Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Monday, December 26, 2005

A Thought and a Query:

As I've said before, I tend to think that a lot of the gender disparity in comics has to do with the fact that there are still far more male heroes than there are female. There should be more female (or gay/bi) heroes whose lovers can thus be victimized and murdered and held hostage.

So that got me thinking...(dangerous sign)...

If you guys could make a new female hero what would she be like?

I know, me personally, I'd like to see a heroine that's a little older. Most of the female heroes I tend to see are relatively young. The oldest I can remember is Hippolyta, who's immortal anyway, and thus doesn't count. (I'd like to see more heroes that are a little older, personally. I still think it'd be hilarious if the Blue Beetle scarab had fallen into the hands of Gabriel Vasquez).

We have a few male heroes in their late thirties/forties, but very few women. And those that are older either are immortal like Hippolyta or Diana, or somehow un-aged a little like Dinah Lance. So I'd like to see a female in her late thirties or early forties.

I'd like to see a heroine that's sexually mature. I don't mean that I want scenes of her in bed with some guy, with condom wrappers on the floor. But I'm a little tired of how many heroines end up crossing that Madonna/Whore dichotomy. There's nothing wrong with a healthy sex life and an appreciation for attractive men.

She should be single and free to date. That means for some romantic hijinx in a comic, I'd imagine. Occasionally she'll have serious love interests who die tragically. She should mourn of course, but not be over-the-top with her angst. It should just drive her to push on further. Perhaps she could even be a widow or divorced with a child. I can't think of very many heroes with actual dependents. I imagine it to be a son, probably around 13 or 14 (old enough to stay home alone occasionally when mom has to do heroing stuff, and it won't seem all that weird that he stays that age for more than a decade real time.)

He should however *not* be her sidekick, though I can't imagine he doesn't know what she does. She would probably not allow him to put himself in danger. (If he still wants to be a hero at 18, *then* he can put on spandex). She probably wants him to have as much of a normal life as possible.

I'd like her to have family that's alive and that she's reasonably close to. I also would prefer that she has a relatively trauma-free past. It seems like many of the sexually active female characters (Hippolyta, Kory, Grace, Barbara, Jade) have some sort of implied or actual rape/sexual trauma in their histories. And that annoys me a little. No physical or psychological abuse from her family either, thank you. A normal upbringing is okay with me. She's a hero because she wants to be and has the power to make a difference, not as a reaction to childhood trauma.

As for powers, I'm not sure what I'd like. There are a lot of female characters already with physical-based powers, but I don't imagine her to be much of a mage. Maybe something with an ancient theme...though not greek or egyptian. Those are overdone. Maybe something based in Asian, African or South American folklore. She could be descended from whichever society as well, which would be fun. Would require some research to do well, of course, but it'd probably be a blast to do.

--

Hmm, I guess that's all I can think of for now for my "ideal new female hero". What about you guys? What kind of female hero would you like to see?

6 Comments:

  • At December 26, 2005 3:39 PM, Blogger Shelly said…

    Well, they're starting to move in the right direction, ie the new Manhunter. If I could think of a good female character, I'd probably try my hand at writing comics, but superhero writing just isn't my thing. I tend to write male characters and my female characters tend toward the Xena type. Actually, a character like Xena would work well in comics. :)

    BTW, I spend a long weekend up in your part of the country every May. Nice area

     
  • At December 26, 2005 3:58 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Xena would work very well in comics. :-) I think that's part of what I liked so about Hippolyta. She shared many characteristics.

    :-) May's a good time of the year here, I think. Winter can be a bit more...chaotic though.

     
  • At December 26, 2005 4:58 PM, Blogger Centurion said…

    I could really go for a revival of Xena in the style that Darkhorse is doing Conan in. The few issues I flipped through when there was an actual Xena comic were, shall we say, lacking.

    After the fourth season Xena fell apart anyway. If it ever comes back it needs something of a raw energy like it used to have.

    Physically strong, feminine, characters have a thing going for them, and the chest size shouldn't act as a measure...

     
  • At January 01, 2006 3:57 PM, Blogger Josh said…

    It's a true shame that Hippolyta (an IMMORTAL) was killed off in the God-awful Loeb-mandated "Superman: Our Worlds at War" crossover. Aquaman and Guy Gardner were also killed, but both have returned as healthy as ever. Only Hippolyta has not. I think that this says a lot not only about the gender disparity in comics but also about how fearful DC Comics was of Diana's supporting cast being more popular than Diana; a lot of people complain that Diana is boring and two dimensional but really liked Hippolyta.

    I'm going to echo Shelly's sentiments about Manhunter. I've only read 9 issues of the series (I have them all, I just haven't gotten around to finding a good time to sit down and read them and enjoy them) but I think, Kalinara, that it's pretty close -- if not spot on -- to what you're looking for in a female hero.

     
  • At January 01, 2006 4:52 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Well, to be fair, Arthur's a headlining character himself, and Guy's a notable ally/antagonist/mentor who might not have been headlining at the time, but between Warrior and Green Lantern he's definitely known for stirring things up and messing with the status quo.

    Hippolyta, awesome as she is, doesn't really have either of those two factors, and I think it's that more than her gender which keeps her from being brought back.

    Your second point is probably pretty accurate though. I like Diana but Hippolyta was infinitely cooler, and by having her run around under the "Wonder Woman" identity...well it's not quite the same as having multiple Flashes or Green Lanterns.

    What ticks me off is that they brought back Donna. I mean, Diana, Cassie and Hippolyta all had strong personalities (like them or not), but who gets brought back? The twit. :-)

     
  • At August 03, 2007 12:34 AM, Anonymous philippos42 said…

    You know, I was liking this post, & then you called Donna a twit.

    Oh, wait, you're a Kyle/GL fan. Excused. Donna was a mess in the 1990's.

    But I still maintain that she doesn't have to be a twit, it's just bad "the girl" writing.

    Anyway, one of my ideas for a female supercharacter (of which I have lots, 'cos I like female characters) is someone with a job like cop, PI, bounty hunter, who deals with things on a down-to-earth level, but has one power as an ace up her sleeve. I've actually forgotten much of this what with my decade-long Wonder Woman fixation, but I'd have her married, so there'd be "a little bit of sex in it" to quote Preston Tucker, & if it were in prose, I could probably get away with some sexy scenes with her husband that would be...problematic to market in a comic.

    Hmmm....

     

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