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Comics: Not just a man’s world

Women swoop in to save the day

by Frances Hebron/Staff Writer

Lately, there has been a lot of talk in the comic book world. Marvel successfully pulled off the first gay wedding in 2012 between superhero Northstar and human Kyle. Now, they are set to marry off everyone’s favorite “merc with a mouth” Deadpool. Unfortunately, many of the major plots that you hear about these days feature various male heroes, often with females playing only minor roles. Men are also more likely to get their own story arcs, while women play supporting characters to these men. This is because comic books initially set out to please the pre-teenage boy demographic. For a lot of girls, the comic book industry can be a very intimidating thing. I myself did not feel comfortable going into a comic book store alone the first time, and when I finally did go alone, it was assumed that I was there for my boyfriend. That was incredibly frustrating for me, and in fact, I did not want to go back. Many other people face this same discrimination when approaching comics for the first time, because the industry is so heavily male dominated. This, however, is changing.

Just recently, Marvel introduced a new Miss Marvel, a 16-year old Pakistani-American Muslim girl, which is also a step for people of color (POC). Marvel has also released a few new comic books featuring the women of the X-Men. They are just baby steps right now, because many of the stories about women are still being written by men, but they are being written, which definitely important.

The industry has also recognized that there are many women who go to comic conventions, and even cosplay as their favorite superhero. It has been noticed that there is not a lot of diversity when it comes to female heroes with modest, practical costumes. Because of this, many women have complained about the lack of costumes that they are comfortable wearing. This has resulted in more costumes being designed for functionality, rather than displaying a woman’s figure.

Although the majority of comics are still geared towards the male demographic, the playing field is at least beginning to be on the same plane of existence.

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