Princeless #3 + a commentary about female heroes’ costumes

Princess Adrienne is trying to find her sister. She’s now being pursued by the king’s guards. She stops at a local blacksmith and meets the string bean, pixie cut rocking, Bedelia is the real craftsman behind the armor. Adrienne finds that Bedelia only has a selection for women based on- well, what we’ve seen in the media for women warriors. 

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So we’ve got the Red Sonja get up

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which was recently addressed in Legends of Red Sonja #3 as a method of distraction. As in the mens will be distracted by your curves. As someone who loves Red Sonja, I also think there’s some level of cockiness that shows through that get-up, not just about her curves, but as a “yeah right, you’re not going to make it within a stone’s throw from me anyway.” Sonja’s also presented as a very sexual being and being flashy is her thing.

As is true with Xena.

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Her get up is not too gaudy, protective leather and minimal armor plating is not unreasonable for a traveller who can’t be weighted down. Besides, her male contemporary, Hercules, walked around with no armor and his shirt open all the time. Like Sonja, she is a grown woman who hooks up with Gods (for Sonja, recently a forest god, for Xena it was Aries).

I’m not innately anti-sexy-costumes. In fact, here’s a picture of me at Rhode Island Comic-Con rocking some spandex. (With Rory and Amy and fellow Radio Of Horror host dressed as Indiana Jones)

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I like showing off my body, and I’m a grown woman and I do what I want.

But this bugs me out:

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Batman and Superman look gruff and …like adults. Diana looks maybe 16, like she has an E cup, no rib cage and is wearing undies. The men are big and huge and Wonder Woman has zero muscle definition. That’s absurd. But mainly, what I’m mad about is the infantilization. Say it with me, Wonder WOMAN. It’s also absurdly out of character. In Justice League War Wonder Woman’s costume was skin tight, under scrutiny by anti-supes she says that her outfit makes her feel powerful. And there’s nothing wrong with showing off what you’ve got. Of course her JL War costume is “modest” compared to the photo above:

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And there’s a duality where woman are made to feel vulgar for liking to show themselves off while being bombarded with sexy women. sexy women are presented as fierce and confident, but is “The Sexy Woman” really empowered?

Back in the comic, Princess Adrienne runs around dressed as the Amazonian and experiences street harassment and learns how to work a lasso. Bedelia finishes up her armor and its spectacular. 

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Comicbook Catch-up Extravaganza!

Featuring: Guardians of The Galaxy 11, PrinceLess #2 & Deadpool: The Gauntlet

Guardians of the Galaxy #11 AKA the Trial of Jean Grey #1

(even though the last issue of All-New X-Men was also the Trial of Jean Grey #1) 

I have never read Guardians of the Galaxy and I’m not usually a bandwagon jumper, even when there’s a movie, but this is a crossover with my 2nd favorite X-Men title, so there you go. Also by Brian Michael Bendis. Art by Sara Pichelli. Quill and Gamora have a chance run in at a bar, they’re both Wanted, yet Quill is at his usual spot and he cleverly quips; “Because it’s the first place anyone would look for me. So they probably already looked for me here and moved on.” But the woman is not Gamora! They’re a really a bounty hunting Skrull! Ohh snap. I really dig it, it reminds me of all the Space Western Anime that I like. Gladiator of Shi’ar attempts to explain Jean Grey’s very complicated history in 140 characters or less. There’s argument about whether Jeannie should face trial for crimes she TECHNICALLY hasn’t committed yet (also, she already helped kill that version of herself). The real Gamora and Angela are having a girls day shopping trip -for weapons- when they run into imposter Gamora and Quill. Gamora tries to figure out what the heck is going on, but Angela decapitates her. Angela loots the body and Quill wakes up in one piece. All together all the Guardians find out what the Shi’ar are planning with Jean Grey and they decide to interfere. The last page makes it.

The space-time continuum tremor doesn’t explain why the original X-Men can’t go home, does it explain Marvels funky numbering?

Also, I hate Groot. I hate any character that only says their name!

PrinceLess #2

Princess Adrienne’s brother is getting his lesson on how to be a proper man and swing his sword around. His father makes all manner of emasculating comments to him because he’s the sole air to the throne. None of his sisters have been rescued yet. All of a sudden someone brings news about one of the girls! But it’s not good news, the tower was burned to the ground. No sign of Adrienne. The King swears vengeance! Just then they see her dragon flying around the castle, the King tells everyone to get armed. It’s Devin who notices the rider on the dragon, and sees that they are going for Appalonia’s balcony. Devin fears for her safety and sets out to prove himself a dragonslayer. Adrienne and Devin predictably swordfight, after Devin relocates Appalonia. Adrienne easily wins and reveals herself. They have a heart to heart and Devin reveals that he left the sword in her room. Devin said he wouldn’t let Appalonia be locked away so his father hid her far away with the meanest guards so she’s not there anymore.

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First mission didn’t go smoothly, but Adrienne stays true to her quest to save her sisters!

The art is a little plain in this one, light on background details but the cover is fierce!

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Deadpool: The Gauntlet #1

This is part one of a thirteen part comic that comes out every week until the end of April?! Whaaat? So I’m already super behind. Greaat. And it’s only being further released digitally. It’s out right now up to issue 6 (can be purchased here). Get with the times and save trees.Deadpool is England fighting a man over a girl. He gets shot, expels the bullet which ricochets of the other man’s jet pack and turns it on, sending him off of the airplane they were fighting on. Epic entrance. Then he realizes his katana is in the pilot’s head, and like all cartoons it doesn’t take effect til you see it. He saves the girl from drowning, gives her CPR, she sees what’s under the hood and runs away. 70s style art interlude with theme song and chimichangas. He gets shot in the head and wakes up on a park bench to a vampire! “At least you’re not twinkling and have a shirt on!” Vampire makes a dash, and Deadpool proves we’re soul mates by saying “Don’t make me run! You wouldn’t like me after you make me run!” The encounter gets physical, and the vamp disappears, Deadpool doesn’t know what the vampire rules are here and asks if british Vampires can turn invisible. He catches the vamps trail and follows him back to his master: Dracula. 

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People really either love or hate Deadpool, I’m gonna say it… I love Deadpool. 

PrinceLESS #1

I was light on comics to pick up, so I decided to just grab some stuff. And I was sifting through NES cartridges when out of the corner of my eye I see this bright pink comic on the All-Ages shelf. I don’t usually read “all ages comics”, or “girl comics” or “fairytale comics.” 

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So in this story we have a Fairytale Princess. And this fairytale princess is of color. Unfortunately this is so notable because of representations of Princesses including but not limited to those by Disney whose single foray into having a black/African American princess left the heroine as a swamp animal for most of the movie without any princess privileges. And spare me the “but Tiana worked hard” or “it was realistic” because No. It wasn’t. And frankly it doesn’t matter: There were so many discussions about whether or not Disney could have used an African folktale for the story or if they made the right move by setting it this way and the correct answer is that they could have done both or neither: EverAfter/StoryLand worlds are make believe and everyone should be included. No one living in 2014 America recognizes themselves culturally with dragons or castles or birthright. And yet for some reason these movies repeatedly come out with white characters as if this is something logical because it’s realistic or historical because it has an origin in some Northern European country. And writers, artists, animators, marketing execs and whoever else can handle that movie/comic/TV fans can suspend disbelief for talking snowmen, fairy godmothers, magic spells, etc., but do not think the masses can handle a princess being a different race than the one in the original literature written hundreds of years ago? OH Spare me. People who actually have a problem with it should be banished to 1280 AD. 

Plotwise: We start off with a story within a story: a fair maiden with arms like pipecleaners getting saved from a tall tower guarded by a dragon by her one true prince. And they live happily ever after. Oh Joy! Princess Adrienne doesn’t buy it. And she tells her mother so. Her mother is nonplussed. The practice of locking Princesses in towers to be saved by the most valiant of knights who will prove himself brave and worthy enough to rule is accepted. She figures Adrienne will get over it (she doesn’t) and she gets locked in a tower when she turns 16 (after being drugged by her parents). 

While stuck in her tower, she writes so she doesn’t “go stupid” and scolds both the dragon and princes below. One such prince shows up and says he seeks a “fair maiden.” She tells him that “fair” means “white.” She calls him a moron, then says, “You’re so anxious to take a wife! Why don’t you take a book first? Work your way up.” 

Through a series of events she ends up teaming up with the dragon that ‘s guarding her tower (by telling him that he’s part of a system that is detrimental to him!), gearing up, and setting out to free princess from towers! 

The real gem in this feminist dream? 

The end of the comic has a mini story that features a Prince, forced to go through Charm School to learn how to save princesses who finds out that it’s not all he hoped it would be. 

Because patriarchy is bad for everyone. HOLY GUACAMOLE!

I picked up the $1 reissue of this and I cannot wait to find the rest because it is both fun and insightful. And Adrienne is dressed like Princess Peach which has nothing to do with anything really, I just thought that was cool. I know I focussed in on all the social justice stuff. But really the overall plot is a spunky action-chick who teams up with a dragon (to rebel against society). Come on. that is so rad.

I don’t even give stars for comicbooks and this gets 5 Stars