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.
Apparently there are journalists who are so naive as to think that the reason more women comic book creators aren’t successful is because they don’t feel comfortable with the aggressive subject matter of superhero comic books. It has been suggested lately by a number of people (who should know better) that the main reason women aren’t well known, mainstream comic book artists, writers and creators is because women prefer stories about their feelings with more dialogue and less action.
There was a pretty good discussion in the comments of my last post, as well as another CSBG post last week about superhero comics and the issues related to appealing to both men and women, boys and girls. Rather than get into a superheated battle over it, I thought rather I’d offer up a mini-series that I read in trade recently that I felt pretty well covered all those bases – likely to appeal fairly broadly to both men and women. The book, Kitty Pryde: Shadow & Flame, has the added of bonus of being particularly topical since Kitty Pryde was just this past week returned to the X-Universe (from exile in a giant metal bullet hurtling through space) thanks to Magneto (and Matt Fraction) in Uncanny X-Men #522.
I wasn’t always a Kitty Pryde fan, in fact when I was younger I think I alternated between finding her far too bratty and far too perfect. It was frustrating as a reader to see that it wasn’t enough for Pryde to be an adorably cute genius with some of the best mutant powers around and to also possess a pure heart, honorable soul, evocative innocence, AND a be a wiz with computers; but that she ALSO had to become a master martial artist whose fighting skills rivaled the best of the best. It was a bit much for me and it’s true I often felt the ‘Mary Sue’ effect that I have heard some other readers complain of. Over time however, and in the hands of some good writers and artists (Alan Davis of course instantly springs to mind) I grew fond of Pryde, especially as she outgrew her bratty streak. She never became my favorite hero, but I found I genuinely liked her.
And you can check it out right here. It’s part of an art show called Full of Pryde, which served as a benefit for the Oregon Hemophilia Treatment Center. O’Malley’s one of a number of cartoonists and graphic designers involved, including Jeffrey Brown, Dan Hipp, and Brandon Graham. Tom Neely’s winds up contributing my favorite piece.