An issue that is not only prevalent in today’s society, but also in comic books is – and you guessed it – sexism. Now you may say, “Wait a minute, we have Wonder Woman! She’s the epitome of feminism!” And while I won’t disagree with the fact that Diana Prince is a legendary, badass female character, unfortunately, we still have a lot of progress to make in terms of gender equality when it comes to representation in comics.
One of the most annoying and disheartening things to see when it comes to comic book to movie adaptations is the amount of times companies rehash the same story (no matter the cost) all because the character is male. The most recent example of this is from Variety.com, where they report that: “Warner Bros.’ plans to develop two new films based on the Joker.”
Potentially even more confusing: These Jokers won’t have anything to do with each other. That means two actors will be putting their own spins on Batman’s archnemesis. (Source)
My question is simple: Why? Why waste production on a story that’s been told multiple times, for a character that’s not even a superhero, but a villain? Why don’t these production companies spearhead another movie with a female lead, considering the success of Wonder Woman brought in “topping $800 million worldwide and bringing the studio a much-needed smash that critics and audiences alike embraced.”
Another film that has been in the works for a while is Gotham City Sirens, and has been heavily hyped up by many fans including a vast majority of LGBTQ+ fans who want to watch the romance between Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy unfold. Not to mention having the iconic trio of super-villains, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Catwoman together is just the thing we need in terms of female empowerment. However, according to TVOvermind.com, Gotham City Sirens “may have been dropped in favor the new Joker and Harley Quinn movie.” This is just another slap in the face for LGBTQ+ fans who would rather see a healthy relationship between two women instead of a horribly abusive heterosexual relationship, and to female fans everywhere in order to pursue the interests of a male character.
There are over 120 female DC superheroes (not including the vast amount of female villains and supporting characters that also need representation) that all deserve their story to be told. For example, Bumblebee, DC’s first black costumed heroine, has been apart of comics for 40 years (1977-2017) and has yet to make it into a live-action outlet. There are way too many female characters to mention, but some that come to mind are Zatanna Zatara, Black Canary, Power Girl, Huntress, Batwoman, Big Barda, Dawnstar, Barbara Gordon, Atlee, Vixen, Donna Troy, Hawkgirl, Stargirl, and so many others. All of these strong, powerful women deserve their chance to make it into a live-action appearance, and not just be a whisper of representation lost in history. So please, stop making remakes and spinoffs of the same male character again and again and let’s give some of our ladies a chance to do what they do best: kick ass and shine.