Monday, November 20, 2006

Political Correctness Comes Slowly

In the late 80's, comics went bananas with feminism. Was it the appointment of Jeanette Khan as Editor-in-Chief of DC? Who knows? Alls I know is, it was a good time to be a female character because your possibilities for advancement were huge.

As we guys know, most readers of comics are male. Your average comics con is not the place you are likely to get digits, know what I mean? You'll find the occasional girl, but usually it's sisters and wives looking impatiently at their watches and reminding you that you will be going "antiquing" with them next week as some quid pro quo.

So why did the powers that be at the two largest publishers decide to put women in charge of every team book? Storm dethrones Cyclops at the X-Men? Not overly likely, but arguably possible.

But who thought it was a good idea to put the new Captain Marvel in charge of the Avengers? It was obviously an attempt to gain credibility for a character Marvel Comics had to use every so often lest they lose rights to the name, but could she just be part of the team? Oh, no. She had to be in charge. I would occasionally tune in to see if the Mighty Thor was tired of taking his marching orders from yon wench, but they lost me there. Putting the Wasp in charge made a bit more sense, but again..... Thor? Iron Man? Captain America? The earth's mightest super-team led by one member who's biggest ability is to fly away from a fight at the speed of light, and the other whose most formidable power was to shrink really small and fly away from a fight on little tiny wings. I just didn't buy it, nor did I buy the books.
I would, however, have paid cash money to hear Thor say, "Verily, wenches! Fetch me a tanker of your finest grog and seat yourself on mine Nordic nether regions, and perhaps Thor shall pretend to take seriously your battle plans!" But that didn't happen. Alas. Marvel should have totally hired me to freelance.

Susan Richards leading the Fantastic Four? Let's see..... we have a famous scientist and a trained air combat soldier on the team. Who shall we put in charge? I know: The one with the G.E.D.!

But I can forgive Marvel, sorta. They have always been a little over the top, so I have been coming and going with their books for the past 35 years or so.

The one I can't overlook? Zatanna in charge of the Justice League. Yup. She was the second newest member besides Firestorm at the time, and you can't tell me she had the chops to lead Superman, Green Lantern and the like into battle. But in ish #206, there she was.

I didn't leave the book, though. Why? Because the reaction of Batman to Zatanna's leadership wasn't an intentional "screw you", but I believed the response. "Stop, Batman! I'm your leader!"
I'd show her my right butt cheek as well. "Yeah, toots, YOU try carrying no less than two monthly periodicals single-handedly for over fifty years and maybe I'll get my orders from you. What's that? You say you've never even had a solo book? Hmmmmmmmm......."
He let her have the title, but we know who really runs the show in the League. Go, Bats!

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