Something I think all us female comic book readers can admit to wondering at some or another is, hey, where the hell are the chicks? Honestly, they're either gone half the time or secondary characters. And films about them? They are scarce and when they are made, they turn out terrible (see Elektra and Catwoman or you know, for your own sanity don't).
I'm just wondering why. Women can be awesome too and we have been known to kick a little ass with a heck of a lot of grace, poise and one or two witty (but cliche) one-liners.
There isn't really an answer to my question. The same question some fearless female legal adult (maybe) at comic con (dressed as Batgirl) asked a panel from DC COMICS. But she took it a little further than I did. She asked not only about characters but about female writers and artists. Safe to say the DC panel was stunned because their answer wasn't much of one. Only a week later did Jim Lee and Dan DiDio finally release a statement (through the DC blog...that's like breaking up with your girlfriend through an email but I digress) in response to not only her question but also all the other questions coming in from their readers.
"Over the past week we’ve heard from fans about a need for more women writers, artists and characters. We want you to know, first and foremost, that we hear you and take your concerns very seriously.
We’ve been very fortunate in recent years to have fan favorite creators like Gail Simone, Amy Reeder, Felicia Henderson, Fiona Staples, Amanda Connor, G. Willow Wilson and Nicola Scott write and draw the adventures of the World’s Greatest Super Heroes.
DC Comics is the home of a pantheon of remarkable, iconic women characters like Wonder Woman, Lois Lane, Batgirl, Batwoman, Catwoman and Supergirl as well as fan favorite characters like Black Canary, Katana, Mera and Starfire. We’re committed to telling diverse stories with a diverse point of view. We want these adventures to resonate in the real world, reflecting the experiences of our diverse readership. Can we improve on that? We always can—and aim to.
We’ll have exciting news about new projects with women creators in the coming months and will be making those announcements closer to publication. Many of the above creators will be working on new projects, as we continue to tell the ongoing adventures of our characters. We know there are dozens of other women creators and we welcome the opportunity to work with them.
Our recent announcements have generated much attention and discussion and we welcome that dialogue."
But when that statement is coupled with the fact that women creators went from 12% to 1% in the company, it isn't comforting.
If someone yells at me, "But we have Wonder Woman. She's a strong female figure that stands alone in comics", I will kindly ask them to name me 7 more stand alone female heroes before telling them to sit their ass back down in their desk chair. The men outnumber the women here. I'm not saying the men need to go. Not at all.
What I'm trying to say in this muddled thought filled post is that I wish to see more girl heroes that don't have an origin story tied to another male hero and that have their own running series. Sometimes I want to read about a girl who dresses up at night or in moments of great peril and does a little butt kicking by herself or with a bunch of other girls (oh gosh, the days of Sailor Moon seem so far away now). Independence, we fought for it.
They put these girls through hell where they experience a great amount of suffering and tragedy, some of which they don't recover from, but the men in these comics seem to bounce back faster and with a lot less damage. Women may be a small percentage of comic book readership but damn, we at least want to be treated fairly and we want the same for the characters we love.
Comics have such a long history and I feel like in all those years they should have at least learned the proper way to treat a lady.
Other interesting articles: ONE, TWO and THREE, FOUR
(note: title quote from Catwoman vol. 1 #59.)