Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Where the hell are the superheroines?!

AfterEllen.com has a blog about the lameness that is the "super hero's girlfriend" phenomenon, where women in superhero movies are usually not the super hero, but rather, HIS girlfriend. They're touching upon the new casting of Nat Portman for Thor's girlfriend (cause yes, they're making a Thor movie before they ever make the Wonder Woman movie.)

Anyway, they cite an older article about the lack of good superheroines in film (how they're downplayed, over- or under-sexualized, etc.) and honestly, truer words have never been said.

I used to poke fun at my boyfriend because he's an avid comic book fan and he has boxes of comics about men with muscles (in tights) fighting other men with muscles (usually in tights) and sometimes they rescue the girl, too. And I thought it seemed kind of goofy and silly (although Chris Nolan gave me a new perspective, inspiring me to read Arkham Asylum, The Killing Joke which were fantastic) until I made a new realization.

It's not that these comics are bad, it's just that I'm jealous. I'm jealous we don't have more women in these comics, and so i've never been able to truly relate. I grew up reading Archie Comics which, while I love them for nostalgic purposes, only seem to perpetuate the idea that women's only role in life is to chase after a man and look good while doing it. Luckily, I didn't buy in to that much as I grew older, but I can see why a lot of girls do.

In response to the lack of good female super hero comics, I decided to search for ANY comics that portrayed women in a realistic light. I found a few good independent comics, like Sexy Chix (a collaboration of different female comic artists/writers - phenomenal, by the way), lesbian comic creator Julie Doucet's work, and recently I read Potential by Ariel Schrag, which was all kinds of awesome. These kinds of comics are truly my favorite, but I still sometimes wish I could read something with a little less substance and a little more action (hell, sometimes I like to just be entertained, too!)

I went to a comic convention not long ago and finally bought my first set of Wonder Woman comics and they are pretty great (albeit kind of campy.)

So where does this leave us, ladies and gents who are sympathetic to the plight of women who want more superheroines?

Eh... I'm not quite sure. I guess it just means that we need to start putting pen to paper and maybe creating our own superheroines. Obviously, the boys at DC and Marvel aren't doing much of a good job with it.

We need real women in comics now! And we need them to save the day!

3 comments:

ZZ Q said...

She Hulk! Now I could be wrong about this, but I'm going to assume that the majority of comic readers are boys/men who are probably more interested in characters that they can relate to. Hence, a lack of comic book heroines.

(She got Herself up) Killingly said...

but that's what i'm saying! if they had heroines then more girls would probably read. also, it kind of goes to show you how boys are conditioned to not usually "want" to read "girl hero" comics (more boys are in to super man than wonder woman, hulk vs she-hullk) thus fueling the idea that boys shouldnt like strong women, and that they should feel like the strong ones who are out to save the day and rescue the girl before she gets flattened by a train or something. lame-o.

blues_drive said...

Well, I can agree and disagree on this one. It's not that the male population (myself included) doesn't want to see a superheroine. I can tell you as a somewhat writer myself that writing for a female is never easy. You have to walk the lines of making the character strong and powerful, without them being all testosterone or bubblegum like the other girl characters.

As for Wonder Woman, look at her origins and her powers and everything about her. She is all about S&M, because the creators were horndogs, not to mention she flies an invisible jet. How do you translate THAT into a film without changing everything everyone knows about it and NOT complain! You know how the fans are, so it hasn't been done for that reason. She-Hulk, I'd love to see in more things, but I know she's more of sex appeal and somewhat comic relief. But look at Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy and others, he writes for girls who kick ass and save the guys in plenty of cases! Even Kevin Smith wrote for Black Cat, another tough heroine and one of my favorite females in comics. I wrote this story about a Sentai team (like a Power Ranger team) who were looking to see who is their true leader, considered to be a god. Turns out, it was the girlfriend of the supposed main guy! So it's possible, yes, to have a powerful female. It's not always that the guys want to see the guy save the day. No one can write a good heroine these days and one that people can keep interested in for years and decades to come. Seriously.

BTW this is Germ.