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Posted by gmanfromheck (42432 posts) 3 years, 4 months ago

Poll: Comic Book Question of the Week VOTING: Treatment of Female Characters (428 votes)

DC Comics 28%
Marvel 41%
Dark Horse 3%
Image 23%
Dynamite Entertainment 1%
Other 4%

The treatment of women in comics has come a long way. If you've read any Silver or Golden Age comics, you'll likely come across some scenes and dialogue that are pretty far out there and pretty wrong. While things have gotten a lot better and we are seeing more and more female readers enjoying mainstream comics, for ever two step forwards, the industry occasionally takes a step back.

This was something that was brought up on Twitter over the weekend (using the hashtag #ComicWomen). There are those that strongly feel some publishers are doing it right or simply doing it better. The question is, which publisher do you think is handling the portrayal of women the best. Try to consider all their characters.

The poll will remain open until Thursday morning (ET). Once the poll is locked, a new article will hit the homepage with the results and more. And, if you want to go the extra mile, go ahead and share with the community some "must read" stories for the character who earned your love. That'll allow other people to potentially check 'em out and see why you dig the character so much.

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#51 Edited by PeppeyHare (4330 posts) - - Show Bio
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#52 Posted by MyNemesisTotoro (34 posts) - - Show Bio

Comicvine what have you brought upon yourselves by asking this question... As if comic book fans didn't have enough to whine about.

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#53 Posted by Bierschneeman (4311 posts) - - Show Bio

@bierschneeman said:

@dagmar_merrill said:

Doesn't really matter.. but not Dynamite.

that would be me...with all apologies I was trying to hit other (can we change are votes? or is it permenant) i have always hated marvels treatment of women...and lately DC is specifically trying to win a prize for the worst lately (with the downfall of two of its greatest heroines)

Could you elaborate on which "two greatest heroines" you're referring to? Because the Wonder Woman series is absolutely amazing right now and has literally elevated Wonder Woman to God-status. I'd say that's treating her pretty fantastic.

I saw this (pasted below) posted on the other thread (the article version) she says it very eloquently... and in a better way than I ever can (and with more weight since I am male) the other is Batwoman...its not really a downfall..its just a bad descision but Its nice too see another strong female title. and Wonder Woman is/ was good, until they made the awful choice that Husk explains below.

@husk said:
@sog7dc said:
@husk said:
@sog7dc said:

i love the way wonderwoman is portrayed but do you guys know what this thread needs? a female perspective

am I not female enough?

and Wonder Woman was great... until they insulted us with that superman/wonder woman... garbage

i didnt know lol. and i dont understand the hate for that pairing. why is it "garbage" because i for one love it

theres a sordid history with Wonder Woman, and its a step in the wrong direction after a good recent track record.

Id like to compare it to when they depowered her way back in the days post WW2... but it isn't nearly as bad.

in Elseworlds the Superman Wonder Woman has been done several times before... and everytime its been a jumping on point for her submitting to his might. It almost writes itself , why does the most powerful female hero have to pair up with a more powerful male counterpart, intended or not its a message of control. he is there to control and passivate her. and in Frank Millers abominations...tame her. you can't remove the tainted past of this relationship. you can't remove the stigma that the most powerful woman in the world, Must fall in love with the one man that can overpower her.

written well or not, its insulting....

And beyond that, Wonder Woman, of all super heroes should remain a complete an utter role model, through and through. she should never falter. there are plenty of male superheroes, who lack weakness... Wonder Woman should be the shining example of the same strength of will.

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#54 Edited by turel_hash_ak_gik (350 posts) - - Show Bio

@peppeyhare: his opinion is to ignore the grave mistreatings of dc's and vote dc. i'm sorry but no.

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#55 Posted by obscurefan (297 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm not saying any company is getting it 100% right at the moment... but who the heck voted for DC? You are aware that just because they have many female characters doesn't mean they treat them or depict them well right?

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#56 Edited by PeppeyHare (4330 posts) - - Show Bio

@turel_hash_ak_gik: Why do you care? I always see you complain and attack others for their opinions. I don't get it

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#57 Posted by Extremis (3742 posts) - - Show Bio

You know DC bias exists on here when we're talking about positive female representation and it somehow gets more votes than Image.

Oh comicvine...

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#58 Edited by turel_hash_ak_gik (350 posts) - - Show Bio
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#59 Posted by Hawkguy (625 posts) - - Show Bio
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#60 Posted by RulerOfThisUniverse (6518 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm not sure...they all kind of suck at that. I guess I'll choose DC for Wonder Woman...but they still suck at it.

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#61 Posted by Hawkguy (625 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm also curious, what do people consider "good female character treatment"... it's a really touchy subject but people seem to be pretty forward with opinions.

Just a curiosity.

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#62 Edited by LCazT1996 (642 posts) - - Show Bio

@bierschneeman: Ah, okay well see I'm not a huge fan (I try to remain neutral on the issue so as to not be too annoyed about it) of the Superman/Wonder Woman pairing. My reaction was the same as Booster Gold's in the JLI Annual: "What the hell?"

I am going purely by her in the Wonder Woman and Justice League books. I think that while yes the relationship between Superman and Wonder Woman isn't all that fantastic, that it hasn't brought her character down in any way. It doesn't somehow make her lesser or anything. I haven't felt that way at least. I think that there are better people she could be with, story-wise (or hell, why does she need to be with anyone at all?), but I think that in Wonder Woman and Justice League it hasn't brought her down in any way. And Superman/Wonder Woman is a title that my sister wants to get (she's 12, and absolutely loves both of them) so I'm going to buy it for her and since I'm shelling out the cash for it, I might as well give it a chance myself so I'm gonna be reading it too. I just hope that it doesn't do what you guys have said that her being paired with Superman always does.

Overall point: I don't think that Wonder Woman is at all lesser in the New 52, and I really really enjoy just about everything about her solo series. It just keeps pumping her up with more power and she's definitely the strongest of that entire cast (even Orion, Hera, etc.).

Which reminds me, Wonder Woman's New 52 supporting cast is mostly female and has been very, very good thusfar.

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#63 Edited by beccatoria (4 posts) - - Show Bio

@extremis: I'm sure that's partly because people are using this, as always, to air out their opinions on DC vs Marvel rather than the question at hand. But I also think that in this case there's some reason to do so - DC and Marvel control the content they publish and the treatment of the characters within that content far more than Image which is set up to facilitate creator-owned content. Not to diminish their work in making good choices about whose work to publish, but while I appreciate Image's good sense in choosing people such as Rucka and Vaughan, they probably didn't go, "Hey, we need a space opera and a sci-fi thriller featuring a woman, let's go see who we can rustle up!" and their editorial department isn't ultimately responsible for the direction of these characters.

It's certainly a good sign that the largest original-content focused publisher is doing well in this regard - it suggests good things about the stuff people want to write and read about. But I think the added separation between the content and the publisher is something that may make it less instinctive to compare it to companies that work with licenses or shared universes.

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#64 Edited by RageEx2 (234 posts) - - Show Bio
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#65 Edited by Ironshinobi88 (2297 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll say this and I know it's politically incorrect: as long as you have an industry with a overwhelming majority of white/jew creators it is going to be hard for them to consistently write/create diverse characters, not because they are racist, but they do what comes matural to them, in their viewpoint. It does not reflect the diversity some fans want, but that comes comes with thw territory.

As far as who treatz women better I'll go with Marvel. I always felt Wonder Woman should have gotten with Batman or the Flash, it sends an overall better message.

Marvel makes really interesting females I gravitate to mmore. I LOVED the marriage of Black Panther amd Storm.

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#66 Posted by Lone_Wolf_and_Cub (7703 posts) - - Show Bio

DC and Marvel have nothing on Image. Saga, Lazarus and Fatale are all great examples of females done right.

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#67 Posted by vance_astro (89987 posts) - - Show Bio

@obscurefan said:

I'm not saying any company is getting it 100% right at the moment... but who the heck voted for DC? You are aware that just because they have many female characters doesn't mean they treat them or depict them well right?

DC has the biggest female characters. Maybe they aren't doing it right, but their female characters are making the most noise. Buffy is probably the only female character that they don't own that's really popular.

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#68 Posted by WhineHaus (106 posts) - - Show Bio

In terms of PORTRAYAL, I'd have to say Marvel is better. While I prefer DC's female characters overall (I'll throw in Dynamite's Red Sonja for good measure), I think Marvel does a better job at depicting women.

Mind you, I'm not a female, so I don't want to be presumptuous. I'd actually like to hear the opinions of some female viners.

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#69 Posted by silent_bomber (4567 posts) - - Show Bio


No Caption Provided

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#70 Edited by Wilbertus (534 posts) - - Show Bio

Out of DC and Marvel I would definitely go for DC. Wonder Woman alone is enough to decide that for me. However, I don't feel like any of the options really treat women right. That's why I voted Other.

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#71 Posted by Xwraith (34201 posts) - - Show Bio

Journey into Mystery is probably the best female-led book I've read... but, like every great Marvel book, not enough people read it.

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#72 Posted by kgb725 (14111 posts) - - Show Bio


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#73 Posted by Booster_Bronze (204 posts) - - Show Bio

Maybe I'm missing something because I'm a guy, but I really don't see the Superman/Wonder Woman relationship as being insulting to her. In my mind, they are both of equal power and he couldn't "tame" or "overpower" her if he wanted to. Ever see that episode of the Justice League cartoon where she was hallucinating and beat the snot out of Superman because she thought he was a demon? Yeah, they're equal in my mind. Plus, their relationship makes sense the way Johns introduced it this time; They're both demigods who feel alone in the world of mortals, so why wouldn't they hook up if they had that in common? Like a man and woman shipwrecked on an island (a comparable situation) wouldn't eventually fall in love out of sheer loneliness? Azzarello's Wonder Woman stories have been AMAZING and have really elevated her character in my mind. Plus, she can hang with the "Big Boys" just as much as any other super powered hero/heroine (just ask Orion's nuts...that scene still makes me cringe).

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#74 Edited by TommyJones1945 (751 posts) - - Show Bio

Image. I would have gone with Marvel but its hard to shake off what they did to Carol :'( CIN.

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#75 Posted by Catsnlynne (1189 posts) - - Show Bio

Maybe the poll should've been Which company's female characters have the biggest boobs. Cause that's all they are.

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#76 Edited by greenenvy (637 posts) - - Show Bio

Female characters can be just as respected and strong either naked or clothed it just depends how are they treated and use of dialogue. I have no problem with nude or skimpy characters because I believe its of a way of expressing heroic nudity and that's a difference between over sexualized or slutty which is mainly when characters are badly written.

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#77 Posted by BloodyNights (185 posts) - - Show Bio

I voted for DC because of Wonder Woman, Mera (From Aquaman), Batgirl, and Batwoman. All Fantastic women in their own rights. I can't think of anyone from Marvel besides maybe Kitty Pride from what little I read from The All-New X-men. I know there is probably more, I just don't have any that stick out.

As for the other companies...I'm sorry, but I haven't read anything but DC or Marvel :(

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#78 Posted by medulaoblaganda (1857 posts) - - Show Bio

definitly marvel. ms marvel is one of the heroine been treated well, spider woman too. i wish she hulk was been treated well.

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#79 Edited by Crom-Cruach (8935 posts) - - Show Bio

Top Cow and Aspen both of their flagship characters are women. Top Cow's Sarah Pezini, the hero of witchblade, has been a strong female presence in comics coming on 18 years as well as their most popular character. Aspen comics was founded with a female character as their flagship from creation.

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#80 Posted by CommanderShiro (213 posts) - - Show Bio

Image gets my vote.

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#81 Posted by nappystr8 (1548 posts) - - Show Bio

This is a really tough one. If we are talking historically, the clear answer is Marvel. When I started reading comics, DC easily had the strongest female characters around. And right now Image is just killing it with female characters. I ended up going with Image.

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#82 Posted by Caladorcp (79 posts) - - Show Bio

Image....because Lazarus is freakn' amazing...

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#83 Edited by RustyRoy (16535 posts) - - Show Bio

DC for Oracle, Batgirl, Wonder Woman, Black Canary, Batwoman, Lois Lane, Mera, Renee Montoya and plenty more.

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#84 Posted by Joygirl (21033 posts) - - Show Bio

All of them are pretty much utterly reprehensible as far as I can tell.

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#85 Posted by judasnixon (11769 posts) - - Show Bio

Dynamite's new book Woman Washes Dishes #1........... With fifty variant covers........

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#86 Edited by Krazy_Carmine (96 posts) - - Show Bio

@hawkguy: agree about Joss Whedon, he writes strong female characters

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#87 Edited by vance_astro (89987 posts) - - Show Bio

I can't really give it to anyone but Marvel or DC. These other publishers aren't making enough noise to even be considered. It's easier to have a female character in the forefront like Buffy or Aspen Matthews or Red Sonja when you're not publishing 100% of the most popular books on the market. I have to make room for a Vampirella or a Dejah Thoris if i'm publishing Superman, Batman, Justice League, Avengers, Thor, Iron Man, Wolverine, Spider-Man, etc. I have to commend DC for even having popular female characters despite the structure of their roster and they always consider their female characters despite the fact they sometimes lag far behind in sales.

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#89 Posted by M3th (2106 posts) - - Show Bio

I. Image

II. Marvel


IV. Dark Horse

V. Other

X. Dynamite


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#90 Edited by M3th (2106 posts) - - Show Bio


"You know DC bias exists on here when we're talking about positive female representation and it somehow gets more votes than Image.

Oh comicvine..."

HAHAHAHABA MetH is not alone. THe Vine is filled witH DC fanboys. It is TRUE! Don't be fooled by tHe lies.

June'sVeryOwn ABstract4$$#073

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#91 Edited by hart7668 (2334 posts) - - Show Bio

Well, I know DC doesn't belong on this list.

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#92 Posted by Park (2990 posts) - - Show Bio

I feel like people are putting more stock in whether or not the title character is female and less on the characters' portrayals. While Marvel doesn't have many title featuring women as leads they have a lot of team books which is where you get to see how the characters interact with each other. I'm not well versed enough in Image to speak on the subject but Marvel has a wide range or female characters all of who have unique personalities whether you have Mary-Jane Watson or Lady Sif. They all get their own characterizations and writers don't fall back on 'oh she's a woman so this is how she acts' but write more along the lines of 'oh well XY and Z have happened in the past which would create a moment like this'.

More dynamic characters who have come to the forefront lately would be Jubilee, Storm and Sif. Jubilee not all that long ago went through a pretty rough transition into being a vampire and dealing with the affects of it.

Storms recent divorce has done absolutely nothing to slow down her general badassery and has added more layer to a character people were already quite familiar with without going through the usual process of breaking them to pieces in the process.

As for Sif, well for starters I bring that up to the argument that Ms. Marvel is the only book with a female lead. Journey Into Mystery shifted its protagonist from Kid Loke (awesome run) to Lady Sif. The ongoing has done a great job showing her relationship with the other Asgradians, her half-brother in particular, while solidly proving why she stands out among them. The book was very tightly tied to the Thor title in the past but with Sif you see more of a break away towards the chance of defining her character and exactly why she is so exceptional.

The treatment of women shouldn't be based solely on which company has the most titles, but also on how the characters are actually shown in all the books.

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#93 Posted by clayscarface (123 posts) - - Show Bio

It's more than just the number of women and wether or not they're sexualized. First, that's part of any person, especially anyone as ridiculously good looking as the majority of comic book heroes. Second, just because they have female badass was doesn't mean they are fleshed out. Take Atom Eve over at Image. One of my favorite characters, but she is still used as Mark'd girlfriend first and foremost. Then look at Chew where Tony literally took pieces of two women out of his freezer. None of these companies is perfect. It comes down to what characters aren't actively negative. I, for one, love some of what they've been doing with Storm and Psylocke lately. Plus Mera has always been a badass, along with Wonder Woman and all the other standbys. It still comes down to some of the classic representations of women in literature being "off" because of things like the Madonna/whore complex and whatnot.

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#94 Posted by Protoflash (181 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd say marvel over everyone else because while image does it very well (Lets not even mention DC, or dynamite), Marvel's women stay strong and respectable while maintaining their femininity they aren't type-casted as "the strong independent black woman who don't need no man!". While image, in several of its books, choose to make a female character strong by writing them as if they were a man. At least that has been my experience with them. Take a look at lazarus, true forever is a great character, but I don't think the book would change very much if she was a guy. However, the women of saga are very well written.

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#95 Posted by Syndikate333 (14 posts) - - Show Bio


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#96 Edited by Crimsonlord53 (1546 posts) - - Show Bio

Top cow/image comics. Witchblade and sara pezzini have been around for a hundred and fifty some issue.

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#97 Edited by lvenger (30372 posts) - - Show Bio

I still feel inclined to give my vote to DC. Yes some aspects of the New 52 aren't the best to women but DC still does the best job of putting their female characters front and centre by giving them plenty of attention and their own series. Plus aside from Catwoman, DC heroines aren't as sexualised for rowdy male readers as Marvel heroines are IMO

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#98 Edited by Sifighter (107 posts) - - Show Bio

I can honestly say that while no one is perfect at women in comic books I have to cast my vote for Marvel, with titles like Captain Marvel, Fearless Defenders, X-men, and most of the members of Uncanny X-force and FF. Although I do admit marvel has its faults but then again so do a lot of publishers.

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#99 Edited by RazzaTazz (11946 posts) - - Show Bio

Probably Image or Zenescope (covers aside). Dynamite is actually not so bad, they give female characters their own titles and don't make the characters lives all about who they are going to fall in love with.

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#100 Posted by worldFlash (253 posts) - - Show Bio

Men have it just as bad. Notice in all of comics that their is only really 3-5 body types for men, while women have at least over 50