I’m actually looking forward to Marvel Divas

There. I said it.

I’ve been avoiding this issue. I figured I’d wait until the comic came out to talk about it. But I do want to bring it up.

At some point recently, you’ve probably read about this. People saw the image, read the whole “Sex in the City” bit and the outcry was predictably understandable.

But I don’t think a lot of people actually read what was being said, or bothered to look a little bit deeper into who was behind it.

Yes, that cover image is ridiculously terrible. Yes, the title is incredibly stupid. And maybe the whole “superheroines do Sex in the City” idea isn’t the most thoughtful, but as a concept goes, it’s not a terrible one.

But let’s move past that for a moment.

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is writing the title. I saw Rorschach Theatre‘s production of his play, Rough Magic, a couple of years ago, and it was awesome, geeky fun with smart, strong female characters and a literate sense of humor. While I am not one who believes gay men can always speak for women, I think Aguirre-Sacasa’s part about the comic being about “to be a woman in an industry dominated by testosterone and guns. (And I mean both the super hero industry and the comic book industry)” is interesting. As a gay man, I think he understands that the hyper heterosexual masculinity can be alienating to anyone who’s not a straight male.

And then, there’s the art of Tonci Zonjic, which is pretty awesome and is something I’d be delighted to see in a comic about young women trying to balance romance and careers while they’re, oh yeah, superheroines. It’s definitely a far cry from that promotional art. (This title seems to have the opposite problem of Marvel’s Pride and Prejudice adaptation, which had a great cover and bad art on the inside.)

Will Marvel Divas be good? I don’t know. But the elements seem like they’re in the right place. I do hope that people who would connect with this comic — those who seem to be the most vocally against it — will give it a chance. I’m going to.

(And yes, Marvel doesn’t know how to market to women. I think we’ve figured that out. I mean, I still want my lip gloss, after all.)

Image taken from Tonci Zonjic’s Flickr gallery. I most definitely want superhero comics that look like that. Tonci Zonjic says this was actually a tryout for the title.

7 thoughts on “I’m actually looking forward to Marvel Divas

  1. If the comic looks more like the image you posted, and not at all like the ‘cover art’ version where they all look like strippers, I will be very happy, and somewhat surprised.

    The Sex and the City model doesn’t have to be a bad one at all. I really like the scenes in Ms Marvel? or Alias? where people are interacting at cafes and such. Humanity and personality are good things. There isn’t even anything wrong with a slice of life style treatment of super heroes. I don’t think this would be exclusively that either. I like Black Cat and Patsy Walker. I am not a Firestar fan, but I liked Monica in her Captain Marvel days. If they are all played as ‘real and distinct’ individuals, then It should be at least worth giving a shot.

    It sounds like they are throwing real and fresh talent at it, which is also encouraging.

  2. Zonjic has a few busty women in his Flickr gallery, but they’re certainly not like the unrealistic women on the cover. Most of his art has the style of the image I used — it’s distinctive.

    I like superhero stuff. I like action. But I also liked the soap opera undercurrent of X-Men or whatever. With the right balance, a comic like this could work, and it could be something that women really enjoy. I can only hope that when it gets closer to the release date that Marvel will improve their efforts in trying to sell it to the right audience.

    I’m being really optimistic, though, aren’t I?

  3. that image is indeed a six-months old tryout for the look of the book- nice catch! the final probably won’t be colored like that but i think you’ll all like it.


  4. No way! I just picked it because I thought it was representative of your work and something I’d love to see the book look like! I’m glad to hear it.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Pingback: [email protected] » Blog Archive » Friday Linkblogging!

  6. I think you’re absolutely right, it’s just a goddamn shame that what looks like a solid team gets saddled with poor marketing.

    I think what stuck in my craw, when I saw the original post, was the fact that a book that supposedly would attempt to portray how women deal in male-dominated industries (ostensibly”superheroes as a metaphor for the comic industry”), and yet it still got saddled with the same type of covers that have been exactly the problem expressed by so many female fans for so long. The contrast just seemed incredibly disingenuous with the supposed stated goals.

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