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Mug of Duff – “So, whats it like having a penis?”

Afternoon and happy Tuesday guys.

Last week saw a bit of controversy on the page with the announcement that the much anticipated Wonder Woman movie would not be going ahead at the moment due to the property being considered ‘too risky’ despite the character’s popularity.

Further to this, in our interview we asked Denise Mina if she felt that she was marginalised in the industry because of her gender and the first line of her response  challenged us to ask a guy about his gender.

Then finally Alasdair Watson directed us towards an interview with Kelly Sue DeConnick (author of the current MU Captain Marvel, Avengers Assemble and others) wherein she was asked

Why do you think it’s been so difficult for Marvel to establish a female hero who isn’t –

  1. based of a male counterpart
  2. made to give gender balance to a team or
  3. made to be the love interest of a more popular male hero?

And you know, I can understand why Denise Mina is pissed off. Its ridiculous that we still have to ask these questions. Now, I’m indifferent to Wonder Woman as a character myself but that has nothing to do with her gender (llike Superman I just think she’s too powerful to be interesting) but as a teenager I loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I have no problem with a female lead – particularly in the capable hands of Joss Whedon.

However thinking about it, the only female led comic I collect at the moment is Red She- Hulk and thats only because its a continuation of Hulk which I haven’t bothered to cancel yet.

Batwoman.  Strong female-led book?

Batwoman. Strong female-led book?

Now, I don’t think relentlessly pushing multiple revisions of Ms Marvel, Binary, Warbird or Captain Marvel is the way to go and if you think about it, she’s pretty much Marvels ultimate victim (she’s been depowered, had her mind wiped, been put in a coma, raped, become an alcoholic and is ultimately a derivative from the original captain marvel comic). In fact, the only really strong female Marvel characters I know of are almost all X- characters.

I think DC’s current Batwoman series (which I collect in trade) is an excellent example of a female led book but again, its derived from the Batman property even though it doesnt really have all that much to do with Bats himself.

So, in the year 2013 why is it so difficult for women and female characters to get a toehold in comics without being supported by either a team or a male counterpart? What are the best female led comics out there and why is having a penis still one of the best ways to make a character succeed?

– Stu

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