There’s been a story in the news recently about a girl of 11 (Rowan Hansen) who wrote to DC comics complaining about the lack of female superheros in their output.
She’s also quite scathing about the impracticalities of bright pink body-suits in a world where batman needs body armour…
DC comic’s response was to send her a drawing of herself as a superhero (here). Nice gesture, sure.
Not as nice as the whirlwind of free publicity they got out of it and the opportunity to shout a bit more about whatever projects they’ve got lined up (Wonder Woman apparently has a bit-part in an upcoming movie – although it’s not clear whether she’ll retain the sexual subtext of her 1970s TV appearances – I seem to remember her carrying a “whip of truth” at that time).
Either way, the celebration of DCs response is fine, and I’m glad they found a way to incorporate it into their publicity machine, but seriously, there must be a way to make a female superhero who doesn’t put sexuality at the front of her persona. I like catwoman as much as the next man, but balance her with something else.
I mean, Ok, most male superheros do have a sexual element (superman, batman, spiderman all have their sexual appeal – the hero,the bad-boy and the geek respectively) but it doesn’t define them in the way it defines the female ones.
The comic book audience does famously have a bit of a male bias (as “the big bang theory” tells us), but, come on – you don’t grow your audience without taking a few risks, DC, and under the radar there are graphic novels with a greater range of character.
A female hero doesn’t have to be politically “right-on” and tiresomely stayed but there must be some way that girls can save the world, surely – and DC comics presumably spend all day, every day thinking about this stuff, so they should have been able to come up with it.
The publicity is nice, and well done for responding, DC but now it’s “money where your mouth is” time!