So one of my dearest friends Scourge (not real name..duh) texted me a link over the weekend.

I was so furious reading the article that I actually slept on it before I dared say anything over here.

Mydearpeabody wrote a very…interesting Op-ed piece which you can read here. Based off an interview with The New Republic and Writer/Producer Mark Millar (Kick-Ass, Wanted) which you can read here.

While I agree with alot of the sentiment and points expressed in Mydearpeabody’s blog post, i don’t want to sit here and re-hash a lot of negativity.

When Scourge saw me later on and asked my two cents about the article I told him this: “I love comics, but it feels like the industry as a whole doesn’t know what to do with us fanchicks. It’s almost like grade school- the boys that like me pull my ponytail and throw stuff at me”.

There have been a number of great female writers and artists over the years, but the industry is still a boy’s club. Yes. yes, I know that the head of the DCU entertainment side is a woman, and you have people like Gail Simone, Ann Nocenti et al who are just brilliant woman in general.

There are problems everywhere in the industry- publishers, Local Comic Book Shops (LCS) and even at conventions.

Back in 2003/2004 I was invited to do a lecture at my college’s Gender Conference (1 of 3 students to do so!) My lecture actually covered the comic book industry and the portrayal of woman in it… and guess what? All the characters I used were created by… men.

So, instead of criticizing more, let us celebrate some great female characters that really need to have their day in the spotlight outside of comic books.

Let me get the most “obvious” character out of the way first. Wonder Woman.

  • Wonder Woman

She’s been around for what seems like forever. Yes I know she had a tv show- yay Lynda Carter- but it was camp (much like the Adam West/Burt Ward Batman TV Show) . Then there was the horribly failed pilot that had stills circulating around the net last fall. Yes, WW became a symbol of Woman Power every where- but why is Warner Brothers/DC Entertainment not using her correctly?

If anyone over at DCU happens to read this: I beg you, on behalf of readers everywhere, please give Diana her due- spend the money on her and give her a feature film with good casting, VFX that is actually believable and cast Lynda Carter as Hippolyta. Wonder Woman is part of the “holy trinity” of DC (with Batman and Superman)- you have spent billions of dollars over the years to make film after film of these two… spend a little on Diana.

Wonder Woman by Alex Ross

I can tell you that doing a Smallville like TV Show with Diana would not do her any justice. This is a character that is legendary… a demi god… tied to both the Greek and Roman Pantheon of Gods.  She isn’t a “Tricky” character Chief Entertainment Ms. Nelson (as you said here in your interview with THR)

Ms. Nelson with all due respect: “She doesn’t have the single, clear, compelling story that everyone knows and recognizes”. Does that matter at this point? The latter half of Gen Y and younger have no clue about the Lynda Carter run.  Warner Brothers *loves* telling (and re-telling) origin stories in their films- you need to start with the Origin story and then go there.

No one knew Thor outside of the random Norse mythology- but look how much that made at the box office!

  • Terry Moore’s “Strangers in Paradise” 

This really needs to be made into a TV show.  The “elevator pitch” (thank you Wikipedia) ” The story primarily concerns the difficult relationship between two women, Helen Francine Peters (known simply as Francine) and Katina Marie (“Katchoo”) Choovanski, and their friend David Qin. Francine considers Katchoo her best friend; Katchoo is in love with Francine. David is in love with Katchoo (a relationship which Katchoo herself is deeply confused about).”

SIP Cast

One of the reasons I loved this book is that a) not only is it a huge female cast but b) it deals with best friends and c) it deals with issues of sexuality in a great manner and d) THEY LOOK LIKE NORMAL WOMAN.

Can’t stress that part enough. I was tired of seeing female characters with huge breasts and itty bitty waists. Barbie dolls on crack.  That’s not a good role model for ANYONE.

Plus the book is very funny and quirky. Go read. Now.

  • David Mack’s “Kabuki”

How does one explain Kabuki? The pitch (again from Wikipedia) “Set in an alternate near-future Japan, the protagonist of the story, a young woman codenamed “Kabuki”, acts as an agent and television law-enforcement personality for a clandestine government body known as “The Noh”.”

That in no way shape or form can actually explain David’s work on this book. Yes, there is that plotline (and learning about Kabuki’s history, lots of awesome violence that actually is needed- not forced/shoehorned into the book) but a majority of the book is very….philosophical.

Those who hear not the music think the dancers mad.– Kabuki: Metamorphosis #4

Your environment reflects your internal disposition. — Kabuki: Metamorphosis #6

I have been a fan of David’s for years- ever since I read “Daredevil: Echo Parts of a hole” (see next bit). Once I got my hands on Kabuki, I almost literally had a brain meltdown.  The art work… this should be hanging in fine art galleries, not a comic book!

Kabuki: Metamorphosis #9

I do apologize if that picture looks a bit large- but I wanted to show the detail in Mack’s work.

  • The woman of “Daredevil” 

As you can tell by my handle name (@murdocksgirl), I am a *huge* Daredevil fan.  One of the many reasons is that Matt Murdock’s social/love life is quite interesting.

Karen Page/Daredevil- “Guardian Devil” Daredevil Vol. 2 art by Joe Quesada

a) Karen Page- Out of all the woman in Matt’s life, she is probably the “weakest”.  She becomes a druggie, sells Matt’s secret Identity for a fix, leaves him (multiple times) however…. when push came to shove, she really stepped in and took one. (Spoiler Alert: She takes a billy club to the heart sent by Bullseye).

b) Echo- Wow oh wow, another reason why I love David Mack.  A deaf girl (half Native American, Half Latina) who loses her family and has the ability to mimic anything she watches. So she loses her dad and since she is mute- was labeled as “special needs” until someone realized that she is really the exact opposite.  Unlike a lot of the woman in Murdock/Daredevil’s life- she is one of the few that doesn’t get killed/go crazy. She left Matt to go “Find herself” on a Vision Quest and eventually works with the Avengers for awhile.

Echo by David MackNative

c) Black Widow- Yes I know she was in Iron Man 2 and in Avengers.  As a diehard “hornhead” I am slightly ticked off that she was introduced into the mainstream media in Iron Man 2 and the fact that she was very weak in the film- I mean she is totally Nick Fury’s lapdog  (which does coincide with the books- a tiny bit), but she was nowhere near as kick butt as I would have liked her to be.  A special Thank You has to go out to Joss Whedon for actually giving her some sort of background in Avengers.                                                             (Now can we please see what in god’s name happened in

Black Widow by Alex Maleev

Budapest with her and Hawkeye??). However she still feels… off then what I know from the comic books.  She first appeared in Tales of Suspense #52 and then made her way over to Daredevil (for a long time on the book it was “Daredevil and Black Widow” instead of “Daredevil: The Man Without Fear”) . Her and Daredevil where partners in more than just one sense of the word. She is the other woman, besides Echo, to not go off the deep end or get killed.

d) Millia Donovan- Created by Brian Michael Bendis- Millia was Matt’s wife (yes he did get married!!). Millia was slightly stronger of a character than Karen Page, but she also was a “civilian”. While Karen understood why Matt wore the costume and did what he did, Millia had a tendency to worry a bit too much. Grant it, she is blind, and nearly suffered the same fate as Karen Page, but unfortunately for Matt Millia can’t emotionally/mentally deal with Matt’s costume life- in part because of the costume and everything that comes with it.

Millia Donovan by Alex Maleev

e) Elektra- saved the most well known one for last. Yes. I know Fox made a movie with her in the lead. I have heard people say over the years that the reason why this movie didn’t perform well at the box office is because that people don’t want to go to a movie with a female superhero in the lead. I call bullshit on that. The reason why this film (and in, my humble opinion, Catwoman also) didn’t do well is because- frankly I don’t know what movie I watched, but it wasn’t Elektra. A chunk of that film is actually part of Daredevil’s origin story.  Don’t believe me? Take a look at the credit list- Frank Miller (who created her back in the day) received credit for comic book characters and Mark Steve Johnson (who wrote and directed the Daredevil film) received credit for motion picture characters…. um. really?

Elektra By David Mack

I am hoping that Fox gets it right (or the rights revert back soon to Marvel). However, Elektra in the comics is a different story all together. My favorite story line is “Scorpio Key” (again- another Brian Michael Bendis story line)- in that books, after dealing with a billion things, she visits her own grave stone. How strong of a character is she if she can go to her own grave and KNOW that her body is six feet under but she is still standing there (thanks to some mythical/ninja stuff)???

Last but certainly not least:

  • Deena in “Powers”

Oh I was lucky one day and didn’t realize that on my commute home from the day job that I actually saw the actress playing Deena in the FX pilot of the show when they were shooting here in Chicago.  FX- let me just say, if you can get that actress back for reshoots, please do. She was EXACTLY how I pictured Deena in real-life!

Keep in mind, I come from a security/police/military family so I am a stickler when it comes to police procedural type of shows/books.

Hands down, Powers is the ONE COP BOOK I love.  The whole premise is that its about Homicide cops investigating the deaths of superheros/villains.  Deena starts off as a lowly rookie cop who purposefully transferred into the “Powers” Division.  If you get rid of the super hero element, by itself it would be a great police-noir book. In part because of Mike Oeming’s artwork.

Deena? Wow.. just wow. Here you have a woman who is totally stuck in the boy’s club of 1st response (because, sad to say, as far as we have come as a society 1st responders/military are still damn boys clubs).  Instead of taking shit from the other guys and say, sucking it up and going home, she dishes it right back.  Deena, unlike other female cops I have seen depicted over the years, doesn’t do anything under handed to get ahead of the boys.  She just does her job and does it damn well.

It also doesn’t hurt that she swears pretty much like me. 🙂  The below image pretty much sums up how awesomely relatable Deena is.

Deena in Powers: Bureau Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Art by Michael Oeming

What about you readers? Any comments/concerns/ideas/suggestions?

Respond below!

Advertisements
Comments
  1. […] have no clue how stoked I am about this. I have talked about Mack before (which you can read here). Why am I sitting here like a kid in toy store that was told they could have all the […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s