Friday, April 4, 2014

On Superhero Movies and Reading My First Comic Book

As I surfed the internet the other night, likely procrastinating something really important, I ran across this article in which two or three men list ten superheroes who should get their own movie. Now, let's be honest. That article title should have rightfully read "10 Male Superheroes Who Need Their Own Movie."

There is not a single female hero to be found in that list. Which got me thinking a lot about it. Marvel has announced they're developing a solo Black Widow movie. I'll believe it when I'm sitting in the theater and its opening credits are rolling.

I tweeted about the article and a couple of my followers suggested I write my own list. Which would be great. Except that I've never read a single comic book in my life. How could I write a list when my only knowledge of female superheroes comes from the movies I've watched in the last 14 years?

I know Storm, Jean Gray, Rogue, Black Widow. That's about it. At least for Marvel universe. (Thanks to Lego Marvel Superheroes I could come up with a bigger list.) I have vague recollections of playing superheroes on the playground in elementary school (probably 2nd grade) and always being Black Widow.

My brother had a rather large set of Marvel trading cards which I used to peruse when I was little. Then when the movies started coming out, I would come home from the movies and go through the collection to find the characters we'd just seen on-screen. Through those, my mom and I would educate ourselves on them. Generally, we end up calling my brother and asking him to fill us in on things.

As I've gotten more immersed in the geek world these last couple of years, I've gleaned a teeny bit of knowledge of who some other female heroes might be.

A fleeting idea led to me re-downloading the Marvel app for my tablet. I'd downloaded it ages ago when I found a post on Pinterest where the person had taken screenshots of a new Avengers comic. Screenshots which featured background extras that looked remarkably like Rose, Jack, the Doctor, maybe even Micky and River. I had to buy the comic to verify what I was seeing.

Marvel writers and illustrators are Whovians!

But I never read that comic.

So two nights ago, I thought I'd remedy this gaping hole in my nerd education. I bought a couple of comics and started reading.

And promptly got frustrated because I'm pretty sure I jumped into the middle of storylines, despite seeming to buy the first issue in the first volume. I may have started in the wrong place. But how would I know where to begin in the pantheon of comics available via this app?

I wouldn't. But the internet is rife with horror stories of women being treated poorly or downright heinously upon entering a comic book store. I shudder to think that one poor experience with an app and lack of knowledge would turn me away from comic books forever. However, it just might happen because it's so overwhelming and there's literally no road map.

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