Friday, June 29, 2007

Women Take Over DC Comics

After reading Supergirl and the LOSH and seeing how she ended up as the new Legion leader I thought it was funny how these trends show up all at once in comics. In JSA Power Girl is the new leader, in JLA Black Canary is the new leader and now Supergirl in Legion.

In theory I have no problem with these woman as leaders, but it is annoying in that they are the leaders with no established rhyme or reason that they have any leadership ability.

Supergirl has just shown up in the Legion and her being elected by popular vote can make some sense as she has had a high profile since going to the future. Plus the Legion in their prior history has often had female leadership, so this is not a radical change for the Legion at all. In fact the case can be made that Saturn Girl was perhaps the best leader the Legion ever had. Still she was established as a leader type and a intelligent person and Supergirl is more questionable. The counter is that this is a popularity vote for leader and not just voted on by core the super hero team. My net conclusion, Supergirl as Legion leader is fine and it seems to fit with the natural flow of the story.

Black Canary as leader of the JLA seems a little forced and somewhat ridiculous at this juncture. Black Canary had a great portrayal in Birds of Prey as a smart and savvy operative and as one hell of a fighter. See quits Birds of Prey to devote time to her "adopted daughter". Suddenly she decides the join the JLA, becomes the leader of the group, decides Ollie is her true love and is looking to get married to him. Additionally DC has her dressed in a "hooker" wedding dress with Ollie draped over her shoulder as she carries him off into wedded bliss. Is it just me or is the portrayal of Black Canary all over the place in the DCU now. She is not the leader type in any of these portrayals and making her leader feels unnatural. In the next adventure of the JLA Batman seems to be running the show and in Amazon Attacks when the JLA shows up Batman seems to be running the team. The writers seem unable to even portray her as a leader. Oracle as the JLA leader would have made more sense or even Wonder Woman, but Black Canary does not work. Also from a personal viewpoint I have come to know Black Canary as a strong and independent woman, who would not be running back to Green Arrow. Bottom line, this just does not work for me.

Next up is Power Girl I have followed this character from her original incarnation as a member of the "Super Squad" with the JSA. She did not have the enormous boobs at that time. My problem is with her being the leader is that the portrayal of the character has also been all over the map inside the DCU and there was no indication that she was this type of a leader. Still I can buy it with her character a little better because in some of her portrayals she has run her own company. But the cutaway in her outfit and her ridiculous boobs just makes her into some arrested adolescent male's perverted fantasy figure. When the good girl art is overdone, it takes away from the character and hurts their credibility. Power Girl as JSA leader is iffy at best for me to buy.

DC (and other companies) need to establish their female characters with some character development and consistency before just making them in charge of these groups to make it believable.

As a tangent the over done good girl art is almost a negative to me buying a comic. I'm not coming at this from a "super sensitive" male standpoint either. I love a good looking woman with a great rack and I probably will never remember a woman's eye color as I have a tendency forget eye color. Hell Cindy in Alien Pig Farm is one of my favorite voluptuous characters in comics. But even I with all my stereotypical male fascination for breasts is almost put off books because the overdone good girl stuff makes me wonder if what is under the cover is going to have any value worth my time to read. Grimm Fairy Tales is a prime example that you have to get past the obvious good girl stuff to see that some of their material is an enjoyable read. Madam Mirage put me off the book a little because the cover showed that her a** was popping out of the top of her dress.

Don't get me wrong, I like to see sexy women in comics, but they don't need to be such absurd caricatures. Catwoman today is sexier then when Balent drew her, Jennifer Maze from the old Maze Agency was sexy, smart and savvy without being a ridiculous extreme. I would like to see DC stop making Power Girl out to be a set of boobs, just give her a breast reduction and an updated costume so we can take her a little more seriously. Good writing can overcome some of these problems, but I wonder if these covers actually drive up sales and if they do, then the comic buying public in general has some issues.


  1. I really wish they had let Canary either 1. Stay with BoP or 2. be a pseudo stay at home mom... because seriously, what's happened to Sin anyway?

  2. I speculated before that the Canary thing is a case of "Meltzer > Simone" in the DC heirarchy. It seems like they ADORE Brad and if he asks for a character for JLA he'll get it. :\

    But it was so silly! Sin is GONE now. Canary seems to be full time JLA XD

    And I rly think Meltzer made her leader just so he can brag about being all hip and edgy and feminist XD Superman and Batman are still giving the orders. >.>;;;

  3. Well, JLA Chairman has always been a joke-position anyway. Typically been the equivalent of Press Secretary rather than "He/She Who Must Be Obeyed".

    I mean, IIRC Superman was the JLA Chairman throughout Grant Morrison's run but Batman still called most of the shots and gave all the orders in combat.

    Still... yeah, while I don't have nearly as many issues with the idea of Ollie and Dinah getting back together as I do the execution, her portayal HAS been all over the place and I'm hoping we'll get some kind of resolution regarding Sin in Tony Bedard's mini-series. Even though the preview REALLY pissed me off...

  4. While I get your point on the good girl art being over done, just what is perverted about liking a woman with big boobs?

  5. Seriously I thought Gail Simone did the best work on Canary ever. And the idea that Dinah would marry Ollie bothers me - they just don't seem to work together - not to mention the fact that Ollie cheated on her ><

    Also, I wish they would have just worked Sin into Canary's current storyline, that would have made much more sense to me.