This is a very special episode of the show. Our own Sam Cross goes one on one with Supurbia creator Grace Randolph. Join Sam and Grace as they talk about practically everything under the sun.
Tag: women in comics
Okay, okay. I’ve likely confused the hell out of you with everything I’ve just written so far, so you deserve some explanations, don’t you?
Let me get right to it, then.
At this point, Avengers vs. X-Men #0 has been released, and you all know (or at least many of you, since this stuff sold out at the distribution level in one day) that it’s probably going to be a feud between Marvel’s most popular superteams, with two female superheroes, Hope and the Scarlet Witch, at the center of it.
Those ladies are who I’m talking about.
This week’s first issue in the maxiseries centers on them and their struggles. They are being set-up as the center of the conflict between Marvel’s hottest franchises. They are the stars of this initial issue, and they could be the real stars of the whole series, even if it does feature other characters.
If that’s true, this series could, in spite of all the superheroic smackdowns and earth-shattering events, just be a story about Hope and the Scarlet Witch with the X-Men and the Avengers as fancy window dressing.
That would make this one of the most successful female team-up books in comics, and perhaps the only mega crossover event from one of the Big Two that revolves around two female characters. (I’m sure that’s debatable. There are probably quite a few people who could dissect other crossovers down to being stories driven by two female leads, but I can’t think of any as of this writing).
Hope and the Scarlet Witch aren’t friends, and I don’t think either of them have met each other at this point in the Marvel Universe’s timeline, but if they’re the ones at the heart of this storyline, I’d say that makes Avengers vs. X-Men essentially a team-up book. Not because they’re on the same side or have some kind of strong bond, but because they’re the two people this story’s ultimately about.
Then again, it’s only the first issue, and not even the REAL first issue. It’s #0, so it’s like, issue #-1 or something. But what I mean is, this series is going to go on for months, so it may evolve into something completely different from what I have told you in this article, and I may be saying “oops” later this year, but I’m taking the risk by saying…
Avengers vs. X-Men is really a story about Hope Summers and Wanda Maximoff.
Whether the Avengers succeed in protecting Wanda from X-Men who are pissed off at her for damaging the mutant race, or whether the X-Men succeed in protecting Hope from Avengers who think she’ll destroy the world as a phoenix host… it may not matter. At the end of the day, this could just be a story about two women struggling through an incredibly tense situation.
So, in this age where people decry the lack of women in comics, sexism, and misogyny, what does it say when a storyline that could be the biggest comic book event of the year is one that’s driven by two strong chicks? Will these Wonder Women be the center of a milestone?
These Marvel female superheroes may be the ones who put the “super” in superhero women, at least for now.
This article’s original version was published on Superheroes are Awesome on March 30, 2012.
You hate when superheroes act differently in their own books than they do in team books or guest appearances, and you may frown or want to hit something. Remember that time when your favorite tough guy was incompetent in a crossover even though he was a great butt-kicker in his own series? Or that one appearance where a hero behaved completely out-of-character? Yeah, I’ll bet you do, and it annoyed you, didn’t it? Happens all the time in serialized storytelling, I’m afraid.
And it’s happened to Wonder Woman in the New 52.
This week, Wonder Woman #7 and Justice League #7 came out, and both series feature the amazing Amazon… in different ways. She’s the same on the outside in each—a crime fighter who beats people up with superhuman acrobatics and magical weaponry—but beneath the surface, it seems at times like two women share the same body. Her personality from one title to the next just hasn’t always matched up.
Let’s start with the way she fights.
In her solo adventures, Wonder Woman’s fight scenes are presented as straight-up action sequences. She dispatches centaurs and lava beasts with methodical, measured grace, and her emotions during fights aren’t typically emphasized, just her efficiency in getting the deed done…
And she uses her wits to outsmart gods…
Pick up her own series, and you’ll see Wonder Woman kick butt and accept that people are going to get hurt or killed. Yeah, it’s sucky, but it’s an unavoidable consequence of deadly engagement. Does she enjoy it? It’s hard to say, exactly, since she’s never shown jumping for joy or anything while she busts knee caps. She just does what’s necessary and gets straight to the point.
So seriously, who the hell was that chick who showed up in Justice League #3 a little while back? Sure, she looked like Wonder Woman, with those tight star-spangled booty shorts and stuff, but she acted like a bloodthirsty Cro-Magnon woman who mindlessly jumped into fights without thinking first, and she bashed heads in with absolute glee.
We see the word “fight” so early on in this appearance, that it seems like we readers are being beaten in the brain with the fact that Wonder Woman is battle-crazed, as if that’s her defining character trait.
She might as well be saying, ”Look, it’s someone to beat up! Have at thee, you scoundrel! Your head will make a fine trophy on my wall.. next to all those other trophies of those I’ve vanquished!”
And that’s not Wonder Woman. It’s not even the same Wonder Woman who’s been running around in her own series lately. Yes, I know the New 52 relaunch is supposed to give us different versions of classic characters, but it seems to me like DC creators aren’t sure who the “new” Wonder Woman is supposed to be. If they were, she wouldn’t seem so different from one series to the next.
But perhaps the key is the New 52 timeline. These Justice League sequences panels are from the series’ first story arc, which is supposed to have happened in the new DC’s past, when many of the more famous superheroes were younger, and thus, less seasoned in their crime fighting careers.
So it’s possible that this brash lady looking for trouble is a Wonder Woman who hasn’t learned to think first before she cracks her knuckles. She’s impetuous and less worldly, and it definitely shows.
But look-y here…
In Justice League #7, the most recent issue, and the first one that presumably takes place years after the Justice League first formed in the New 52 DC Universe, Wonder Woman’s the one character making fists, eager to punch the taste out of someone’s mouth.
Granted, the person in question is an abusive spouse, so you could argue that, in this case, it’s okay for Wonder Woman to want to beat him up, but still… I think it’s more than a coincidence that she’s the character who’s written with an itchin’ to lay the smackdown. It could have easily been another hero, but it was the “new” Wonder Woman with the trigger finger.
Like I said in the beginning, it’s not a new occurrence to see superheroes acting differently from one comic to the next, but it’s distracting, and I think, in Wonder Woman’s case, it’s pretty jarring. She’s being used to depict one thing in her own book—the cool, composed warrior—and another thing in the Justice League—the team’s whimsical, happy-go-lucky bruiser.
But those are two different women, really, and DC should make up its mind on which one’s good enough to be Wonder Woman, and keep it that way.
This article’s original version was published on Superheroes are Awesome on March 22, 2012.
JP and The Nerd are back again with the fourth episode of the Word of the Nerd Podcast. JP welcomes The Nerd back after surviving the flu and missing the last show. This episode the two nerd-extraordinaires welcome indie comic writer and artist Bridgit Scheide. While missing their cues and generally embarrassing themselves the nerds talk to Bridgit about her comic Brother Nash.
Have you checked out the Kickstarter page for “A CON-voluted Story”? Our very own Word of the Nerd team is involved with this awesome project! Show them some love!