You don’t know me, but I’m a fan…sometimes. I hated X3 but I’m going to see Wolverine. I buy Runaways trades. I just finished reading three New X-Men: Academy X trades, and even the Hellions one too. I’m intrigued by the idea of X-Infernus and the return of Magik and/to New Mutants. I loved Jean and Scott, and I love Scott and Emma. Brubaker on Cap was fascinating. I’ve read every Ultimate Spidey there is at the local library, and most of the Ultimate X-Men, and most of Ultimate Fantastic Four (although I don’t like Mike Carey). I don’t really care about the Avengers, but I’ve never been one for big teams. They’re better on the screen. I saw Iron Man three times in the theater. If I’d had more money, I might’ve gone to see it again. I think I saw X2 three times as well. I cried every time.
So while I’m not the issue-buying male audience you covet, I give you money, I keep up with your characters, and I’d buy products that were made for me…if they were actually made for ME. I’m thirty-one-years-old and my first tbp was From the Ashes. If you put the Phoenix symbol on something, I’ll buy it. (I even have one of those dogtag things where you give them a picture and they put it on. It’s awesome because if you tilt it so the light hits it one way, it looks like Phoenix, then the other way looks like a negative image, or Dark Phoenix.) I’d love a Spidey-shirt in a women’s cut. Heck, I’d love ANY shirt in a women’s cut.
Look, don’t get me wrong, I realize that every time I wear my Batman t-shirt now I run the risk of looking like a fangirl, rather than a fan–someone who’s seen The Dark Knight and squeed over Ledger, not someone who got back into comics because of Hush. And that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. I go to Six Flags and they have all this Superman and Supergirl merchandise and a part of me seethes because I know the girl wearing her new t-shirt or cape has NO CLUE who Matrix is. (I even explained every Supergirl I could think of to my daughter while standing in the line for Skull Mountain because of it.) I realize there are girls who just want to wear something cute that will impress the boys. “I think this one is called Captain America!” They have that right. Just as I have the right to complain that you’re not thinking of me and women like me.
We’re not in a very young demographic, but then again, we’re more inclined to buy because we don’t have to ask Mom and Dad for cash before we head to the mall. My generation IS a generation of shoppers–they are one of the big reasons your movies do so well, and your DVDs, and your re-released ’90s Spidey cartoon DVDs as well. We have money and, to you, that should give us power.
But you’re ignoring us. And that kind of sucks. We don’t want ugly necklaces where someone’s face is half-on and half-off the picture. (Although we will probably buy one with Spidey and Goblin and make up our own reasons why they’d be on a broken heart.) We’re good with chibis, but we don’t want the message to be “I wanna date a superhero!”
Dudes, I want to BE a superhero. I want to be (Marvel-only, just for you) Jean Grey, Emma Frost (although in one of her lesser-revealing outfits and one of her darker blue lipsticks), Rahne Sinclair (even if I would never know how to say my own name), Rachel Summers, Illyana Rasputin, Kitty Pryde, Tabitha Smith, Laurie Collins, Karolina Dean, Nico Minoru, Gertrude Yorkes, Cassie Lang, Meggan, Clarice Ferguson, Paige Guthrie, Madeleyne Pryor…shall I go on?
Now, I get that putting Meggan on a shirt might not sell. But putting the Runaways team on a women’s-cut shirt? I’d buy one for myself, and then my daughter would insist I buy one for her too.
She doesn’t want to date superheroes either. So I’m not just speaking for women fans who aren’t in it to leer at drawings, I’m speaking for my girly-but-not-brainless child as well. She’s in a demographic too.
So, Marvel, to wrap this up, I know you don’t understand women much at all (you’ve proven that again and again) but treating us like we’re NOT from Venus? That’d be a good first step.
That Runaways shirt would be a good second step, by the way.