Women, a 2014 Publishers Weekly study found, are part of the fastest growing demographic. However, it seems that mainstream publishers don’t know how to interpret that fact, even a year later.
In 2011, DC Comics rebooted their titles in the DC New 52 event. One of these series was a new Batgirl penned by Gail Simone. In the 1988 Graphic Novel the Killing Joke, Batgirl Barbra Gordon was shot and paralyzed by the Joker in a plot device for the male characters to solve. In the new 52 series, Gordon was lifted from her wheelchair and back onto the rooftops of Gotham City.
The new Batgirl is seen as a milestone in female geek culture. The culture was sent back years with the release of the new Batgirl Variant cover depicting a crying Batgirl being held at gunpoint by the Joker losing all the power gained back in her series.
This is not even the first time DC has reduced fan-loved female characters. DC green-lit a contest to have “undiscovered talent” draw the character Harley Quinn in various “suicidal scenarios.” The undiscovered talent being a DC Comics artist.
But for every DC Comics blunder, there is a Marvel Comics success.
In May, Marvel is starting a new superhero team composed of an entirely female team in the new title, A-Force. Starting next month, however, Marvel is releasing anthologies of the fan-favorite female characters. The first issue begins with a collection of Ms. Marvel, the first Islamic female superhero, and Captain America, soon to be the first woman leading hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Its 2015, its past time that there is more representation for fans in their favorite mediums. Women are bullied out of video games with gamergate. Mainstream publishers like Marvel and video game designer Bioware receive awards and success from inclusive media. DC Comics, on the other hand, has a website designed to track how many days it has been since they have done something stupid.