Superheroes & Their Female Counterparts

“Is it really so difficult to come up with the idea of a superhero who is wholly unique and just happens to have boobs—God knows, illustrators aren’t shy when it comes to those, but more on that later—and you know what else? What makes it hard? The misconception that pretty much all comic book readers are male?”

– Discover Geek

In a world where 48% of women in the US play video games and 46.67% of women in the US make up comic book fans, you’d think companies would get the message by now. Women can be geeks. Women can love playing video games and reading comic books. Women are a part of their audience, and we need these companies to start paying attention.

We want unique and individual comic book characters! We want characters of all shapes and sizes to be represented! We want LGBTQ characters who are strong and can kick ass! We have some comics who have heard our cries and stepped up to the plate like Faith, Iceman, and My Brother’s Husband. We want stand-alone female super heroes!

Can Marvel and DC hear us when they put out super heroes like Spider-Woman or She-Hulk or Lady Punisher: female superheroes who carry their male counterpart’s namesake? The ones who needed to be saved by that hero, who had a romance with the hero that they took their name from? Can these superheroes not stand by themselves without these already famous male names and a similar backstory? They can and they should.

I was recently contacted by Rika at Discover Geek who has done several interviews and reviews for the site. She wrote an incredible article on female superheroes who are famously linked to their male counterparts, romantic or otherwise. She created this awesome info graphic that perfectly illustrates her point that we need female superheroes who stand alone without a famous male namesake.

female-superheroes-done-with-text-copy.jpg

So many female superheroes can hold their own against villains and can still have a unique backstory without bearing an already famous male superhero name. Let’s get off this namesake train and give these superheroes the story they deserve!

What female superheroes do you love? Do they take their name from a more famous male superhero? What comics would you recommend to your girlfriends who need a female heroine in their life right now?

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20 thoughts on “Superheroes & Their Female Counterparts

  1. I started reading bombshells and really enjoy it. I would also like to read captain mar vel and the new ms. Marvel. For original characters, I think non-dc and marvel are extremely beneficial. I’m currently reading rat queens and saga. Saga was recommended to me by almost everyone I know who enjoys comics.

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  2. Part of, and by no means all of, the issue is a tendency for mainstream comics to create “Super Hero Families”. And by that, I don’t mean the Fantastic 4, I mean the Batman Familiy, the Flash Family, the Super(man) family and so on. I was having one of my various comic related conversations with a friend and he was saying to me he was done with DC. I asked why? (I conceded that most of their movies were poor of late, but that isn’t a reason to go off the comics). He pointed at his collection where the Marvel Encyclopaedia and the DC Encyclopaedia lay. He said, “If I pick up the marvel book and turn to a any page I can pretty much guarantee I will get a unique character. They will have an origin and their own name. If I pick up the DC book and flick through pages I will find numerous Bat themed characters, any number of Green lanterns/Flashes/Super characters etc etc”. His point was that the “family” groups of heroes smacked of a lack of creativity. I think when comics were written, most of the readers were male. I think times have changed and it is just taking a little bit longer for comic writers to change with them. With things like the X Men, you have a lot of unique characters, I believe, whose codenames aren’t tied to gender. Case in point, Scarlet Witch, Jean Grey/Phoenix, Magick and so on. Referring to my friend again, he always felt that X Men stories were slightly more adult themed, or at least for a more mature audience. Perhaps there is some more sophisticated thought goes into writing them. Incidentally, I haven’t heard of Lady Punisher, though I have heard not so great things about Iron Heart. That being said, I have not read the character so am not prepared to leap to conclusions there.

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    1. I wholeheartedly agree. The change we’re wanting will definitely take some time, and we’re seeing the changes slowly from other writers.

      I’ve personally never read the X-Men comics but do enjoy the movies (Rogue being one of my favorites). I’ll have to make some time to dig into those.

      Thank you for such a long and thoughtful response! I wish I could get more responses like yours because these kinds of posts are meant to start conversations. I want to hear what everyone thinks about it!

      Like

      1. Thankyou. I wasnt a major fan of the prequels but they had redeeming features and they certainly were better than the sequels. The second blog might have been the post on bizarre brunette’s blog about toxicity in the star wars community

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  3. When I was a child I loved Wonder Woman. She was my superhero role model. I’m not a fan of the direction DC has taken these days and I didn’t enjoy the new Wonder Women movie. X men have some good examples and I love Scarlet Witch, but the Marvel movies seem intent on turning her into a damsel in distress, despite her formidable powers. At the moment, Shuri is probably my favorite super hero (can she even be called that? Would she be the Black Kitten? Ugh) she is super smart, super brave but she is still very much female. I must add, I am not at all up to date on the comics.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad I’m not alone in not enjoying Wonder Woman. Don’t get me wrong; there were parts I really liked and enjoyed but it’s not a movie I can say I love. I also love Shuri. She became my favorite character immediately the first time I watched Black Panther. I can’t get enough of her!

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  4. Marvel has done some unique female Superheroes that have no male counterpart 🙂 Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) and Squirrel Girl 😀 Also, in the Runaways 😉 However, the amount of Thors, Lokis, Gwens, and such can be tiring sometimes. Although I must admit that in many cases I prefer the female versions to the male ones :p

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