Seven year girls have it pretty rough. They can't get drunk, they need to go to elementary school, and their favourite characters turn into slut factories. It's for reasons like this that I'm glad I'm 25 and a guy. As you can guess the things that we like are very different as well.
A seven year old may enjoy the music of Selena Gomez, the movie Mr. Popper's Penguins, and reading Harry Potter.
I on the other hand enjoy post metal band Neurosis, movies like Lesbian Vampire Killers, and reading biographies of drug dealers. It's cool that we can both like the things we like and we don't have to cross paths. I don't hand out DVD copies of The Wire to elementary students because just because they don't enjoy something that I do it doesn't take anything away from it.
Recently DC Comics has come under fire for a couple of characters in their relaunch: Catwoman and Starfire. I would usually ignore something like this because although I can agree Catwoman was very sexualized I enjoyed it and didn't lose my mind over it. The problem with the outcry is that it is overshadowing great comics. DC's Relaunch is being viewed as a failure because it is so out of touch with female readers because of two, in my opinion, minor characters. Catwoman and Starfire have received more attention than Wonder Woman, Batwoman, Batgirl, and even Carol Ferris (who I think has taken some major steps to become an independent woman).
Furthermore DC is being criticized for not reaching out to female fans that hadn't read comics in the past (something that I have a hard time understanding). Here is a comic poking fun of these events.
I have a number of problems with this comic:
- Lucy was never inspired to read comics between the time Teen Titans was on the air and the relaunch of DC Comics.
- She didn't pick up a comic call Teen Titans Go! that was a direct spin-off of the show.
- She had no familiarity with Starfire other than from the show otherwise she would know that Starfire has always been sexualized (to be fair not the degree she has been recently).
- Lucy didn't pick up a comic called Teen Titans, she bought a comic called Red Hood and the Outlaws that doesn't mention Starfire in the title and only shows a little of her on the cover and even then Lucy was able to figure out that the character she enjoyed as a child now looks very different without any clue on the cover.
- It is DC's fault for not keep a character the same as a cartoon that was on that was a teenage version of a DC character from fie years ago.
- Lucy expects 2 dimensional characters from her childhood to continue to inspire her in college without changing.
Characters change. It's the same reason complaining that Nightwing could never be Batman and Superman could never renounce his American citizenship. To make stories interesting characters have to change. More often than not the people that complain the most about these changes are people who don't currently read comic books. They are attached to a version of a character they have in their heads from their childhood but don't buy comics now and quite honestly why would a company care about someone who has no intention of buying their product.
I'm not saying all change is good. I thought Catwoman could have been toned down but the reason that it's okay is that it made me have a reaction. Interesting things should elicit a response. It doesn't mean the thing is good or bad but the fact it deserves to be talked about says something. When you try to please everybody you end up playing it so safe that the product doesn't elicit a response and I don't want that with the things I enjoy.
If you demand the comic you read have a power female role model (which again I think is weird because I read a bunch of comics and I don't look up to 10% of the main characters) then I suggest Batwoman, Batgirl, or Green Lantern. If your favourite character is Catwoman or Starfire then maybe you could read back issues for a couple years until they inevitably change everything back to the way it was (because if you were buying issues before they might have kept Gotham City Sirens running instead of breaking up Catwoman, Harley, and Ivy). But until then let those of use with thick skins be glad that we aren't 7 year-old girls.