Monday, October 14, 2013

Marvel Women Who Should Have Their Own Books

In September, Marvel announced part-time lawyer, part-time hero She-Hulk will once again put the comic world in a headlock in another solo book. Writer Charles Soule and artist Javier Pulido are uniting on the series which will hit comic shops in February. Jennifer Walters is no stranger to facing the Marvel Universe alone. Some fans would say it’s been too long simce she has and you can count me amongst them.

There was a point when none of the women of Marvel had solo titles, then Ms. Marvel flew back into action as Captain Marvel led by Kelly Sue DeConnick. If you haven’t been reading Captain Marvel, I highly recommend checking it out. Marvel also threw a twist into the Defenders by putting together a team of women, led by Misty Knight and Valkyrie, and branding them the Fearless Defenders.

It’s interesting to compare the “big two” and their treatment of the ladies. Both companies have a long list of beloved women, yet how they’re seen is vastly different. DC Comics has been known for its iconic group of superwomen, particularly Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Batgirl. Those and others have been in numerous solo titles, yet they often seem relegated to the background in the team books. And yes, I’m going to mention the lack of a Wonder Woman movie. Why? Because, why not? But that’s a topic for another time.

In contrast, Marvel's women haven't achieved the same iconic status and have not led many one-woman shows. But if you look at the team books, notably the Avengers, X-Men and Fantastic Four, those same women have held considerable weight and have even led several teams. Why is that?

So with She-Hulk gracing the pages again in all her green glory, let’s take a look at some other Marvel women who should headline their own book. While some of these ladies have had their own series, on-goings and minis, they are deserving of more time.

Sif

Fresh off an incredible stint in Journey Into Mystery written by Kathryn Immonen and drawn by Valerio Schiti, Sif has proven she can roam the Marvel Universe in solitude. It doesn’t seem as if there are many women who purely enjoy the battle. That wasn’t the whole of her character but it was a trait separating her from the pack. Plus she has a slick design so she can kick butt and look good while doing it.

Spider-Girl

The last time we saw Anya Corazon in some solitary action, it was a brief although entertaining tale written by Paul Tobin and primarily drawn by Clayton Henry. For such a relatively new character, it’s remarkable how she’s had as many individual runs as she’s had. Clearly she has an established fan-base. She’s a young hero with a different style and personality from her peers. I’m pretty sure she’s sitting in comic book limbo after her time in Avengers Academy, so why not give her another shot?

Storm

Ahh…Ororo Munroe. Mutant. Queen. Leader. Fighter. Teacher. Not only is Storm one of my favorite characters and X-Men in general, I also place her in the top three most important X-Men of all-time with Cyclops and Wolverine. Storm has been pivotal in much of the X-Men’s success over the years. How can she not have her own book? Some would say she couldn’t maintain a series. With the right creative team, any character can have their run. Even Morbius (!) had a shot at an on-going.

Ongoing series for both Black Widow and Elektra were announced at NYCC. This was written before the convention but I did not post it. However, I figured I’d include their sections anyway because they’re cool characters and you can see where I was headed with this post.

Black Widow

Natasha Romanoff is a character who should be an easy choice for another solo series. She’s in a tough position being that she’s already on the Secret Avengers. But then again, that hasn’t stopped Wolverine or Spider-Man. Yes, we can argue star-power, but I’m not going to do that. Her past and skillset lend themselves well to adventures of the masked variety as well as tales of espionage. I recommend this run, the first issues of which were written by Marjorie Liu and drawn by Daniel Acuna. She’s had a busy life, much of which is still shrouded in mystery.

And though I’m reluctant to do so, I must say the best evidence in making a case for a Black Widow solo series is her mainstream appeal. I say reluctant because I prefer the comics to influence other media, not the other way around. But no one can deny the reception she’s received after her roles in Iron Man 2, the Avengers and the Avengers Assemble animated series. Black Widow has pulled in tons of fans. Part of it was due to her being the only woman surrounded by several male characters. But she’s also a strong character more than capable of standing alone and kicking serious butt.

Writer Nathan Edmondson and artist Phil Noto will be the creative team for Black Widow.

Elektra

Elektra Natchios, similar to Black Widow, is in a unique position. She’s already a part of a team, the Thunderbolts, so it might be a hard sell. However, that doesn’t negate what she’d bring to the table if she strikes out on her own. Another similarity to Black Widow comes with her skillset and past. Both are deadly characters, yet Elektra is much less noble. This assassin on her own would make for a nice addition to the Marvel Universe.

Elektra will be written by Zeb Wells and drawn by Mike Del Mundo.

What do you think about these marvelous women? What characters would you like to see taking on the Marvel Universe by themselves?