Can we be real for a moment? As a run-of-the mill DC Comics fan, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the follow-up film to Man of Steel, has been quite the shitshow. With recent (unconfirmed but totally happening) news that Jason Momoa has been cast as Aquaman and the casting of Ray Fisher as Cyborg (a purportedly minor role), sure, I'm excited. But at the same time I just want to know, where are the lady heroes?
Sure, this next movie is only supposed to be the second in a trilogy, with the third being a fuller Justice League film. Still, there has to be at least another superheroine on the way, right? Not just Wonder Woman? DC wouldn't be so bold as to head towards a full-on Justice League movie without at least introducing another full-time female JL member, particularly when DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson just addressed bringing female characters to light. Right?
This a more than perfect opportunity to showcase some of DC's awesome super heroines and actually show they at least acknowledge the existence of the female comic reader. Sure we have our big hitters like Black Canary, Zatanna, Power Girl, and Huntress, but here are just a few basic suggestions for some other women that would totally kill it as a member of the Justice League. Feel free to suggest your own.
I know, I know Barbara Gordon, aka Bat Girl aka Oracle does hail from the Bat Family. But she is easily one of the most recognizable superheroines in any case or context. She probably has the most impressive resume anyway, having done time with the Suicide Squad, holding her own with the Justice League of America and founding the Birds of Prey. It would only make sense to have her be the Leagues personal database and hacker.
Of course, I wouldn't exactly be surprised of they skipped Barbara Gordon altogether and instead named Batman's personal operating system Oracle or some shit.
There have been rumors that the major villain for the Justice League movie may be Darkseid. If that's the case, then Big Barda is a must. This New God is one badass and yet totally underutilized lady. Sure she's known for being the wife of Mister Miracle, challenging relationship stereotypes as she towers over him and definitely outpowers him and yet being totally content as a warrior homemaker. But she's also made quite the name for herself, serving time with the JLA and the Birds of Prey.
A lot of people were none too pleased when Gal Gadot was cast as Wonder Woman, seeing as the Themysciran princess has more meat on her bones (though it's been argued that Gadot could bulk up Christian Bale-style). Properly casting a tall, brawny woman as Big Barda would awesomely level out the squad.
With Justice League and the Suicide Squad memberships under her belt as well as a foray into Birds of Prey, Vixen is a very experienced and iconic super heroine as one of a handful of(?) black female heroes on DC's roster. While I kind of found Vixen's whole supermodel alter ego a bit annoying, I'm sure a production studio would eat that shit up. Besides, ANIMAL POWERS, COME ON!
Having been a member of the Teen Titans for um, ever, Raven is already an insanely popular character. One way or another, a complete Justice League needs an occult specialist, and while Zatanna would also do well on the Justice League, Raven already has a pretty solid cult fandom. Besides, isn't Zatanna supposed to be in Guillermo del Toro's upcoming Justice League Dark film?
Anyway, Raven never served on the Justice League (thanks, Zatanna) but that could also work perfectly if we're doing the whole 'gritty reboot' rag tag team of unlikely heroes.
Lady Shiva is a plain badass. Like Barbara Gordon, she doesn't have any superpowers. She's just you're everyday martial arts grandmaster trained in like a billion different fighting styles that can outfight Batman (and has trained Batman). I'd say she's a gun for hire, but this woman kills with her bare fucking hands, so that would just be inaccurate. Everyone knows all squads need a mercenary wildcard with a resurfacing sense of honor. IT'S A FACT.
I'd be lying if I said that the Justice League cartoon show didn't at least partly inform this decision. But they successfully pulled together a previously fragmented character inextricably intertwined with Hawkman and made her an independent badass. That yells. And smashes. A lot. But seriously, Hawk Girl is the perfect ragey character that has managed to maintain the hit first, maybe talk about it later quirk throughout multiple unnecessary incarnations.
So whether we call her Hawk Girl, Hawkwoman, Shiera, Shayera, Chay-ara, Sharon, Kendra (Saunders), Kendra (Munoz-Saunders), fuckin' Cinnamon—whether she wears a harness with feathered wings or metal wings, or has bird wings mysteriously grafted into her back, let's get a goddamn woman in some Thanagarian metal on that League.
Also, if they include John Stewart as Green Lantern in the Justice League movie (maybe played by Dwayne Johnson) YOU KNOW THAT SHIT'S GONNA GET SPICY.
Honestly If it was up to me, we probably wouldn't even have a live-action Justice League movie. (Seriously, I'm starting a fund to cryogenically preserve Kevin Conroy, voice of Batman in most animated portrayals. So far I have $54, a pizza crust, and an old Mac charger, if anyone wants to chip in.) But since we're getting one, we could at least try and get it right. And that starts with the simple notion that being a woman is not a character trait.
Yep, there are a lot of different issues when it comes to female representations in comics. A LOT. Sometimes it's about how they're drawn. Sometimes it's about how they play out as characters. But it's also about how many there are. This one-woman-per-squad concept is utter bullshit. Yes, Wonder Woman is awesome—she really is. But just because she's a dynamic character that encompasses princess, warrior, diplomat, and woman, doesn't mean she should be the only woman on the squad. That's bullshit. There's literally a whole multiverse of other women characters in the DC Universe, and a whole lot of 'em could hold their own under the JL title.
Lead image via AP.