Thursday, 3 July 2014


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

One look at the costume and it's obvious that, back in the '70s,
comics were still aimed mainly at teenage boys (of which I was one).
There's no way in real-life an actual superheroine would ever wear a
costume that revealing to fight criminals and superpowered robots and
the like.  That said, the scanty costume fulfilled its purpose because that
was the only reason I bought the mag - for the 'good girl art'.  The first
ish is the one I bought way back then, the subsequent three I acquired
many years later (early to mid-'90s maybe)  just because they came
my way at a reasonable price.  These are the only four I have.

Ms. MARVEL, eh?  It's obvious that feminism still extended
its influence into mainstream culture at the time, otherwise it would
simply have been 'Miss' Marvel.  Ironic how feminism is the very thing
that caused women to lose (or discard) their femininity and embrace the
'laddette' lifestyle which pervades society today.  Is there such a thing as
an elegant, sophisticated, softly-spoken, lady-like woman anymore?  If
so, someone found and married her before I got the chance.  All I see
are hordes of screaming, shouting, itching, scratching, alcohol-swig-
ging, belching, farting, swearing harpies (some nice-looking ones
admittedly) wherever I go - and those I can well live without.
(Although, to be fair, they'd feel the same about me.)

Okay, rant over.  No doubt I'll be accused of being a male
chauvinist pig, but as I always say, it's better than being a woman
who won't do as she's told.  Who's with me lads?  Shout "Aye!"

H'mm. Kinda quiet around here, isn't it?


DeadSpiderEye said...

She kinda looks like a guy with girly hair and a belly button fixation in a few of 'em.

Kid said...

Looks like a guy? Where've you been spending your time, DSE? She's all woman! (Gasp!)

karl said...

Apart from 'The Claws of the Cat', one of the best female superheroines of the 70s [and no, not being ironic, I loved the Cat/Tigra]. Ms. Marvel was the best EVER - full of 70s feminism and bravura, and in the best Marvel tradition had to have a spilt-personality 'amnesia' like every other female hero such as Spider-Woman.
Later editions of Ms Marvel had her belly-button covered up because of complaints [go figure that one out] but I loved loved loved Carol Danvers, the Marvel equivalent of Wonder Woman. I bought every issue of this book back in the day and five years ago got the Essential Edition of her entire first run. Absolutely brilliant. That first issue had a distinct Spidey vibe with guest appearances by Peter Parker, the Scorpion and Mary Jane, etc...thankfully this soon stopped and we got a rip-rousing action fest with plenty going on. I think every issue of this run was superb - not easy when the vast majority of female comics do a downward turn soon after their initial runs.
p.s. I got the original Love Me or Leave Me record of Doris Day about thirty years ago and still have it today! Love that song!

Kid said...

I've got the first ish of Claws of the Cat. The strip was reprinted in the Super-Heroes UK Marvel mag, but some of the highlighs on her costume were blacked out by the looks of it, no doubt so as not to inflame the passions of pimply adolescents. I haven't read the first ish of Ms. M in years, and I don't think I've ever read the other three, so I must sit down and give them some attention one day. As for love Me or Leave Me, Karl, believe it or not, Danny Kaye does quite a nice version of it.

DeadSpiderEye said...

Dunno... she still looks a bit butch to me, a lumberjack would be proud of those shoulders and her mits wouldn't look outa place on a navvy.

Kid said...

DSE, you'll need to stop hanging out with all those butch lumberjacks and navvies - you're starting to see 'em everywhere.

Colin Jones said...

I didn't know how to pronounce "Ms." so I just called her Miss Marvel anyway. My friend, Lee, thought you had to say the letters "Em Ess Marvel" - I knew that had to be wrong ! But I don't agree this was just aimed at boys, I think it was Marvel's rather clunky attempt at female empowerment - remember the Spice Girls were into that "girl power" stuff but they still looked like a bunch of bimbos. I got Ms. Marvel #1 in the early '80s but I remember the other splash pages from the early issues of Marvel Superheroes - talking of that mag, I bought Ms. Marvel #23 in April '79 which had the new-look MM and a new-look masthead then when Marvel Superheroes #1 came out a few months later I saw the "Marvel" bit had been pinched from the Ms. Marvel masthead. Kid, I suppose you know that Ms. Marvel has recently been re-named Captain Marvel.

Kid said...

The main audience of superhero comics is boys, Col - always has been. While Marvel might've been happy to pick up some female readers, it was typical superhero fare with a female in the lead role. Had they been aiming Ms. Marvel at female readers, they'd have at least employed a female writer. To be honest, I haven't been keeping up to date with all the latest changes in the Marvel Universe - I find most comics nowadays dreadfully dull. (Incidentally, Col, 'Ms.' is pronounced 'Mizz'.)

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

Actually whilst the character Carol Danvers (ie the original Ms Marvel) is now Captain Marvel , Marvel also have another character called Ms Marvel as well - picked up a couple of issues of these comics, for me not a patch on the original first series which I quite enjoyed at the time -

Re "laddettes" I couldn't agree more whilst I quite like a woman that's confident and enjoys herself I have no idea why some young women want to emulate the very worst of male culture (hate ott laddish behaviour a well)with binge drinking , foul language etc but in saying that I work with (and see in the outside world) lots of younger females (20s -30) that are pretty decent,strong, caring,intelligent, independent and feminine women (there are of course still a lot of mad laddettes (and lads) out there sadly

Colin Jones said...

Kid, I know it's pronounced Mizz but I didn't know in the '70s - I assumed it was a different way of spelling Miss. And yes,super-hero comics are aimed at boys, I remember trying to get my sister interested - fat chance ! But some girls did read them and I still think Marvel were trying to do a female empowerment thing. By the way, I was reading recently that 40 per cent of the audience at The Avengers opening weekend were women ! As you don't keep up with Marvel you may not know that Captain Britain is also a woman now apparently - a Muslim woman doctor. We've come a long way from 1976 !

Kid said...

Another thing, do women cook anymore, McScotty? I see them dragging their kids into McDonalds all the time. I think the days when women actually cooked proper meals for their hubby and kids are a thing of the past. As for these women you meet - I'd ask you to send some my way, but it depresses me to realise that they're all too young for me.


Col, I think that most of the 40% of women at the Avengers movie were probably only their because their hubbies or boyfriends dragged them. Either that or it was because they fancied Robert Downie Jr.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

Captain Britain only became a Muslim female character ( Faiza Hussein) in a few pages of a story (alternate timeline)Although there was another woman called Kelsey Leigh that became Capt Britain for a few issues of some storyline (not a Muslim though) she's now called Lionheart and Capt Britains twin sister Betsy Braddock was also Captain Britain for a while. - I don't know why Marvel , DC etc do these things to their characters all the time which is why I no longer read most comics now (incidentally the new Ms Marvel is a Muslim lady - not that that should be an issue)

Kid said...

I don't know, McScotty, I think they make it an issue when they do it only for PC reasons. If it wasn't an 'issue', it would probably never have occurred to them to do it. (But I know what you mean - that YOU weren't making it an issue.)

baab said...

Splash page 1; warrior woman flies in to save the day.
May appeal to a couple of new female readers.
Splash page 2;forget it! get a phallic symbol in her hands.
Splash page 3;And another, its what the kids want!
Splash page 4:lets really go to town.

Thats mad stuff right there.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

Cheers I read my message back and thought it sounded as if I had an issue here (or that I was picking on poor Colin for mentioning Muslim characters) none of these, I only meant it as you noted ie the issue of change for the sake of it from Marvel/DC etc to look PC.

Kid said...

Oh, Baab, you old cynic you.


And I knew you knew that I knew you knew that, McS. (Eh?)

Dougie said...

I can clearly remember buying Ms. Marvel issue 2 - didn't see number one, of course. I was a bit embarassed because obviously she was "intended for gurls";-) I read most of the series so I obviously liked her and was disappointed that, after her redesign, she was written out apparently for good. I find her current Captain Marvel incarnation less appealing than her role as Binary.

I liked the second Ms. Marvel in the 80s FF although I was dubious about the portrayal of her psychological problems- she was essentially a rape victim and then mutated into a She-Thing.

I have found the new teen Muslim Ms. M a very charming series and subsequently our school's (female librarian )has become a fan. I do wish however that she didn't have Elasti-Girl's powers ( Kamala Khan that is- not our librarian!)

Kid said...

I may have read some of the tales in the UK Marvel Super-Heroes monthly, but because they were resized into different page dimensions, looking at the original US colour versions doesn't immediately ring any bells. Maybe I'll track down some other issues in the future. The Ms. Marvel She-Thing appeared in the FF and the Thing's own mag. Like the She-Hulk, I suspect she was 'created' for copyright reasons.

Barry Pearl said...

Roy Thomas, (Comic Book Artist #2 1998): There was a great drop off in female readers in the early ‘70s. We came up with three strips for which you made up the names and concepts: Shanna the She-Devil, Night Nurse, and The Claws of the Cat. (We were) trying to woo the female readers back” Stan Lee said, “The failure of The Cat was my biggest disappointment.”

For years Marvel had sold millions of comics to young girls and then it stopped. Gone were Millie and Hedy and all the romantic comics. So Cat, Shanna, Ms. Marvel tried to bring them back. After all Wonder Woman was sexy and wore a revealing costume and was read by young women.

I think two things happened that marvel was unprepared for. First, the comics for girls were written and drawn by men in their 50s. They could not relate at all to the social issues of the 1970s.

You see, in the 1950s it was all about romance for girls’s comics, their choices were which boy to go out with. The choices changed in the 1960s and 1970s. Should I go to college? Should I have a career or get married? When should I have children. And a ton more. But the old writes at Marcel could not write for this audience.

And I didn't like Ms. Marvel. When Mooney took over she looked like Supergirl

Kid said...

Their biggest mistake, I believe, Barry, was, as you say, getting men in their 50s to write the books, but also going the superhero route, which is mainly popular to males. (I think even Wonder Woman is bought mainly by a male audience, even 'though a few females buy it.) I think they'd have been better doing a mag that would've appealed (as you say) to things females are interested in, but even those kind of mags (romance, etc) didn't seem to be as popular as they'd once been.

And Barry - what's wrong with a gal looking like Supergirl? That's what I'm looking for in my life.

Marionette said...

Apparently, I am informed, the biggest growth audience in American comics right now is the 17-24 female market.

Marvel has been making an effort to be more female friendly for a while, now (love the new Ms. Marvel), but DC just doubled down on the fanboy market with the New52, though they are now making an effort with Gotham Academy. Which will probably die a death because, honestly, who goes to DC for female friendly comics?

Re: Laddettes. yes, they are loud and obnoxious, but since women have been putting up with you guys behaving like that for decades, it seems only fair they should get to be just as horrible.

Also, get your own dinner. ;p

Kid said...

Ah, Marionette - save us from a woman's logic. So two wrongs make a right, eh? And why do you think God made women with small feet? It's so they can stand closer to the cooker when making the dinner - and closer to the sink when they're washing the dishes afterwards. Now rustle me up a sandwich.

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