Tag Archives: women in refrigerators

Captain Marvel: To be a heroine

It’s a long way from standard damsel-in-distress to the heroine of a comic series and upcoming movie. Carol Danvers’ story begins with Captain Marvel1 rescuing her in standard super-hero fashion, but then she becomes the hero(ine) of her story, becoming Captain Marvel herself.

She wasn’t exactly a shrinking violet at the start, since she was an Air Force officer when she first met the man who would change her life.

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Lucretia to Batgirl: Taking Back the Narrative, Escaping the Refrigerator

Long ago, at the very beginning of Roman civilization, there were kings. One king, Tarquin Superbus, took the royal prerogative a bit too far and blackmailed a noble matron named Lucretia into sleeping with him. (He tells her that he will kill her and his slave, then tell her husband he found them in flagrante.)

She, to take back her honour, and keep Tarquin from blackening her name, sent word to her husband of what had happened, and killed herself. A dissident noble named Brutus used her death to start a civil war and depose Tarquin, thus beginning the Roman republic.

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Batgirl: lighten up, Gotham!

Don’t get me wrong, I like Batman and all, but I don’t see why every DC comic has to be equally grim and dark. Surely each should have its own feel? (The same should be true for the movies, by the way. I remember describing Man of Steel to a friend as “Superman Batmanned”.)

So thank goodness for Barbara Gordon, whose Batgirl takes a completely different route. This isn’t to say that she doesn’t have difficulties, or face challenges. She just handles them differently.

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Spider-Woman: 130 pounds and a story of one’s own.

The problem with the new Spider-Woman comic is evident right on the splash page. These usually have a capsule version of the character’s origin, so newcomers can get caught up with the story. Only one-third of this one is about our heroine; the rest is about the Inheritors and their war on all things Spidery. It turns out that Spider-Woman #1 is part of an “event” story in the Spider-verse, with a lot of Spider-characters, and since the last time I read a Spider-Woman comic was back in the 1970s, I was confused.

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