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.