Support The Leading Ladies of Marvel Comics
About ten months ago I submitted an article to another website that never got published called “Supporting The Leading Ladies Of Comics.” It was about how Marvel was creating a lot of female led books that needed our support because, if we didn’t, we were going to continue to see books with the same three white guys. It seems that my call to arms should have found a home somewhere because most of those female lead books are not doing that well. She-Hulk and Elektra have both been canceled while Storm is well on her way to getting canceled. The only reason Captain Marvel hasn’t been canceled is because of the movie announcement (and, to quote my editor, “The Carol Corps would march on Marvel HQ.”) Those same three white guys I was talking about don’t look the same as they did back in February, but the female lead books in Marvel are in trouble.
Now, allow me to preface that not all of the books that are being lead by the ladies are doing badly. Black Widow and Ms. Marvel continue to have strong sales along with the all-female X-Men team. However, two female lead books have hit the chopping with one on the way and another saved by having a movie tie in. This is a problem and one that we, as comic fans, need to try and figure out.
I suppose that some argument could be made that Elektra and She-Hulk are far from the A-list when it comes to comic book heroes. The Elektra comic is one of the most beautiful comics I’ve ever seen but the story is sort of a mess that could only have niche appeal. Elektra is also too tied to Daredevil, and the movie is still too fresh in peoples minds. I’m not happy that Elektra got canceled, but I’m not entirely surprised. She-Hulk, however, started out a little weak but three issues in the book became one of my favorites. The art by Javier Pulido is lovely and the colors by Muntsa Vincente give it a bright and vibrant feeling that matches the lighter tone of the series. It was a book that took some time to find its footing, but once it did it shot to the top of my pile every time it got released, unlike the female led X-Men books, which I tend to binge read in piles.
Storm, however, doesn’t make much sense to me. I’m not the biggest X-Men fan, the all-ladies team is the only X-Men book I’m reading, so I didn’t pick up the Storm solo series but I figured it was an easy sell. Storm is one of the most recognizable comic book heroines and when I heard her book was in danger of getting canceled I was honestly surprised. If Storm, one of the biggest female heroines, couldn’t sell a book then what hope was there for other heroines?
Marvel is doing the right thing by giving these ladies a chance to shine and it seems like its backfiring on them. Ms Marvel is a runaway hit and Black Widow is doing well, but not great. Captain Marvel’s sales aren’t great. but it’s an exception. Marvel hasn’t given up on the solo heroines; in 2015 we are getting two female-led books spinning out from the Spiderverse storyline: Spider-Gwen and Cindy Moon, aka Silk, and Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy gets her own book. Last month Spider-Woman released the first book in her new solo outing, and Thor is a woman (for the time being). However, I’m worried about the lineup for Marvel and solo female books. Comics are a business and if there isn’t any demand the supply will dry up.
So here we are, ten months later, and I’m making the same call to the arms; support the leading ladies of Marvel comics. Storm has, at time of writing, not been canceled yet and could be saved. Captain Marvel is one of the most entertaining books out there right now and absolutely worth a look. These other books coming out in 2015 have the potential to be great and if we want to continue to see diversity in comics we need to support the series featuring the ladies of comics. There are too many good series, with excellent creative teams, getting canceled that barely have time to find their footing. Marvel is doing the right thing by giving us this diversity so it’s time to support them for it.