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Tuesday, February 28, 2017 

Why should men creating superheroines be discouraging?

Publisher's Weekly wrote about a lady writer who created a black superheroine through the indie press called Rayven Choi. To point to the positive, this is one of the right ways to go about things, and not forcibly change/replace an established white protagonist solely for the sake of publicity in the mainstream. But there's also something here that sounds baffling and dumbfounding:
Next came outreach to real comic book enthusiasts, which meant launching the second book at Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con in October. Smith says the response was encouraging, particularly from women readers. She recalls meeting a group of girls who were on the hunt for female superhero characters, but who were discouraged to discover the creators were all men. “Their question was: where are the women who are creating these strong female characters?” Smith says. “By the time they arrived at my table, they were both excited and relieved to find a woman who was telling a story about a strong and powerful woman.”
Assuming this is true, why should a character being created by men be discouraging? If it matters, there's at least two heroines I know of who were created by women: Vampirella in 1969, by Trina Robbins with Forest J. Ackerman, and Shanna the She-Devil in 1972, by Carole Seuling with George Tuska. How come they aren't mentioned here? And why does it sound like these girls she alleges were discouraged have no gratitude for William Marston and Harry G. Peter for creating Wonder Woman? This is just so silly.

Granted, this is a good example of a writer who created a new protagonist without forcibly replacing an established character in mainstream superhero worlds for the sake of publicity stunts. But either the trade paper's making it sound like something's wrong with men creating heroines, or some segment of the audience doesn't have what it takes to show gratitude to men who've worked hard to develop a creation.

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