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Marvel's "Heralds" – Another Sign of The Feminisation Of Marvel?

Marvel's "Heralds" – Another Sign of The Feminisation Of Marvel?After years of coasting on a She-Hulk here and a Spider-Woman there, Marvel seems to be in the business of feminising their output of superhero comic books. And about bloody time too.

Since the arrival of the superhero, comics have skewed more towards a male readership, playing off of certain male adolescent power fantasies. However the arrival of manga and manga-inspired comic books showed mainstream comics a new audience and one that was more likely to be female than not. And with a female geek audience growing up on Twilight rather than Spider-Man, there is a danger that more traditional comics were missing out.

So female-focussed comics that were once a sop to liberal sensibilities, and half hearted attempts to give either comic fan's young daughter or horny boys something to read, may well be a the focus of a new commercial strategy at Marvel Comics.

Marvel's "Heralds" – Another Sign of The Feminisation Of Marvel?More comic book female leads, more superhero female teams, more female-centred comic books, with a lot more female creators too. Girl Comics, Her-Oes, Anita Blake, Dazzler, Galacta, Rescue,  Sense And Sensibility, Spectacular Spider-Girl, The Many Loves Of Amazing Spider-Man, Emma Frost, Black Widow, Sky Doll, Pixie Strikes Back… have there ever been so many Marvel Comics starring female characters? Or so many women writing and drawing them? Some may argue about certain dubious aspects of some of the books, but we're a long way from tentacles and special shaving here. The overall intent and the results are nothing short of spectacular.

It was only a three years ago that Gail Simone was despairing of what she saw as a boy's club at Marvel, a female-creator-unfriendly place with content to match. But in just the last few months Marvel appear to have revolutionised much of their content away from that stereotype.

It seems ironic that Disney bought Marvel to gain instant access to a male teenage market only for Marvel seemingly to go after the Hannah Montana set. But after decades of complaining about male superhero dominance, this is both a remarkable and welcome step.

Marvel's "Heralds" – Another Sign of The Feminisation Of Marvel?

Anyway, where were we? Oh yes.

Attack of The Show announced Marvel's new series Heralds tonight. A five-week female lead title starring the likes of She Hulk, Valyrie, Hellcat, Monica Rambeau, Emma Frost and Agent Brand by Kathryn Immonen and Tonci Zonjic, featuring new Marvel character Francis after an ex-herald of Galactus returns to Earth seeking revenge.

And that Marvel announce this title on G4 by geek icon Blair Butler is an indication of the wider appeal they hope this book will attract.

Marvel? You go, girls.

Video GameE3 2010Fresh Ink

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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