Robot 6

This! is how women in superhero comics should be portrayed

One of many moments This! would like you to remember

I understand the importance of complaining about things that need changing — it’s the stick that gets the donkey pulling the cart in the right direction. I don’t think it’s completely effective on its own, though. In the conversation about women in superhero comics, the carrot is under-utilized, so I appreciate a blog like This Is What Women in Superhero Comics Should Be (aka This!) that points out specific examples of women used well in superhero comics. The cart needs to get moving, but it also needs a direction, and This! offers one.

The blog’s only three days old and has already captured more than 30 great moments for women, from Wonder Woman and Catwoman to Jessica Jones and Jennie Sparks. It’s pretty DC-heavy so far, but it’s taking submissions for moments from all superhero publishers.



But having a woman say “it’s complicated” is such a female-generic cliche, like “whatever”!
How many times I have heard/seen/read a woman say that? 350?

Perhaps the blogger’s point is that this page is not misogynist — there’s no protruding buttocks and no basketball-size boobs (though the first panel has an unnaturally titillating pointy protuberance).

But it’s still a stereotype of women.

yea, I’d say the blog has some better examples on there

Jake, my point (and This!’s point) wasn’t that That Particular Sequence of Panels is how women should be portrayed in superhero comics. It’s that those panels are one example of many that show how Brubaker and Cooke portrayed Catwoman in a positive way.

The original This! post is praising Brubaker not for using the phrase “it’s complicated,” but for actually presenting Catwoman as a complicated, multi-faceted character. That’s not a stereotype; it’s just good writing.

The fact that Catwoman seems to require Batman’s approval to feel some form of personal validation strikes people as a positive portrayal of women? Really?

I’m fairly certain that’s not the point of that exchange, Marc (although most people like having the approval of people they respect- I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, as long as their self-respect doesn’t depend on it). It was to illustrate the differences between Catwoman’s and Batman’s world views. Selina sees life and people as being more complicated than “good” or “bad” (which is why Cooke/Brubaker’s Catwoman is a far more relate-able character to me than many portrayals of Batman).

I should be getting the new Cooke/Brubaker trade any day now, so yay!

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