The All-Female X-Men Reboot: What’s Good, What’s Questionable
In the traditionally androcentric world of comics, one franchise has chosen to break stereotypes by releasing a reboot that features an all-female main cast.
Introducing: SpiderChick and BatDame’s Super Fun Shopping Adventure!
Haha, just kidding. But you believed me for a second, right?
But in all seriousness, the X-Men series will be relaunched this April with an all-female team of mutants heading it up. Storm, Rogue, Kitty Pryde, Rachel Grey, Psylocke and Jubilee will form the main cast. This will be the third X-Men relaunch in the Marvel NOW! initiative, which aims to attract new comic fans by making changes to character line-ups, fictional universes, creative teams and more.
First question: why the hell didn’t they call it the XX-Men? Just wondering.
On the other hand, despite the fact that puns are always funny, it’s probably for the best that the series is simply called X-Men. After all, the X-Men have always been a gender inclusive group, and each character in the reboot has been a member of the X-Men at some point.
What’s good about this:
Brian Wood, who’s writing the new series, really seems to get it. In an interview with Wired, he said this about writing female characters:
“I approach the page with the belief that as people, we all have universal reactions on a basic level to things and that’s where the truth lies, where primal human emotions can be found. With that as a foundation, you can tweak the details according to character and gender and personality. So what you get here, if done well, is a very relatable character that should transcend gender lines and have mass appeal. When you approach the page with the thought, ‘Okay, so what should this woman do now,’ you start off from a place of stereotype and bad writing, and there’s no fixing it because that is now your foundation. It’s not complicated, but it does require the writer to see the characters as people first and sex later.”
What’s questionable about this:
It would’ve been nice to have this series written by a woman. But hey, you can’t win all the time.
Also, according to Flickering Myth, the press release from Marvel states that the plot of the new series revolves around the women protecting a baby:
“An old enemy shows up at the X-Men’s door, seeking asylum from an ancient evil come back to Earth. Meanwhile, Jubilee has come home, and she’s brought with her an orphaned baby who might hold the key to the Earth’s survival…or its destruction! With an imminent alien invasion and an eons-spanning war between brother and sister around the corner, Storm steps up and puts together a team to protect the child and stop a new threat that could destroy all life in the Marvel Universe!”
Whether or not this comes off as sexist depends entirely on how Wood plays it.
I’m really interested to see whether a comic with an all-female cast attracts much readership, or whether its lack of male protagonists will severely hamper its popularity.
What do you think? Are you going to read the new X-Men?