Marvel Entertainment: Expand the presence of strong superheroines in the Marvel Universe.
  • Petitioned Marvel Entertainment

This petition was delivered to:

Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Entertainment: Expand the presence of strong superheroines in the Marvel Universe.

    1. Lucas McLean
    2. Petition by

      Lucas McLean

The Amazing Spider-Man. The Mighty Thor. The Invincible Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, Gambit, Wolverine, Nova, Venom...Hawkeye. That’s a sampling of the Marvel Comics characters that are currently starring in their own series. And for some of them, you can make that multiples series. Then add one-shots, frequent crossovers...you get the idea.

            The one thing they all have in common? They’re men. Men with varying fighting styles, skillsets, and even- though most enjoy sporting a few too many muscles- varied body types. We’ve seen relatively scrawny teen Peter Parker face off against the ripped and rampaging alter ego of Bruce Banner (whose bulging green biceps are quite a contrast, I may add, from his healthily average-weight human form.)

            Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for many of the company’s female characters. Rarely do these superheroines, no matter how mind-blowing their powers may be, are able to sustain a solo series. And when they do, they can be hideously objectified, transforming each issue into a sexual fantasy rather than a compelling crime-fighting adventure story that comic book readers should expect. But famous superpowered gals like the Invisible Woman, Storm, and Scarlet Witch are part of teams, some may argue; at least they’re there. Well, Captain America is famously the leader of The Avengers. Hulk was a founding member. And yet every month they get their own comic; what’s to stop Marvel’s strong female characters from temporarily detaching themselves from the company of predominantly male squads as well?

            I’m an avid comic book enthusiast, especially when it comes to Marvel. So it troubles me to see the misrepresentation of women in comics. Filling pages with meaningless eye candy for primarily boy comic book readers should not be a priority for any publisher, as it creates unrelatable and unrealistic role models for female readers. Why can Tony Stark strap on a full suit of armor to battle bad guys, but Emma Frost has to waltz around in a skimpy outfit revealing her improbable body shape, even when she’s fighting off superhuman foes? Miraculously, this wildly impractical excuse for armor still protects her because, of course, it doesn’t matter as long as there’s something for readers to drool over. Note: this goes for female villains, too. Just because the evildoers aren’t moral role models doesn’t mean their portrayal isn’t essential as well. List off the first ten comic book villains that come to mind, and I’ll bet you none of them will be women. It’s simply a fact.

            Marvel isn’t the only perpetrator in this anti-feminism crime, and they arguably aren’t even the worst offenders. But seeing as how they’re currently dominating the box office (with the only notably female fighter being the relatively cliché “tough girl/femme fatale” Black Widow) and mapping out dozens more feature films in the future as well as a string of exciting events within the comics themselves, it seems reasonable to address them first. No more using the excuse that “superheroines don’t sell well” to push aside strong and purposeful female characters; in a society inexplicably still struggling with women’s rights issues, some actions just need to be taken, regardless of any small chunks it might take out of a company’s billion-dollar profit. Not to mention that respectful depictions of women in comics would inevitably attract more female readers, boosting audience size anyway.

            The objectification of comic book women has to stop, and I’m suggesting that Marvel give solo series to more of their female characters without overtly sexualizing them by hiring more women writers and artists to create stories as complex and intriguing as those featured in the adventures of superheroic men. Every step toward equality is important, and a medium as culturally significant as comics is a good place to start the next campaign for social justice.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Marvel set to release new Ms. Marvel series

      Lucas McLean
      Petition Organizer

      Marvel Comics Introducing a Muslim Girl Superhero

      With most superheroes, when you take away the colorful costume, mask and cape, what you find underneath is a white man. But not always. In February, as part of a continuing effort to diversify its offerings, Marvel Comics will begin a series whose lead character, Kamala Khan, is a teenage Muslim girl living in Jersey City.

    2. Marvel announces She-Hulk solo series

      Lucas McLean
      Petition Organizer

      She-Hulk's back with her own solo series in February

      The Hulk is a large, muscular and larger-than-life icon in comic books, and if the creative team of a new She-Hulk solo series has their way, his cousin will be, also. She-Hulk has had a variety of Marvel Comics books since her first appearance in 1980, when a transfusion of Bruce Banner's gamma-radiated blood turned Jennifer Walters into a green clothes-busting, supervillain-punching goddess.

    3. Reached 4,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Noah Hanmer BRISTOL, RI
      • about 1 month ago

      It's quite true that strong females are lacking: they exist, but are not given the same rights. Get them out there, Marvel!

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    • Rachel Curtis MCKINLEYVILLE, CA
      • 4 months ago

      The lack of women in comics makes them uninteresting to me and the lack of female superheros is rather disappointing... it's why I idolize Star Trek. There are more female characters.

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    • Greg Christenson LOVELAND, CO
      • 5 months ago

      Because the female characters are just as badass, just as complex, and just as cool as any of their male counterparts. i've heard dozens of men and women asking to see more of the female characters. They hold just as special a place in ours hearts as any of the men.

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    • Naijha Taylor PHILADELPHIA, PA
      • 6 months ago

      I am writing regarding the portrayal of women in the Marvel Universe. Women seldom get the spotlight in comic books, and when they do, they’re often needlessly objectified, creating a lack of strong role models for female readers and sending a message to male readers that this portrayal of women is okay. Women’s rights issues are making headlines these days, and superheroines in comics are just another problem in our puzzlingly sexist society.

      A solid way to address this issue is to give more of them solo series- while treating their stories with the same respect as is granted to male characters- without objectifying them. We cannot afford to encourage double standards and bigotry.

      Please consider expanding the presence of strong superheroines in the world of Marvel.

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    • William McClune EDINBORO, PA
      • 7 months ago

      Just getting away from "women in refrigerators"- they don't need to make captain America into a woman, but they shouldn't need babysitters

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