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Off My Mind: Female Characters Made From Male Characters

Why do we have so many male/female versions of the same characters?

I would imagine it is a difficult thing to create a new character in comic books. Especially since pretty much every idea has already been used. If you're looking to make a new superhero, what can a publisher do? How about make a female version of an existing character? 
 
This was a topic that came up between me and Nightwatcher. Why do we have so many male and female versions of the same character? It could be to attract more female readers to comics. It could be that guys like seeing women in tight clothing in their comics. Maybe it's to add a "softer touch" to all the superhero action. Or maybe it's just to cash in on a successful idea. 
  

   
What are your thoughts on male and female versions of the same character? Are there any that you like more than the original? Do you think the 'new' character should have the same traits and goals as the original or are they better off doing their own thing?

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Posted by Glak

Usually it seems like a real lazy way for someone to make a new character 
However if the female/male version of the character has their own unique personality, them I'm all for it 
However if they're just like their counterpart or the exact opposite, then fuck that

Posted by Multiverse

Yesterday I happened to look at how many comic book characters are female. According to what I could figure out from excluding the men from the list of total characters I got a figure of about 20% of characters being female. This number does not distinguish among heroes, villians, supporting characters, and derivative characters, or include characters not listed on the site. Nonetheless, two conclusions seem to be reasonable. 
 
1. In general, comic book stories tend to be about men and to reflect their interests. 
 
2. If comic books are to truly reflect women's experiences or to be more about women then about 50% of characters should be women.

Posted by Alpha_Lantern_2814

forgot super boy and super girl

Posted by G-Man
@difficlus: If anyone would be Lady G-Man, it'd be my wife. But I refer to her as G-Woman. 
Posted by difficlus
@G-Man: ahhh i see my apologies... 
Posted by AMP - Seeker of Lost Knowledge

Finally, a topic I can sink my teeth into. I have notice this sort of thing mostly in DC Comics:
 
RAVAGER (ROSE WILSON from GRANT WILSON, BILL, WALSH, and WADE DEFARGE)
SPEEDY (MIA DEARDEN from ROY HARPER)
HAWK AND DOVE (HOLLY AND DAWN GRANGER from HANK AND DON HALL)
DR. LIGHT
CRAZY QUILT
ROBIN
 
It seems that FEMALE character grab MALE reader's attention for sexier attractions. Sometimes I wish that it were less women for MALE CHARACTER names.

Posted by AMP - Seeker of Lost Knowledge
@fesak: Who is who in this pic?
Posted by Decept-O
@tonis said:
"Not sure what's worse, the dude that looks like a lady or the lady that looks like a dude. Would Lady G-Man have a spotlight column here called 'The G-Spot'?  Oh and you forgot Superman, he's been femanized several times. "

L......M.....A.......O  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Edited by DEADPOOL

Quick, someone make a "Lady G-Man" account. 
 
Anyway, yeah, it really is just publishers trying to capitalize on a character's popularity, making some "new" that's also pleasantly familiar. But also because of that familiarity, that character is more likely to be successful. 
 
And for the most part, female counterparts are usually only similar enough to the male counterpart in that they can gain popularity, but are otherwise usually different enough to be a completely different character besides superficial appearances. Like Hulk and She-Hulk, Hulk is a larger dumb bruiser whose answer to every problem is "smash." She-Hulk on the otherhand, while being more appealing to most male readers, is smart and skilled, the polar opposite of Hulk. Even Spider-Woman is completely different from Spider-Man. There aren't many that are almost identical, one of those is Lady Deadpool, but that's of course because she literally is Deadpool, lol. Of course the more I see of her the more female-oriented differences I see from our male Deadpool.

Posted by Decept-O
@AMP - Seeker of Lost Knowledge:
Just to add to your great list, there'd also been a female Doctor Mid-Nite once, and I believe Dr. Fate.  Dr. Fate had a male and female share the body simoultaneously.  ( It was lame ).   
 
There are plenty more.  Some are cool, though, I don't mind it at all. 
Posted by Decept-O
@TheMess1428 said:
" @G-Man: Lady G-Man looked kinda creepy. Don't ever do that again. "

Could not agree more.  
 
I wonder, though, does G-Man dance in front of his mirror at home wearing that get-up along with the Wonder Woman tiara I know he has? 
Posted by lorex

Yes most super powers have been done over and over again so I think its really the quality of the writing that makes any difference if the character is male or female. 

Posted by LP

 It could be to attract more female readers to comics. It could be that guys like seeing women in tight clothing in their comics. Maybe it's to add a "softer touch" to all the superhero action. Or maybe it's just to cash in on a successful idea.


 
It's all of it.
Posted by Comicgirl93

Yeah, that's what I'm wondering about too! LOL! Female versions of Male Superheroes!

Posted by Rheged
@Sobe Cin said:
" @Rheged: wrote the statement before I read your latest. SO I didn't catch on that you had mentioned it yet. "
 
NP. I find it difficult to keep up, myself.  There's always more things posted while I'm typing.
 
@Sobe Cin said:
" @Rheged: kind of happy that Ellis left the Thunderbolts. They were getting delayed too often. That annoyed the piss out of me. Plus to honest didn't much care for the writing while he was on board. "
Fortunately, I read Ellis' Thunderbolts in trade, so I didn't have to deal with the delays.  He was definitely over the top on the book, and I enjoyed it, but I like villain books like Suicide Squad.  I  also heard he took the Thunderbolts in a different direction, dropping the whole redemption angle, and original Thunderbolt fans didn't care for it.
Edited by NightFang

I like it because it shows how the characters would be if the where made female at first.

Posted by Luthorcrow
@DEADPOOL said:
" Quick, someone make a "Lady G-Man" account.   Anyway, yeah, it really is just publishers trying to capitalize on a character's popularity, making some "new" that's also pleasantly familiar. But also because of that familiarity, that character is more likely to be successful.   And for the most part, female counterparts are usually only similar enough to the male counterpart in that they can gain popularity, but are otherwise usually different enough to be a completely different character besides superficial appearances. Like Hulk and She-Hulk, Hulk is a larger dumb bruiser whose answer to every problem is "smash." She-Hulk on the otherhand, while being more appealing to most male readers, is smart and skilled, the polar opposite of Hulk. Even Spider-Woman is completely different from Spider-Man. There aren't many that are almost identical, one of those is Lady Deadpool, but that's of course because she literally is Deadpool, lol. Of course the more I see of her the more female-oriented differences I see from our male Deadpool. "
I think you hit it on the head.
 
For every female character that succeeds, Witchblade, we see long term characters like Wonder Women struggle when that character should be as beloved as Superman.
 
I think the other issue with female characters in comic books is that writers are predominately male and as well as the readers.  There some writers that can successfully write dialogue for both genders but the fact is we need more female writers.  One because we would get a wider range of stories but more fleshed out, real female characters rather than just male fantasies.
Posted by Rheged
@Mainline said:

" @Rheged: I'm pretty sure you don't catch my meaning.  Wolverine, Punisher, Deadpool, etc. were not created out of some anti-indie creative surplus.  They were stock badguys made to order with all the inspiration it takes to dress a Canadian weasel in yellow, put a skull on a hitman, or give Spider-Man guns, pouches, and a mutant healing factor.  

 And I'm equally sure you don't comprehend my meaning either, as you keep assigning me arguments I never made or implied.  I did not say Wolverine, Punisher or Deadpool were created out of an anti-indie creative surplus, since, and I believe I stated this quite clearly, they were all created BEFORE independent, creator owned publishers even existed.  It's impossible to be anti-indie, when there was NO indie in existence.
 
  @Mainline said:

The indie creativity has nothing to do with the new production (or investment) of characters at all.

Again, just in case you didn't comprehend this the other times I said this, I disagree with the "new production" part of this.  And you simply saying it again, doesn't make it so.  I, OTOH, offered the words of a comic creator, to support my argument.
 
  @Mainline said:

I feel like you're moving the goal posts with the words of Ellis... he's still saying he paints other people's homes and I've said, it's the development that matters because homes are being continually built (again, the genre demands the creation of one-off villains, minor supporting characters, etc... any which have the potential to explode once invested into)... whereas you seem to be arguing that Ellis won't build houses when that's never been the argument... it's about painting them... fleshing them out and making them marketable... and he's doing that irrespective of whether its his house or not.

Excuse me?  My argument from the very first post has been many creators don't want to build new houses, i.e. create new original characters.  Dude.  When you try to tell me what MY argument is, and you've got it completely wrong, YOU are the one who is moving the goal posts.  I also stated, quite clearly that I agreed with your assessment of the perks for WORKING for the big two, i.e. painting the houses which someone else has created, which Ellis statement also supports.
 
  @Mainline said:

Anyways, this is a major derail.  Even if you assume you're right.  Somehow all of mainstream comicdom is suffering from creative hoarding because they're all waiting to jump ship to independent publishing... it basically has no bearing on the lady characters which are all trademark land grabs having nothing to do with the creative process.

I try, though I don't always succeed, to avoid extremes like "all."  Again.  I stated previously, but you chose to ignore or did not comprehend,  "I tend to agree with you on the realities of doing creator owned work.  And I agree that there's definitely a portion of creators, that are perfectly happy just playing with the established toys and drawing a secure check now."  So, no.  I don't think ALL creators want to go to indies.  But there's definitely a portion, as the Ellis quote showed, that do.
 
It does have a bearing, but you don't want to acknowledge it.  My original post was in response to others who claimed that the female versions of established male characters was due to a laziness on the part of writers or lack of originality on the part of writers.  And, I might point out, that people are still posting that opinion.  It's a pretty common opinion, though misinformed.  I don't particularly like seeing creators getting blamed for something that is in a large part, due to the greed of Marvel and DC.
 
I happen to think you have a valid point about the trademark grab by the big two, but unlike you, I don't think that's the ONLY reason behind it.  If so, then we'd have female versions of ALL the established male characters, and we don't.  There's no Lady Daredevil, nor is there a Lady Human Torch or a Lady Stretcho or ... well, there's a lot of male characters in the Marvel universe.  As I said before, the one reason for these female versions that I think everyone can agree on is MONEY.  That the root of your point, and mine, and other posters who have offered their opinions on why we have these knock off characters.
Posted by GREGalicious

Its REALLY NOT a problem to me as long as I like them and they have GREAT stories. I dont really consider most of them CLONES...most have completely different from their male conterparts.

Online
Posted by Mainline
@Rheged said: 
If so, then we'd have female versions of ALL the established male characters, and we don't.  There's no Lady Daredevil, nor is there a Lady Human Torch or a Lady Stretcho or ... well, there's a lot of male characters in the Marvel universe.  As I said before, the one reason for these female versions that I think everyone can agree on is MONEY.  That the root of your point, and mine, and other posters who have offered their opinions on why we have these knock off characters. "
1. There has ALWAYS been creator-owned independent publishing.  The only difference is that Image saw the rise of "rock star" independent publishing which, in many respects, was a burst bubble much like "rock star" game developer boom. 
2. Your creator comment doesn't support your point.  His comments go towards development NOT creation.  You've completely failed to address the fact that the genre demands the generation of characters irrespective of whether creators "want to" or not.  New villains, new supporting characters, and new heroes are a staple.  Whether or not they get developed is the issue, not any impetus towards creating them or not.  Indie has no effect on whether X-Book #277 will have new characters or not because they're genre-required... which is why you get- on the conceptual level- crappy characters like Wolverine, Punisher, Deadpool, etc.  They only get worth their salt during development period which Ellis is happy to do for a paycheck. 
3. Your last point doesn't follow logically at all because it's not just an IP land grab but an economically motivated grab... which requires customary trade usage of the mark in order for it to be protectable.  That means investment.  The reason you don't see it for every character is because they're either not seen as viable marks to protect or there's no fear of theft.  Note my two cited examples (She-Hulk and Spider-Woman) were created out of fear of specific theft by others... not simply spur of the moment. 
 
Look, bottom line, we can disagree on whether there's creative hoarding or not, but the only relevant point is proof that it has any impact on lady character variations which you have none.  Even a generous reading of words from Ellis from years ago does not translate to, "So instead of being professional I created crappy derivative transgendered character concepts so I could shift my actual creativity to my own works."  Far from it.  There's no proven correlation at all between gender variant characters and creative hoarding except for your empty statement posts ago that "suddenly" we have more of it... despite always having had gender variant characters.  Likewise the assertion that there are no more original characters despite repeated showings to the contrary. 
 
Even if creative hoarding is true... it's got nothing to do with the topic.
Posted by greenenvy

Well I intend to  favor she hulk more than the hulk so yeah it depends on the personally, sexiness and story aspect both villain wise and  character wise that could make a good female counterpart. I still favor the hulk but I like she hulk a little  better because she not as popular as her cousin ha ha but she is funny and full of life oppose to the hulk. 

Edited by Baconator

I have no problem with a female version of a male superhero. Wait, if I looked at it THAT way maybe I would. I think G-Man's approach is wrong. I don't think it's lame, lazy and cheap to do this other-gender-version (although granted, it can be) because I see great potential in this. 
 
I think it's interesting to see how a woman deals with her powers and it gets interesting whenever gender plays a part in this. How does a woman deal with feral instincts? What about female super villains and being morally corrupt? It all feels way to clean and pretty whenever women are involved in doing bad stuff. It's always some magic projectile or they kick and punch someone who hardly shows any bruises afterward. Give me Batgirl going overboard, breaking Batman's rule and killing someone. Show me how she beats the Riddler to a pulp and sticking a knife in his heart. Let the girls be nasty bloody and beaten up and not just a little blood on the corner of the mouth. Writers and artists are being too protective of their female characters especially when they create these 'female versions' of male superheroes. The differences between the female and the male version of the same hero/villain has the potential to be extremely interesting. It's rarely explored though. What a shame.
Ps. an example for good gender difference exploration is She-Hulk, I think that stuff is pretty neat.

Posted by Rothbart

Many of the examples he used are already completely different characters though, such as She-Hulk (as he said), Spider-Woman (who has a different origin story, different powers, and nothing to do with old Peter Parker), Namora (who's existed for a long time), Harley Quin (separate yet complementary character to the Joker), etc... And with beings such as Ultron or Loki, they don't have fixed gender anyway, so having them *switch* isn't all that weird. And for She-Deadpool, that's just Deadpool stuff being silly, it's not to be taken seriously :p  
 
Point is, many times when they've made alternate sex versions of characters it's been done really well, and that's the important thing to look at, quality. As long as it makes for a good character they can do whatever they want.

Posted by G-Man
@Baconator: I never said it was lazy or cheap. I did mention how She-Hulk was different than Hulk. I mainly put out the question as to why we have so many. Some of the characters created have been good and different. Others could be seen as lazy.
Posted by Sobe Cin
@Rheged:
being an original thunderbolts fan. I have collected issue 1 through the current number. The only set i never bothered to buy was the fightbolts (don't ask). But yes, he took the story in a completely new direction and I was not a fan of it. But then I blame Bendis who was ultimately responsible for the change.
Posted by Sobe Cin
@Baconator:
did you miss the part where Joker shot Batgirl and paralyzed her?
Posted by Illyana Rasputin

I think female counterparts are cool, and vice versa.

Posted by Undeadpool
@Baconator said:
" I have no problem with a female version of a male superhero. Wait, if I looked at it THAT way maybe I would. I think G-Man's approach is wrong. I don't think it's lame, lazy and cheap to do this other-gender-version (although granted, it can be) because I see great potential in this.   I think it's interesting to see how a woman deals with her powers and it gets interesting whenever gender plays a part in this. How does a woman deal with feral instincts? What about female super villains and being morally corrupt? It all feels way to clean and pretty whenever women are involved in doing bad stuff. It's always some magic projectile or they kick and punch someone who hardly shows any bruises afterward. Give me Batgirl going overboard, breaking Batman's rule and killing someone. Show me how she beats the Riddler to a pulp and sticking a knife in his heart. Let the girls be nasty bloody and beaten up and not just a little blood on the corner of the mouth. Writers and artists are being too protective of their female characters especially when they create these 'female versions' of male superheroes. The differences between the female and the male version of the same hero/villain has the potential to be extremely interesting. It's rarely explored though. What a shame. Ps. an example for good gender difference exploration is She-Hulk, I think that stuff is pretty neat. "
Batgirl WAS like that, the Cassandra Cain version anyway. Until the editors decreed that she be ruined and made extraordinarily vanilla.
Staff
Edited by Doctor!!!!!

The hottest off the mind yet!!! 
Oh Right!!
Posted by harleenquinzel10

Ok so here we go, 
I think the female counterparts are a really good idea. As a girl, if gets me into the comics and keeps it from being a man's world. It definatly attracts me to comics to see that girls can do it just as good as the boys. I'm not necissarily posing a feminist view on this topic, but the girl heros definatly help to bring girls into the comic world. As for the issue on whether or not the female characters should have different goals, i think most of them should. After all, they are different people, they should have different personalities and goals. It keeps the story interesting if there is a little conflict between the male and female hero.
Posted by BlackBuck
@Solitaire: Well, except Huntress was created in 1947 and Hawkeye was created in 1964.... :P
Posted by LyonGod

That goes to show you... a good enough writer can bring back any concept.

Posted by fbdarkangel

X-23 is not at all like wovie! but she is still my fav!

Posted by Gamer_152

I think Harley is more of a sidekick than a female Joker but regardless it's an interesting issue. Also lady G-Man is terrifying as hell.

Posted by chewbaccazm

most of the time it works sometimes...not so much

Posted by WAM-Hope

I agree with almost everyone here, its kind of overdue the fact of making a female version of a male character. But if its well done then I think one must give it a chance at least.

As of creating an original Superhero is reallt hard, I know, mostly because aside from original idea one must also not make the mistake of making it overpower gary stu. But is not Impossible, in fact, I created one, and a Marvel one