Marvel’s Romance Comics

I mentioned in my post, Queering Wolverine that I hadn’t been keeping up with the X-Men recently. Truth be told though, I haven’t been keeping up Marvel recently. Comic books are expensive and my philosophy has been that I’ll buy it if I know it’s influential to the Marvel universe or a must-read of some caliber.

If something happens with Marvel comics I’ll know even if I’m not perfectly keeping up with their publishing. And, unfortunately, something has happened at Marvel comics.

Marvel has made the decision to team up with Hyperion and publish two romance comics based on Rogue, from the X-Men, and She-Hulk. The comics are titled Rogue Touch and The She-Hulk Diaries.

The Editor-in-Chief of Hyperion said, “It’s a great time to explore what happens to super-heroines when they are dropped into traditional women’s novels.”

Traditional Women’s Novels? What does this even mean? This is such bigotry. This is literature grounded in women’s difference and in the separation of the sexes. This is based on ridiculous gender roles that hold no bearing on what a woman is. By creating these comic books, Marvel and Hyperion are saying they have found a set definition of the elusive term “woman” and that guess what? What a “woman” is has been in front of us all along because this is a “traditional” idea.

Since when do women need books that are written for some unfounded idea of their identity?

These are two established female superheroes, not some unknown romance heroins Marvel hasn’t written since the 1950s. The ’50s were when Romance comics sold because comic book companies were under constant fire that comics were too violent and were corrupting the youth. Everything but superheroes sold in the 1950s. There are no traditional women’s novels and certainly no grounds to force ideas of womanhood into the comic book genre. Comic books are just starting to break free from heteronormativity, but as a whole the industry is incredibly sexist. The last thing Marvel needs is to isolate a chunk of their fan base by deciding they suddenly know what women want in their reading material.

I think Marvel needs to learn that these “women’s novels” were only women’s novels because up until the early 20th century, women writers were few and far between. Their work was never taken seriously because it was written for women and there were limited subjects available to them to write about because writing might put a strain on the female mind.

Marvel already has a female audience! Adding romance will not expand their audience, but isolate those who want more well developed female characters. It’s time Marvel learned that femininity and womanhood are not characteristics that define a person. Woman does not equal reads romance novels.

Reality Award

Thank you so much to forwomenseyesonly for nominating my blog for this award. There is no better place to read about women’s health and the need for action, than forwomenseyesonly and I cannot praise her work enough. As always, I must thank my best friend and continued inspiration Justina Bradshaw, without whose help and support I would never have worked up the courage to voice my thoughts.

The questions below are ones I’ve been asked to comment on as a recipient of the award. I cannot guarantee they will all be answered with information about my beliefs on feminism and sexuality but, if nothing else, my answers will be honest.

If you could change one thing what would you change?

I would change the way sex ed is taught. I would make the mandatory health class have a heavy component in explaining sexuality and introduce sex as something that is not frightening and is neither a mature or immature choice.  In this ideal world, there would be no slut-shaming and there would be no macho-men encouraged to sow their wild oats. Young teenagers (middle school aged) would not be under the illusion that straight is the only sexuality and gay or lesbian is an insult.
If you could repeat an age, what would it be?

If we’re talking about an age of my life, I don’t believe I’ve lived long enough to want to revert backwards. If we’re talking about an age of history, I have a not-so-small-obsession with Hannibal Barca (not Hannibal the Cannibal) and despite all the terrible risks and severe sexism of the period, I would go back to ancient Carthage approximately 220 or so BC.

What one thing really scares you?

Being raped and knowing that this is a reality for so many women.

What is one dream you have not completed, and do you think you’ll be able to complete it?

My ultimate goal is to write historically focused scripts and specifically scripts for children’s cartoons. If I can’t write for cartoons, I plan to write for film in some way as I believe film and animation are the two greatest mediums for storytelling.

If you could be someone else for one day, who would it be?

I would want to be my brother. As much as it might seem that all I post about is how much we argue, I love him. He is strong willed and strong bodied. He is dedicated to his goal of becoming a personal trainer. For all that we disagree, it is our disagreements that make me want to live as him for a day. Where does he get his ideas? What goes on inside his head when we argue? He is complex in a way I have not been able to show on my blog because I don’t have the insight to even begin to understand it myself.

I pass on the reality award to the following 5 blogs, for their insight and wisdom they continue to share:

Queer Landia

Wild Feminist Appears
Thank you again for all that you do.

The rules to follow if you choose to accept:

  1. Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and link back to them
  2. Answer the 5 questions presented
  3. Nominate 5  bloggers for the award and notify them on their blogs.
  4. Copy and paste the award on your blog somewhere

The list of questions to answer are the same as above:

  1. If you could change one thing what would you change?
  2. If you could repeat an age, what would it be?
  3. What one thing really scares you?
  4. What is one dream you have not completed, and do you think you’ll be able to complete it?
  5. If you could be someone else for one day, who would it be?