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2023 The Year of Women and Fridging

What is Marvel Doing?

By Alexandrea CallaghanPublished 30 days ago 3 min read
Top Story - June 2024

2023 was an incredible year for women in film. Between Beyonce and Taylor’s concert movies, Barbie and 1 single woman getting nominated for best director at the Oscars there was a lot to celebrate. But just like with anything the universe seeks balance and in 2023 we nerds also experienced something on page and screen that we should have evolved out of decades ago. In the year of Barbie we had not 1, but 2 incidents of fridging in the comic book universe. Both came from Marvel and both are inexcusable. I would love to celebrate how far representation in this field has come, really I would. But I can not do that if we are still making the same mistakes. I am not going to celebrate that there is now less sexual assault in comics. I am not going to celebrate that fridging is less common. I am not going to celebrate that women are infantilized less often in comics. I will not celebrate less. Not in 2024 when every grown person on the planet should know better. I will not be celebrating less. I will celebrate when women are ALWAYS treated like human beings, fictional or not.

The first instance of fridging was in a Marvel comics Spiderman storyline involving Kamala Khan. In The Amazing Spider Man #26 Kamala Khan, a female character barely involved in this storyline and hardly an acquaintance of Spiderman, was killed off. Now this is obviously not the first time that this has happened, it's not even the first time that this has happened to Kamala. She was also fridged in her 2019 appearance of Champions. So in appearances only 5 years apart Ms. Khan is fridged again. Now at this point in Marvel it really feels like this was retaliation, Ms. Marvel just got her own show it was announced that Iman would be writing the newest issues of Ms. Marvel, and it felt like Marvel was really putting a lot of confidence in her. So to then fridge her in a major character's story was not only disgusting and regressive but it felt very pointed and personal.

Then we have the on screen incident in Secret Invasion with the fridging of Maria Hill. Maria Hill is a character we really only got glimpses of in the whole of the MCU, she appeared in several films but was never really established as a full character. Then she was killed off to spur Nick Fury’s story and we never mentioned it again. It was the most textbook of fridging. And in a show that was already unforgivably bad the fridging of Maria Hill was abhorrent. To make matters worse the show would have been 1000X better if they had included Maria in the story.

So two instances of fridging in 2023, officially setting women back several decades. Fridging is wildly unacceptable in any form of media and the fact that certain men still can’t find better ways to motivate their stories is frankly pathetic. If you can’t figure out how to set their characters off on their journey without needlessly murdering the women around them then you are a bad writer. We are hoping for better in 2024 and for the rest of time but honestly we need to keep drawing attention to the mistakes so that we may prevent them from happening again. We can not celebrate progress that doesn’t exist. Marvel needs to get it together, for it is not only the fault of the writers coming up with these shitty stories but it's also the fault of the editors and producers that allow them to happen. The men responsible for Kamala Khan are Zeb Wells and George Beliard. The men responsible for Maria Hill are Kyle Bradstreet (fucking Kyle), and Brian Tucker. Yes there were other people on the writing staff but for most of them Secret Invasion was their first gig and therefore they most definitely didn’t make any major writing or creative decisions.

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About the Creator

Alexandrea Callaghan

Certified nerd, super geek and very proud fangirl.

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Comments (2)

  • shanmuga priya24 days ago

    Congratulations 🎉 , keep up the fantastic work.

  • M. A. Mehan 27 days ago

    I tapped out of Marvel a while ago so I had no idea Maria was killed off! Ugh that makes my blood boil, she deserved so much better

Alexandrea CallaghanWritten by Alexandrea Callaghan

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