If you were to flip through the comic book pages of previous generations, you would probably be struck by how dominant male characters and superheroes were across every narrative. This trend was also prevalent in films, television and more recently video games where female characters often fulfilled supporting roles while their male counterparts dominated the headlines.
And it’s a prominent theme throughout history, where the narratives of dominant landowners and warring kings set the scene for bloodshed, political ascent, and tragic demise. Historians are adamant that the mothers and wives of these kings were deceptively influential, as they showcased strength and intelligence that defied the views of the time.
Thankfully, we are nearing an age of equality where the opinions of men and women are equally valid in the eyes of both outward history and inward, behind-the-scenes struggles.
Despite this, it has taken various aspects of popular culture to recognize this, especially when you consider the gaming and comic book marketplaces. Game developers and comic book studios such as Marvel have finally began to celebrate the strength and influence of the female form, however, as they look to bring their output up to date and capitalize on the small fact that 52% of all gamers are now female.
This is has seen the rise of the female superhero in recent times, as Marvel in particular have created a series of new characters and reinvented old ones to suit the prevailing times. Take the upcoming series of Spider Woman where our hero takes center stage in a number of adventures while also balancing the demands of pregnancy and motherhood. Marvel Comics have also take the decision of reinventing the classic character of Thor as a woman, which in turn has caused a huge amount of controversy and debate among fans.
In many ways, Thor is the classic male superhero. Powerfully built and blessed with a strong, granite jaw, he is renowned for his immense physical strength and fearlessness. The decision of Marvel to reinvent this as a female role seems to be a major sign of intent, as the brand looks to modernize itself completely and appeal to a new demographic of female fans. Traditional comic book fans have reacted angrily, however, claiming that the move is little more than a strategy to appease feminists and the current trend for political correctness.
There is no doubt that this controversy will die down, however, as what Marvel is attempting remains inherently good. Not only is the brand attempting to modernize its narrative and characters in terms of gender quality, but it is also challenging religious and cultural stereotypes. Take the development of its first Muslim lead character, Ms. Marvel, who is the type of significant move that will reach out to a changing and increasingly progressive demographic.
Hopefully, we will see this trend continue across online gaming platforms like Slots Heaven with hosted themed games. This will not only create continuity across the various sections of popular culture, but it will also ensure that comic book literature and gaming remain relevant in a constantly evolving world.