Superhero Diversity Gets the Axe

The tally of Marvel cancellations includes The Amazing Spider-Girl and She-Hulk. Over at DC, the cuts are even deeper: say goodbye to Birds of Prey, Manhunter and the new Blue Beetle, a Latino superhero. All of these books had strong fan bases and sold well, but not well enough. Newsarama has a good postmortem here, and Karen Healey has a great post on the ramifications of the DC cuts over at Girls Read Comic Books and They're Pissed.

No doubt, we'll see some of these characters again. Spider-Girl will probably show up in The Amazing Spider-Man Family. DC is planning an Oracle mini-series, so Birds of Prey will kind of continue. She-Hulk is a consummate team player in the comic book world, not to mention that she's survived numerous cancellations in her history. And the Blue Beetle was the first co-star with Batman in the animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold. But appearing in a somebody else's book or having a mini-series is not nearly as meaningful as having your title on the comic book shelf.

There has been a positive note buried in all this bad news the past few months: Marvel's new Black Panther hitting the shelves in February will be a woman - the first for that series. However, that news is not without its own controversy. Series author Reginald Hudlin has come under fire in the past for his treatment of women, including the much-beloved character of Storm. Still, the possibility that T'Challa might be an awesome woman warrior does give me some hope.

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as a non-reader

While I see that fewer female titles are a very bad thing, I can't help but wonder if these were good titles to being with. Now as a non-reader of comics I realize I am out of the loop. I just want to know if these Superheros are worth a read, or if they're just some quick, sad attempt at the companies pandering to the female demographic.