With the weekend release of the Black Widow film (finally…stupid Covid…) I thought we would spend the weekend celebrating women in comics!
Female superheroes have existed since the concept of a person with superhuman powers was created. In fact, the first most widely recognized female superhero was none other than Wonder Woman.
While there were quite a few other female superheroes that came before Diana’s debut in 1941 with the release of an issue of All-Star Comics, she is by far the most iconic of the early women appearing in comics. She was beautiful and dressed in a leotard, knee high boots and a golden tiara…and had come to America to fight fascism, the enemy of democracy.
Many saw her as a shining light in the comic book world. Her ideals were in line with the feminism of the day (and even more so now). She fought for equality for people, celebrating their differences and defining moments. She brought hope to people when they may not have had much…for 1941 was the year that the US entered WW2 and the next few years would be grim indeed.
But not everyone was taken with the beautiful brunette and her male counterparts. Comics were often called a “national disgrace” and Wonder Woman herself has come under much scrutiny for everything from her beliefs to the way she dressed.
Yet this was just the start of women in comics. From her brash and beautiful origins to the modern films she is in today… this was just the start.
Now we have women all over the comic book world…
From the X-Men and their diverse cast (most notably characters like Jean Grey, Rogue, Kitty Pryde and Jubulee) to Jessica Jones, The Scarlet Witch and Black Widow it is nearly impossible to open a comic book and not see some incredible female character staring back out at you. Most even have their own series now.
You can read about Supergirl, Batwoman, The Gotham City Sirens, Harley Quinn, She-Hulk, Vixen, Gwen Stacey (aka Spider-Gwen), the new Iron Man who is now a 16-year-old black girl, Kamala Kahn, Black Canary, The Birds of Prey, Echo…name them and you can find them.
Their stories are being told and we really do need them, from the rebellious to the criminal, the dark to the bright…the original takes. The celebrations and downfalls.
We have seen some of them throughout the reviews so far this month: Sue Storm, Black Widow, The Wasp, Pepper Potts (who becomes Rescue in the comics), Wanda Maximoff, Gamora and Nebula, Jane Foster (also Thor in the newer comics), Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau….and so many more.
The comics are so much more in depth than what we see on screen. Their stories are expanded, full of hopes and desires….their drives to make the world a better place in their own ways. And they are some of the most popular characters in the comic book world.
So this weekend we are going to celebrate women in comics….the good, the bad and even the villains…some turned anti-villain. Because as always, representation matters and seeing ourselves in the pages of a comic is no exception.
The next few days we will be focusing reviews on film, tv and comics that are primarily about female characters in comics.
Starting with the fantastic new Wonder Woman films. And stay tuned for a review of the new Black Widow film…but if you don’t wants spoilers stay away from it until you have seen the movie!
Smithsonian Magazine: The Surprising Origin Story of Wonder Woman
Gamesradar.com: The Best Female Superheroes of All Time
My own experience as a life long nerd!