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Netflix's Jessica Jones Is a Complex Portrait of a Woman Undone

Jessica Jones, the second of Netflix’s original series drawn from Marvel comics, is the smartest entry into television’s already crowded cast of superheroes. Created by Melissa Rosenberg, best known for writing the Twilight movies, and starring the sardonic Krysten Ritter, the show is a slow unravelling of a familiar…

Supergirl Is Straight-Up a Show about Women Tearing Each Other Down

When Supergirl isn’t about competing with the absentee Superman (whose dreamlike cameos represent a vision of heroism that is so iconic, it can only be seen via abstraction, or synecdoche), it seems to be a show about women who show affection by criticizing and belittling each other. And weirdly, the show makes this…

How To Make Black Widow Truly Awesome, According To Richard K. Morgan

Black Widow’s rise to badassery arguably began in 2004, when Richard K. Morgan wrote a miniseries that revamped her backstory and gave her a much stronger inner life. And now that we’re all talking about Black Widow in the wake of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Morgan has some thoughts about how to achieve her full…

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"Strong Women Characters" Who Made Mistakes (And Learned From Them)

You know what we really want from our "strong female characters" in pop culture? Not to be perfect human beings. Or to screw up and be sidelined. What we want is to see them do what all great characters do: make mistakes, and grow as a result. Here are a ton of female heroes whose mistakes made them great.