So I had an idea for a list the other day relating to superheroes who have the words "boy", "girl", "lad", or "lass" in them (mostly inspired by the Legion of Super-Heroes), and I began compiling the list. What I found led to an interesting conclusion: DC comics has MANY more characters with boy or lad in the name than Marvel( Aqualad, Matter-Eater Lad, Colossal Boy, etc), and Marvel, in relation to the number of young male characters, is much more comfortable tacking girl on the end of a character's name. Out of extant, well-known characters, I couldn't find a single example of a "boy" named character, but I found MANY young females with the title "girl" attached to their name. Spider-Girl, Thor Girl, U-Go Girl, No-Girl, Gorilla Girl to name a few.
As I began to ponder this, several conclusion arose: either Marvel doesn't want to portray men as anything other than the masculine elite (being men and not boys as that somehow degrades them) or Marvel is more comfortable with keeping women in roles that don't allow them to grow up. Women don't need to exert power, especially over men, and so must remain girls.
Now I'll be the first to admit that I am a feminist. I'll also be the first to admit that there are probably more than two solutions to the problem I've shown above. However, I do think it odd that DC seems to be equal in the number of boy/girl characters it has, while Marvel is strongly one-sided. Is Marvel sexist? To be fair, I should also point out that the "lady" characters are heavy in Marvel as well while the "misters" are in short supply (while "doctor" is all the rage). What does this say about the two companies?
So I just discovered today, after doing the scavenger hunt, a character named Offspring who is the son of Plastic Man in the Kingdom Come story line. Not being a DC fan, I had never encountered this character before, but one of the first things that struck me upon seeing him was how similar his costume is to the new FF costumes. White base, black hexagons that are centered in the chest...the similarity is uncanny. Does anyone know if this was intentional? Accidental? Laziness on the part of the artist? Surely, someone at Marvel had to okay the revamped costumes for Marvel's First Family...maybe the fact that Offspring is such an obscure character left the similarities in the periphery? What do you think.
Remember back in the late 80s and early 90s where it become suddenly cool to have an anti-hero? Punisher, Cable, Wolverine, Batman, Lobo, and scores of others began to fall into various demarcations of bad-assery and the fans were eating it up. At the end of the day, if the protagonist had a good heart, what did it matter if he or she killed a few people or participated in some less-than-ethical behavior?
But recently, I've begun to see a new trend that I'm particularly nonplussed about: flippant and brazen disregard aka super-douche behavior. Case and point--Jack of Fables (also, John Colby from Chew, and, to a lesser degree, Deadpool). Now, I ADORE the Fables series; I own everything that has been put out by Vertigo with the Fables name attached (even the book of cover art). However, I never enjoyed the character of Jack Horner solely because of his devil may care, F*** the world attitude. Now, being a character that is bristling over with machismo and testosterone is one thing--I like Bigby Wolf, Wolverine, etc--but being "That Guy"--the person that cares nothing about any other human being, has no common curtesy, and expects the world to cow to whatever demands are made of it ("and you best say please and thank you while doing it") is another matter entirely.
Let's call a spade a spade, shall we? This behavior is nothing but the masculine form of prima donna-ism. It is childish, foolish, and unappealing. If I wanted to see a d-bag use people and throw them away, I could just go visit my own dad. This behavior is supposed to be reserved for villains, not heroes. Your thoughts?
I started collecting Marvel comics at the ripe ol' age of twelve and quickly became a DIE HARD fan. I wouldn't even look at comics from any other company (especially DC). Now, thirteen years later, I've found myself on the opposite end of the spectrum. When I go to my local book store, I look at the independent companies first, the secondary labels (e.g. Vertigo and Wildstorm) and finally, at Marvel. I have fallen in love with so many other good stories--Hellboy, Fables, Y: The Last Man, Promethea, etc--that fall outside of the traditional Marvel umbrage that I can no longer claim my die-hard fandom. Has Marvel lost it's touch or have I simply evolved in my tastes to find stories more suitable for a mature mind?