There have been a lot of complaints about the DC Comics reboot. I don’t want to add my words to these complaints, because it’s been said and I don’t think I could do any better (Laura Hudson and Michele Lee say it quite beautifully). To sum it up: Readers are unhappy because the female characters are not characters, they are sexual objects without empathy or authority. They are not empowered, they exist solely for the tits and ass.
From what I can tell, these complaints are being met with some enthusiasm, but also with aggression, confusion, and distain. To that, I say this:
Dear DC Comics,
I want to believe that you don’t intend to alienate your readers. I want to believe that your female characters are empowered, that they enjoy their sexuality, and are just as significant and multi-faceted as your male characters.
However, I don’t know if I believe this. When I think of the great characters, the great stories you’ve created, I think of Batman. Superman. The Joker. Green Lantern. Robin. Why aren’t there any female characters on that list? I love Harley Quinn, but she wouldn’t be anything without the Joker. I like Wonder Woman, too, but some days she just feels like a less ‘super’ version of Superman (same color scheme and everything).
So, here is my challenge to you. If you want more readers, if you want more profits, if you want to continue to exist, this is what you need to do: Create a female superhero that is as strong as Superman, as interesting as Batman, as lovable as Green Lantern. Give her a logo that people will recognize, something that everyone will want on their t-shirts and hats and stickers. Don’t make her an ‘affirmative action’ creation, there grudgingly, only to prove that you’re not misogynists. Make a character that everyone wants to be.
You did it with Batman. Find someone, male or female or anything in between, that doesn’t want to be Batman. Do it again.
Ps- I loved Starfire when I was younger, watching Teen Titans on TV. I don’t know where that incarnation of her came from, or where she went, but I miss her. And in that regard, DC comics is very bad at math.