New Name, New Costume... New Skin Tone?

So while reading the article about the new Spider-Girl series, something kinda caught my eye. I haven't really followed the character after her initial appearances so it surprised me that someone that looked like this...
 



Now looks like this...


Spider-Girl #1

Ummm... what? So she's gone from a dark-skinned brunette to a pale blonde.  I'm hoping that's just some lighting deal with the cover because while I'm not the sort to go looking for racism in comics, an ethnic character looking a heck of a lot whiter when she gets a solo series does set off a few alarms.
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Marvel and Women

 So I was checking out the "Women of Marvel" digital comic entry here on the Vine and noticed it was written by G Willow Wilson. Best known for "Cairo" and "Air," her only other Marvel credit is a story in "Girl Comics." She lives part-time in Egypt and is an expert on the Middle East. That screams "Moon Knight" to me but Marvel sees  "woman." It seems like she's being button-holed into work connected to her gender and even more disheartening peripheral work at that. I've been irked for a little while now how Marvel has been treating female creators and characters as novelties that don't have a bearing on the Marvel Universe as a whole. Besides "Girl Comics" there's "Her-oes" that celebrates the many female heroes in Marvel... by turning them into shallow high school girls.  "Marvel Divas" was all right but is the best way to appeal to female readers doing take-offs of "Gossip Girl" and "Sex in the City?" It just seems superficial to me.  And of course there's "X-Women" that was drawn by an artist best known for his pornographic work involving submissive women.  Yeah, not Marvel's finest hour there. I just don't get this recent trend. Ann Nocenti and Gail Simone did great mainstream work for Marvel. Why the current need for "hey look, it's a girl making a comic!" attitude? It just seems dated and patronizing to me.  When Simone was doing "Secret Six" with Nicola Scott, the reaction wasn't "oh my gosh, a female creative team!" but "this is a kick-ass comic!" Hopefully Marvel moves past this because if it takes being a best-selling author like Marjorie Liu for a woman to get a mainstream gig at there these days, that's doesn't bode well.

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Rated A?

So I find "Avengers Academy" to be a halfway decent book.  Not the greatest but I'm a Gage fan so I snag it. After reading the third issue I noticed that its rated A by Marvel. Now an A rating means ages nine and up. It's one step above All Ages and before Teens and Up. Now in this issue we had a sixteen year old Hazmat about to have sex with her boyfriend, Valkyrie talking phalluses, Speedball self-mutilating, and various creepy inmate talk. I'm no prude, I'm a big fan of "The Boys" after all, but I really don't see how Crossbones telling a minor that he has a girlfriend her age is the sort of thing a nine year old should be reading. Meanwhile the latest "Secret Avengers" is rated Teens and Up but other than a few bodies of people that happened to drop dead, it's pretty tame. This isn't the first time I've finished a book and wondered what whoever makes the call was thinking. Does Marvel assign ratings based on what they think the book should be targeted for and not actually pay attention to content? Or is it random? If the ratings are supposed to help parents decide what books their kids can read, it would be helpful if they were a bit more accurate.

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Come Back, Kendra, Come Back!

So I hate Shiera Hall.
 
Kendra Saunders was a well-crafted character. We watched a troubled young woman became a true hero over the years. She was far more interesting than any of her predecessors and as a result was much more prominent in the DC Universe.  Plus I dug her short air and killer abs. Sure, the post-Infinite Crisis breast inflation was somewhat odd, but overall a great character.
 
Now she's gone. And what's sad in no one in the DC Universe cares. She was in both the JLA and JSA, knew tons of super-heroes, loved some of them, and the closest to a memorial she gets is Arsenal reminiscing briefly about how good she was in the sack.  While she had Shiera's soul for a time, eventually that passed on and she was completely Kendra. So during Blackest Night a woman died, a hero died, and none of her friends care. Carter, whom she told she loved right before her death, doesn't give a damn because he's got his redhead back.
 
And now on to that redhead. So far she's been nothing but a lovey-dovey sidekick flying two steps behind her man.  We got a caricature for the price of a character.  So I'm sendning out telepathic signals to Geoff Johns asking him to ditch her and bring back the Hawkgirl he created, the real Hawkgirl. And that's Kendra.

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Kids These Days...

 ...where did they come from? To be a tad more specific, all these sons and daughters of baddies suddenly running around. Most of them are late teens at the youngest and a lot are adults but their parents have never been shown to be old enough to have children that age. Justine Hammer and Princess Python look the usual late 20s-Early 30s of most comic characters and yet they have adult kids. Same thing with most the parents of the Secret Warriors. The one that really gets me is Death Reaper from the "Dark Reign: Zodiac" mini. Since Nekra and the Grim Reaper didn't meet until she joined the Lethal Legion, that means that means those stories in "West Coast Avengers" and "Vision and the Scarlet Witch" took place around twenty years ago. That pushes a lot of people in spandex into their late 40's-early 50s. Normally I'm not a continuity freak, but Marvel seems to be introducing these characters every few months with a lineage that just doesn't make sense. At least go with villains that look like they're old enough to have full-grown rugrats.

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Time to Say Good-bye?

So I'm thinking of leaving the broke shores of Cali for the Midwest, where I'm originally from. But unlike my move out here, don't think I'll take make comics. My collection has grown so much over the years but truth is I rarely go back and reread. It would be just a hassle. Maybe I'll see if I can get a good price for 'em from a new shop that opened. They don't have a lot of back stock and I know the owner. Got some time to think it over...

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