CCW Poll of the Day

Posted: May 27, 2010 in CCW Nation, CCW OpEd, Opinion
Tags: , ,

This question is related to yesterday’s post about the ‘Bechdel Test’ being applied to comics. If you haven’t seen the video yet, check it out and be sure to comment on what you thought about the criteria included in the ‘test.’ Now on to the poll!

  1. cballsack says:

    Two votes so far for “Aw hell no!” I wonder who these characters are.

  2. kurumais says:

    you could just read the 1% of male leads if that was your deal

  3. generaldark says:

    i cant vote because i dont agree with either one. if you said maby 80% or 92 were women then sure but that HUGE of a chunk is just…..idk

    • Well, 99% of the leads are currently male. I think Elliott was trying to ask the question “What if it were the exact opposite?”


      • Luiz de Mello says:

        Well, in that case I think everyone would read just like now and we would be wondering how it would be to have a situation where 99% of the leads were men, since that scenario would be the only one we knew, like now this is the only one we know.

        Or something like that, today nothing I write and few things I say sound clear enough to me.

      • Locusmortis says:

        Instead of just picking a figure blindly, I actually checked it, 7 of the top 100 comics from April had female leads, that dosen’t mean that 93 books had solely male leads, quite a few books were team books.

        What I did find shocking though was that only 1 of the top 50 sellers (Buffy) had a female title character and that was only at number 27, just think about that for a moment…..the gender that makes up 51% of the population only warrants one book in the top 50? That kind of statistic really does point to the cliches of comics being a male wish fulfullment fantasy being to a great extent true.

  4. Rob F says:

    Yeah, I think the question is hard too, I get what the point is but I don’t think that many people who said yes would always read it if it was a woman.

  5. hackslash2020 says:

    CballSack, that would be me
    I actually said it out loud when clicking on it

  6. Luiz de Mello says:

    I dunno, I think the question is a bit more deeper than that :P. How this change would occur and what we get in place of what we have now would really play more than the pure percentage of lead characters of either sex after those changes.

    A sudden and ‘instantaneous’ change would imo just cause CBs to be much less read, simply because it would mean that characters that are now popular would suddenly be less important to their words and appear much less, and not necessarily the replacement would captivate the public that was still willing to try. And you can add to that a large number of people who would be real pissed for having their favorite character(s) removed/replaced/forgotten just for the sake of increasing the number of female leads.

    • edward2962 says:

      I agree.The subject is way more complex than would you read a comic with with a female lead.You have to take in consideration what’s the genre and what’s the purpose of the female lead? Who’s the imagined core audience? Sure,Xena TV had alot of female fans but I’d be surprised if many of them would read Red Sonja,cuz the main focus there is T+A and violence.Remember the “Bad Girl” trend of the late 90’s? Same thing.Double D’s and guns.Those characters were “strong” and agressive,but they are there to appeal to my male fantasies not say my middle aged female manager who’s a blues rock fan.

      If we want to improve the depiction of women in comics,of course there should more female creators,but there also needs to be a market that can support a wider genres and subject manner.Not just the publishers but the public needs to be more open minded.

      And just to call myself on my own BS,one of my favorite comics of the late 80’s was Love and Rockets (tons of female characters) but i have no interest in Models Inc or whatever it’s called.

  7. kurumais says:

    ok i think most of read batwoman in detective or at least a big chunk of us
    batwoman a gay woman lead was that comic all that much different from any other comic? quality of art and writing aside. super hero sets up shop bad guys come after super hero conflict ensues
    i didnt see a big difference in that book compared to other super hero books its a work of genre fiction embarrassing the tropes of that genre. i am trying to think of a superhero book with a female lead or leads that are radically different in style and content from superhero books with male leads. can anyone help me out?

  8. Smallmaniac says:

    Elliott, in a way this makes no sense. I understand the point you’re trying to get across, how most leads are males, but if a writer happens to be male and they prefer to write male leads is there anything wrong with that? Would you prefer the books with female leads to be directed toward both male and female or just to a female audience? How would you even do that?
    What I’m trying to get at is that there is a line between the way things are and the way they seem to be. I have no clue to what extent the industry is a boys club, which we all know it is. I don’t know if it’s harder for women to get into comics then men and why.

    The most important thing, for me, is whether or not it is a quality story that I can relate to. If 98% of the 99% of those books with female leads are crap, I’d be disappointed. I’d rather have all of the current 1% of books with female leads be great works.

  9. rush says:

    I think what this topic brings to light is the fact that a whole segment of potential reader(revenue generators) are largely ignored. I hear industry people whine about growing the industry but the industry will not grow until issues such as this are properly addressed.
    Then there is the problem representation of different ethnic groups, but that is whole other topic.

  10. SMARTASS8 says:

    I picked “Why does the lead HAVE to be female”. I read several comics featuring female leads(a couple of them aren’t even pornographic) so I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with going from one extreme to another in order to promote equality. This is the problem I have with political correctness.

    • I agree with you smartass. This poll is kinda hyperbolic.

      These last two post that Elliott have made on the blog are the equivalent of him setting a bag of dog poop on fire and placing it on my doorstep. I am not amused.


    • cballsack says:

      No one said anything about going to any extreme. Elliot is just highlighting the fact that women are portrayed mostly as objects or in deference to men. And I’m surprised Jose is opposed to this when I think it was last week when he posted that link about how DC was killing all of its ethnic characters. Women could definitely be portrayed more strongly in comic books, just as there could be better race representation as well.

      • SMARTASS8 says:

        The poll was all about going to the extreme. It asks if you “would still read comics if the lead character was a FEMALE 99% of the time”. If you don’t find that an extreme, you must live on Paradise Island.

        • cballsack says:

          The question is hypothetical. Obviously comic books will never be filled with a female lead 99% of the time. Probably not even 33% of the time. The question was asked to get you thinking about how gender roles are portrayed in comic books.

      • I am not opposed to it at all ballsack. I am just not in the mood to deal with the comments that posts like these usually bring.


  11. Mookie says:

    I would probably not buy comics if they had 99% female leads? Why? I don’t get off on seeing women beat each other up. There’s a reason women’s boxing and MMA is very unpopular compared to men’s fighting. Our society rightfully doesn’t encourage women to act aggressively towards each other. Leave that to the stupid men! ;D

    I do wonder sometimes why female-lead comics tend to fail. Some of it probably has to do with the fanboy mentality we all hate, but in the end I really think it comes down to a lot of readers not being able to accept a woman character acting violently for a long period of time.

    I’ll use an example on my end: The Ms. Marvel Secret Invasion tie-in where she’s just killing skrulls left and right. I dunno, I just was never comfortable with that comic because she, well, acted like a man. Maybe I just have very traditional views on gender and roles. Women should be above that kind of action. They should be the bringers of virtue in the society. That’s why we as men don’t even think about hurting women because its almost like a crime against nature to do so. We abhor senseless violence in our society and I think we also expect women to “know better” than men when it comes to how to act. I think that’s part of why female comic leads tend to fail. It just goes against how we are as a society.

    • Mookie says:

      I voted “Why does the lead HAVE to be a female?” but I’m stated I’d probably have a hard time buying comics if the leads were all female.

    • Smallmaniac says:

      It would be totally wrong to make women act like men to make the book appealing. But women can be heroes, and if that warrants violence then so be it. But only if that violence is necessary, which I hold to male characters as well. But women don’t always have to take down other women, they could also take down men, which would be more appealing.

      • Mookie says:

        The bar has been set very low though in terms of using violence. Most heroes nowadays use violence as a first option. Having a female lead do that is just unappealing on my end.

  12. Comics_Addict says:

    I voted on the poll but would like to voice my opinion on the matter. As a young male reader currently I am only reading SUPERMΞ‘N as of this time due to a number of issues. I know it’s not much reading but comics are very expensive at this time which I am also coursing through college. I buy only SUPERMAN because it’s the only superhero that I am interested in and can actually identify with him. ( And, no I don’t have to be an illegal alien to identify with him…)So now that I got that out of the way I would like to say that in answering your question about female leads it doesn’t bother me as long as I am interested in the book & concept itself. But I guess it’s only natural to gravitate to male leads where I can perhaps identify more fully with his issues which is not to say that I can’t understand females. Also, like Elliot and Jose I don’t enjoy female being depicted as sex icons in comic books but I guess I wouldn’t have a problem with that since I am currently only exposed to Lois and Ma Kent on the super-books. Just my two cents.

  13. Pobra says:

    I say sure, why the fuck not. Detective comics was the best mainstream book I read last year. As long as the quality is the same, who cares whether the main character has a peen or a vagine?

  14. AvS says:

    I voted no. I wish it wouldn’t have said ‘Aw hell no;’ it made me sound like a douche. As a kid, I would have probably never gotten into comics. If I never read as a kid I would never be reading now. It’s basically the same reason not many young girls get into comics the way things have been the last 50 years, etc… Just being honest (and a douche apparently).

    • kurumais says:

      thats a good point without cap and falc as a kid i probably wouldnt be here either

    • Deemar says:

      Nope just your opinion and you said it in the least douchey way possible!


    • Luiz de Mello says:

      I voted ‘why it have to be female’, but I was divided between it and ‘no’. I am more into a ‘I am not sure of it’ situation. Like you I too only read comics today because when I was younger I was introduced to them and liked, or so it seems to be the case.

      But at the other hand, assuming that things were simply different from the beginning, it is possible that the then existing female lead characters would have captivated my attention (like some have done in the current situation) and got me into comics the same way. So in my case it could easily go either way depending on other consequences of this changes (which are by themselves a theme for a different discussion).

      • AvS says:

        Yeah, it’s possible for me too. You hit on exactly what made this a tough question for me. But I sided with the fact that my 7-8 year old self probably wasn’t as enlightened as all that. If I knew then what I know now I wouldn’t have wasted time worrying about cooties and focused on more important worries, like the clap.

  15. Deemar says:

    I’m down for female lead comics, it all comes down to story.

    If it’s Bendis written no thanks, if it’s Rucka then yes.

  16. Stamps says:

    As long as that 1% is Batman, I’m good with that. If you encroach on my Bruce- HELL NO.

    • Deemar says:

      what if it Bruce Wayne had a sex change?

      He’d still be Batman, just tranny

    • rush says:

      HAHA I think it’s been nice not having Bruce Wayne as Batman. I hope he doesn’t become Batman ever after his his return.

      • Stamps says:

        I like how it is now wih all the main titles featuring Dick as Batman and Batman confidential and Batman/Superman featuring Bruce as Batman out of the main storyline.
        But I love Bruce and I would want him back soon.
        They shouldn’t have brought him back this early though Dick should have at least another year as Batman.

        • rush says:

          I like the idea of these iconic character handing their mantle over to a worthy successor. I think every generation needs their version of these character to identify with.
          I liked Batman Beyond show for this very reason. Bruce can coordinate shit in the cave while someone else can be in the costume. Frankly in 20 years I would like to see get old and die, it would make the character more meaningful.

          • I like that idea too but if the fans ultimately reject that replacement you get terribly offensive shit like what happened to the Ryan Choi Atom. I’m with you on wishing Dick was staying on as Batman as well.


            • SMARTASS8 says:

              I don’t want Bruce Wayne to die, but I like Grayson as a character so much more(I still can’t believe Didio wanted to kill off the most popular superhero sidekick ever). While I prefer Stever Rogers as Cap over Bucky(although since I’m not buying any of Marvel’s books, I have no reason to complain), I wouldn’t mind Bruce taking on a different role for awhile like Rogers has.

              • rush says:

                Rogers not being Cap make Rogers more interesting. There is more that can be done with him now that they couldn’t have wearing the costume.

                • SMARTASS8 says:

                  Yeah, he dosen’t get “hat hair” anymore.

                  He’s Nick Fury with blonde hair and 2 eyes. They both started their careers around the 1940’s and feel at odds with the younger heroes. I would have said that Fury is more apt to use a gun than Rogers but then there’s this cover…

                  I’d say Rogers plays by the rules more than Fury does but then Civil War had Cap kicking S.H.I.E.L.D. agents out of moving cars into oncoming traffic.

                  • Luiz de Mello says:

                    Then again CW is Millar’s and it came out right around the time that imo he started not making any sense. Nakes me wonder if the only stuff he wrote that was good was out of continuity or from the beginning (so it didn’t have a previous continuity anyhow), the only things that I can list from him that I liked where like that.

            • rush says:

              I don’t understand that Ryan Choi Atom thing. I don’t get why the fanboys have such hard-on for Ray Palmer and the silver age in general.
              I’m not saying i don’t like what came out of the silver age but it’s time to move on, quit beating a dead horse. I think if a new character take up the mantle of a classic character the publisher needs to put a top notch team together to handle it. Alan Moore has made a career of reviving and recasting character and people loved it because it was done with care. The DCU is getting mighty white.

          • cballsack says:

            If someone thought that way back in the 50’s, you’d have never gotten to enjoy the character.

            • SMARTASS8 says:

              Hell, people in the 50’s might have had to settle for Supergirl since Superman was so late 30’s. We wouldn’t be reading any of the superheroes we’re reading today if we replaced them for every new “age” of comics.

              For the record, I grew up loving Ray Palmer due to his new stories being published in the Modern Age(which came after the Bronze Age which came after the Silver Age).

            • rush says:

              You would have enjoyed a different character being that hero and you would here telling everyone how much you enjoy reading that character. New characters bring a potential for fresh story telling possibilities.
              The big two companies have been pimping the same whore for fifty years and I don’t care how much make-up they put on them they are still old whores and they want to charge more us more for them. Bullshit. Let them go gracefully, this shit doesn’t age like wine it ages like milk.

              • SMARTASS8 says:

                If you don’t like them, don’t read them. Some of them have lasted over 70 years and still maintain their popularity for a reason. Name 10 new characters that have been created by “the big 2” recently that have been successful both commercially & critically.

                • cballsack says:

                  Define “new.”

                • rush says:

                  Let’s look at this objectively. A bunch of guys with great imaginations created these great characters. But over time The characters have become formulas. Over time the industry was taken over by fan who write for fans thus making the industry very insular. The creators today ate up all those great old ideas and shit out new character that can’t hold up because they follow a formula.
                  Comic companies like to follow formulas because the goobers with money spend said money on these formulaic ideas instead of demanding new and better ideas. Fanboys like comics like a Linus likes his fucking blanky.
                  There is nothing wrong with these character but for them to have real meaning they have to progress.

                  • SMARTASS8 says:

                    Great. You don’t answer the fucking question but continue to complain about the characters, the companies, and the fans of them both.

                    • rush says:

                      What question I don’t see a question mark anywhere. Just to be clear popularity does not equal good.

                    • I don’t know smartass. He has a good point. Don’t know why you’re jumping down his throat.


                    • There are two sides to the equation Smartass. You make a good point about how there aren’t any ‘new’ characters in comics anymore (outside of all the Image characters) and that really is due to the nature of superheroes and ideas in general. Even most of the Image characters are derivative. and these days it’s not a case of ‘formulas’ but ‘archetypes.’ But come on, the old ‘if you don;t like them don’t read them’ argument smacks of ‘Good Old Fanboy-ism’ and comes across as closed-minded.

                      On the other side of the equation, you find PLENTY of new characters in another medium that is simply BOOMING with young people, video games.

                      And if anything is gonna kill comics, it’s video games.

                      Not saying that video games are bad, but that they are the competition that pose the greatest threat to comics. Cuz when all us old fanboys are gone, our kids are gonna consider them a relic.

                      Just my opinion.


                    • SMARTASS8 says:

                      I was a little more aggressive than I usually am since I felt Rush was trolling what with him telling me what I “would have enjoyed” and saying that “the big 2” shouldn’t use any of the characters they’re currently using because they’ve aged “like milk”. Maybe it’s because I was having flashbacks from the “Zombie” trolls I always encountered when I used to frequent CBR(especially since I don’t remember seeing his screen name on CCW before) or the fact that I was working on little sleep & was a tad cranky. If I was wrong(based on the reactions I got from Jose & Elliott, I think that’s a fair assumption), I apologize.

                    • No worries, smartass. Rush has only been posting on here for a couple of days but he proven to me he is capable of having a serious discussion and/or debate.

                      Those “Zombie” flashbacks will do that to ya though.


                    • SMARTASS8 says:

                      Thanks. πŸ™‚ The one bad thing about CCW is that I can’t edit or delete my posts. That often times leaves me sounding either illiterate or like an angry asshole. I’m not illiterate. 8)

  17. Deemar says:

    Alright got some drawing to do later

  18. NoEmoDaredevil says:

    I only buy 2 Marvel titles, and 1 of them is Black Widow. There’s 50% right there…not bad.

  19. rush says:

    No worries smartass8, I didn’t take anything personally. I certainly am not here to insult people. I’m simply throwing out ideas that might help invigorate our hobby.

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