The perfect couple?
One of the things that really surprised me when I started blogging was the amount of women out there that read comics, superhero comics. I’ve met women that enjoyed the indie stuff over the years but never the superhero fare. Well, OK, maybe one of my older siblings liked sneaking my X-Men comics, but she was practically in the closet about it and she didn’t actually buy them, so obviously she can’t count. Plus, she’s my sister and sisters NEVER count when considering these types of things. Anyway, The second thing that surprised me was the amount passion females had for DC characters. When I was a kid nobody read DC let alone girls reading DC. There might have been some fan love for Batman but in general DC was considered lame on the playground. Marvel had all the cool and fun characters, like Spiderman, X-Men, Avengers, Hulk and ROM. That changed somewhat after Crisis on Infinite Earths, Dark Night, and Watchmen. A comics company couldn’t be too lame if they published those types of stories. So after that, it was OK to pick up a few issues of say Green Lantern, or the Byrne Superman.
Come to think of it, after seriously strip-mining my memory I do remember one girl from high school that read comics. She was in the closet about it though, and I only discovered her spandex-love after I knew her a couple of years. When she finally opened up to me, I was really surprised and thought, “Cool, a girl that reads comic books” but… she was a diehard Teen Titans fan… I didn’t really know that much about the teen titans other than their appearances in Crisis. She really wanted to discuss the characters with me especially the females like Raven, Wonder Girl, and Starfire however my lack of DC knowledge simply made me made a listener. I didn’t bother discussing my comic tastes, as she didn’t know anything about the Marvel Universe. Our one-sided comics talk was tinged with a certain sadness because her father couldn’t stand the fact that she read comic books and so she had to be very careful by hiding her collection or at least keeping it out of sight.
So, the seed was planted someplace in my subconscious, that girls preferred DC to Marvel. Now besides the obvious answer of DC having more prominent female characters, I get the feeling that something else is going on here like maybe DC is more, dare I say it, womanly? I dunno, like maybe a female vibe/energy permeates the DC universe somehow? Even going so far as to say that DC’s male characters have more of an appeal to women than Marvel’s male characters? …And perhaps that’s why, as a kid, I wasn’t attracted to DC very much?
Now, obviously guys read DC and gals read Marvel so there is no hard and fast gender rule, but I wonder on some symbolic level if there isn’t something to this including concepts like sexual attraction, hero identification and role models. Comprehensive knowledge (which I don’t have) of Joseph Campbell and classic myths would be very helpful in wrangling this out…
I’ve opened the door here for a weighty essay about the Yin and Yang of the big two but actually, I’m kinda stumped on how to proceed. I just don’t have the background to do this topic justice. What do you think?
I would note that if DC does have that goddess energy, so to speak, this might explain why women feel they’ve been punched in the gut by many of Dan Didio’s editorial decisions while Joe Quesada’s are “merely” the standard, sexist slog.
I must be thinking like this because of the Democratic Primary that’s going on.
“My plan for America is DC….”
“In contrast to my opponent, mine is Marvel….”
Hey, wait aren’t they both talking about comic books….