Perhaps laying groundwork for more comic-book movies starring Megan Fox, Marvel is introducing a limited series about four female superheroes (Black Cat, Hell Cat, Firestar, and Photon), called Marvel Divas. (No, for real.)
That’s great, right? The notoriously misogynistic superhero-comic-book industry is finally getting with the times and working on something that will delve deep into the female superhero psyche! I can’t wait to see how these characters deal with the stress of brutal, violent, thankless work, maintaining dual identities, feeling alone and helpless against an endless onslaught of evil.
What does Marvel say about it?
The idea behind the series was to have some sudsy fun and lift the curtain a bit and take a peep at some of our most fabulous super heroines. In the series, they’re an unlikely foursome of friends—Black Cat, Hell Cat, Firestar, and Photon—with TWO things in common: They’re all leading double-lives and they’re all having romantic trouble.
Um. Or it could be about that, I guess!
The fact that comic book companies disdain their female fanbase is nothing new. Most comic readers have had to wonder how a superheroine who is six feet tall weighs 115 pounds and has a waist the same circumference as her head. Project Girl Wonder organized a letter-writing campaign to have Stephanie Brown, Batman’s first female Robin, memorialized in the same way as other Robins who had died in the line of duty; it took almost two years for DC to respond. (Maybe it was busy shunting the Wonder Woman movie project to direct-to-DVD animation?)
Marvel Divas should be an interesting litmus test for the future of women-centric storylines in comics. Obviously if it does poorly, DC and Marvel will point to it forever as an example of why “comics for women” won’t sell. Though, what happens if it does well? Is that better, or worse? Can they trust their numbers when a quartet of hypersexual, anatomically-suspect women proves popular among the young male contingent? Just looking at the promo art, I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of preteen boys cried out in wonder and were suddenly pubescent.
But no! Joe Quesada swears there’s more than meets the eye.
The pitch started as “Sex and the City” in the Marvel Universe, and there’s definitely that “naughty” element to it, but I also think the series is doing to a deeper place, asking question about what it means truly means 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.) But mostly it’s just a lot of hot fun.
Quesada then added, “Plus, as a nod to sustainability and local farming, all four heroines have cantaloupes attached to their chests.”*
* He did not. (But they do.)