The Superhero Women Strike Back Another Valiant Volume In The Marvel Origins Series, Stories Of The Start Of Your Favorite Marvel Maidens Including Ms Marvel, Disguised As The Editor Of A Women S Magazine, Who Has Super Strength And The Power Of Flight Red Sonja, Than The Equal Of Any Man And Known As The She Devil With A Sword Medusa, One Of The Inhumans, Her Hair Is Horror For Baddies Janet Van Dyne, Wealthy Socialite Who Can Shrink To Insect Size, Float Like A Butterfly And Sting Like The Wasp That She Is And The Cat, Greer Nelson, As Graceful, Athletic And Inscrutable As Her Name Liberate Yourself From Worries With The Women S Side Of Super Sagas InThe Superhero Women

10 thoughts on “The Superhero Women

  1. says:

    And finally, you re about to see what I mean when I say that men and women should be, must be, and will be treated equally and fairly in every Marvel magazine just as they should and must be treated in life itself The pages that await you are just a comic book story Yet, let us hope they ll somehow presage an age of sanity, an age of equality for men and women an age where all will be judged by ability and deeds rather than an accident of birth Stan Lee, 1977 page 234 I am going to give Stan Lee a lot of points for trying very enthusiastically to position Marvel as being on the cutting edge of 70s feminism And for being so gung ho himself The quote above comes from his introduction to the story featuring Black Widow, and it reappears in different ways throughout all of his intros It was nice to read that perspective, good job gramps.Unfortunately the majority of these are not stories about empowerment I appreciate the effort But feminism and equality is not just women being able to kick as much ass as men.Invisible Woman s powers are expanded from simple invisibility to the generation of force fields yikes, I could write a whole thesis on that and she realizes that she s now the most powerful member of the team It s all thanks to her hubby s big brain that this power expansion occurs.Hela the fearsome Norse goddess of death tracks Thor all over the earth but eventually gives up on seeking his death after realizing that she s just sad she doesn t have love in her life.The Wasp is given super powers by Ant Man so that he can have a sidekick She quickly falls in love with him He s eh about it.Medusa of the fabulous Inhumans lays the smack down on Spider Man but is tricked by a dodgy corporate type after she agrees to wait for it become the spokeswoman for hairspray.Black Widow also fights Spider Man She soon realizes she s got nothing on Spider Man Sigh.There s definitely a disconnect between Stan Lee s introductory comments and many of the stories that follow I understand why the stories chosen are all seminal tales for each of the heroines on display, rather than ones that focus on their actual empowerment Most of the stories basically revolve around men Sigh The stories themselves are on the okay side of fun.Red Sonja and Shanna the She Devil fare better in their installments because no man gets in between those heroines and their goals, and importantly, they are not defined by men On an unrelated note, I was pretty surprised at the bloodthirstiness in both of those stories Ms Marvel also clearly doesn t need a man to define her but that s only in the particular story chosen for this collection in her actual origin story, her powers are given to her by the Kree warrior called Captain Marvel.I would loved to have read all about Lyra the Femizon wow , of the futuristic Voluptuaries wow Sadly, some ingrate literally tore that story entirely out of the volume I have Must have been a good story I guess Probably featured a lot of skin.Perhaps the purest example of a genuinely feminist superhero woman is the story featuring The Cat She s mentored by an elderly female scientist, she goes after a villain because he killed another woman, and her powers aren t just kick ass physical, they are also intellectual and psychic in nature She s the whole package, complete with claws that can fly right off of her hands Surprisingly, she has no compunction against killing, which is a rarity in mainstream comics and I m not saying that s a feminist thing, it s just something that is pretty striking The Cat was written by a woman Linda Fite and drawn by a woman Marie Severin It lasted exactly one issue Sigh.

  2. says:

    Giving this a 4 outta 5 mostly on nostalgic flashbacks, as my folks bought me the whole series Origins, Son of Origins, Bring on the Bad Guys, Greatest Superhero Battles when I was a kid and I dog earred the f k outta them Hadn t read any of them in about 20 years I enjoyed the seemingly randomness of the femme fatales included Hela over The Enchantress, for example , as well as the somewhat annoying but classic cliffhanger styled inclusion of non origin stories Ms Marvel, Shanna The thing that stuck with me, however, were Stan Lee s introductions to each woman His prose bubbled with nods to women s rights, equality, etc., but they kind of rang with a sense of inflated falseness, considering that the comic book field has always been male and white male, at that dominated Of the 11 stories included, only 2 were written by women and only 1 was illustrated by a woman Gerry Conway does deserve props for giving a shout out to his wife for aiding and abetting his Ms Marvel story, though , which kind of sums up what I m driving at the bulk of the stories are written by men and illustrated by men Sadly, even the two stories written by women still ring with the traditional Marvel voice, presumably due to male editorship The whole thing, in retrospect, is rather ironic That said, my favorite of the bunch was Lyra the Femizon, which is delivered in glorious black white The Red Sonja and The Cat are strong second runners, mostly because they aren t drawn by either John Buscema, Jack Kirby or John Romita who represent the bulk of the illustrations in the book One final note, I miss the kind of hokey, jovial, off the cuff nature of the old 60s and 70s comics, which are presented here in all of their somewhat outdated brilliance.

  3. says:

    The Superhero Women is the product of two very 70s things a chauvinistic approach to what was then called women s lib and that cultural moment when Stan Lee, in his capacity as Marvel Comics huckster at large, could still act as if he were the driving force behind the House of Ideas in its prime Though all stories in this volume feature female protagonists, of the ten stories included here only two feature a female writer and only one a female artist, though Marvel utility infielder Marie Severin makes an additional appearance in one chapter as a colorist.In his breathless, carnival barker prose, Stan Lee provides introductions to stories featuring the likes of Medusa of the Inhumans, Black Widow, and Ms now Captain Marvel among others In these pieces we gain insights into what passed for feminist representation in the 60s and 70s We learn that Sue Storm the Fantastic Four s Invisible Woman was significant because she was not merely Reed Richards s girlfriend, but his fianc e Red Sonja was not merely a beauty in a chain mail bikini, but a great and fierce warrior Marvel s 70 s line of black and white magazine sized sci fi and fantasy comics were so advanced they dealt with topics such as sexual discontent in a future matriarchal dystopia The inclusion of the likes of Sonja, the Femizons and cut rate Sheena of the Jungle, Shanna the She Devil, represents long lost efforts by Marvel Comics and mainstream comics in general to take chances on pulp genres aside from superheroes However Marvel built its universe on the long underwear set, and even in 1977 there were some iconic female characters who didn t make the cut here Jean Grey and Scarlet Witch, anyone Stan the Man gives them a shout out at the end of the book, but it s still a head scratcher.Still, these are Marvel stories from the company s heyday, delineated by some of the bullpen s best cartoonists Their gender consciousness is backwards by contemporary standards, but they represented a baby step or two in the right direction in their time Are these Marvel classics for the ages No Are they still dumb fun with a bit of nostalgic panache Absolutely But nowadays Marvel has repackaged all their best content from their good ol days into Masterwork this and Essential that You can find and better elsewhere.However, if you just can get enough of the toupeed and leisure suited 70s Stan Lee blowing Marvel ous smoke up your true believing keister, this could be your book.

  4. says:

    This is an outdated book about outdated times that does show that you can try to be than what your contemporaries are about I read these stories and saw where they succeeded and failed and am proud to say that they are fun and still worth reading for the most part.

  5. says:

    I was entertained by the 70 s stereotyping, regardless of how much effort Mr Lee said he put into breaking them.

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