X-Men Are Doing it For Themselves

by Keidra Chaney

So who’s excited for the all-lady X-Men relaunch!? I know I am!

Written by Brian Wood and illustrated by Oliver Croipel the relaunched X-Men title will feature (most of) our X-Lady favorites! Storm’s gonna be there (because, duh.) Also, Rogue, Kitty Pryde, Psylocke, Rachel Grey and … Jubilee. Apparently Emma Frost had other obligations.

I don’t always read comics, but when I do, it’s X-Men. Well, to be more specific, I used to read comics, and when I did, it was Marvel, and most often X-Men – but that hasn’t been for a long time. The last mainstream comic I actually spent money on was that Storm book by Eric Jerome Dickey, and I really regret that purchase.

The burgeoning feminist/soap opera fan in me really connected with X-Men in the Claremont/Lee era in the 90’s, so many powerful female characters and complicated relationship drama. Honestly, one of X-Men‘s hallmark elements has been its gender equity. The women characters are as iconic as the men in the X-Universe, so this is an idea that could have easily happened 20 years ago.

I’ve heard some grumbling about the missed opportunity to hire a woman writer/illustrator team for this series, and I agree, but male writers can certainly do justice to women characters (again, I used to stan for Chris Claremont) And based on this interview from Wired, I trust Wood to get it:

“There’s too much cheesecake out there that is sold, or at least marketed, as a ‘strong female’ character or book when it’s anything but, it just reinforces the worst opinions of the most sexist fans, and we gain no new ground. We probably lose ground. I’m not approaching this new X-Men as a ‘female book,’ but I’m writing it as a high action X-Men comic, and with some luck that will nullify some of these poisonous critics who go looking for something to feel angry/uncomfortable/threatened by.”

Of course, then I had to go and read that the entire plot is going to revolve around protecting/rescuing an orphaned baby … but I have high hopes that the series won’t devolve into “My Six Moms!” wacky diaper hijinks and/or yogurt-fueled discussions about work/life balance. They are all wearing actual clothes on the cover, that was enough to convince me to give it a chance.

Anyway, I’m in. Expect a review of some sort starting in April.

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