It's Hard Out There For A Heroine

Illustration for article titled It's Hard Out There For A Heroine

Today's NY Times profiles Gail Simone, the former hairstylist who has become the first female "ongoing writer" of the Wonder Woman comic book series. Ms. Simone sees WW as a second-wave heroine, someone who stood for the burgeoning feminist movement in the 70, saying that the character is "just the best kind of person... She was a princess who didn't need someone to rescue her. I grew up in an era — and a family — where women's rights were very important, and the guys didn't tend to stick around too long. She was an amazing role model."

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Simone got the Wonder Woman gig after starting a website, Women In Refrigerators, devoted to chronicling the misogynistic treatment experienced by many female superheroes. "These are superheroines who have been either depowered, raped, or cut up and stuck in the refrigerator," Ms. Simone writes on her site's homepage. "Some have been revived, even improved — although the question remains as to why they were thrown in the wood chipper in the first place."




Some examples of humiliated superheroines from WIR include Christine Helvin of Troublemakers who was the victim of date rape and then discovered she was sterile because she was no longer human (what?!?); Shrinking Violet, who lost a leg; and perhaps worst of all, a character called Ms. Marvel I aka Warbird, who was, in the words of Ms. Simone, "mind-controlled, impregnated by rape, powers and memories stolen, cosmic-powered then depowered, alcoholic - SHEESH!"

It's safe to say that Wonder Woman will avoid such indignities at the hands of Ms. Simone and novelist Jodi Picoult, who, earlier this month, published a five-part Wonder Woman storyline involving Wonder Woman's "people", the Amazons, engineering an attack on the United States. Something tells us this version of Wonder Women is interested in more than hot pants.

Wonder Woman Gets a New Voice, And It's Female [New York Times]

Women In Refrigerators [Unheard Taunts]

DISCUSSION

@Macloserboy: It wasn't the very first BoP story; it was the second. He did restore her in one of the worst storylines for her EVER (what JLA-er doesn't know who R'as Al Ghul is? How stupid does a JLAer have to be to not heed a friend with connections who warns her off of this guy... It was a sickening story but OH, she gets dipped in the pit at the end, so all better? NO!)

Grell depowered her, yes, (and it was torture not rape though I'm aware everyone wants to assume it was rape due to the fact that this is the only bad thing anyone can imagine being done to a woman). Grell also did a lot of stories on torture and its use and aftermath and the nature of power, including one where Green Arrow was tortured and rescued by Black Canary. It was a very different type of book and generally evenhanded as far as what all the characters went through.

Gail Simone rehabilitated the nature of the character of Black Canary, showing her to be competent and capable and not a big bumbler like she almost always was in BoP (especially after the first couple of arcs in the monthly book).

And please don't use quotes unless you're quoting. Also, don't flip what I said. I didn't say Spoiler deserved to die; I said CHUCK had it COMING that one of his valued female characters was disrespected in the way he had disrespected Canary. I mean, come on: Chuck had her drive the fucking boat in his finale on the series so that he could focus on his tough-guy stereotype action hero character and have him save the day. And any villainess he created? Crazy women with daddy issues.