Japanese women are smaller and more petite than european women, the odds are that Psylocke ought to be 5’5″ and not particularly buxom. Yet, she fills out that swim suit like a star from Baywatch.

Besides, her new costume makes her look more serious, and Psylocke is depicted as a serious character who doesn’t clown around. If she were to “dress light” I’d imagine she’d wear shorts (not a thong) because that’s what active women in real life wear when they go hiking. I’d personally only wear long pants while adventuring…. I’ve walked through too much bramble and briar to appreciate shorts while “adventuring”…

I don’t know that DIVAS deserves the bad wrap it’s being given here. Re-read the solicitation copy and the interview excerpt. This was not a book being targeted at straight teenage boys. This was supposed to be a straight-woman-brought-to-you-by-gay-men book in the spirit of “Sex & The City.” And if you read the thing, issues of quality aside, I seem to recall that’s what you got.

I think the issue is more than women who are already buying super-hero comics tend to have similar taste in comics to the guys who buy super-hero comics. A comic like DIVAS, that’s obviously an attempt to broaden the market, won’t be any more appealing to current female readers than it will be to current male readers. And I can certainly see how current readers might be insulted if they thought the message was “I’m not supposed to read X-MEN, I’m supposed to read this.”

But if you start from the premise “It wasn’t for you either” I think it’s much easier to appreciate what they were trying to do.

execution matters less and less in comics these days. I feel like books like Hawkeye get glowing reviews before the issue is even available. People have been calling Young Avengers a great title for months now. We’re all stoked here and honestly it’ll take a tremendous effort for this book NOT to get people gushing at this point. That solicit is pretty boring (child could be savior or anti-christ?) and yet, it’s on my list.

I agree with the article’s first point very much. It’s a sign of good faith having a creative team people actually care about. No disrespect meant to the creators, but I don’t feel like Marvel had any real expectations for something like the female Ghost Rider. Although I’m not so sure Marvel is “getting it right this time.” It’s a no brainer situation. Artsy writer (yes Wood has written many X comics, but people would be very excited for Brian A, V, or B) and an artist so popular they randomly raised the price on Thor with his name. No business degree necessary.

@Loca: No problem, it was an easy comment to miss.

@Tim H: Well said on all points, especially the costume.

@Drew Melbourne: I agree that DIVAS was supposed to be a different book thank Wood’s X-Men, but I still stand by the fact that putting that cover on it and promoting it as they did, drove away most if not all potential female buyers – and that is particularly egregious if the idea WAS in fact that this was “for straight women brought to you by gay men in the spirit of Sex & The City”

It’s unfortunate too, because Zonjic was a PERFECT interior artist for that book, but if you were driven away by all the pre-material (cover, interviews, and insulting solicits) you never would have known.

“You have my money Marvel, and if you keep this up (and DC keeps up their current path) you’ll soon have ALL my mainstream comics money.”

I know DC are on a patchy run, but I think they still make books worth consideration: Batman, Dial H, Animal man, Batman INC, Batwoman. Not to mention Vertigo books like American Vampire and the Fables books.

I am very excited for this book. It’s the first Marvel Now! title I’m counting down the days to. The only thing that would make it better is if Jean Grey(the best of all X-Men) were on the team.

I think “X-Men” is meant a relative term, or something like that. For example, “good will towards men” means all humans, not just males. An all female team is an interesting idea that’s not done very often. I’m not sure about an all-female X-Men, but I’d like to check it out if I get the chance.

Kelly, I’ve never read your column before, but — as a comics fan AND as former editor — I truly loved this piece and I think I’m not only going to continue to read you each week, but recommend you to both my fiancee and my friends — male and female — as well — (all comics or manga lovers). Do you have a Twitter as well?

Onto the matter at hand, the original solicits for this title intrigued me but after reading your column I’m on-board. I used to be a rabid X-Men fan, but gave up on them as Claremont and Morrison and Fraction drove me away over the last decade and Bendis, Brubaker & co. simply started writing better Marvels. I’ve heard good things about Brian Wood though, and have enjoyed Coipel since “House of M” and “Thor,” so I’ll likely check this out.

The only thing I’ll disagree with you on is the costumes. Rogue looks fine, her original costume is always better than the Jim Lee look. But the others. Ugh. Whatever this red overcoat thing they’ve had Rachel in since Avengers v X-Men just looks bad (side note: is she still going by “Marvel Girl”? I did like that). I’ve never been on board with mohawk Storm, and the costume she’s wearing looks a little too “Grace Jones” to me. The thing I liked about the costume Storm has worn for most of the last decade is that it looks like her classic costume without showing as much skin (not that it matters how much skin she does or doesn’t show, as I think her powers protect her from extremes). And as for my favorite, Shadowcat, I get so mad that everyone just draws her in the standard blue-and-gold X-Men suit and not her own costume. That’s been happening since “Excalibur” ended which is going on 16 years now. There’s really no reason Kitty — the teacher (who fought Xavier for years on having her own identity) — should dress the same as Pixie or Armor — the students.

As for Psylocke, I really don’t care what she wears because she hasn’t been written well by ANYONE since 1990. But your column, Wood’s interviews and Marvel’s solicitations have made me even reconsider her.

But costumes aren’t important here, characterization is. So I’ll be anxiously awaiting the release of this. “All-New X-Men’s” premise underwhelmed me, and the “Uncanny X-Men” reboot looks appalling (although that could simply be my intense hatred of all things Cyclops and Emma) so I’m looking forward to having a good X-Men title again.

Side note to the above poster (catsmeow): I have to disagree, I’m SO GLAD Jean Grey is still dead. Enough was enough with her. They went to the death and rebirth well far too many times with that character and I’m happy Marvel has just let her be for going on ten years now. I simply don’t get all the fans “Clamoring for Jean’s return” Marvel thinks there are. Who are these people? Because everyone I know is happy she hasn’t returned as of yet, misguided time-travel plot aside.


Thanks so much for your comment – I always especially love to hear from people who are working or have worked in comics/editing/writing/etc.

And I do wholeheartedly agree with you on Kitty’s costume. She well deserves a redesign/update – that said, her costume from back in the Excalibur days was pretty damn boring, so I don’t really want a return to that. I don’t love Rachel’s look – it’s a bit too busy for me, but at least it’s fairly practical and covers her. Since you don’t like Storm’s new look you probably wouldn’t want Anka redesigning Kitty and Rachel, but I would LOVE to see that. :)

Yes, you can follow me on twitter at: 79semifinalist

And my personal blog is here: blog.1979semifinalist.com

Also, I would be totally remiss if I didn’t say “BUY MY BOOK!” ;)


@ Tim H

I’m not saying I’m against the new costume, I’m just saying the old one is a classic. And the fact is, old school ninjas did wear “similar” attire on assassinations (something Psylocke has been doing more and more of recently. It’s a little disturbing when you look back on where she started, kind of depressing too….). It’s not practical in all situations, but at least there’s something of a basis for her old costume being as skimpy as it was, whereas no other female superhero does. Plus, it was PURPLE! I love that color, it should be used in a lot more costumes. Still, I’m all for change, this look could work. I’d personally like to see how Lopez would draw it.

@ Jeff
Where were you for Yost’s Psylocke mini, Remender’s UXF, and Wood’s recent X-men stint? All very good work with Psylocke and all post-1990. You should check them out.

And we’re going to have to agree to disagree on Rogue, since I think she should never wear anything but the green and yellow with the leather jacket. the yellow is a bit more striking than the white and it actually kind of goes with the green. Basically, do the look she had in the Wolverine and the X-Men cartoon, which was the Jim Lee costume but with a contemporary haircut.

Also, I’m right there with you on Brubaker and Fraction. People cite Austen as the worst X-Men writer, but at least he did some good stuff with Northstar and Juggernaut. You can’t find any redeeming qualities for Brubaker or Fraction’s runs besides the fact that Brubaker’s least sucky issues (I won’t say “best” since that implies they were actually good) were during the Messiah Complex crossover, enough that they didn’t bring down the great work of the other writers on the story, and Fraction’s run led to Gillen’s criminally overlooked run on the book, I know some people say Fraction did good work with Emma Frost, but I always felt that she was too bitchy without any of the class writers like Lobdell and Morrison seemed to imbue her with.

Anonymous: Wow. We have to disagree here. Yost’s mini was a trainwreck of epic proportions!

Also, while I will acknowledge that THIS:


is “a thing”.

Most “ninjas” and samurai that we see in both “real” life and media are more like these:




Which are far more in line with Betsy’s current costume than the bathing suit thong.

So I don’t really understand the argument.

“So I don’t really understand the argument.”

Since when are internet arguments supposed to make sense? :p

You know, I was vaguely disappointed when it turned out Brian Woods X-Men comic was going to be called X-Men, not because I felt it was inappropriate (It’s not) but just because I thought XX was really cleaver. But reading his Tweets now, he has changed my mind, the political importance of calling it X-Men out ways the cleverness of XX.

And you know, I actually like the idea of Marvel Deva’s, even if the execution was terrible. I say change the name to something respectable and go track down Terry Moore to write it and you can go some place really meaningful and deep with a Marvel soap opera. For a book like Marvel Deva’s you need some one who really understands gender politics and human relations, and while I am not familiar with Roberto Aguirre Sacasa’s writing, the involvement of J. Scott Campbell tells me we’re off to a bad start. (He’s a talented artist, but on top of the fact that all his woman have the exact same silhouette, -a major no no in comics and animation- he’s not exactly sensitive to how he portrays female characters.)

@ Double V

Wow just, wow. Everything you say amazes me in its pointless wrongness.
You talk about censoring yet you want to censor all criticism of “T&A”? Okay.
You have a right to express an opinion, its completely wrong but your right to be wrong is not in my power to deny.
Perhaps when you’ve grown up and learned the difference between “your” (possessive) and “you’re” (contraction of you are) or maybe when you have lost your virginity you can come back and talk to the adults.
(By the way I usually hate it when people correct the grammar or spelling of others as I think it’s a bit rude but you are such a prick I will make an exception in your case.)

As for the subject at hand namely this new X book. Whoop another X book.
I see the excitement over a book with an all female cast but I also see the danger of “ghettoisation” (not sure of that spelling). I’d rather see team books (that didn’t have an X in front of them but hey ho) that had a good gender and colour balance from the start.
For the most part the X books actually deliver this, so perhaps this opportunity could have been taken to deliver an all female non X book, perhaps even with new characters. But I see why Marvel are taking this step, as someone here already said brand recognition will help sell the book. I hope it does well and gives Marvel the courage to repeat the formula with non mutant newly created female characters.

This isn’t new… the cast is all vintage Claremont and there were huge swathes of his late 80s run on the book where male characters like Longshot, Colossus, Havok and Wolverine all faded to black while Dazzler, Storm, Rogue and Psylocke shone.

It seems the X books are going to take most of my cash.
I loved Wood’s X-men last year and Coipel was the only part of AvX that I loved so I’m pumped for this title.

I don’t think it’s exactly a bad idea, but I do think it will feel tired…and forced…rather quickly.

I was a fan of DC’s original Birds of Prey, from the early days of the Oracle/Black Canary operative/handler duo to a true all-female-team-book. It worked because it started as it’s own thing featuring two characters who happened to be female and over time naturally evolved into a female team book.

This, to me at least, feels forced and exclusionary. Worse, it’s taking a title like X-Men, actually known for it’s diversity, and making it less diverse. Imagine an X-Book solely focused on Wolverine, Gambit, Cable, Iceman, Beast and Angel? It might work for a mini or a story arc, but past a certain point you start to wonder where the rest of the team is? Where are the girls? Why are the girls being excluded solely because of their gender?

I’m not saying the girls shouldn’t hang together some in the regular books, anymore than the guys shouldn’t,
and have adventures that are just girls; but at some point, making a book that’s focus is exclusionary about a team that is about diversity and inclusion is going to feel false and forced.

I won’t buy this book (X-Men #1) unless Greg Land drawing it. Why Coipel????

I don’t like Coipel’s art at all, really really dissapointed with this. :(

@Mike “I won’t buy this book (X-Men #1) unless Greg Land drawing it.”

Alternatively, I won’t buy anything that Greg Land *is* ‘drawing’. I love Kieron Gillen’s writing, but as long as they keep teaming him up with that appalling photomontageist, Marvel is losing my bucks. Thank the gods McKelvie is on Young Avengers.

“Mike” sounds like a troll. (I wouldn’t buy a Greg Land book, either.)

I was really scared Pyslocke wearing pants was going to be temporary when Remender introduced it–I hate having one of my favourite X-Men dressed so cheesily and obviously just-for-T-&-A for so long. But people are running with it, and she looks better than ever!

Great cast, great artist, critically adored writer (even though, I don’t think I have read anything by him). I’m excited.

As for the whole “Psylockes ridiculous little costume is realistic for female ninjas” thing, it’s only realistic in the sense that sometimes they had to dress to seduce, not in the sense that they trundled through Siberian snowfields in itty bitty one-pieces. Her old costume was embarrassing. Jim Lee drew a lot of great X-Men and he does have a good eye for design, but this was just shocking. She should have gone back to her armour/cloak combo ASAP after Acts of Vengeance.

I’m surprised that no one has mentioned that Psylocke’s original ninja/Jim Lee costume was an obvious homage to Frank Miller’s Electra costume. It’s about time that she has her OWN costume.

@ kelly

One of those links was to a samurai page. Not sure what that has to do with ninjas other than they’re both Japanese. All I was saying is that ninjas, according to Shogun, a book that takes its references from actual history instead of Hollywood/Hong Kong action movie costume cliches, has their ninjas dressed in thongs. That’s it, which does provide something of an actual historical precedent for Psylocke’s admittedly very risque outfit that she’s had since 1990. But whatever, it’s about time for a change.

And really, you didn’t like Yost’s mini? It felt a little padded, but I was entertained plus she went through an emotional arc where she dealt with a lot of the baggage she’s built up since Claremont first started fucking with her, plus kind of set her up for the excellent Uncanny X-Force. Ah well, agree to disagree….

@ Anonymous, it was arguably Niceiza and (especially) Lobdell who fucked Pyslocke immensely. The whole new body/action junkie thing made sense as it was written on the page (regardless of how temporary the costume should have been), then Niceiza made it unbelievably complicated with Kwannon and then Lobdell put the final nail in the coffin was the Crimson Dawn nonsense.

Claremont’s whole point was seeing her evolve from where she started as a basic telepath into the warrior she always wanted to be. That made sense. Body swaps and ‘The Crimson Dawn’ made no sense, it just made her unnecessarily complicated . During the 90’s who was Pyslocke? What was her point?

@ Brodie

I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I was coming off as criticizing Claremont, I more meant he just created a lot more baggage for her (which you can’t deny he did). Also, I do have to give NIcieza for TRYING to do something ambitious with Psylocke, so while it in and of itself was an underwhelming story in the best light, I can’t fault him for ambition; guy aimed high, so he gets a pat on the back for that. And Lobdell….. I like the guy’s work for the most part, but even I can’t defend that CD was pointless. Although the actual adventure of getting the CD stuff w/ Angel and wolvy was fun and you can’t go wrong with Joe Mad! art doing that kind of story.

I am so looking forward to this title. I’ve always been a huge fan of the female X-Men (especially Storm). I have to admit that I did think at first that the title should be called X-Women. But I realized that was a flawed opinion.

I think it bears mentioning that this argument has been going on forever. I think it really began with the tv show Charlie’s Angels and the coining of the term “Jiggle TV,” which also led to terms such as “bad girls, ‘T&A” and “cheesecake.” There’s nothing wrong with a woman being sexy. But their is a fine line between sexy and cheesecake. And comics aren’t the only medium where this is an issue. It’s all over. From magazine covers to tv shows to movies. it’s embedded in our culture.

I should mention that I’m gay, so I think that I see the whole argument over T&A a little differently. I notice it, of course, but it doesn’t really bug me either way. I’ve never seen any female hero from Marvel as anything but a strong person, despite how they may be drawn. I think that’s why I’ve always like Storm. She’s never let anyone control her and even losing her powers didn’t stop her. And when she has to make a hard decision, such as killing Callisto or Marrow, it’s always a last resort and not without deep thought or consequence. By the way, no one is happier than me that Mohawk Storm is back. (As an aside, I’ve always been curious how some readers think that Storm must be bi or gay because of her close friendship with Yukio. Why is it to women can’t be friends without someone thinking they must have a deeper relationship?)

I would like to make a couple of points. The first in regards to Marvel Diva’s. It should be pointed out that the writer Roberto is gay (not an excuse of course). I don’t think he was viewing the character as another male writer might have. I couldn’t say for sure of course, as I don’t know him. But I don’t believe he meant to sound sexist. After all, the most sacred relationship a gay man can have (other than a boyfriend) is a “fag hag”. My girl friends are always there for me, and I for them. And it’s not just to gossip or check out guys. We’re also sounding boards for difficulties in our lives. And, yes, there is nobody better to party and have fun with.

And yes, the covers were pure cheesecake, but I think that had more to do with grabbing the attention of those perusing the comics at the shop. After all this did come out during the peak of the Great Recession, making the fight for the dollars of readers even more difficult. Not to mention, that’s always been how Campbell has drawn females as far as I know (harking back to the premiere of Danger Girl during the short lived Cliffhanger imprint). You just kind of know what to expect when he draws a cover or interiors. I always found Campbell’s art such a contrast to someone like Michael Turner who made the male characters just a sexy as the females (but IMO, nevery overly sexy).

And also, I’ve never been bugged by Psylocke’s “swimsuit” costume. After her previous two costumes, it seemed more appropriate for her new ninja capabilities or whatever you’d like to call them. And the whole Kwannon/body switch thing didn’t bug me either. What bugged me was the one issue of Adjectiveless X-Men when Psylocke was running or swimming (I forget which) and was wearing a very revealing blue and yellow outfit with nearly her whole chest sticking out. That was nearly obscene. And I was definitely bugged by her “I’m a slut and want Cyclops so very bad” stage. Whether she was being “influenced” by the Kwannon portion of her mind or whatever doesn’t matter. It was just wrong. And the constant repetition of “my psychic knife is the totality of my psychic powers was just plain annoying.

One last thing, you mention the Rogue costume zipper problem. Illogical for her chest to stick out that much and not have the zipper come completely down? Yes. But in Rogue’s defense, she’s spent the better part of 30 years or so covered head to toe for fear that she would absorb someone else’s psyche by accident. So I can forgive her for showing a bit of skin after finally being able to control her powers. Not trying to defend the T&A , just pointing out a possible explanation story-wise as to why she may have worn her costume like that.

@ Drancron I agree with you. I dislike Land’s art, and Dodson as well. Another reason I drifted from “Uncanny” during Fraction’s run, he was paired with two artists I simply don’t enjoy. All of Land’s faces looked traced from the same source … Dodson gives EVERYONE DDs or bigger … including Kitty, Rachel, and Jubilee, who are supposed to be much smaller and skinnier than say Rogue.

[…] X-MEN 1. I mean, you all know how I feel about this, right? I’ll just link you to this. […]

I don’t understand why the Divas book keeps mentioning “suds”. I’ve never heard this term. Does it mean there’s lots of bathing in the issue?

“Suds” referring to soap opera style storytelling — one term that was used for soap operas were “sudsers”. In other words, playing off the “soap” aspect, soap creating suds.

Yeah, it’s dumb.

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