Ugh, Tim Brevoort, you just made me so frustrated.
Tom Brevoort, Marvel's Senior VP of Publishing, runs an active Formspring account and was recently asked quite boldly what he though Marvel's responsibility was towards its female characters:
Q: Do you feel like you have a social (beyond financial) responsibility to feature more female (or other underrepresented minority) headliners in titles? EX: DC has Batgirl & Woman, Voodoo, Wonder Woman, but Marvel has no book named after&featuring a woman. :
I feel like we've got a social responsibility to feature characters of all kinds, but that doesn't necessarily mean that those characters can or have to be headliners. That tends to be defined by the audience and the marketplace. If all of the fans crying for more series with female leads from all of the companies had supported all the ones that were done in the past, this circumstance wouldn't exist. That said, that doesn't change the responsibility, but ti[sic] may impact on the manner in which that responsibility plays itself out. [emphasis mine]
I like to think that the market will typically handle when companies make unwise decisions. However, I have to really wonder if Brevoort understands that markets change. A lot of the people I know who buy comics now only started buying in the last 5 years. Many women I know stopped buying comics a long time ago because of the way women in comics were portrayed. The market changes, evolves, and grows. He seems to miss that fact.
I buy comics because they have good stories, regardless of the main characters, but I also really get excited for female leads - because it's different, and because it gives a different perspective. Maybe if more of your comics featured females like Psylocke (Uncanny X-Force) that are normal sized, normal shaped, not presented as promiscuous and stupid, maybe women would spend a little more $$$ on the comics.
I read Batwoman and Batgirl because they are gorgeous, intelligent, powerful women who look like they're real. I don't read Catwoman because she is presented in a way that is offensive. I know when I read comics like Batman and Nightwing that the males are the leads, and I'm cool with that. However, when the female characters are presented as mindless sex-bots or major bitches, I'm not jumping on that bandwagon.
I don't want more women as throw-away or secondary characters. I want comics where females are the front-runners, and look like they'd actually be able to do it.
Get your crap together, Marvel!