Marvel’s all-female A-Force is already proving divisive

One step forward or two steps back?

Mar 1, 2020, 10:46 am*

Internet Culture

 

Mike Wehner

Women in comics have a long history of being exploited as plot devices and hand-drawn eye candy, so when Marvel—which is generally considered to be one of the more socially conscious voices in the industry—announced the debut of its all-female Avengers spin-off called A-Force, there was zero chance of it avoiding controversy. Now, just a day after the reveal, there seem to be two very vocal camps forming, and there’s very little middle ground to be had.

A-Force, which is set to launch in May, includes a long list of heroes including She-Hulk, Dazzler, Medusa, and Nico Minoru, each complete with their own personal histories and, of course, kick-ass super powers. What makes this roster unique, at least in terms of Avengers lore, is that there isn’t a single male hero to be found. That seems like a welcome change from a history of “damsels in distress,” and indeed the initial response was overwhelmingly positive.

But from the name “A-Force” to the comic’s art, there seems to be a growing number of both male and female comic fans who aren’t entirely on board. 

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It’s also interesting to note that the all-female cast is also overwhelmingly white, which is souring the message of female empowerment for some fans. 

Any comic plot line where women aren’t simply objects to be rescued, or borderline pornographic pieces of art to be leered at, is certainly a step forward, but it may not be a big enough step for a large number of readers who have been put off by the industry’s missteps in the past. 

Photo via Marvel

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*First Published: Feb 7, 2015, 3:09 pm