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The ‘X-men’ become X-women

by AMY LASSITER Staff Writer

For the first time in 50 years, the “X-men” introduced an entirely female team, featured in the new issue released on May 29.

Storm, Rogue, Jubilee, Kitty Pryde, Rachel Grey, and Psylocke make up the new group of mutants in “X-men” #1. These women also joined the Fearless Defenders as one of the two Marvel female super-teams.

Marvel Comics’ X-men is well-known in the comic book community for its diverse characters and understanding of social issues, yet the introduction of this group still surprised many fans of the series.

Writer Brian Wood and editor Jeanine Schaefer have had the desire to create an all-female team for several years, and they finally decided now was the right time. Both Wood and Schaefer feel that these characters fit together perfectly to make an exciting read.

“It makes me so happy that Marvel finally decided to create a female ‘X-men’ team. There’s so many amazing and strong women characters that I feel are taken for granted. It’s a little sad that it took them so long to do this, but at least they finally did. I’m particularly excited to see Jubilee again since she’s one of my favorite characters in the comics,” said an anonymous student.

An all-woman team was also pitched to Marvel in the past, but it was rejected. In 2011, the only Marvel title with a main female hero, “X-23,” was taken off shelves because of low sales. Sadly, some readers believe that comic book sales fail solely because there is a female protagonist.

Although women are represented within comic books with many strong characters and super-teams such as DC Comics’ “Birds of Prey,” and 1998’s indie book “Danger Girl”, the fan community is not always welcoming of feminist ideas.

Comic book fans can be notorious for accusing women of not being “real” fans or only reading the comics to impress others. Female characters may be loved and respected, but female fans do not receive the same treatment. As female heroes become increasingly more mainstream, some of the discrimination against women may slacken.

“A main concept in comic books, video games or the whole industry is that the girls usually depend on the guys for everything. Usually the girls are weaker and always need saving like in Spider-Man, and Superman. Though they are still great stories, there is never a strong female within them. The ‘X men’ are different in the way that half their team is strong girls, like Storm and Jean Grey, but even though this is true they still rely on the guys a lot. Professor X is still in charge and he still depends on the guys more and he girls are never sent by themselves. I think a female team is a big step in the industry to be less discriminating against females,” said freshman Diyaa Capil.

It is very exciting to see these changes in the popular “X-men” comics, and hopefully Storm, Rogue, Jubilee, Kitty Pryde, Rachel Grey, and Psylocke will be able to show the true strength within female heroes.

How do you feel about the new “X-men” team?

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