The Female Perspective: The New Avengers, The A-Force

Welcome! This blog is written by author J.L. Metcalf and will chat about comics, movies, garden gnomes, ghosts or even books and daily life. It is a place where I offer my ladylike perspective on anything and everything my brain can think of. 

A-Force hopefully equals Awesome.
A-Force hopefully equals Awesome.

This past Friday saw the announcement of the new Avengers, called The A-Force. What’s the big deal? Well, if you didn’t hear it’s going to be comprised of all female superheroes.  Not to mention, it is being written by women! I had to take a few days to process this information as once again, Marvel has surpassed my expectations. I know that many folks were annoyed, frustrated, devastated, joyful about the change of Thor from male to female but this, this is without argument, an amazing idea. To have a group of females working together to fight evil, what a wonderful concept and one that I would see occur in the real world.

You see, one of the biggest issues in feminism (to me, anyway) is that women simply do not work together. So many women backstab, gossip and judge other women. So many put each other down because of jealousy or greed or cruelty. If women worked together, truly worked together, then big things could happen. BIG things.

Ok, back to the A-Force…let’s see, it’s going to be comprised of some pretty awesome characters, including a new one, named Singularity who will be cosmically-based.

G. Willow Wilson, one of the writers on this new project had this to say about the upcoming A-Force:

We’ve purposefully assembled a team composed of very different characters — from disparate parts of the Marvel U, with very different power sets, identities and ideologies. They’ll all have to come together to answer some big questions: What would you sacrifice to succeed? What is being a hero worth?

Let’s look at that again, “What is being a hero worth?” An interesting question for sure and one we’ve seen answered many times before in various comic universes. We see Batman, Superman and a host of others struggle with this very concept. Is being a hero worth never having a life of your own? Never having a family in the conventional sense? Is being a hero worth always being an outcast, a loner? These are big questions in the comic world. Superheroes are flawed beings (whether they are human or not), they struggle with finding a balance between their superhero life and their “normal” life. Some succeed but mostly they are in turmoil. To see a group of women have to deal with these ideas and still succeed as a team would be a truly wonderful thing to see.

Wilson, one of the writers of the new A-Force, doesn't want to shy away from the tough questions in her new comic venture.
Wilson, one of the writers of the new A-Force, doesn’t want to shy away from the tough questions in her new comic venture.

It’s my hope that young men (old men too) will see these A-Force comics and not scoff at them and dismiss them out of hand. It is my hope that they will see that women can be powerful and beautiful. Maybe that’s too much to hope for but I have faith that with this new development, Marvel is once again proving that girls can kick every bit as much ass as the boys have been doing and they’ll probably all do it in heels too.

I like what Wilson has to say about her upcoming universe. It’s deep questions that we ask ourselves with the male driven comics, why shouldn’t we ask the same of our female hero’s? Wilson also posed this important question:

Do we respond to female superhero teams in the same way that we respond to superhero teams composed primarily or entirely of men?”

Time will tell on this new venture, but I sure as heck hope it does good things. We’ve seen the emergence of a group of female heroes that people are really responding to. Black Widow, Agent Carter and soon, Wonder Women have all been on the big screen and elsewhere. Women are making up a bigger and bigger portion of comic book readership so it makes sense to start creating comics that appeal to them along with hopefully appealing to the men as well.

Either way, I know I’ll be checking it out when it hits stores in May!

A-Force will include the likes of She-Hulk, Medusa and a new character, called Singularity, among many other female superhero's.
A-Force will include the likes of She-Hulk, Medusa and a new character, called Singularity, among many other female superhero’s.

What about YOU? What do you think of the A-Force? Sound off in the comments!

3 thoughts on “The Female Perspective: The New Avengers, The A-Force

  1. See, on one hand, I love that at least some studios are making an effort to move away from the all-male (and usually all-white) properties, and doing things like this, and the all-female ghostbusters and such.

    But on the other hand it irritates me that the only way we get diversity and strong female content is by segregating it from the current stuff. It seems to me that the studios fear that they can only have women represented as strong and important by giving them their own space without any boys in it.

    It seems, to me, that they’re trying to avoid pissing off men by keeping the female main character away from the male dominated world.

    I would love to see a version where we have three male ghostbusters and two male ghostbusters; see the avengers with a female hero leader, and women that are just as important, strong, interesting, diverse, and included as the men. I want to see the contrast. I want to see studios put both men and women in their content and show, with a DIRECT comparison, that female characters are no different as people.

    Giving them their own, exclusive team is an amazing start in the right direction. Absolutely. But it might just invoke the notion that the only way women work well in media is if they’re not interfering the the exiting male content.

  2. I love your point Stefan! I agree totally that they need to mix it up more because this division cannot stand but, this is the first step in what I hope will be the integration of women into the comic world. We’ve seen it to a certain extent in movies, Black Widow is firmly a member of the Avengers and hopefully Wonder Woman will be just as big a part of the Batman vs. Superman we have coming up. Either way, thanks for the comment and let’s continue to hope that the comic world keeps going in this direction!

  3. Black Widow is an amazing character, because she’s tying together several aspects of the MCU–From Iron Man 2 to the Avengers and then Captain America 2 (and presumably 3). But she’s still a second-tier character. Part of that might be because Robert Downey’s pay-check and status, which will give him, by default, a better role. But that would go into the fact that women actors get paid a lot less, period, which will, also by default, lead to lesser roles.

    Agent Carter is marvel’s try-out show to see if the fans want a female-fronted show, but, because it’s on TV on a Network, it’d at the mercy of the ratings, which have less to do with who is watching, but with the time-slot the network allows.

    I’d like to see Black Widow as main character in her own show or even mini-series (say three to six 1.5 hour long episodes).

    Maybe one day. Until then, though, Marvel is giving it an honest go while still having to be careful in the current sexist standard.

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