Monday, July 13, 2009

New Monica - the Marvel Diva

So Marvel Comics has put out a new comic about the "real life" adventures or four under-utilized female characters, Monica Rambeau (Captain Marvel/Photon/Pulsar), Patsy Walker (Hellcat), Felicia Hardy (Black Cat), and Angelica Jones (Firestar). It's basically like "Sex in the City" with superheroes (although it's unfair for me to say so, I never watch that show). The new series is called "Divas."

Monica is easily the most accomplished and able of these characters, having been a harbor patrol officer, ship captain, and leader of the Avengers, as well as having the stroingest powers and being the only one who can fly. She carries a bit of a chip on her shoulder about that, bitching about how when the leave a rooftop party it's like they are in high school and she's the only one with a driver's licence, and when at a "speed dating" event she introduces herself by simply saying "I'm Monica. Impress me."

And it seems she has a bit of a thing for Brother Voodoo, being a New Orleans girl and everything. Nice to see that cultural touch.

It's nice to see Monica get some attention, especially seeing how another female Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers (Ms. Marvel/Binary/Warbird/Captain Marvel) has had a whole series for the past couple of years. Ms. Marvel may have been introduced as "the feminist superhero," but I hold that Monica was more of a feminist. Though Carol was a security chief at Cape Canaveral and editor of "Woman Magazine, she lost both those jobs, and let's face it, that bare-belly-button costume strained her "feminism" credibility. Also, her battles with alcoholism, bouts of schizophrenia, and aggressive attitude made her a bad role model.

Monica, on the other hand, has always been a competent professional at whatever she did (her brief period as the insecure leader of the Avengers notwithstanding, she was being mentally manipulated by Dr. Druid). though she was held back in her harbor patrol career by a sexist chief, she was always more about getting the job done than whining about what was holding her back.
Monica, on the other hand,


Anonymous said...

Couple of things:

1) Exposed belly button = bad feminist may be the most retarded thing I've herd uttered in the name of feminism since the 'Sex is always rape' opinion started making it's rounds.

2) You say Carols personal problems (alcoholism etc) make her a bad role model? I say the fact that she suffered these problem like any normal person could, and overcame them make her a better role model than somone who only has to overcome professional problems.

Captain Zorikh said...

Thanks for your comment and putting up some thoughtful opinions. In response...

I don't think that exposing a navel makes one a bad feminist, but for the creators of the character to giver her such a costume made it difficult to see the character as a feminist icon. The point of feminism is tht women are equal to men. To give a woman a sexy costume is to create a distraction from that message.

To say that recovering from personal problems can make a character a hero to those who have such problems, who can then look to her example as inspiration is a good and valid point. However, to have given this character these problems, issues, and conditions in the first place meant that in the ranks of superherodom, she would forever be out of the top ranks, and not be someone good to emulate. Her continual career and personal setbacks make her an example of what not to do if you want to succeed and be happy.