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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Red Sonja #1

The story begins 3 years prior with King Dimath shouting victory. He goes to the dungeon of his vanquished enemy and finds 2 prisoners. The only two to live after being worked as slaves all day and set to battle each other till death for sport at night. 

“Let me see these fierce men.” 

“Yes, sire. Only about that…”

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Dimath sets them out with a horse and safe passage away. 

3 years later, Red Sonja is sleeping in the dirt. I read her in Lucy Lawless’s voice. But she’s sleeping on the ground, drooling, snoring. Drunk. 

Bandits come buy and she offers to let them take the food, even whatever gold she has if they need it, she adds “Try to touch my sword and you die. Try to touch me and you die fingerless.” (How epic is that?)

Anyway, the bandits try to step up… and out of no where jump 2 pretty young girls with bows and arrows (is this a Katniss Everdeen thing? That’s how I’m reading it). Young girls, bows and arrows, guts but no idea about combat or killing or WAR.

Dimath requests Red Sonja’s presence… at a party

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Then once back in her chainmail bikini, she gets down to business teaching the townsfolk to fight as the Zamorans prepare to invade. Apparently the Zamorans have a terrifying general, and no reinforcements will come to help the king face them because his people have been cursed by a plague. 

A definite GREAT first issue. Clever. Funny. Brutal. Can’t wait to see what happens. So I won’t, I have issue 2 right over here. Also, if anyone else thought the sisters were a joke about Katniss holla at me! I thought it was so funny, they were all “We’re your body guards!” And Sonja’s all, “Seriously?” It’s amazeballs.