Where will you not see much of Rogue this summer? In the new X-Men movie.
Every time I type “superheroine” into Microsoft Word, it’s underlined with a red squiggle to tell me that there’s no such term. “Superheroine” is as made-up a concept as “asdfjlad,” and the computer’s all-knowing dictionary adds insult to injury by asking whether I really mean to type “superhero.”
I was a feminist before I was a geek. Unfortunately, this summer's comic book blockbusters make it tricky to be both.
For months, I eagerly awaited the arrival of Marvel's all-women series X-Men #1. I wasn't sure what to expect: would the all-woman series be marketed as a comic for girls or just another showcase of all the great female X-Men characters?
I enjoyed most of X-Men: First Class. The acting, special effects, and writing were excellent, except possibly the two times Xavier tries to hit on women in bars by saying they have "groovy mutation[s]".
But then again, the whole movie had a cheesy retro vibe to it, with its Cold War setting and costumes (turtlenecks for the men, not much clothing at all for the women) giving it the feel of a cross between X-Men and a Connery-era Bond movie.
While I'm personally in no way rattled by the acquisition/merger, I do think that it provides some opportunities to discuss gender, entertainment and marketing.
Marvel has over 70 years of history, and Disney will have access to over 5,000 characters (though the ones that have been mentioned most in the past week are the most profitable: Spider-Man, Iron Man, and the X-Men. Hmmmmm . … what could be missing here?)
The deal has included lots of business speak about "brands," "vertical integration," "long-term growth," "value creation," and my favorite, "synergy," (mostly because it reminds me of 30 Rock's Jack Donaghy telling Liz Lemon to "never badmouth synergy"). There certainly will be many opportunities for profit, but I'm interested in how y'all respond to the fact that one of Disney's major motivating factors has been securing a young male demographic.
Superhero movies have looked an awful lot like fraternity row the past couple of years, and lotsofbloggers (including this female gazer) have been vigorously calling for more celluloid superheroines. And we're not talking about more characters like Halle Berry's Catwoman. No way. We want some quality super women. But despite the generally underwhelming news on this front as of late, I'm crossing my fingers that the latest casting news about Iron Man 2 might include some promise for all of us.
Last month, rumors started started popping up that super spy Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff) might be appearing in Iron Man 2. Yesterday, Variety reported that Emily Blunt may be a frontrunner for the role, lending a whole lot of credence to earlier conjecture. This is potentially great news, because Black Widow might actually be a female comic book character who filmmakers can't screw up when they bring her to the big screen!
After the jump: a list of reasons why Black Widow might just avoid the pitfalls of shoddy screenwriting and stereotyping that have befallen other superheroines on screen...
This post has been delayed due to a series of Midwestern airport misadventures, but here's the round-up of last week's trailers: Beyonce in Obsessed, Paul Rudd in I Love You, Man, and Hugh Jackman in X-Men Origins: Wolverine... after the jump!