I will wholeheartedly admit to the fact that I am a huge nerd. The biggest source of my nerd-dom comes from my love of comic books, and it’s because of this love that I find myself drawn to situations such as roleplaying via social networking sites. I myself am a fan of it because it draws both players and followers alike in and gives them a sense of connection and familiarity to their favorite heroes. And it’s within this world of fantastical realism that I’ve made quite an eye-opening discovery.
It’s sort of a given that comic fans are generally going to be male. This has kind of been the given since the invention of the superhero. But you can probably imagine my surprise when I found that Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Wolverine, and many other pillars of machismo from the comic book world were being played by girls. This trend is due mainly in part to the rise of the comic book movie. Because of the success of films like Thor, Captain America, and X-Men: First Class, females are finding themselves drawn into the world of superheroes that, for the longest time, was quite a sausage fest. I personally believe that this trend will move beyond just online roleplaying and into mainstream mediums such as actual comics and films.
The idea of a strong female comic character that could carry her own series has long been considered a misguided idea perpetrated by supporters of women’s rights. But this rise in female readership will, in my mind, undoubtedly cause an up-swell in demand for more strong female characters. Personally, I hope this does become a reality, as I am quite a fan of these kinds of characters. However, I sadly cannot predict the future and can only sit back and see what lies in store for the female comic audience.
(What do you think? Are we girls making our voices loud enough for the big companies to hear us? Join the discussion in the comments below!)