New X-Men Relaunch Will Feature an All Women Team, Albeit Still Drawn By Men

via {USA Today}

via {USA Today}

A relaunch of X-Men is going to feature an all-lady series, including all of my favorite female characters: Jubilee, Kitty Pride, Storm, Rogue, Rachel Grey, and Psylocke. X-Men has a history of featuring strong females, and I have high hopes for how well this series will be written even though it is authored and drawn by two men, because really, this would have been the perfect opportunity for a female writer and artist. But Marvel is making baby steps, at least, because the writer, Brian Wood, seems to know what he’s doing.

He says of the writing the new series,

Cyclops and Wolverine are big names, but taken as a whole, the women kind of rule the franchise. If you look at the entire world as a whole, it’s the females that really dominate and are the most interesting and cool to look at. When you have a great artist drawing them, they look so amazing and always have.

The artist, Olivier Croipel, has already proven with this cover that he is adept at drawing women without featuring their breasts (mostly) which is a pretty good sign of things to come, in my opinion.

Wood goes on to say that he’s against the “cheesecake” of ‘strong female’ characters in books when the characters are just living up to sexist stereotypes. He said, “I’m not approaching this new X-Men as a ‘female book,’ but I’m writing it as a high action X-Men comic” which is really all that the fans are asking him to do. He goes on to say that he approaches:

the page with the belief that as people, we all have universal reactions on a basic level to things and that’s where the truth lies, where primal human emotions can be found. With that as a foundation, you can tweak the details according to character and gender and personality. So what you get here, if done well, is a very relatable character that should transcend gender lines and have mass appeal. When you approach the page with the thought, ‘Okay, so what should this woman do now,’ you start off from a place of stereotype and bad writing, and there’s no fixing it because that is now your foundation. It’s not complicated, but it does require the writer to see the characters as people first and sex later.

Doesn’t this sound like it could be some amazing stuff?

Naturally, some people are claiming that this series and “fake geek girls” (warning: clicking on that link will take you to a page with an excerpt that will completely piss you off if you’re a female interested in comics) will destroy the comic world.

Can’t we all just get along, reading a comic that is inherently a giant metaphor for being different in the world and then accepting that difference in the fight for equality? Let’s not fight. Let’s instead celebrate together the fact that X-Men has at least sometimes done what so many comics haven’t: to normalize women and put them at the front of a storyline without making them wear hot pants and bustiers. Because it’s about fucking time.

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Hansen is the DIY & Food Editor of Autostraddle.com and likes to spend most days making and cooking and writing. She is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at Colorado State University in her free time.

Hansen has written 181 articles for us.

17 Comments

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    I’ve always been more of a DC/Batverse fangirl. I’ve been done with Marvel and it’s routinely sexist/racist/homophobic fanboys for a while now. The only Marvel characters I care about ARE the female X-Men so the fact that they are getting their own series does make me interested again if only to piss off the fanboys.

    I’m still on the fence about Storm’s hair though. And I’ve never been a big Jubilee fan. Please tell me she is not the team leader because that should always go to Storm over anyone else based on seniority alone. She is one of the most respected of all the X-Men and Brian Wood better do right by her.

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      Storm’s had a similar haircut before, back around late 80s/early 90s. Although she’s had just about every conceivable haircut over the years.

      As for Jubilee, while Storm’s definitely got seniority, I think she’d be next in line, so if they’ve got a reason for Storm not being leader, then Jubilee would be the logical choice out of the other five. She was sorta team leader in Generation X I think (aside from the two adults that is), and was Night Thrasher’s number 2 in the post-civil war New Warriors. Although the fact she’s a vampire these days should possibly count against her, unless she’s been cured of that…

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        I know Storm has had that haircut before I’ve just never been crazy about it.

        I could see Jubilee being the lead of this team if Storm weren’t around but would Storm really defer leadership to Jubilee while on the same team though? I’m gonna need an explanation for her not wanting to take point in this situation. She has always had strong leadership skills and respect from her fellow X-Men. Especially Xavier. Actually most of the men in particular would be fine with taking orders from her than they would any other female X-Man. IMO she’s always been THE female face of Marvel like Wonder Woman is to DC. For her to take orders from Jubilee of all people just doesn’t sound right to me unless it’s supposed to be some kind of teaching moment. And given who else is on the team I can see Jubilee making decisions and the other girls looking over at Storm for approval like “Is this okay?”. I mean she’s Storm! Hopefully, this is addressed in the comic.

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          I read something that said Jubilee finds a baby (Hijinx ensue!) who is key to mankind or mutant survival so maybe that’s why she’s at the forefront of this series? Of course the women find a baby, amirite?

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      You should check out Batwoman then. That series is one of the most female centered books out there right now. And lesbian of course. lol

      Seriously, I recommend it to everyone. I think supporting a book as feminist and queer as it is, is incredibly important. We will only get good things if we prove that we’ll buy them.

      Also, I’d really love to see autostraddle pay more attention to Batwoman as well. It’s kind of ignored around here and that’s very unfortunate.

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        DC beats Marvel hands down when it comes to female representation. They have Batwoman, Wonder Woman, and Batgirl just to name the big ones who have their own series. I heard Katana is also getting her own series.

        And DC already has more than one female-only team series with Birds of Prey and Gotham City Sirens.

  2. Thumb up 3

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    Anyone wanting to branch into Marvel should totally check out Captain Marvel by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Hawkeye by Matt Fraction. These comics are absolutely awesome, and the authors (who are married btw) are actual super nice human beings.

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