I have often thought about why i like superhero comics almost exclusively.
I recently asked for some recommendations for other books from the kickass @madmarvelgirl from fantastic fangirls (Caroline).
She asked me some interesting questions that i actually had to think a lot more about than i thought. Why do i like the books i do, what do i like about them, average questions to get a feel for what to recommend.
I think that i like comic books because while bad stuff happens to the comic heroines *usually* nothing TOO bad happens, and they always kick everyone's butts. Good triumphs in the end, wrongs are made right, all that good stuff.
I think it became apparent to me why i like the books that i do, when i read the Spider-Man / Black Cat story by Kevin Smith. In it, there is a terrible scene where you assume that Black Cat has been raped. I had an immediate reaction to this, and it wasn't good.
I tried to figure out why i was so mad, or what the feelings were that i felt when i read it - it was betrayal. In the books that i tend to read things like this - real life terribly bad things - don't happen. I don't have to worry about having my guard up against them, I can just sit back and enjoy, secure in the idea that everyone gets what is coming to them.
I felt angry and betrayed on many levels. I felt like this was a stunt (it was, even within the book itself), i felt like it didn't need to happen -- it was just Smith saying "that's right, i am so edgy!" and it was cheap. The situation is handled poorly on so many levels, from people telling Black Cat what she HAS to do, assuming she is fragile and crazy, they are dismissive of her, I found it very hard to read. For someone who talks about his wife being a feminist, i dont know how he wrote that crap.
But anyway. In comic books the women are strong and beat up the bad guys, they can fly and are not pinned down by ordinary drudgery (cept for Spider-Man, but then, i dont read his book ;)). They can take matters into their own hands, heal wounds if any are inflicted, and are generally fabulous. That's why i read superhero comics.