A Dime For A Distraction

Most superheroes are male, but that’s not gender inequality, it’s just how they were originally made.

Ultimate Power and Elektra comic books both feature women on the cover.

Photo Courtesy of Ryan Deitchman

Ultimate Power and Elektra comic books both feature women on the cover.

Sammi Tester, Columnist

When America was on the verge of war, the scared citizens needed someone to look up to. The desperate call for help was answered by superheroes. While husbands, dads, sons, and brothers were away in No-Man’s Land, the male superheroes filled the void of man. The boys at home could run up to the store and buy a distraction from the crumbling world around them for just a dime. But, nowadays, some people think that there is some kind of horrible gender inequality in superheroes and their corresponding movies.

Superhero movies made recently, like “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” are based around comic books made decades ago when gender inequality was the norm. The producers of these movies want to make their films as close to the original comics as they can to please the majority of the viewers. The writers and illustrators of the beloved comic books aren’t making new heroines, most likely, because they know people like the heros they have now and know they can keep selling them.

Going back to the time amidst the Second World War, superheroes were just becoming popular. Man of Steel, or Superman, originally appeared in the first issue of “Action Comics,” which was published in 1938. The next year, 1939, was the first time the world was exposed to Batman in “Detective Comics No. 27.” In the following two years, The Flash and Captain America were introduced in their very own comic books. It wasn’t until 1963 that two more still-famous superheroes were debuted. It was Spider-Man in “Amazing Spider-Man” and The Avengers in “Avengers No. 1.” It wasn’t until 1968 that Iron Man got his own comic book, but in 1959, he was in “Tales of Suspense No. 39.”

The controversy about, most recently, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” not portraying both genders equally is being taken to a level that isn’t necessary. The Avengers, along with many other superheroes, were created in a time when America needed male heroes with one or two heroines and they all did a fine job at fulfilling the need. In the decades these comic books and graphic novels were created, people didn’t think twice about having mostly men as their fictional guardians. Why can’t we just be happy with the heroes we have?