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Female Superheroes: An Experiment

X-23's final issue

When Marvel cancelled X-23 and people pointed out that it’s the only comic that company currently publishes starring and named after a female character, it got me thinking. I get the explanation that publishers don’t put out books that people don’t buy. I also get the counter-argument that people don’t buy books that publishers don’t market. This isn’t an article about who’s at fault. What I’ve been thinking about is my personal reaction to superhero comics starring and named after female characters.

Generally, I’m for them. All else being equal, I’d rather read a comic starring a female superhero than a male one. For whatever reason, I’m less enthusiastic about characters that are too much like me. Okay, “whatever reason” is insincere. It has a lot to do with my being a straight, white guy and the extreme abundance of characters that I share that demographic with. I’d just rather read about someone different.

And I do. If I have any interest in the character and the creative team at all, I’ll always give a female-led superhero comic a shot. But what the cancellation of X-23 has reminded me is that there aren’t a lot of comics like that out there. Maybe – in order to support those kinds of series – I should expand my interests beyond characters and creators I already like. Try some new things. Give some series I’ve written off another shot.

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