Women in Comic Books: Your Opinions?
Topic: Examples of mass media research questions
May 19, 2019 / By Seward Question:
Hi all, I'm currently in the process of writing a project for my final year of university that's to do with the representation of women in comic books.
I've run out of "real life" (parents, friends etc) to ask, so I thought I'd take my research online to you "virtual" people :D
My area of research as I said, is the representation of women in comic books, so if anyone has any opinions etc on how women are portrayed in this particular mass medium, I'd love to know!
Thanks in advance y'all!
Note: I only want COMIC BOOK related answers; no TV show, comic strip, magazine, film, film of a comic book (eg. "Jean Gray from Xmen film was mega hot"), or anything else!
Thanks for your answers so far guys- wow! That was quick!
I've already done like a huge bit on Wonder Woman, so I'm moving on to more recent Comic Books; e.g Tank Girl, the Xmen girls, 2000AD (Judge Cassandra Anderson), Halo Jones, Durham Red, Venus Blue Genes etc.
Does anyone think that the lady heroes are a GOOD role model for girls?
Best Answers: Women in Comic Books: Your Opinions?
Nevada | 3 days ago
Honestly, this is an often asked question. I recently went to Dragon Con. What was funny to me was that fact that a discussion about Superheros and the Justice system quickly became about the way women are portrayed in comics.
Often it seems they either or victims and/or vengeful. The standards for male characters don't exactly apply for the ladies. Example, if Bruce Wayne sleeps around, he's Billionaire Playboy Bruce Wayne, if a woman sleeps around, she is a slut, and it IS who she is. It often seems that writers, and possibly the readers, to see a female character as more than 1 dimensional.
One axiom is she can either be prepubescent, or must be a big breasted femm fatale.
I personally enjoy well rounded characters. I for one am fine with comics having NO sexual content.
One thing I have sadly noticed, the woman is often portrayed as being either overly emotional or a stoic rock, very little middle ground.
One Pinky and the Brain comic book (the first issue) said that women in comics need REALLY BIG (the last word always getting blocked was Breasts).
I always, because of my mother bringing such things out to me, notice how often when supposedly trying to gain respect or be in a respected position, they still have most of their chest falling out. It is rare to see a male walking around in a thong while leading an infantry. A good example, the costumes in Ultimate Xmen number 1. Jean Grey is supposed to be representing Xaivier's newly formed school, and walks around like a street walker. Even her "uniform" barely covers her.
Hope this somewhat jummbled list helps.
I think it depends greatly on the character and the version of the character, as to whether they are good role models.
Example, as you probably know from studying her, Wonder Woman at times had very sexual, at times sexually abusive, undertones.
I think, from what I've seen, in general, the character Storm was/is a nice role model. She's not anorexic, has at least some principles, and doesn't look generic enough to make her totally copiable.
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Originally Answered: Looking for comic books?
Here's the ones I get, and they are all amazing books. The Upper-Case ones (with the descriptions) are the absolute must-reads.
Astonishing X-men, Avengers Children's Crusade, Battle Scars, Deadpool, Generation Hope, New Mutants, Secret Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers, The Avengers X-Sanction, The New Avengers, Uncanny X-Men, Wolverine, X-Club, X-Men,
CAPTAIN AMERICA & BUCKY )about to be changed to Captain America & Hawkeye which should be even better),
DAREDEVIL (written by Mark Waid, this is possibly the most fun book on the shelves right now), THE INCREDIBLE HULK (written by Jason Aaron, The Hulk has seperated himself from Bruce Banner completely and now a very upset Banner is trying to kill him),
THE PUNISHER (this Punisher is written a little differently from any way he has ever been portrayed, this Punisher is a silent force of nature),
VENOM (the Venom Symbiote has bonded with legless military man Flash Thompson to make Agent Venom, who has to juggle alcoholism, family issues, an ever present urge to eat anyone around him, and life as a secret agent),
WINTER SOLDIER (Bucky Barnes, Captain America's former side-kick is thought dead by just about the entire world, which is great because now he can finish some business and take out a few soviet sleeper agents without anyone suspecting him),
UNCANNY X-FORCE (Wolverine leads a secret team of assassins to permanently take care of the greatest threats to mutant-kind without anyone having to know),
WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN (very close to Daredevil when it comes to fun reading level, Wolverine leads his newly opened Jean Grey School For Higher Learning),
X-FACTOR (X-Factor investigations led by Multiple Man [Jamie Madrox], and Havok [Alex Summers] handles the cases that regular private investigators just can't deal with),
X-MEN LEGACY (Just taken over by writer Christos Gage, focuses more on the faculty of the Jean Grey School).
MORNING GLORIES (Morning Glories Academy seems intent on making its students lives a living hell, and that's just when they aren't outright killing the kids, each issue raises at least two questions and you may get an answer every five issues, welcome to the "Lost" of the comic book world), and
BATMAN (written by Scott Snyder focuses on Batman as he is discovering exactly how much he knows about Gotham City, turns out...he knows nothing)
From what little I know, they almost always are very attractive. While male comic heroes seem to be becoming a little more diverse (like geeky, disfigured or undead protagonists as opposed to square-jawed body-builders) it seems that even the normal (eg non-super hero) girls are C cupped hour glasses. Now I don't personally have a problem with that but it's something to consider.
However despite that, whenever a female is the protagonist she seems to be the intelligent, capable type. I guess there isn't too much experimentation going on with female leads (like I described above with the male ones) perhaps because the largely male audience might not respond to a girl who is anything less than a supermodel. Well, that's my rant. Good luck with the assignment and your final year!
Best of luck,
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I think the current hottest female character in comics right now is Black Canary and by hottest I mean on fire. This character has evolved so much over the last couple of years that she basically went from Green Arrow's girlfriend to being one of big players in the Justice League. She is one of the most intellegent characters and her combat skills equal that of only Wonder Woman. She finally got her chance to shine with her 4 part mini run book and now is a permanent fixture in the Green Arrow series, which was relaunched recently as "Green Arrow/Black Canary". It's only a matter of time before she gets her own solo series run and I believe it well be successful.
If you're looking for more, look no futher that DC's "Birds of Prey", the all female superhero group (which also has Black Canary as a lead every once in a while now).
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Ahaha, vurtial people.
Anyways, I think there are pro's and cons to having women in comic books. On one hand, they can be perceived as the hero, but on the other, they are just as often (if not more) drawn as either, insanely skinny, busty, hopelessly-pretty women, or the helpless victim. Therefore, some comic books, I believe, hold some sexist views, but others are fine. I would also like to see more comics with the hero as a woman.
God luck with your project!
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From what I've seen, the diversity of women portrayed in comics is roughly as diverse as women are IRL -- just to a much more extreme degree. I've seen strong women, weak ones, smart, ridiculously stupid, pretty, ugly...you get the idea.
I've read a great deal of comics in my lifetime, and what I can tell you is, any type of woman you want to read about is available in some form -- it's up to you to find the related story that has the type you're looking for in it....
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Originally Answered: Where should I start if I want to read comic books?
Marvel is the worst with not starting at the beginning. DC is alot easier to just pick up and start in my opinion.
But luckily in our day and age after a series of issues are released they usually do a TPB(trade paper back) issue at the end of the run, which is just the collection of the single issues.
Who knows where to start(?), I would just just research the character you are into and read info up to where you are going to start. I would say post civil war.
Cable & Deadpool
X-Men Age of Apocalypse
The Punisher: War Journal
Justice vol 1 - 3 by Alex Ross
Joker by Brian Azzarello
Year One by Frank Miller