There’s a guy out there who’s about to turn a whole lot of previously sophisticated, way-cool women into a bunch of comic-book convention-going, lining-up-on-Wednesdays (for new releases), nerdalicious fiends. You just might be one of them. And if so, you can blame it on him:
Alright, alright, in the interest of full disclosure, let me come clean here. It’s no secret that New York Times bestsellling author Eric Jerome Dickey is one of my favorite people in the world. He’s a longtime friend who is extraordinarily talented and is, without peer, the most hard-working writer I know. He’s ALWAYS writing. ALWAYS. When it was announced that Marvel Comics had enlisted him to do a limited edition six-issue series about the character Storm from the X-Men, I was gushingly proud of him and for him. This was truly something monumental, especially if you include the fact that Eric’s a hardcore comic book fan. Since the announcement, the internet has been ablaze with chatter from both women and men who can’t wait to get their hands on the damn things. Can you blame them? Get a load of the artwork:
When I first saw it, I thought, “This is awesome! Incredible! Eric’s making history with this series.” Then, today, for the very first time, I began to consider some very interesting potential repercussions.
First off, this is pretty much a home run all around—for Eric, for Marvel, and male and female fans. It’s no secret that the world of comic books with superheroes as characters is typically male-dominated. Not to say there aren’t legions of women out there who are hardcore comic book fans, but the men far outnumber them. (That comment is based upon no hard evidence whatsoever. Expect to see a lot of that from me. My blog, my made-up facts.) It’s also no secret that Eric has an incredibly vast and loyal female fan base. Tons of men love his work too, but the women outnumber the men by a thousand to every twenty. (Again, I can’t confirm that data. Don’t plan to either.) These women will follow Eric anywhere, even if it means stepping into a world where the characters are made of rocks and catch on fire. On top of that, Eric’s limited edition series will focus on the epic, previously untold love affair between the world’s two most popular African-American superheroes—Ororo (Storm) and T’Challa (the Black Panther). So the women will get a love story to the nth power. They get SUPERHERO SEX (!!!), or at least get to imagine the possibilities of it, even if there isn’t any. And the men will glom onto the series because they enjoy Eric’s work as an author, they know the series will be an instant collectible, and as a bonus, there’s the thought of Storm…
…getting nailed by someone with equally superhuman powers, which all men think they have anyway. Happy female readers. Happy males. In equal numbers. It’s a publisher’s wet dream.
I read quite a few comics when I was young, but that was because I had a brother who was both a huge comic book fan and a collector of them. I enjoyed reading his issues of Sub-Mariner and Silver Surfer, but he didn’t let me near them much for fear that I wouldn’t handle them with the care and reverence they required. They were just freaking comic books. Damn. Or were they? Years later, my brother’s copy of Silver Surfer #1, Vol. 1, is worth enough to almost get me a decent pair of Blahniks. Damn. Who knew?
I eventually grew up and out of the comic book world, leaving behind Silver Surfer (dammit!!), Superman, Archie, Betty, Veronica, and a whole slew of what I considered cartoon characters in print. But once a man is indoctrinated into the comic book world, it seems to be something he holds onto forever. It’s a way of life, not a rite of passage.
Well, I guess the women will be joining all those diehard men in comic-book land, now that Eric’s Storm series is about to be unleashed. I just hope the ladies don’t go all ‘pocket protector’ on me. And if they do, then I hope they at least remember to mix it up with a nice bag and the right pair of heels. ‘Cause if I see even one of my friends in a pair of earth shoes, dammit…I’m coming after Eric myself. Friendship be damned!!