Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Women Don't Sell (Unless they're in bathing suits.)

At the recent Gallifrey One convention in LA, I went to this panel about transforming comics into other media. There was an interesting mix of creators there (6 men and 1 woman), and some guy who sat on the end and basically spent his introduction time telling us about upcoming comic movies we can go pay to see.

One of them was Ant-Man.

I was in the second row and had my hand up pretty much right away, to ask about the total lack of superhero women in comic movies, considering some of the awesome women flying around comics right now (Batwoman, Ms. Marvel, Wonder Woman, just to name a few). I said something about how even Wonder Woman has name recognition that they can play off of. Javier Grillo-Marxuach says she wears a bathing suit. Someone said Black Widow, who as far as we know so far is the coquettish yet deadly/sexy sidekick to Tony in the next Iron Man. My frown was probably fairly evident, and eventually Paul Cornell interrupted his way into the "heh heh Lynda Carter bathing suit puberty" tangent to actually talk about my question.

A little later on in the panel, someone asked why, with the success of the recent Wonder Woman animated film, a live-action WW movie seems so far-fetched. Marv Wolfman answered that the return wouldn't be worth the investment.

Javier Grillo-Marxuach made another joke about Wonder Woman's bathing suit.

Marv Wolfman did a "no, but seriously, not enough interest to generate return," and nobody but me yelled out "Ant-Man?"

Ant-Man

That's right, Hank Pym. Super scientist. That shrinks. Really really small.



Oh, and he beats his wife.

But it's okay, 'cause she's dead now and he took up her superhero name.



Well, at least he didn't kill her himself. There's... that.

How many non-comic fans have heard of Ant-Man? How many people think an Incredible Shrinking Superhero movie sounds fun? How about a Dude that Dresses Like a Bug movie? Sure, Spider-Man dresses like an arachnid, but he's also Spider-Man. He's also smarter and less of a tool.

Ant-Man.

The scientist who has a break down from stress and hits his wife. But it's okay. They make up. And then swap mildly-disturbing sex escapades.

Maybe Ryan Reynolds could play him. That's about the only way I could become less interested in a movie about Hank Pym.



Ant-Man.

Listen, I'm all for obscure, semi-obscure and quasi-obscure comic characters getting their due. But, I don't know, maybe we could, like. Have one of those be a woman? Most women in comics are obscure anyway, and all the best ones (Kate Spencer, Renee Montoya, Jessica Jones-Cage) would probably make even some comic fans stop, check out google, and then get back to you.

The deal is that studios want to sell tickets. So then, there shouldn't be any obscure characters having movies made about them. But if there are going to be, let's let some non-wife-beating-self-pitying characters shine, yeah? Maybe?

Hey, maybe Kathryn Bigelow can direct. She does action movies. And women go to see them. Shocking, yet true.







15 comments:

  1. Whilst I agree with you for the most part I have to say that a Hank Pym/Scott Lang Ant-Man movie seems more than good, especially with Edgar Wright attached. Of course without him thrown into the mix it'd just be an incredibly stupid left-field movie that would hit all of your complaints about its existence over many more deserving and popular female characters.

    That and I think that Hank taking up his wife's mantle is a touching tribute to someone considered one of the greatest heroes in the marvel universe, whom he consideres an idol, for when he was spiraling into a blathering mess due to his mental instability, she was doing that whole 'best you can be' thing that made her such a crucial avenger character.

    One that should have had her own solo series and been more popular than the masses make her out to be.

    ... Okay now I kinda wish there was a Janet Van Dyne Wasp movie instead. Because that would be infinitely better.

    (oh and the wife-beating thing was horrific, and has thankfully been integrated as a crucial reason for Hank trying to be a better person than he's ever been before by Dan Slott over in Mighty Avengers. It'll never be okay, the character knows that as such, but won't let that define him in his attempts at redemption. I may be being a helluva fanboy here, so feel free to disregard my extended ramble)

    Despite my disagreements with that stuff I have to say I love the article and am one of many people out there desperately wanting a strong female character to lead a superhero movie. Though I doom myself by wishing for a Blonde Phantom movie styled like the 2009 All Select Comics one-shot from Marvel.

    ReplyDelete
  2. i recently had a convo with a co-worker about this. according to him, wonder woman would have no appeal to a mass audience. he then went on to say someone like psylocke or mystique would. now, while I love both of them- and even with the appeal from the X movies in mystique's favor, neither of those would do that well in the box office. they're more obscure, imo, than wonder woman.
    i don't understand the male logic that only obscure stupid characters, like ant man, would do fine but someone as widely known as wonder woman or ..say..catwoman..or even storm... wouldn't.
    if marvel can remake hulk, maybe dc could remake catwoman.

    this whole subject had me fuming. i sort of knew about watchmen before the film (as in- i'd seen the comic in stores and heard the name but other than that..nothing), but to me that's as fanboy and obscure as anything else. but when you have fanboys making movies, they're going to snuff out the women and make elitist comic films (that apparently only REAL comic fans know.)
    ..whatever that means.

    ugh men.

    ReplyDelete
  3. First, let me say to both of you that I'm so sorry for the delay in responding. I've gone a bit quiet here for a variety of reasons, and I've been meaning to hop back in, starting with replies to you. So here we go!

    @Flip the Page - First off, all fanboy rambles are always always welcome. I will wax on and on about my love of Bart Allen and hatred of him as Kid Flash for days, so I have much respect for anyone that loves a character, even if it's one I don't like.

    I will say that the attachment of Edgar Wright is about the only thing I think this movie has going for it, but yeah. A Janet movie would be a billion times more interesting in my book, and a billion times less valuable in Hollywood's.

    I don't have a problem with domestic violence stories being used to tell important stories, but I don't imagine it'll even be touched upon in the movie, especially if it's an origin story.

    @jeangreyx - Well, one of the things with Watchmen is that it was co-produced by Zack Snyder's wife. It's one of the rare instances of women actually being involved so heavily in the conception and production of a major Hollywood picture. And I liked what Watchmen did and how it handled the Eddie/Sally and Laurie storyline.

    I would have NO problem with obscure male characters (and let's be honest... Ghost Rider, the Phantom, Punisher... even Daredevil is obscure to mainstream audiences) if there were ANY decent female superhero movies being made. Or any at all. Since Catwoman and Elektra tanked, they haven't even bothered.

    ReplyDelete
  4. 幽默並不是諷刺,它或許帶有溫和的嘲諷,卻不傷人,它可能是以別人,也可以用自己為對象。........................................

    ReplyDelete
  5. You've been nominated. :)

    http://1979semifinalist.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/kreativ-blogger-award/

    ReplyDelete
  6. You've been nominated. :)

    http://1979semifinalist.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/kreativ-blogger-award/

    ReplyDelete
  7. i recently had a convo with a co-worker about this. according to him, wonder woman would have no appeal to a mass audience. he then went on to say someone like psylocke or mystique would. now, while I love both of them- and even with the appeal from the X movies in mystique's favor, neither of those would do that well in the box office. they're more obscure, imo, than wonder woman.
    i don't understand the male logic that only obscure stupid characters, like ant man, would do fine but someone as widely known as wonder woman or ..say..catwoman..or even storm... wouldn't.
    if marvel can remake hulk, maybe dc could remake catwoman.

    this whole subject had me fuming. i sort of knew about watchmen before the film (as in- i'd seen the comic in stores and heard the name but other than that..nothing), but to me that's as fanboy and obscure as anything else. but when you have fanboys making movies, they're going to snuff out the women and make elitist comic films (that apparently only REAL comic fans know.)
    ..whatever that means.

    ugh men.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Whilst I agree with you for the most part I have to say that a Hank Pym/Scott Lang Ant-Man movie seems more than good, especially with Edgar Wright attached. Of course without him thrown into the mix it'd just be an incredibly stupid left-field movie that would hit all of your complaints about its existence over many more deserving and popular female characters.

    That and I think that Hank taking up his wife's mantle is a touching tribute to someone considered one of the greatest heroes in the marvel universe, whom he consideres an idol, for when he was spiraling into a blathering mess due to his mental instability, she was doing that whole 'best you can be' thing that made her such a crucial avenger character.

    One that should have had her own solo series and been more popular than the masses make her out to be.

    ... Okay now I kinda wish there was a Janet Van Dyne Wasp movie instead. Because that would be infinitely better.

    (oh and the wife-beating thing was horrific, and has thankfully been integrated as a crucial reason for Hank trying to be a better person than he's ever been before by Dan Slott over in Mighty Avengers. It'll never be okay, the character knows that as such, but won't let that define him in his attempts at redemption. I may be being a helluva fanboy here, so feel free to disregard my extended ramble)

    Despite my disagreements with that stuff I have to say I love the article and am one of many people out there desperately wanting a strong female character to lead a superhero movie. Though I doom myself by wishing for a Blonde Phantom movie styled like the 2009 All Select Comics one-shot from Marvel.

    ReplyDelete