Thursday, June 4, 2009
Marvel and their love of, shall we say "gimmicks"
You know, my last post got me thinking. Thinking about how much Marvel absolutely loves to jump onto various gimmicks. I know, I know, DC is just as bad, as is just about every other publisher in the market, at times, but Marvel seems to really be using the same shtick over and over. Characters we've known and loved for years get re-envisioned, as girls time and time again.
I'm all for NEW strong female characters in the super-hero segment of the market, but sometimes it feels like a novelty for novelty's sake. So, the new Bucky could well be a girl. At least Brubaker is writing this one, if ANYONE can make it work and not come off like a gimmick it's him. So, there's that. But just look at the list of various characters that have become chicks over the last few years in the Marvel U. Black Panther is the first to jump to mind. I don't really understand WHY this had to happen. Black Panther was doing just fine, his book was selling relatively well, and had a decent fan base. Why does the character suddenly have to be female? How about coming up with some ALL NEW female characters or better yet, spend some time and effort developing the female characters they already have in the Marvel U. There have been a few attempts at that here and there over the years, but that just can't seem to make it stick. Very disheartening. How about hiring more female writers to write these female characters? Again, it has happened a bit here and there, most notably Kathryn Immonen has been awarded with a number of writing gigs recently at Marvel. Kudos to her, but I would like to see a bigger female presence at Marvel, at at DC too. There are plenty of women working behind the scenes for comics, many many editors are female, there are a few artists here and there, but let's get MORE women writing female characters. This is not a new complaints, this idea has been batted around a million times, and it does happen occasionally, look at Gail Simone on Wonder Woman, but I want MORE! I would like to see a woman writing Supergirl, and maybe Gotham City Sirens. Nothing against the present writers, they are actually doing a fine job with their female protagonists, but I'd rather see the novelty of more female writers than the novelty of turning various characters into female versions. Anyone remember the female Ultimate Vision character from a few years ago? Or how about X-23. Did we really need Wolverine to have a daughter? Or for that matter, now a son? Then there was that female Scorpian character from a few years back. I don't mind characters like the American Dream or Spidergirl. They have their own mythologies, and to be quite frank, especially when we are talking about Spidergirl, her book has been going for many years in various incarnations. Congrats to Tom, Ron, and Sal for that. Spidergirl can now be read online at Marvel.com and collected at a later date in Amazing Spiderman Family, fyi.
The other notable gimmick that Marvel seems to be using IMO is the word "Dark". Let's see, "Dark Avengers" ok, neat idea, I was on board for that one. "Dark X-Men" and "Dark Wolverine" did we REALLY need these two books? And let's not forget the tag line "Dark Reign" on half of the books that ship from Marvel. I just think a little goes a long way.
So in summation. I'm sick of Marvel's gimmick of turning established characters into female or creating a new female counterpart. I also think the word "Dark" is being a tad bit overused, but that could just be me.