Where the Wonder Women Are: Introduction

The thing about female superheroes is, there’s lots of them in comics. TONS of them. The reason it seems like maybe there aren’t is due to many factors: a lack of solo titles in the DC/Marvel stable, the tendency to kill off said female superheroes at a faster rate than male superheroes (and not to bring them back as often or as quickly), a lack of female creators at both companies, and in many cases, a bunch of creators who write and draw female superheroes so appallingly that it leads readers to believe that the character is somehow at fault.

And that’s only scratching the surface. There are also legacy issues, such as the problem that the majority of recognisable female superheroes are spin offs from far-more recognisable male superheroes, or have deeply sexist origin stories to overcome, or are still judged by the way their character was written as ineffectual in the 60’s, a time when every superhero team had a single female character and she was the one who got to make the tea. Even the costumes become far more problematic and political with the women, with fans more likely to be judgemental about changes from tradition, and it’s sad how many current artists in the industry are still likely to take historically sexy, impractical or skimpy costumes and make them ten times more sexualised or impractical in the name of “tradition.”

And there’s the elephant in the room, which is that titles featuring female led characters often don’t receive enough reader support to be viable. Though as you might have guessed, I don’t think it’s that simple, and the current success of Batwoman goes to show that with publisher support, with a fantastic creative team and cool storylines, it doesn’t always have to be that way. But of course there are a whole lot of comic book graveyards that tell another story…

After the fun we had discussing this issue at our Where are all the Wonder Women panel, I wanted to to write something positive about women in comics, about the awesome female characters that have been around over the years, how they have been reinvented or reinterpreted across different media, and their potential to be the iconic Wonder Women of the 21st century. I’m not going to be providing comprehensive histories of the characters (unless I really can’t help it), because that’s what Wikipedia is for, but trying to provide my own take on who she is, which version of her I like best, and why she’s awesome. Some ranting might slip through, but the plan is to be positive. Really. Truly.

And yes, I am going to talk about Wonder Woman, herself, but not yet. There’s some other fun women to introduce you to first…

Where the Wonder Women Are:
0: Introduction
1: Black Canary
2: Rogue
3: Hawkgirl/Hawkwoman
4: Black Widow

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  1. […] of posts on her blog titled “Where the Wonder Women Are” (you can read the introduction here). Roberts writes about the series: I wanted to to write something positive about women in comics, […]

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