So, DC’s beating Marvel in the visible female character stakes? When the hell did this happen?
Sure, DC hasn’t exactly been getting accolades all over the place for retconning Batgirl out of the wheelchair and for pretty much all of the first few issues of Voodoo. However: that doesn’t get Marvel a pass for getting rid of the only two solo ongoings this year featuring women front and centre.
It’s especially disappointing after all the hoopla over the Women of Marvel. Because, wait. We’re going to devote a whole year to promoting the roster of female characters, then as soon as it’s done, axe the only two female solo ongoings? Despite the fact several lower-performing titles were kept? Should have guessed it was too good to be true after the Greg Land cover for the Women of Marvel TPB.
OK, I admit I didn’t really expect the post-Fear Itself Ghost Rider to do incredibly well, considering how there were complaints all over the place about the very existence of the Fear Itself storyline. How do we boost sales? Everyone is a Thor! You get the feeling the recent Disney merger has taken time away from creative meetings in Marvel HQ. Plus, Johnny Blaze is a tough act to follow, as all the other Ghost Rider iterations have proved.
Now, X-23… she’s a bit of a problematic character to begin with, but Marjorie Liu’s actually being doing a pretty serviceable job. The character’s seen some major shifts since her introduction as Wolverine’s angry, preteen clone in X-Men: Evolution. Later she was a masochism-oriented teen prostitute, she’s been Captain Universe (for a little bit) and she’s been a key member of a secret killing squad, but under Liu’s tenure, her character was definitely being made more introspective and non-comic-reader friendly. It’s nice when an author can acknowledge an only in comics sex and violence past, but in a subtle and measured way you don’t often see in the medium.
Sure, X-23′s apparently being scooted over to the absolutely fantastic Avengers Academy and the absolutely crazy looking New Fantastic Four mini, so we’ll still have more to look forward to in Adventures in Teen Angst if that’s what you’re into. But being on a team isn’t quite the same as heading a solo title, even if it’s a girl-heavy title like Academy. In team titles, you’ll tend to see the characters as they relate to other people in their group, less of how they stand up on their own two feet and deal with problems that affect them (unless someone decides to gift a character with starring role in a multi-arc story). And frankly, there’s a ton of Marvel comics with the team dynamic out there, I want to see something a bit different. Like girls being badass all on their own.
I’m not mad, Marvel. Just a bit disappointed.
Hey, at least there’s always that ABC TV show they’re making out of Alias to look forward to, although AKA Jessica Jones is a pretty rubbish title (also, please Marvel, make a Valkyrie miniseries, I’ll love you forever).
What do you think about Marvel axing their two female-fronted solo titles? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.