A recent comment in The Washington Post by Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso
made international headlines caused a stir on Tumblr and The Beat after he revealed that, quote "While we don't have any market research, the eyes don't lie. If you go to conventions and comic book stores, more and more female readers are emerging. They are starved for content and looking for content they can relate to."
Last year, Marvel's female-centric Captain Marvel and Fearless Defenders were lauded by critics and Tumblr as the beginning of a serious, concentrated effort to develop books aimed at female readers. Unfortunately, Fearless Defenders never found its audience, but Captain Marvel did so well that Marvel have recently announced a relaunch of the book, alongside a slew of other new books focused on empowering female characters such as Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, Elektra, Black Widow, and the X-Men (the latter written by Brian Wood, whose thoughtful, sincere, and caring attempts to bridge the gender gap are well-known).
Statistical evidence recently supplied by Brett Schenker at The Beat (who has been covering for Editor-in-Chief Heidi MacDonald during her "Fuck Comics! I'm Going To Post Travelogues Of France And Updates About My Computer" phase) seems to indicate that Marvel might be on to something. According to Schenker's research, an astonishing 46.67% of comic book fans are female. It should be noted that these statistics were not based on sales data, but rather the methodology of users who clicked 'Like' on Facebook. (Schenker's other data indicated that a vast majority of Facebook users also like funny cat pictures, Candy Crush Saga, Beyonce videos, different types of cheese, Republicans, Democrats, their High School reunion, Wal-Mart, and Benedict Cumberbatch gifs).
A source inside Marvel has informed us that, encouraged by the public's initial response to these new titles and Schenker's evidence, Marvel is now searching through their vast library of intellectual properties to find other female characters who can star in their own ongoing series. Our source went on to say that the first of these will be Golden Oldie, last seen in Marvel Team-Up #137.
Golden Oldie, as Bronze Age fans will remember, is better known to the public as Peter Parker's beloved Aunt May. When she receives a dose of the Power Cosmic (during a selfless attempt to save Franklin Richards), Aunt May is transformed into the newest herald of the world-devouring Galactus.
Our source tells us the new series was first discussed during Marvel's last creative retreat. Joe Quesada reportedly asked Dan Slott what Aunt May's upcoming story-arc and character development would be. Slott is said to have replied, "None. There's no room for her. We have to bring in Spider-Man 2099 and Ultimate Spider-Man and six-armed Spider-Man and Spider-Ham and all the other iterations of Spidey. All your Spider-Man are belong to us!" Our source states Quesada then asked rock star scribe Brian Bendis if he had any plans for the character, to which Bendis replied, "No. Let the girls play with her, if they want."
Marvel then turned to Kelly Sue DeConnick and G. Willow Wilson, who will reportedly write the new series. While there is no word on who the book's artist will be, we are told that departing Senior Editor Stephen Wacker was quite upset at the news. Our source overheard Wacker complain, "Oh sure. The moment I leave, they do something like this. Don't you understand what this will do to the Internet? The message boards are going to explode! This could very well have been my greatest potential for trolling closet misogynists, and people on the CBR and Bleeding Cool forums, and now I can't! It sucks. With this new job at Marvel Animation, I have to do actual work. I can't mess around online all day."
Marvel did not respond to our requests for comment on this story, because we did not ask. It should be noted that Mr. Wacker still has an open invite to mess around on The Outhouse forum, as time permits.