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Today in things that make us scream incoherently

Brian Wood Tweets Depressing Things About All-Female X-Men Comic (But It’s Ok)


A comic book from Marvel titled simply X-Men, starring an all-female cast, was a breath of fresh air for us. Not only did it have a talented creative team,(Brian Wood and Olivier Coipel) behind it but it carried with it the historic title, giving the characters the respect they deserve. But not everyone sees it that way as you can see from one of Wood’s tweets earlier today. There’s one more after the cut. 

Don’t let this get you down too much. Remember, Wood is writing this book and certainly has a more enlightened grasp on the subject matter than the people he’s referring to in his tweets. Now go pre-order the book to show your support and make sure it’s a best-seller.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501983222 Matt Graham

    Screw them, from the lineup alone it’s like he’s just writing this book solely for me, and I’m cool with it. Between this and Cable and X-Force, I’m set.

  • http://twitter.com/keltar93 James Gardiner

    While I think most of the complainers are trying to find excuses for being douchebags, I can see why one wouldn’t be down for a single-gendered X-Men team. To me diversity of gender, race, sexuality, and belief systems was one of the defining aspects of X-Men, so it feels odd (though not necessarily wrong) to have a team that is homogenous in any respect.

  • http://www.thediscriminatingfangirl.com/ TDF Pamela

    Someone should invent a device that automatically crotch-punches anyone who complains about reverse sexism in seriousness.

  • Anonymous

    He tweeted me back about trans inclusiveness. He had some positive things to say. I have faith.

  • Anonymous

    Doesn’t Lockheed count as male? Or is he not in this?

  • http://www.facebook.com/trillian42astra Lisa Orozco

    This.

  • Katie

    Currently there is at least one all male team books that I can think of: New Avengers Illuminati. So oh the f*** well. There’s your all man title. Plus every like 90+% of the solo titles that are male character driven. Having Captain Marvel, (soon to have)Fearless Defenders, Journey Into Mystery and now X-Men doesn’t make us anywhere near equal in representation.

  • Katie

    While I am highly excited and all for the all lady team, this is a completely understandable and respectable argument against it that doesn’t make me want to bash my skull in. So thank you for that.

  • Anonymous

    Trans inclusiveness common in manga and anime. Western comics need more diversity, I agree.

  • Katie

    While Manga and anime have a larger presence of trans characters I don’t know if they are positive. I think just about all of them are severely stereotyped or aren’t actual trans characters, just ‘traps’ that physically look like the opposite of their birth gender. Of course I’m not an expert on manga/anime and haven’t seen it all so I might have missed a few good representations.

  • Anonymous

    That’s really cool to hear! Any deets?

  • http://twitter.com/ChannelDiza Chanel Diaz

    Yeah, because ‘boys’ and ‘men’ don’t have enough representation AND ‘positive’ representation, as it were, and when ‘girls’ and ‘women’ get stories revolved around them, it’s ‘usually’ “totally pro-female…”

    This “male-privilage” spoken by those tweeters reminds me of what the male commentors said in a Ms. Magazine’s article, “Disney Male Executives Stop Movies Starring Girls.”

    http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2010/11/23/disneys-male-execs-stop-movies-starring-girls/


    Slightly on topic, I find it intriguing that “My Little Pony; Friendship is Magic,” which seems to be the ‘only’ popular mostly-female cast show out there, that seems to equally respect its female characters like its male ones, actually ‘helps’ ‘boys’ and ‘men’ understand what it’s like being virtually forced to ‘relate’ and ‘look up to’ characters that are the opposite sex.

  • Anonymous

    I encountered the same nonsense recently when IGN ran an interview with Anthony Mackie where he said it was important to have minority superheroes in movies so non-white kids could see that they can be heroes too.
    90 percent of the comments are basically “Wait, so there’s something wrong with being a white man now, hmmm?!”
    Why do people get so defensive about the mere assertion that POCs, women, LGBTQ individuals, and any intersecting combination of those deserve representation?

  • Anonymous

    Nothing on the level of trans characters in the works, but his agreement that trans inclusiveness is necessary in the entire industry, which I thought was pretty good. I’m not really gonna demand someone write something. As a trans cartoonist myself, I don’t feel any need to make trans characters, but I would if I came up with one, no doubt. I think he’s about the same. I guess I mean I felt he had a healthy attitude about it.

  • Jane

    Brian Wood’s work is the best. Glad to hear he is also the smartest. Go, Brian! (Go, Northlanders!!!)

  • Anonymous

    I would agree. It’s usually is the same joke you see in comedy movies. “Oh snap, I almost had sex with a dude!… still kinda wanna…” I’ll be happy when a character is not fetishized.

    It’s rough. People treat trans folk as such an exotic thing that we can’t really rebound from it. Think of every trans woman documentary you’ve ever seen- there’s the scene where she’s putting on her makeup, then close ups on her pink fingernails, or a shot of her doing yard work in heels… it’s all so insulting. People have ideas about what a trans person is supposed to be, it’s a sort of neo-objectification. I just wanna watch Doctor Who and draw cartoons. :P

  • Anonymous

    That’s what I meant. “Deets” as in the specifics of what he responded with. Thanks for the info! :)

  • Anonymous

    I think you can find some more fleshed out depictions in shonen-ai stuff. I was reading some scanlations of Yamamoto Kotesko’s works (which need to be translated and licensed here, dammit!) and one of her works, Brothers, includes a really great trans character, Rei Kiryuin.

    But perhaps if you read it, your perspective might be different? ::shrug::

  • Not So Young Democrat

    “All” male teams are a little unusual. Whats more common is to have a six or seven member team and one character is female, maybe two.

  • Not So Young Democrat

    I don’t know how you’re defining “show” but there are others out there. Immediately springing to mind as being in the nerd oeuvre is Once Upon A Time which is primarily female leads.

  • ixie

    I’m really pumped for this! I’ve been reading X-men since I was 9, and I always wanted an all-female cast! Hopefully they don’t screw it up and make it all male fanservice-y. Does anyone know if it is available for preorder yet?

  • Katie

    I agree but having a ‘token’ female character isn’t exactly equality. And I’ve read plenty of team comics that have a female on the team where the female either doesn’t say anything in a couple of issues or even just sort of shows up in the background.6:1 isn’t equal especially on a planet that is 51% female.

  • http://twitter.com/ChannelDiza Chanel Diaz

    Any show, live-action and cartoon. Where most of the ‘cast,’ and I guess by cast, I mean that includes “background characters,” antagonists/villains, bully-characters, friends and family characters, and etc. I’ve never seen so many ‘female’ characters on the scenes at the same time, and treated so well.

  • http://twitter.com/WellYesYouMay WellYesYouMay

    I think that’s exactly what NSYD is saying.

  • Anonymous

    I would definitely check it out. :)

  • http://twitter.com/wizardofliz Liz Baker

    But most of the X-teams have been 90% male, 10% female. And a team that was perfectly 50%/50% is just breaking even. Women need to outnumber the men to even make the tiniest impact in the gender imbalance at large, and an all-female X-team is awesome.

    In a perfect world, I’d agree with you; but the statement this makes is so important to me that I literally cried in happiness when I heard about it.

  • http://twitter.com/wizardofliz Liz Baker

    Hahaha, good point. Kitty’s dragon can be their male mascot.

  • http://twitter.com/wizardofliz Liz Baker

    I love Once Upon a Time, and I love how positive its female characters are. Even the damsels in distress are all very interesting and powerful in their own ways. (Cinderella probably comes the closest to a proper damsel, and if you contrast her with Snow White…) I wish they weren’t so intensely negative about adoption and adoptive families, though, jeez.

    But even if you name all the other shows you can possibly think of, you still won’t come up with more than a drop in the bucket compared to the male-dominated shows. :( We need all the help we can get.

  • http://twitter.com/keltar93 James Gardiner

    A fair argument, and why I’m not irritated by the news, but simply found it interesting.
    On a similar note, if you’re looking for a superhero team up series with a partial female tilt (4-2 female to male), Brian K. Vaughan’s Runaways is quite excellent.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashe.samuels Ashe P. Samuels

    Because when white men hear the word ‘equality’, they interpret it as, “You will get nothing whatsoever.”

    And THAT’S NOT FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIR

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashe.samuels Ashe P. Samuels

    Well put. I agree with most of this, especially the point on diversity being one of X-Men’s best, most defining traits.

    I will say, an all-female team is pretty much a drop in the ocean compared to how many American comics have teams consisting solely of men (maybe some background woman character who is a shallow love interest, which, come on, doesn’t count). This doesn’t bother me particularly, but homogeneity is something I am becoming much more sensitive to, in all regards, and the more it’s courted, the more I roll my eyes.

  • Anonymous

    What blew my mind was that not only was it all female, but judging from the cover art, they all get to keep their clothes on. PSYLOCKE IS WEARING PANTS, Y’ALL. The poses mostly pass the Hawkeye test too (Rachel and Psylocke were a bit iffy).

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashe.samuels Ashe P. Samuels

    I love that it’s now called the Hawkeye test. This is fricking fantastic.

  • ACF

    My mind immediately went to New Avengers as well, when I read the second tweet.

  • Anonymous

    Ugh, are there a lack of comic books with men in them and these guys have nothing to read? I loved Gotham City Sirens, DC’s series featuring Harley, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy. As a guy I’m frustrated by my fellow guys thinking they are victims any time something good happens fro women.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    It doesn’t surprise me Wood would tweet about this: he’s a really talented author, but he’s also rather sensitive to criticism. When that criticism is something as boneheaded as “eww, an all-female X-Men team? Didn’t they see the MAHYN in X-MAHYN” it’s hard to argue with it, though.

  • Anonymous

    Really. Were there only female X-men in that comic?
    Didn’t notice.

    But then, I’m gender blind after all these years accepting on blind faith that the all-male line-up in so many comics is because these characters are better qualified.

  • JANE LANE

    Yeah, but that’s not actually what they’re complaining about.

  • strife

    In a perfect world, people wouldn’t be counting gender, race, sexuality, because no matter how statistically imbalanced they would be depicted fairly and diversely.The writers would simply create the most interesting characters they can and write the best stories they can. After all, character is most important to what being a superhero means. Everything else is a costume.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    I agree with you on the adoptive families thing, but at the same time, I don’t think the show is necessarily beating “biological families are the best” drum all that much,either.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I agree, though one does face a certain amount of that in certain places…for example here If I agree in principle but disagree about the substance of a comment that was made, or I just disagree in general, the backlash I receive is generally along the lines of, “OMG You’re like all of them, eat shit & and die.” It’s hard to be a friend when you’re siding with people that go about feeling very scorned.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Like that Milo Manara book?

  • http://twitter.com/lastofnine lastofnine

    I wish there was a way to preorder with comiXology.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    The only thing that frustrates me about inclusiveness is that more often than not, they market it the same way P.T. Barnum would. For example, the gay Earth 2 Green Lantern, the Northstar (shit, is that his name? The Canadian guy) wedding, the new Ultimate Spider-Man. It becomes a publicity stunt rather than just an expanding, maturing storyline. Now, that doesn’t mean that the story can’t be more than a stunt…for example, I was sceptical about Miles, but the new Spidey stuff has been great. I can’t speak for the other two examples because almost all of the X-books have been shit, so I haven’t read them, and I’m all but boycotting the New 52 extraneous titles, but if the material is handled well…i.e. Miles was passed the torch in a very respectful and “realistic” way that didn’t include Nick Fury saying, “We need to diversify the line-up have this spider bite someone that isn’t white,” or if a character is gay without it being their sole trait, then power to them (the creators of the diversifying comic book universe).

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Is X-23 in the line-up? Cuz I was about to chime in, “There can’t be an X-team without Wolverine, it’s like Disneyland without Mickey Mouse,” but if she’s on, then woo. Though I still think it feels very ploy-ee.

  • http://twitter.com/bryesque Bry Kotyk

    Just pre-ordered mine. Not exactly a hard sell – great cast, great writer, great artist. I just feel bad for anyone who has a problem with this.

  • Anonymous

    I definitely agree that it’s often handled, or at least marketed poorly. The fact that having a black or gay superhero is even worthy of national news coverage is kinda sad and says something about the state of pop culture.

  • http://www.the1geekygirl.com/ Becca C.

    Why can’t we have a comic about all men? Uh…..

  • Anonymous

    If you feel being a feminist ally is too difficult because women don’t act the way you want them to, then you’re actually not an ally at all. That’s why you’re getting responses like that.

  • ACF

    Post Schism, Wolverine hasn’t been on half the X-teams. As for X-23, she’s busy in Avengers’ Arena right now, so until that plays out, I think she’s out of the picture.

    As for Wolverine, I don’t have anything against the character, but he’s been getting shoved into too many things, I think. In particular, I don’t think he works as headmaster of the school.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I never did say feminist ally, did I? Nope. That’s the very thing I’m talking about, though, thanks. “Women don’t act the way you want them to,” is exactly the kind of twisting I get in an attempt to be understood. It’s as if you systematically reverse and define every word I use whatever which way you like so that I’m a villain. My general verdict on that kind of horseplay is I wouldn’t spit on you if you were dying of thirst.

  • Anonymous

    How dare I sound so scorned! Reverse sexism!!

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Well, no, alright, I agree with you there…it sounds silly. But that’s why I said I agreed with the top post…aside from one “although”. The reversal I’m talking about is small and takes only one shape that I’ve thus far encountered…but I do think it could be called reverse sexism. The general filter that my remarks are given…so that what’s distilled is a sort of cowboy’d up attitude just isn’t me and it’s not at all what I’m trying to say, so it’s frustrating. Not class action frustrating, of course. I’m not going to walk around with a home-made poster about how pissed off I am.

    Just, okay, for example: the subject of this page. An All Female X-Team. Am I for it? No…not really, because it sounds like a ploy and the X-books have sucked for quite a while imo, so I’ve started drifting off to greener pastures. This isn’t enough to pull me back in. Another commenter pointed out that the X-Men have been an incredibly inclusive community since Giant-Size and that it’s odd to make the selling point of this particular book that there’s only going to be women. I agree that it’s odd, not that it’s an awful idea, though, so I’ll wait for reviews to decide whether it’s worth picking up.

    A lot of the time, the response I’ll get to a comment like that will consist solely of, “Well, women don’t get enough representation so it doesn’t matter, you’re against that, so I hate you.” …I’m generalizing a tad.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Didn’t he appoint Kitty Pryde to the position so that he could go drink or something?

  • ACF

    I think in theory they’re co-headmaster/mistresses. In reality, Kitty seems to do most of the actual work, while Wolverine mainly holds meetings and threatens people.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    That makes sense…it sounded like a terrible idea from the get go…and took all of half a year before it spawned a miniseries wherein Wolverine tries to kill Quentin Quire and destroys several walls in his pursuit. It’s a bit of a stretch to make a aggressively barbaric character into a headmaster.

    But what do you do with the character then? I think it makes sense to pit him against THIS/current Cyclops, but he’s not an appropriate headmaster, it doesn’t make sense for him to take orders from most (not all) of the X-people who stuck with him, he’s not quite an Avenger, he’s done the free spirit thing so much that I’m sure Japan is sick of him dropping by. Canada too.

  • Anonymous

    The problem isn’t likely what you you’re saying but where you’re saying it. Being sensitive to those around you involves an understanding of timing and appropriateness. If you’re on an article celebrating an achievement in women’s issues, it’s going to feel inappropriate for you to come in and snub it. I feel this is because you’re making a big statement lit up in bright neon that THIS ISSUE DOES NOT MATTER TO YOU. A feminist achievement does not concern you, women’s rights aren’t a factor in your day-to-day life, etc. That’s okay, so long as you can respect the spaces that ARE very involved in them. Making a point to come in and tell us how much you don’t care isn’t very respectful.

    Context is important. Unfortunately, there are a lot of problems with a man speaking negatively about women’s issues … Mostly because men have the power to actually silence and erase them. That’s the bite that you hear in my voice; I’m letting you know that I don’t stand for it.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    First, holy shit, do I appreciate this response. Really, no joke, thank you very much. As for my particular power…I’m not asking (and if it seems implied, I swear it wasn’t my intent) for silence, just understanding. I come here of all places because I like intelligent dialogue and you can usually find it. Women’s rights and issues DO matter to me since the separation of humanity into two or more distinct groups for the purpose of limiting or restricting one or several boggles my mind. It obviously changes my life when how I interact with half of humanity is judged based on the actions of every other human being with a Y-chromosome. Then there’s the little matter of being included in that chain of humanity means that I am related to women…have a kinship with some of them…direct relationships and so on. A mother (with an M.A. she got in her 40′s), a mother-in-law, a wife (the sole breadwinner at the moment), sisters, aunts, and cousins. Though most of my cousins can go to hell, but that’s nothing to do with gender or sex, merely a difference of opinion and I’m a snob. I do care…though I tend not to bring up the F word because more studied people (and sometimes just angry people with ovaries) tend to exclude me from the group on the basis that I could never ever understand. And I get that opinion. I do. So, I don’t use it.

  • ACF

    I actually thought that mini-series was the best thing to come out of Wolverine and the X-men.

    As for what to do with the character, I can see him taking orders from Beast or Storm without any problems (and he did take them from Storm for a while), so putting him as second in command to either of them could work. I think he works alright as a leader in Astonishing X-men, as well, where the rest of the team are adults, and can handle themselves, meaning he can just sort of point them in the right direction and then go be another fighter.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Storm is back? I am out of touch. I think he could co-lead with Beast but they disagree quite a bit, so…well, hm. Actually, he always had that kind of relationship going with Xavier too.

  • ACF

    Storm rejoined Wolverine’s team after AvX.

  • http://www.thediscriminatingfangirl.com/ TDF Pamela

    So… is this referring to my comment? I’m trying to understand the context here. I don’t go about feeling scorned all the time. I get angry when I perceive bullshit tossed about in discussions that I’m interested in. Men crying “reverse sexism!” about an all-female book in a male-dominated genre is bullshit to me.

    I’m sorry that you feel like you’re being attacked, but maybe showing up in a feminist space telling women that they go around feeling very scorned might have something to do with that. That’s making a very big and unflattering generalization about the women commenters here, and to me, it comes off as rude and condescending. You may not intend it that way, but after years of being talked down to because I’m a woman, particularly a woman who reads comics, that’s how it comes off.

  • http://www.facebook.com/laura.truxillo Laura Truxillo

    That’s one of the things I loved about Secret Six–more than half the team was Not Straight, and it was never made an issue of. Never super-publicized, just…that’s who they were. The more often that happens, the happier I’ll be.

  • http://www.facebook.com/laura.truxillo Laura Truxillo

    Psylocke’s passes the Hawkeye test, because Clint does have enough swagger to sit in the “here is my junk” pose. I thought Rachel looked pretty normal too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashe.samuels Ashe P. Samuels

    That is awesome!

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I agree with your point about “Men crying “reverse sexism!” about an all-female book in a male-dominated genre” being bullshit, I was just adding my own experience into account. I realize that I was making an unflattering generalization, but it’s what I’m used to as well (being grouped), and being condescended to. Though I don’t feel like I’m being attacked most of the time! Really, I don’t, I was just adding my two cents and things got a bit, well, I didn’t intend to turn your comment into my soapbox. Sorry.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashe.samuels Ashe P. Samuels

    That’s a good point, actually. When diversity is attempted, it’s done to meet a (very small) quota, or to get those *~*~mouthy minorities*~*~ to ‘shut up and stop complaining GOSH’, or to deflect heat for a little while, then go right back to the status quo.

    What a shock, then, seeing all the shitty results coming from all these shitty reasons.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    And with the end of the book, I’m glad that Simone took a cake + eat it too approach to everyone getting a happy send off, despite certain subject matter probably ruffling some feathers.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    :-/ Sideways face is the only response I have to that sort of depressing truth, but at least there are exceptions. For example, Miles in Ultimate Spider-Man and the entire cast alongside him were believable, worthwhile editions to the story.

    They tried a similar “stunt” in Invincible…and I think the depictions were much more disparaging. So, eh.

  • http://twitter.com/MelissiaKuromoi Melissia

    The problem with that logic is that most of the male writers (And let’s face it, the industry still hasn’t gotten REMOTELY close to gender equality when it comes to content creators) default to male when writing characters.

    So if they’re unconcerned with gender at all? You’ll probably end up with basically all male teams, continuing the exclusive, rather than inclusive, attitude of the industry.

  • Dara Crawley

    I agree but I think it should be said that it may be a lot of the publisizing is do to the fact that there have been difficulties with minority type groups in that arena. Milestone comics produced some great stuff, but a lot of sellers ended up “Not knowing how to market it” and some of the audience did not necessarily know what to expect so they never picked it up. And also enticing an audience. It’s hard to distinguish a publicity stunt from genuinely wanting readers. Though it is sad that we do think this when we see a non-white non-straight and non-male characte :/r

  • Dara Crawley

    Rachel, Kitty,and Wolverine are all headmasters but they manage differing…departments. IT’s kinda like having a principle for each grade, but this is more because of the various and unending events that happen

  • http://twitter.com/brianwood Brian Wood

    Thanks to Natalie Sharp, and everyone, for the kind words. It wouldn’t be an easy or simple way to get a trans character into the world of the X-Men in a meaningful or significant way, but plenty of people, including some in editorial, think this should happen. So I’ll work on it.

  • Amber Barnes

    You’re first two words contradict the rest of your response. Men do not experience sexism. Good day.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Unable to vouch for 49% of human beings like you can, I can only assume you’re wrong.

  • http://www.thechildhealthsite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=1 Edcedc8

    good point, but I wonder if it’s not the gender of the writer, but the quality?

  • http://twitter.com/MelissiaKuromoi Melissia

    Good quality male writers still write almost entirely about male characters.

  • Dylan

    Thanks for ruining x men you piece of shit, women don’t even read comics, but we’re all pc now right? Being pc is so cool and trendy right? Fuck you, Brian for ruining the only series I genuinely cared about.

  • http://twitter.com/MelissiaKuromoi Melissia

    And yet the trend still is there– most male writers still write about male protagonists.