Friday, October 17, 2008
First Spider-Girl is canceled, then Manhunter...are comics starring superheroines in trouble? Is it the Minx effect?
Or are comics canceled all the time, and we're just putting special emphasis on these titles because they star women?
It's important to note that both Spider-Girl & Manhunter had repeated "saves" by the publisher, and that in total, Spider-Girl had a pretty long run. Manhunter, at least in the beginning, seemed to be DiDio's "cause," in part because it was a book about a female superhero; so as a result it received more "second chances."
I feel bad about both books getting the axe; I liked Spider-Girl very much, and I'm sorry I missed the Gaydos run on Manhunter. On the other hand, I don't want to "tokenize" comics starring superheroines. I think it is great that they sometimes get a little more of a boost by publishers in the interest of gender fairness. But I am also willing to see this or that book go (or to be reconfigured or have the characters move on to other titles), and not feel it was a "sexist" thing that they were canceled.
I still feel that the best way to court female readers is to just put out good stuff like "Buffy," "Firefly," "Smallville," etc. That's all you have to do; that's what women want. They just want good stories. On the other side of the coin, a superheroine book might appeal more to men than to women anyway. Or a superheroine blog, for that matter.