I would not say Elektra in any way shape or form for this category.
Good article, though, and something I've thought of a few times.
Invisible Woman, She-Hulk, Storm, those are the ones that pop into my head right away.
Personally I think that people read less female hero books because they feel like they're watching porn. I mean some of the angles and covers that those comics have are very similar to Playboy. Heck if you didn't have the Marver or DC stamp I'm sure people would think it would be affiliated with a "gentlemen's" magazine.
That's a big part of the problem right there. Females in media don't have to be naked, they have to be good. They need to have a good back story, attitude accordingly and pretty much be on-par or above their male counterparts.
When's the last time you ever saw a fat superhero chick or maybe one with not so many well defined curbes. Or maybe one with an ugly face or awful hair and teeth? Fact is they're going with the "sex sells" saying as far as female superheroes go. The more curves and torn clothes accompanied by near perfect bodies are sure to grab attention.
I can't wait until things change and we get to see more normal superheroes. People more down to earth and relate-able. When that happens and we'll stop seeing erotic driven covers and combat "poses" from females then we'll have an evolution as far as that department goes.
Also 2 other things:
1) I think Wolverine is way more popular than Hulk.
2) I personally see Storm as the best possible Marvel female superhero.
It may be true that female driven comic books don't sell as well as male comic book characters, but I think this may have more to do with how intrinsically boring many of them are. Many of them are actually defined by their relationships to male peers - as a result, when you look beneath the surface, they fulfill male-driven fantasies (which may be the writer's fault) but don't have a stable personality to rely on. Even Susan Storm, Jean Grey and Ororo fall into this designation. And for better or worse, the entirety of Wonder Woman's character is born from a world where the male/female dynamic drove her culture and racial identity. Unfortunately for her, DC chose to define Amazons as 'women living in a fantasy island without men'. Even The Bride from Kill Bill was a cipher. She had a motivation - but had no personality, and her motivation was driven entirely by the action of a man and his harem of female supporters.
I just see Jean Grey as a better contender than Storm, Ms. Marvel, and Sue Storm.
sue storm deserves the credit. marvel has a ton of great female characters and the problem is that marvel does not do enough to keep them in the spotlight. ms. marvel's book was great. it should not have been cancelled. spider-girl (mayday parker) is probably the longest running female book and it got cancelled. spider-woman deserves her own book. rogue deserves her own book. storm could pull that off as well. she-hulk needs her book back. there are lots of characters that could pull of their own book. marvel just needs to spend more time, talent, and money on the ladies.
most of the X-Woman are noted for breaking boundaries as far as female characters in the comic book medium go, so personally I would say the answer
is somewhere in there. Sue Storm would hold as the companies female mascot if anything in my opinion, but her past representation loses a lot of points
in her case.
I just see Jean Grey as a better contender than Storm, Ms. Marvel, and Sue Storm.
- All 3 X-Men films focused more heavily on Jean Grey's character than Storm's (She was also the first character we see in the film, after a young Magneto, further establishing her importance to the X-Men mythos).
- She's been around longer than Storm.
- Jean Grey was originally named Marvel Girl, showing the creator's original intention to position her as the central female Marvel character (pre-dating Ms. Marvel)
- Jean Grey was the first female X-Men, Marvel's most popular team.
- Jean Grey is considered to be one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, female character in the Marvel universe.
- Jean Grey's story is deeply in-twined with Wolverine's, Marvel's most popular character.
- More so than any other character, Jean Grey's life has had the most major ramifications upon the future of the Mutant race. (Second only to Scarlet Witch, though Phoenix might be the only thing strong enough to undo Scarlet Witch's spell, as we see in Hope Summers.)
- Jean Grey's death was the first and most significant deaths of any major female Marvel character.
- Even in death, Jean Grey remains popular enough and significant enough to be resurrected, in spirit, again and again.
- Jean Grey's has Invisible Woman's demure, thoughtful, and intelligent nature, as well as her telekenesis, and Ms. Marvel's costume and name (The early Ms. Marvel costume is very similar to the early Marvel Girl costume, and the Phoenix costume bears many similarities to the current Ms. Marvel costume) and Mary Jane's hair colour (outside of calling Spider-Man "Tiger", what else would the layman super hero fan know her for?), proving that she is highly representative of the (pre-80s) Marvel woman.
- She takes up 50 percent of the image above.
- If you asked anybody who's vaguely familiar with comics to name the characters in that image above, they will tell you Invisible Woman, She-Hulk (green skin was a give-away), Phoenix/Jean Grey (because they knew her from the 90s cartoon), and maybe Storm (just because she doesn't look like typical Storm there, not because they wouldn't know her).
As far as female superhero books go, I'm currently reading 3 that are on my pull list; however, these books are Batgirl, Wonder Woman and Birds Of Prey. DC titles, yes. I do find DC's female heroes more fun to read, and I've been recently thinking about picking up Zatanna as I heard good things.
Its not strange at all that its so hard to identify Marvel's most iconic female character. The complete opposite if anything, it should be expected. As far as shared Universes go, having an easily identifiable most iconic anything in such a broad sense, is total, total failure and the day Marvel has an easily identifiable female character is the day they should start selling soap to animals. Another similar thread so to paraphrase myself because I am too lazy.Most excellently said!"Marvel can't have a Wonder Woman, nor should they try to, because too many of its female characters actually are competitive with each other, in terms of presence, popularity, and as to how iconic and synonymous they are with the company. The day Marvel has a Wonder Woman, is the day Marvel fails. Having one sole female character people can look up to and appreciate is not a good thing when you can have 3 or 4 of them.Plus Superman was a huge part of Wonder Woman's existence. A lot of male characters are derivative of other male characters, just female characters were unfortunate to have this emphasized with their names. I mean, imagine if Sabretooth was called Blonde Wolverine, would that change the character? Not really, just the perception of the character, then that might change his character over time. People who have the time to look can she She Hulk is awesome, and that Storm is more than the X-Men.Marvel doesn't need a Wonder Woman, and DC shouldn't want one either. Why have a Wonder Woman, when you can have a Wonder Woman, Cassandra Cain, Oracle, Power Girl, Huntress, Big Barda, Scandal Savage, Vixen, etc. Marvel is the same. Why have a Wonder Woman, when they got Sue, Storm, Jean, Rogue, Black Widow, Elektra, Ms Marvel, Sentry and She Hulk!"Iconic can be pretty broad term, and looking over the thread there is plenty of very compelling evidence and intelligent arguments/reasons for a number of characters. This is a good thing.
i think i am the closest thing to a non comic reader over here and i believe sue storm is most iconic character.
i didnt even knew elektra is part of marvel and spider woman even exists. even though i hardly know sue storm she is more common household name than jean grey even tho i grew up watching jean grey in x-men.
I'm almost tempted to say that in Marvel's case there isn't one singular iconic female character like DC does. Sure, there are many candidates that come close like mentioned in this article and the comments but none come even close to matching WW's popularity. I honestly cannot account for why that would be the case though, for surely one would think that one of the hard hitting female characters of Marvel would be at Diana's iconic status by now. Maybe the case is that Marvel never meant for just ONE character to be the iconic female lead and instead wanted to decentralize that popularity into many. I mean if anyone comes close it should be Susan Storm I think considering that she turns 50 this year in comics since first being envisioned in 1961, but I think anyone will agree with me that her iconic status pales in comparison to Diana. Still, even with that iconic status one would think that she would have had that movie or even new show by now, but apparently people are still having trouble trying to translate the Amazon from Themiscyra into live action role. Perhaps someday it will happen. At least I hope it will.Thing is, Wonder Woman's a figure head icon. To my knowledge you can ship some merchandise with her mug on it and non comic readers'll buy it but they and even regular comic readers don't buy her series. I think Marvel's fine the way it is in this respect, I think DC's in worse shape by having "The One!" My only complaint with Marvel, as far as females goes, is that their aren't enough longterm, compelling solo titles. Marjorie Liu's Black Widow was superb and I wish she and Acuna had continued on that title, but inevitably it was cancelled. I'm sure sooner or later X-23 will have a similar fate. Hell, Laura's one of my favs but the erratic quality of the series caused me to jump ship. What Marvel needs is big guns doing titles about some of Marvel's top women. No reason that Storm/Ms. Marvel/She-Hulk can't hold down a title that's as successful as Power Girl's been. Also I'd like to see more women writers given a chance to write women. I mean we have Gail Simone...and yeah, Gail Simone. Another problem is that Marvel as a company is more team focused. Almost all of the female characters I enjoy reading at marvel are part of a team. People knock on Marvel's terrible attempts to market to women, but I gotta say at least they're trying. At the end of the day, this is a male dominated industry and comic shops are boys clubs that more often than not hold true to many of the worse stereotypes about comic book readers. Money talks and what sales is produced, men will buy a Greg Land cheesecake fest before they buy a Black Widow issue that doesn't have her spread eagle on the cover. So until men (the crux of the market) evolve and demand more, nothing will change.
Some might say Mary Jane due to her association with Spider-Man but she's not a superhero.
For the movies and comicbooks, the Invisible Woman: Sue. Jessica Alba helped thrust her into the mainstream . . for a time. I might have said Mary Jane, but I believe that if you introduce a way to use Gwen Stacy, you could diminish her iconic status much easier than Sue. Of course, maybe we could tempt Mr Fantastic with a Gwen Stacy . . . he's such the ladies man on the dance floor.
From a purely comicbook side, I'd say Jean Grey, even when they keep killing her or because of. She's so iconic that we know her for her tombstones.
That's all I got for iconic, the ebb and flow at Marvel seems to wash out most female characters as far as that level, in my opinion.
Yup, I definitely agree with this.
Sue Storm is technically the first one, without a doubt.Ms. Marvel though has always been in my mind their strongest female in personality though. With She-Hulk a close second.
As far as female superhero books go, I'm currently reading 3 that are on my pull list; however, these books are Batgirl, Wonder Woman and Birds Of Prey. DC titles, yes. I do find DC's female heroes more fun to read, and I've been recently thinking about picking up Zatanna as I heard good things.I have always been a big fan of the New Mutant characters - Karma, Magik and Mirage/Moonstar have very well defined personalities without being so similar.In no way am I strictly a Marvel or DC kind of guy; I tend to drop and pick up on either side of the fence whenever I see fit. I do find the Marvel heroines fun to read, and I think they're great characters (Ms. Marvel being my favourite) but I have found it hard to pick up a book that is exclusively for one of Marvel's heroines. I've read pretty much anything with Spider-Woman, I was reading Ms Marvel's book for 12 issues, I read X-23 for a good six issues, I'm currently trying to track down She Hulks and anything else She Hulk related. On top of that my favourite X-Man was Rogue, with Magick, Pixie and Dani Moonstar as runners up, and I'm currently reading the Abnett and Lanning written New Mutants.But all of those awesome Marvel Heroines I listed, I don't read about any more unless they are in a team book. I honestly just don't find the Marvel books written specifically for these super heroines to be that great (though I'm kicking myself for dropping Ms. Marvel). And I really, really want them to be (hence why I'm tracking down She Hulks, etc.). So this does, seriously beg the question: who is Marvel's leading lady? Because technically Marvel's "Big 3" are Captain American, Iron Man and Thor (though I still say the Spidey should be there too as a Big 4, but whatever. He's better when he's alone).I think that Sue Storm would have to be listed as Marvel's main female Superhero since she embodies similar virtues as Wonder Woman. Both are touted as being incredibly powerful beings and are known for being ass-kickers. Despite that, my personal choice would HAVE to be Ms. Marvel. She is, in many ways, the Wonder Woman equal -- personality traits not withstanding. So she would be my pick. Hell, she's even led the Avengers. Also I might be a sucker for girls who can fly at supersonic speeds and hit things really hard -- but she basically has as many powers as Superman in the Silver Age and has the mind of a warrior tactician. She is Marvel's equal to Wonder Woman, and therefore my pick as Marvel's leading lady.
As far as overall recognition of the character, I'd say Storm is Marvel's most iconic female, simply because of her appearances in movies, cartoon, and games which got followings globally even when the comics themselves didn't. I'd even argue she's the most famous comic female on a global scale.
PS. I'm not even a Storm fan, but as a comic fan that has lived internationally in countries where Marvel comics weren't available beyond Spider-Man and imports, people still knew Storm.
@SC said:Agreed. Beautiful.Its not strange at all that its so hard to identify Marvel's most iconic female character. The complete opposite if anything, it should be expected. As far as shared Universes go, having an easily identifiable most iconic anything in such a broad sense, is total, total failure and the day Marvel has an easily identifiable female character is the day they should start selling soap to animals. Another similar thread so to paraphrase myself because I am too lazy.Most excellently said!"Marvel can't have a Wonder Woman, nor should they try to, because too many of its female characters actually are competitive with each other, in terms of presence, popularity, and as to how iconic and synonymous they are with the company. The day Marvel has a Wonder Woman, is the day Marvel fails. Having one sole female character people can look up to and appreciate is not a good thing when you can have 3 or 4 of them.Plus Superman was a huge part of Wonder Woman's existence. A lot of male characters are derivative of other male characters, just female characters were unfortunate to have this emphasized with their names. I mean, imagine if Sabretooth was called Blonde Wolverine, would that change the character? Not really, just the perception of the character, then that might change his character over time. People who have the time to look can she She Hulk is awesome, and that Storm is more than the X-Men.Marvel doesn't need a Wonder Woman, and DC shouldn't want one either. Why have a Wonder Woman, when you can have a Wonder Woman, Cassandra Cain, Oracle, Power Girl, Huntress, Big Barda, Scandal Savage, Vixen, etc. Marvel is the same. Why have a Wonder Woman, when they got Sue, Storm, Jean, Rogue, Black Widow, Elektra, Ms Marvel, Sentry and She Hulk!"Iconic can be pretty broad term, and looking over the thread there is plenty of very compelling evidence and intelligent arguments/reasons for a number of characters. This is a good thing.
no one marvel doesn't have iconic female Character like dc
hmm... interesting question. It seems like Marvel's been trying to revitalize their big-name female characters (She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Woman, etc.). In the public sector thoug, the mainstream, t's probably a toss-up between She-Hulk, Storm, Elektra, and Invisible Woman. Storm became known because of her repeated appearances in the various cartoons over the years, as well as the movies. Same with Invisible Woman (cartoons and movies), but sadly neither or really what would could consider ICONIC. Sue's largely tied to the Fantastic Four, (thus has to share the spotlight) and Storm's been (IMHO) mishandled since the 90's ended. Elektra's well known (when she's hanging out with Daredevil) and respected, (for the most part) but her movie was mishandled completely.
She-Hulk's probably the only one of the three who's had some successful (and critically acclaimed) solo comic runs. But she's yet to be in a movie.
I'd love to see Ms. Marvel in a movie. She's become so different from her original namesake (Capt. Marvel) that she could hold her own movie... if given a chance.
I think it an interesting case of Wonder Woman Vs. all Marvel women. Wonder Woman was specifically created to be icon for men and women to look up to during World War II. Writers struggle to come up with stories because she is more god-like than human. All of the characters at Marvel seem to have human flaws (and oedipal thing they did to Miss. Marvel was completely insane).
My choice: Rescue! (Pepper Potts)
you don't necessarily need one iconic female character for marvel. Just several well written ones. I thought the black widow series was excellent while it last (ps marvel please bring it back) and currently the x23 series is very entertaining. in general though all these characters need is a great writer to give them some terrific stories.I absolutely loved Liu's Black Widow, and Swierczynski's run was also very solid, but I knew as soon as Widow Maker started it was over for that title :(
Storm, Invisible Woman, and Jean Grey are most iconic, not necesarrily in that order), Ms. Marvel is the closest to Wonder Woman as far as abilities goes, and as for personal favorites I would have to say Kitty Pryde, Illyana Rasputin, and Hope Summers
i also agree with @SC, that is well said and really should be true. Yet we have to understand why Wonder Woman is so iconic in the first place. I'm not sure who was the first female hero for DC but it very well could have been Wonder Woman herself. Lets look at what made her so iconic.
She is a leader, she is independent, she is strong and can stand her ground with just about any male hero. Also we have to realize to be iconic means they stand for something bigger. Just like Captain America or Superman. Being a positive role model also helps with this.
With that said we have to see who has those types of qualities on the marvel side. Then we can make a strong conclusion as to who would be considered as the most iconic.
So if you don't read comics with female leading characters, it's because you're such a weak-willed wussy boy that imaginary females with power intimidates you....OR...it's because the mysoginistic comicbook industry promotes the male characters better?
Here's an alternative for you to consider, that doesn't instantly render me a mysoginist, or a simpleton.
When I read a comic, I like to get a breif vicarious thrill by imagining myself as the title character. I like to imagine myself as the one who punched Darkseid's lights out, or it's me who just reignited the sun with my heatvision.
I don't much care to imagine myself in a battle-bikini, swinging my Double D's all over the place. So while I enjoy scantily clad comic women when they appear in other titles, they are not the primary reason I buy comics. I buy comics for a breif moment of fantasy escapism.
Now i'm sure there are more than a few men in the world who enjoy imagining themselves as women. That's between them and their psycho/sexual-therapists.
I...and I assume, a majority of the buying public...do not.
Incidently, that's probably why the overwhelming majority of comic heroes who are minorities don't sell well either, though I think that's a tad more inexcusable. It's hard for you to imagine yourself in an opposite gender role, but it shouldn't be such a leap to imagine yourself in another skin color role.
This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.
Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.
Use your keyboard!
Log in to comment