Dear DC: Little Girls Play Board Games, Too

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The folks on Sword and Laser recently had a brief discussion about the Justice League:  Axis of Villains board game, which apparently includes no women.  Peter V. Brett has a post about it here.  In short, his daughter didn’t want to play the game because it didn’t even have Wonder Woman.

WONDER WOMAN.  The single most important female superhero in the entire DC canon is not in a fucking board game meant to be played by children.

I cannot express how angry and disappointed I am in DC over this.  Every single time I hear something about DC, it’s shit like this.  DC saying something dumb about women.  DC releasing creepy suicide PSAs w/ Harley Quinn practically nude in a bathtub.  DC not including women.  DC bad.  DC bad.

The more DC fails at what are the most basic levels of equality, the more I’m reminded how much better its major competitor is by comparison.  Marvel has failures, too.  It fails a lot.  Look at the Spider-woman cover.  WTF was that, Marvel?  But you know what Marvel didn’t do?  Create board games for kids that don’t include women.

That link will take you to Marvel Heroes, which is certainly not female heavy, but at least includes enough female characters that a group of young girls could play the game without having to create their own pieces (as Brett suggested he and his daughter do to make up for the stupidity of DC’s failure)(granted, they would have to fiddle with game parameters; thanks, Marvel).  The only “team” (X-Men, Avengers, etc.) that doesn’t include a female character in that game is the Avengers, which I also think is stupid (where the fuck is Scarlet Witch, Black Widow, Spider-woman, etc.?).  But it at least has SOME female characters.  Not a lot.  It’s still a failure.  But fuck.  It’s not a total fuckup.

Marvel has other board games which at least have women in them.  Marvel Legendary:  bunch of women. I’m sure Marvel has failed on the board game thing in the past, but nobody should be failing in 2014 (or 2013, the release year for the game).  Nobody.

Marvel is not perfect.  It is a monstrous beast of a company which is still trying to figure out how to be progressive in an era where you can be ripped to shreds for failing to represent humanity.  But it’s a company that gives the impression that it’s trying.  Ms. Marvel.  Captain Marvel.  Black Widow.  Storm.  They’ve all got their own comics right now.  They put Black Widow in Captain America 2 and gave her a prominent role (I think they meant her to be a sidekick, but I actually think she’s more equal to Captain America in many respects — and, hey, Cap actually respects *her* as a human being in that friggin movie…she’s not on a t-shirt congratulating Cap for gettin’ sum — fucking DC).

This kind of stuff has put a sour taste in my mouth about DC.  When they release a new comic, I find myself turning the other way.  There are only two comics I currently read from DC:  Batman and Justice League.  But the more DC fails at being…modern, the more I’m inclined to drop those, too.  Because I’m getting more of what I want from Marvel.  I get female characters.  I get *good* female characters.  I get diversity and new perspectives.  Marvel gives me more of what I want, and it fails far less than DC.  And when it does fail, there seems to be a greater effort to make a correction.  There won’t be any more of those butt-in-the-air Spider-woman covers.  We will have better visual representations in the future.  That I’m sure of.

So I end this rant with this:  When will DC realize it is 2014 and grow up?

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

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