Whither Our Superheroines? An Outraged Culture Demands To Know

In all the drama surrounding Edward Norton's Hulk trouble and Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr.'s gloriously checkered past, we've overlooked one of the more conspicuous problems afflicting this summer's superhero glut. To wit: Where are all the women? Are there any comics featuring female heroes whom some studio will take a chance shepherding to the screen? At least one commentator shares our concern at Vulture, and the prognosis isn't looking good:

Historically, in superhero movies, the only way for an actress to get a piece of the action is to be a piece of action. While all these female characters will certainly be smart, capable women, their primary function will still be as the hero's love interest. These perilous roles virtually guarantee that no amount of brains or pluck will be enough for a damsel to save herself from distress; her endangerment serves to ratchet up the tension of the film, which is always nicely resolved with the tender coda of her rescue. ... What does it take to get some superequal rights up in here?

The author does cite the presence of Selma Blair as the "pyrokinetic" romantic interest in Guillermo del Toro's upcoming Hellboy II — essentially the exception that proves the Hollywood rule. Meanwhile, Film Experience proprietor Nathaniel Rogers spent the weekend at New York's Comic-Con, recoiling from the near-second-class citizenry afforded icons like Supergirl and Batgirl while a new Jenna Jameson comic book sold like mad elsewhere in the building. Yes, we know that Elektra and Catwoman tanked, but Halle Berry's folly is no good reason for the long-awaited Wonder Woman movie to eternally inhabit Development Hell — at least not when Marvel will spend $300 million making The Incredible Hulk twice before throwing a quarter of that into spinning off Ellen Page's Kitty Pryde character from X-Men. We're just saying, boys.