Ms. Marvel

The Vocal Minority of Comic Fans Needs to Stop Talking

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There’s a recent trend in superhero costumes for female characters and not everyone is a fan. Over the weekend, two high-profile comic book creators took to the internet to voice their personal dissatisfaction with redesigns for characters such as Batgirl, Spider-Woman, Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, and even the design of new characters like the current Ms. Marvel.

If you enjoyed classic Spider-Man and are not reading this, you're missing out. Source: Marvel.
If you enjoyed classic Spider-Man and are not reading this, you’re missing out.
Source: Marvel.

I’m personally a big fan of the looks for the majority of those characters, with the exception of Wonder Woman. This is because the new costume is objectively horrible. It feels like a mid-’90s rip-off character from a second tier publisher.

Is the goal to make the art as bad as the writing? Because if so, #winning"
Is the goal to make the art as bad as the writing? Because if so, #winning. Source: DC.

But for the others, I’m a fan. Ms. Marvel’s costume makes sense in-story, Spider-Woman’s and Batgirl’s costumes feel like a better fit for the recent portrayal of the characters, and all respect to Dave Cockrum, but Captain Marvel was long in need of an update.

Even if one of my friends did think she had a mowhawk now, thanks to this helmet.
Even if one of my friends did think she had a mohawk now, thanks to this helmet. Source: Marvel.

But that’s my personal taste, of course. And who cares about my personal taste? One of the people involved in this discussion, noted creator Erik Larsen, specifically decries changes made “due to a few voices online.” Over and over, male creators (such as the aforementioned Larsen and J. Scott Campbell) and fans have been decrying these changes. Except two of the architects of those changes have come to clear the record.

First, Stephen Wacker, editor of Captain Marvel, popped up and pointed out that, no, both he and writer Kelly Sue DeConnick wanted the change. One of his reasons?

He's clearly gone mad with power. Source: Twitter.
He’s clearly gone mad with power.
Source: Twitter.

Meanwhile, Cameron Stewart respectfully but forcefully tore into Erik Larsen, to the point that Mr. Larsen has left Twitter.

Photographic evidence by way of TheOuthouser.com.
Photographic evidence by way of TheOuthouser.com.

The cover he’s talking about, btw, is this one. Shudder. And even then the alleged “vocal minority” was not the main instigator. The creative team had raised an issue before this ever hit Twitter. Then, when people defending the cover started making threats, DC decided to pull it.

Which gets back to my issue here. I don’t want to dogpile on Larsen or Campbell – plenty of others have. But what keeps bugging me is the idea that there is a subset of bloggers/tweeters/tumblers who don’t buy the comics but are making complaints and that is what is driving those changes.

One of the great things about the internet is that the sales numbers are out there. February’s list of the top 300 comics show Captain Marvel at #112, Ms. Marvel as #69 & 75 (there were two issues) and Batgirl at #39. Let’s compare that to old runs.

Not on the list? This guy. Source: Image Comics.
Not on the list? This guy.
Source: Image Comics.

The last Gail Simone Batgirl issue was #34, and that was at #60 (although technically a Future’s End special was the last bit published by her, and that went to #26, likely due to the crossover). The first new look issue? #19. Not a bad jump.

There’s nothing to compare the current Ms. Marvel to, as it features a new character, but Captain Marvel was previously featured in a title of the same name. A title with art by cheesecake artist Greg Horn. I have to go back to 2007 for an example, but issue #19 was a respectable #70 on the list (and Savage Dragon was #199, if I’m being fair). This one was indeed higher – almost eight years ago. It was also an issue featuring an actual catfight on the cover too.

I can't imagine reading this in public- and I read Saga on the NY Subway. Source: Marvel.
I can’t imagine reading this in public- and I read Saga on the NY Subway.
Source: Marvel.

Spider-Woman #4, the last issue with her old costume, was #49 in February. It was also part of a mega crossover though. It will be interesting to see the numbers for #5, the first new costume issue.

Looking at these, the sales numbers seem to indicate that if there is a vocal minority, they’re being vocal with their wallets, and it’s enough to boost sales. And that alleged minority is a slim one. The assumption that women don’t buy comics is an ancient one, and one the sales numbers just don’t back up. Market research from last year indicates a strong 46.67% of readers are women. That Marvel and DC might want to make a few books that appeal to almost half their readership is hardly shocking.

Note: I know not all women like the same things. There is no female hive mind just as there is no male hive mind. But, yes, these are efforts by creators and publishers to reach out to their actual readership.

My fellow GeekParent Corrina has a theory on who the real vocal minority is.

“There is a vocal minority that’s messing up comics: It’s the straight white men drawing a line that comics should be all about them all the time.”

She has a point. There are how many super hero comic books out there with ladies in more traditional revealing and/or tight costumes? This trend in the other direction has impacted maybe a half dozen characters. You can’t let a half dozen super heroines be for someone else? Someone who is putting the money down just like you?

Chill the hell out.

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63 thoughts on “The Vocal Minority of Comic Fans Needs to Stop Talking

  1. My daughter is starting to really enjoy the Marvel and DC worlds, so to see the creators possibly realize that the image that they present to young minds may affect their views, is positive in my mind. I like what Wacker provided as reason, it makes perfect sense! Throw in the fact that the female population on readers is yet to be harnessed and it seems like a great move on their parts to fashion super heroes towards being strong women and not just impossible body dimensions and spandex. I hope to get the Ms Marvel and will see what else is offered using your guidelines above around “costume changes”

    1. I really don’t get why people are accusing Fans of the older art style of hating the changes because they think the “Liberal agenda” has anything to do with it. Fans got really pissed a while back when the gave superman an all black suit. It was bullshit and nobody liked it.

      Also, why does everybody hat spandex when female characters wear it? Superman wears it, Spider-man wears it, Batman wears it, the list goes on and on. The reason why super heroes wear spandex is to show their bodies off like Greek statues, gods even, that’s the point.

      1. We’re not “accusing Fans of the older art style of hating the changes because they think the “Liberal agenda” has anything to do with it”

        We’re directly addressing a vocal subset of fans who outright say that is their issue.

        And I’m fine with Spandex. You can portray it well, or icky. For me, Horn is icky.

  2. I am so shocked at the number of people who think that because the “look” of a character has changed, it means that the artist is caving in to some dreamed up PC or liberal agenda. The world has changed, and those in the very very vocal, but also very very bottom rung minority need to move on and realize it.

    10 years ago i wouldn’t have let my daughter read most of the comics out there. Now, there is a wider selection of comics that I would let her read. The totally unnecessary cheese-cake factor is at least a thought in artists and creators minds.

    I want my daughter to be able to emulate those superheroes, All of them, including strong females with leadership and smarts. Sorry if that makes some guys unhappy.

    1. Agreed,

      There’s no secret PC agenda, it’s just that society changes and art tends to follow that.

      Heck, in the 40’s and 50’s, black characters were portrayed as goofy, big lipped, black faced superstitious idiots. Asians had buck teeth and green, yellow skin. How many comic artists today would even think of doing minority characters like that?

      During WW2, Superman was telling kids to “Slap a Jap!” and no one blinked but a few years ago Frank Miller did his crazy bigoted Holy Terror book and pretty much everyone went “WTF Man!”. Just last year, Miller offered his services to Marvel to write Captain America and Marvel said no way.

      Marvel did a survey and realized that 46% of their readers were woman and decided to put out more books that a girl in today’s world could identify with and enjoy. There’s no secret PC agenda, it’s simply a business plan to try and save an industry that’s been limping since the late 90’s.

      Same with the artist, they weren’t pressured into anything, they say so themselves. They just looked around at the current world and decided to draw things and characters that made them comfortable in today’s society.

      And cheese-cake is still out there but it’s done differently. Gail Simone does it well with Red Sonja, same with the team on Rat Queens. it’s just that it isn’t the over the top, almost porn like version that came before.

      The idea that some people are getting super angry about this makes my skin crawl. If they want to go back to the good old days with Marvel and DC, then yep, vote with your wallet. Get Those two companies sales up to where they were before the collector bubble burst in the mid 90’s.

      Until then, I guess they will just have to learn to share some of their toys with the people who are helping to keep the comic industry alive.

    2. It makes this guy happy. The changes make sense. Batman fights covered in armor from head to toe. Why would Huntress wear next to nothing? Also if my son can see these characters as strong leading women and not a pile of bouncy parts, I’ll be very happy. There’s plenty of ways to look at scantily clad women out there. They don’t need to be a main staple of the comic medium.

  3. I read the She-Hulk series that was out around the same times as that volume of Ms. Marvel, and it had Greg Horn covers, too. I got looks reading that one on the subway, believe you me. I wanted to shove the interior art at them and say “See! It’s better on the inside!”

    Horn was Marvel’s go-to guy for superheroine series covers back then. Think about that, and glory at how far we’ve come.

  4. Regarding the Batgirl cover ONLY. Not costume changes.

    I LOVE the Batgirl cover. You know why? Because knowing her history with the Joker,the fear she instill in her, this picture made me FEEL something. Just this one cover made me feel fear, helplessness and straight up terror. I am not a fan of those feelings. But any piece of art that can make you FEEL ANYTHING is okay in my book. If DC was going for an emotional impact, they succeeded with flying colors. Sadly they will not put this cover out even in limited run.

    I understand that today it is viewed in the context of objectifying women or denigrating them. But I think context is SUPER important here. When I visit my church and see Jesus on the cross, we are not saying it was cool to crucify this Jewish guy. In context, we know (subjective I know) that he died for our sins and suffered etc.

    1. It’s absolutely a powerful cover. I understand why it bothered people, but yes, people can vote with their wallets. If the creative team is to be believed, they had an issue because they felt that it didn’t fit the book. For that reason, I am for the change.

      Also: Someone did a remix of the cover. Same exact cover, but instead of looking like she’s about to pee herself in terror, Batgirl is defiant, with a look that says “when I get out of this, you’re going DOWN!”. I want it as a poster.

      1. But why change it because ANYONE was upset? Sure the original artist has scruples and rethought what he was doing. Good for him and his morals. But as an artist, he should not have to apologize for his work. Just a few months ago the world was united behind French artist having the right to make fun of ANY deity or group without fear of being killed in the name of that religion. But one cover comes out that shows a fictional character in distress (most covers don’t even represent the interior story nowadays) and folks start questioning why one would make that cover.

        1. “Good for him and his morals. But as an artist, he should not have to apologize for his work.”

          I can see being perfectly fine with the art, then finding out the team doing the book it was for did not want it.

          I do think he should be able to sell the print for those who did like it, though.

        2. He didn’t apologize for his work so much as understand that as a picture, it’s fine but as a cover to a lighthearted comic book it just doesn’t work. I don’t want pictures of cute fuzzy animals on my copy of Naked Lunch or American Psycho anymore than I want a Joker’s gonna kill Batgirl picture on the cover of a comic that is meant to be a lighthearted response to the grim Frank Miller model.

          1. I don’t know if I would agree if it’s meant to be lighthearted, per se. It’s a pretty grim book (and despite what some think after seeing the art, NOT all ages).

            Just not grimdrarkbloodskin.

  5. To expand on my quote above, as I said in the entire article, I believe most straight white dudes just want good stories and good characters and aren’t obsessed with making sure they’re reading only about people like themselves or need overly sexualized covers/costumes to enjoy superhero comics. The vocal minority is giving straight white dudes a bad name.

  6. I don’t think that anyone needs to shut up or stop talking or “chill the hell out”, straight white men or otherwise. One of the best ways to speak, as has been mentioned by Geek Dad writers, is to speak with your wallet. When my daughter and I encounter things that don’t match our preferences we speak with our wallets loud and clear.
    If great stories with great characters are offered I will, again, speak with my wallet. I might even let my preferences be challenged by a good story.
    I’m excited by the change coming to the industry. Speaking with our wallets will effect real, lasting change, not merely manufactured change that isolates any group.
    Like Geek Mom mentioned above some dudes just want good stories.

    1. You raise a good point. As I said to you on Facebook, I probably could hvae titled this “The Vocal Minority of Comic Book Fans Need to Get Perspective” or “Take a Time Out”.

      But I do think yes, when people are issuing death threats, then they need to chill the hell out.

      1. Yes, if course, death threats are completely out of line and do a disservice to all of the fandom. I overlooked some of your points because I was distracted by the points I already made thank you for drawing that to my attention.

  7. Just in response to Flash, and truly as respectfully as I can be, I can see your point, but the way I look at it is: What would be the reaction to that same cover if it was Superman/Doomsday or Batman/Bane. Would that be something that would be acceptable to comic fans that because of the history of those characters they would be shown as “oh I can’t go on, I can’t fight on”

    I would tend to think that wouldn’t be acceptable in any way by most. As a matter of fact, I have seen some covers that show shock, maybe a “what did you do” look, but not a complete denigration of that character. That cover seems to go for the titilation factor that some people respond to, the female in danger, “they must be saved.”

    My favorite thing right now is the what if Hawkeye was drawn like the female on the cover. It just does show the blatant eye-candy drawing of some artists because it is so out of place, and really they have a place I guess, but I wouldn’t pick up that comic, and read it in public. That is just kind of gross really.

    1. WARNING. The following may not make sense. I get that a lot from my wife. 🙂

      I have seen pictures of Superman/Doomsday versions. Same face on superman etc. While not as powerful to me only because as far as I know, Doomsday never tied up superman (the little things make a difference). I did get why superman was crying in that picture (mostly because Babs was drawn as such) but also because this thing/monster KILLED him. Superman would be rightfully fearful if this monster had caught him.

      I won’t lie. I only read the TPB of the new Batgirl and only the first volume. But she seems like a pretty strong character, but still one with hope and a with emotions. She has family and friends and relationships outside of the Bat family.

      Batman up until the death of his son was rather one dimensional. He never cried/showed weakness. You know why? CAUSE HES BATMAN!(HISHE reference) It got boring. His son brought him back to a believable level. His hunt for Robin story was pretty emotional when he was mourning the loss of not just Robin but his son. As a dad, I was moved. Do I feel it took advantage of parents who lost children in some way? No. These are real life things that can happen.

      The following may not make sense or just be me off on a tangent.

      Does the Joker exist in our world? Not THE JOKER. But you know what? For that college student who was raped/beaten. For that wife who was beaten by her husband and nothing was done to him. For the kid bullied in school. Then yes, the Joker exists. Most of us had a Joker who made us feel uneasy regardless of how strong we feel today. It is what makes us who we are today. Better or worse. That cover showed a raw emotional reaction to Babs literal Joker.

      1. “Batman up until the death of his son was rather one dimensional. He never cried/showed weakness.”

        Have you ever read the old Alan Grant stories? Loved those because Batman did show emotion.

        Interesting post. Thank you.

  8. Why do people feel qualified and justified to get so enraged and caustic at comic book creators? Don’t like what they’re doing? Don’t buy the damn comic. I love many traditional comic characters, but it seems they are being elevated to some sacred status. The level of emotion around the issue is kind of troubling.

    I’m also spending far too much time thinking about the impact of the negative and very vocal backlash. They say any publicity is good publicity. Is it possible that despite the negativity, these comics are gaining more readers than they’re losing due to curiosity and people wanting to see what all the fuss is about? If so, is it possible that changes you/I/we don’t like are actually keeping these characters alive and relevant for new generations? I can’t honestly decide one way or the other if its best to preserve the “authentic” character qualities in favor of new character, or to evolve classics to make them provactive, alive, and relevant.

  9. That sales data says that comic should be doing more of these sorts of comics because £££££s. It’s the same reason we;’re buried in crossovers and it’s a lot easier to find a Marvel/DC comic that’s not Batgirlised than to find one that’s avoiding a crossover, so why worry?

  10. Honestly I’m 50/50 on the topic, while i agree that the female characters are a bit “bare”, i think that its just part of the character.

    Now before anyone lunges at me about “Yeah but little girls should not look at them and think this is the way to dress”, I am a father of two, my oldest is my 9 year old daughter who just loves the Marvel and DC universes.
    Just because her favorite character “Wonder Woman” dresses like a lady of the night (sorry about that but in Justice League: War, they use a much more profane word) it does not mean that my Daughter will walk out dressed like that, with good parenting she knows what’s right and what’s wrong.

    I think the tweet from Stephen Wacker @StephenWacker is just stupid and that his logic is dumb and broken, change the worlds view on a character cause he wants his daughter to dress like a hero/heroin, Its idiotic.

    Also i agree with the above point that its about the story line aswell… Just my opinion.

    1. “I think the tweet from @StephenWacker is just stupid and that his logic is dumb and broken, change the worlds view on a character cause he wants his daughter to dress like a hero/heroin, Its idiotic.”

      Why?

      And how is it logical to tell your daughter: “Yes, Wonder Woman is powerful and awesome and a great hero, but no, you can’t dress up like her. She looks like a prostitute.”

      1. I think its stupid because for many years the face/look of a character was just fine for him, now when he becomes a father suddenly morality hits him in the face, where were those morals all those years? If the character he was changing was something just for him only, i would have been fine with it but what he is doing now is changing it for everyone not just himself.. For decades characters were unchanged, now he wants to play the face of morality?
        I never said that its logical to say that sort of thing to your daughter.. that is your assumption.

        1. I’m going to respectfully take issue with a few things you say.

          1:”I think its stupid because for many years the face/look of a character was just fine for him, now when he becomes a father suddenly morality hits him in the face, where were those morals all those years?”

          For “all those years” Mr. Wacker wasn’t editing a book featuring the character, so that’s kind of a false premise, no?

          1. “For decades characters were unchanged, now he wants to play the face of morality?”

          You’re going to want to claim this on a character other than Carol Danvers, then. She’s had a ton of costume changes. There’s the red and blue, the Cockrum design, the Binary look, the George Perez Warbird design (and that had some variations, like Coipel).

          Also, it was both he and the writer who wanted the change, to the point that the writer was willing to pay the artist for the work on the redesign if Marvel did not accept it. Losing the domino mask and taking a more military “cut” both work with the character. I’m not a huge fan of the hairstyle, but at least it stands out.

        2. Apologies. I didn’t mean to imply you thought it was logical. My purpose in saying the above was to point out the underlying message you were implying with the above story about how your daughter reads Wonder Woman and loves her, but knows better than to dress like her because “she knows what’s right and what’s wrong.”

          That disconnect is sad when you consider that boys who love Batman and Superman or any number of superheroes, can dress like them and pretend to be them, but girls don’t get that option unless they want to dress up like a “woman of the night.”

          I don’t think the desire to fix that disconnect is stupid. And I don’t think changing Captain Marvel’s or Wonder Woman’s costume is a betrayal of their character, especially since being a “woman of the night” is in no way a part of who those women are.

          That being said, I think the new Wonder Woman costume is pretty bad. Wrist spikes? I mean, come on.

        3. You do know people can change right? Its not flip flopping as some folks paint it, but becoming educated and using that education to adjust how you feel. And having children REALLY changes ones outlook on life.

          For example, I used to say the word Retard ALL the time. A lot. Even my wife did. My 5 year old son was born with Down Syndrome. I stopped using that word within a month (it slipped on occasion). I do it out of respect for my son and my friends kids.

          I personally do not throw my feelings about the word at people who use it. They have not experienced what I have in dealing with the negative connotations of that word.

    2. A valid point. But I think there’s room for both sorts of characters, and if it serves the story, dress them however.

      Marvel can publish Angela, a character who is not exactly fully garbed, and also publish Ms. Marvel. There’s room enough for us all.

      1. Is it odd that I don’t mind Angela’s look. In the issue I thumbed through of her new series, it seemed to fit. Might have something to do with the artist. While showing skin, she never seemed like she is drawn to, ahem, show off her assets.

    3. As a lesbian, I sincerely have to thank you for your good, sexism free thought, and for your true words. And bless your 9 year old girl, too, for she’s picked a pretty awesome lady to be her favorite hero. (Wondy’s my favorite too!)

      No dad really wants to see his sweet daughter grow up and dress like a lady of the night. Or at least, that’s what I have been led to believe, however I have no father, so I wouldn’t know for sure. But I do know that chances are, she may want to cosplay one day. It’s at least a thought that passes through most female fans at one point or another. Would you be okay with that?
      Obviously not when she’s so little right now, but in the future, should she want to?

  11. I agree completely. I recently introduced my partner to superhero comics through Hawkeye, Ms Marvel & Captain Marvel following their redesigns / relaunches. Recently, she picked up a handful of other female lead Marvel #1s I’d bought, and rounded them up over here: http://www.noseinabook.co.uk/2015/03/15/female-superheroes/
    What struck her the most about Spider-Woman was that she “is drawn in the most backwardly sexist manner”. I am super-glad that Jessica’s got a new costume & style now.

  12. I’m so tired of this idea that because I happen to be a strait white male my opinion doesn’t matter. I have not collected comic books for many years now and let me tell you why. I was big into X-Men comics I collected everything that I could and have nearly perfect runs of many of the X comics even Uncanny X-Men going back to the Days Of Future Past story line. After the first X-Men movie came out, Marvel making a grab for new readers, decided to change the comics to better fit the movie. I get it, in order to grow you need new customers, but I felt in doing so they completely slapped the loyal customers they did have in the face. I for one felt like that point was as good as any to stop wasting my money on these books where the story line I was investing in now had little value.
    I am betting that is the same reaction the comic book companies are receiving over these changes you mention in this article. For most It has nothing to do with being sexist or whatever. It is that these people, yes some strait white males, have invested a lot of time and money into reading these comics and now the costumes/ story lines just change because somebody else just decided they should. These people have every right to be upset just as you have every right to not like the previous costumes. The comic companies also have every right to change the comics in an effort to grab new readers but they should then expect negative reaction from those who have been spending money on their product.

    1. The fact that you’re a straight (note spelling) white male doesn’t mean your opinion does not matter.

      The fact that you don’t buy the comics? *Totally* does. Sorry.The comics exist for the people buying it.

      The point of my article really was the myth of the “vocal minority” demanding the changes. Three of the cited changes were from the creative teams. No clue about the WW one. So the only people “demanding” the change are the creators. If people don’t like it, don’t buy it. Just like you did. You did the right thing.

      Going on Facebook/Twitter and complaining that a comic you don’t buy anyway isn’t for you? Nah.

      1. Yes Straight sorry. 😉
        It does totally matter that I don’t buy the comics. That was the point of me telling you the background there. I was a very loyal customer and stopped buying the comics for some of the reasons that are happening here.
        I didn’t complain that the mentioned comics weren’t for me. They might be great comics, I don’t know. My point was the people complaining about the changes have every right to do so. I was also stating that it seems to often these days that people get put into a box. Their opinion or whatever doesn’t matter because they happen to be “Straight” white males for instance.
        On the last point, isn’t that the point of Facebook and Twitter? Isn’t that why you post these articles on there? to get peoples opinions/ thoughts/ complaints.

        1. Re: straight – hey, my nickname is “Typo Lad”, so don’t mind me. Just pointing it out.

          The people complaining who don’t buy the comics have no right to complain, and to use the claim that the changes are being made to placate people who don’t buy the comics makes it a bit hypocritical, no? Them, not you.

          We post the articles because we’re attention whores. Wait no, that’s just me.

      1. Its been a long time, I don’t remember everything but I do remember they changed the costumes to the leather ones from the movie. I want to say the took away Rouges powers that she had stolen from Miss Marvel so she would be Rouge from the movie. I’m sure there were other bits I was not happy with but like I said it’s been awhile.

        1. I don’t recall them changing Rogues powers. As I recall, she wasn’t even in Morrison’s X-Men.

          Morrison’s X-Men did have the costumes, but that was almost a full year after the movie. It also was very, very different thematically.

          1. I remember looking for a comic that was similar to the characters/themes/relationships in the movies – they didn’t do that. Ultimate was kinda similar in Rogue’s instance, but it was Ultimate, so of course it would be different than the “normal” Rogue.

  13. At work…so two points.
    – The depiction of women in comics needs to move toward a more modern portrayal.
    – There is a witch-hunt at the far end of the group seeking that move.
    An up-armored Wonder Woman is something I’ve been dreaming of for years. Glad to see it happen. I’d like to see a number of female superheroes get new duds for crimefighting. That said, skinsuits are common to comics regardless of gender. Bare skin, bulging muscles, outsized anatomy, and over exaggerated depictions of the human form are what comics are built on. They’re bigger than life. They’re better than real life. That means you’re going to see men with revealing costumes that reveal a wildly exaggerated depiction of the male body….and you’re going to see it for females as well. That, however, does not mean either should be treated with disrespect and counted as anything less than a fully 3 dimensional character.

    As to a witch hunt….yes. It’s there. Generally it is not populated by people that even read comics. It is that wildly destructive core of people that glom onto causes that they see as righteous in order to help promote the agenda. They have no context or passion for the cause…they want extravagance and attention. They want to feel that they’re the ones ‘making a difference’….or even better they’re pushing impressions for their webpage….or trying to stir up new controversy to get hits on the site that employs them. They are not friends of the comic industry. They are not fans. They are opportunists. Take any iconic Todd McFarlane Spiderman pose from the late 80’s and superimpose an equally exaggerated Spiderwoman. Publish it today. What do you get? Insanity. “It’s sexist. They’re objectifying her! I can’t see the picture because her vajayjay is being shoved in my face!”

    I realize that 140 character, 6 second blurbs and whiz-bang-pow is what constitutes thought provoking journalism in today’s world…. (not a veiled reference to GeekDad, rather said witchhunt) But please.

    1. Up-armoring Wonder Woman is fine. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s an ugly costume. But hey, that’s not a gender issue for me. I think Brett Booth’s Flash redesign is ugly and that the new Superman costume was cute when they did it for Superboy like, a decade ago, but does not fit Superman well.

      As for the with hunt, again, it’s about six characters. SIX characters with different costumes. Costumes that fit the story. And heck, not sure Captain Marvel even counts – it’s still skintight, just not bare.

      If the sales go up, then what you call a “witchhunt” I call “smart marketing”.

      Although how it’s a witch hunt if in all the cases cited it’s the comic creators pushing it, I do not know.

      Thanks for commenting though.

  14. You’re trying to take a very myopic view to address what I was describing as an vocal minority in an encompassing issue. My reference to a “witch hunt” said nothing about specific characters or a tiny sliver of time. It’s bigger than your article and the six characters listed. I’m talking about articles/tweets/videos that have popped up in the past couple of years alongside the legitimate part of modernizing female characters that has been moving forward.

    Changing costumes and keeping it fresh are great ideas. Migrating female heros/villians from 2 dimensional scantily clad pin-ups into better developed and costumed characters are fabulous ideas too. I think they will pay off for both the industry and the readership.

  15. Not a dad yet, but still have feelings on this one.
    I’m sort of a passive comic book geek. Grew up in a small town that didn’t have a book/comic store, so I was limited to the 90’s cartoon serieses. Once I got into college, I collected a bit, but only certain once. Well, once I got the upgrade from Single Man to Married Man, I’ve been trying to get my wife into comics, too. She’s loved the Marvel movies so far.
    So, we head to the local comic shop and… She’s not at all interested in DC and has a mild interest in Marvel. Her opinion about a comic is formed by that first glance at the cover and the only things that seem to grab her are covers that have a woman that’s a) reasonably proportioned and b) reasonably clothed, or something that has overwhelming critical acclaim (e.g. Saga). Anything else, she scrunches her nose at. The only mainstream (Marvel/DC) comics I’ve been able to get her to consider are She-Hulk, Squirrel Girl, and Captain Marvel.

    When they announced Spider-Woman’s new costume, I showed it to her, back to back with the old costume. She instantly perked up at the new costume and admitted interest in it. … Now, she just has a few dozen years of backstory to catch up on. 😛

      1. Yeah… I think I’ll wait until the universe ends/merges/whatever in May and start fresh.
        I think that’s what’s keeping me from reading more comics. Things are so convoluted…

  16. Okay, I have read all the comments and the article so, here goes…
    Wonder Woman’s costume. The classic costume is fine. She is an Amazon. They fight. Lots of clothing can impede that fighting. Don’t believe me? Check out Frank Miller’s 300 and the movie of the same name. Not a lot of armor. Learn to fight and you don’t need the armor.
    All of the other costume complaints; Um, stuff changes. Comic books are always a reflection of the times. It’s the nature of the beast. Don’t like it? Don’t read it. I do wonder about the Spider Woman change and I ask this in the most innocent way possible.
    Where did her breasts go? Decades of a costume where she is an ample, curvy woman and the new costume changes that completely? Seems weird to me is all. Just, really…weird.
    As for any and all complaints about the recent trend of comics/
    There are decades of comics, collected in hardcover, softcover, digital, you name it. Acres and acres of story lines to be enjoyed over and over again. Nothing new is going to change those stories.
    Go read those. Being a straight, white male in his 50’s I have a message for the rest of that group.
    Either embrace change or you are going to be one cranky, son of a bitch for the rest of your life.
    Peace!

  17. Oh yes, the MS. MARVEL costume (engaging in John Water’s level of sarcasm) “Is so original”.
    GOOGLE[ Rogue_Series part by SavageMouse.jpg ]
    I would also suggest reviewing “Rogue_Series part 11 by SavageMouse.jpg” and “Rogue_Series part 1 by SavageMouse.jpg”.
    Golly, she has a costume which strongly suggests she doesn’t like to be touched too. And Rogue even wore Ms. Marvel’s costumes a few times. And Rogue manages to be strangely absent from the latest Marvel lineup.

    I give it 2 years before “Muslim Ms. Marvel” is wearing a dark-color skintight bodysuit, with bright dance-fashion bra & undies worn over the top of them, magically grows huge boobs, and gets a skunk streak in her hair. The faster her book nosedives (and it will heavily) the quicker she becomes super-slutty-dressed Rogue in all but her name (since Ms. Marvel is actually a Skrull or a Dire Wraith – shapeshifting powers and so on…). You may have optimism, fantasies, and “go girl” delusions, but the cynics have seen this nonsense again and again for over 75 years. FEMALE CHARACTER COMICBOOKS DO NOT SELL. Wonder Woman has only survived because of absurd licensing rules and the “general good feelings given from Lynda Carter’s TV series”. But her time is almost permanently at an end for good too (for reasons happening right now in every nation in the world).

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