Over the past few years, the argument of who is better, men or woman, has raged on with still no actual answer for either side; but due to male dominance from the 20th century the scales have tipped more in the man’s favour with no real legitimate reason; not only is this visible in reality but it can be seen in the fictional worlds of marvel and dc characters; this is visible through the idea that women have always taken a backseat to that of the male superheroes. The argument has never truly been brought to much attention in the idea of patriarchy in superheroes but due to the recent string of superhero films with strong female characters, such as Pepper Potts in Iron Man 3 and General Zods right hand woman in the man of steel, I couldn’t help myself but investigate this topic of and look at the unfairness there is in gender in the world of superhero fiction.
The first time I majorly noticed this was with Black Widow in The Avengers Assemble and the fact that she was an amazing character and in her own rights has a great story behind the character but is forced to the side-lines mainly because she is a woman and marvel are a rather male dominated company because their key demographic is the teenage male. so to find the answer to why this is happening I will be looking all the aspects of marvel and DC Comics, such as their fan bases and the fans thoughts on gender, the values each brand upholds and displays through the use of narratives and visual imagery, also the representation of each gender through the same means as before and finally the history of each institution to see were the patriarchy of superheroes began.
It would be hard for me to find each individual fans opinion but I can try and find similarity’s and correlations of opinion in each fan site and forum; but if I can’t find any similarities in opinion I will then look for a correlation in gender and opinion; but first lets investigate the history of each franchise to find the hidden beginning of patriarchy in superheroes.